Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Anjar - Lebanon

Ninocas sent me another TN of a 2nd Lebanon Unesco site, Anjar, and i've already had a card from this site, which was sent last year by Niina. I've deleted Niina's card from the older post and i'm now posting it again here.

 Photo by wikipedia
The city of Anjar was founded by Caliph Walid I at the beginning of the 8th century. The ruins reveal a very regular layout, reminiscent of the palace-cities of ancient times, and are a unique testimony to city planning under the Umayyads.

Anjar is an example of an inland commercial centre, at the crossroads of two important routes: one leading from Beirut to Damascus and the other crossing the Bekaa and leading from Homs to Tiberiade. The site of this ancient city was only discovered by archaeologists at the end of the 1940s. - in: http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/293

Baalbek - Lebanon

Yesterday i've received a new Unesco card from Lebanon. I already had a touchnote card from there but as i said before, i don't include unesco TN cards in my collection. In this case they kind of complement each other, which is really nice. The TN card sent by Ninocas shows the Bachus Temple and the 2nd, sent by Sapic, shows the ceiling of the same temple.

Baalbek is a town in the Beqaa Valley of Lebanon situated east of the Litani River. It is famous for its exquisitely detailed yet monumentally scaled temple ruins of the Roman period, when Baalbek, then known as Heliopolis was one of the largest sanctuaries in the empire. It is Lebanon's greatest Roman treasure, and it can be counted among the wonders of the ancient world, containing some of the largest and best preserved Roman ruins.
Towering high above the Beqaa plain, their monumental proportions proclaimed the power and wealth of Imperial Rome. The gods worshiped there, the triad of Jupiter, Venus and Bacchus, were grafted onto the indigenous deities of Hadad, Atargatis and a young male god of fertility.

 Photo by wikipedia
The Temple of Bacchus was one of the three main temples at a large complex in classical antiquity, at Baalbek. The temple was dedicated to Bacchus (also known as Dionysus), the Roman god of wine, but was traditionally referred to by Neoclassical visitors as the "Temple of the Sun". It is considered one of the best preserved Roman temples in the world. It is larger than the Parthenon in Greece, though much less famous.

Vitacolor
The temple was commissioned by Roman Emperor Antoninus Pius and designed by an unknown architect c. 150 AD, and built close to the courtyard in front of the larger temple of Jupiter-Baal. When the temple complex fell into disrepair, the Temple of Bacchus was protected by the rubble of the rest of the site's ruins. The temple is 66m long, 35m wide, and 31m high. Its walls are adorned by forty-two unfluted Corinthian columns, nineteen of which remain upright in position standing 19 m high. The columns support a richly carved entablature. Inside, the cella is decorated with Corinthian half-columns flanking two levels of niches on each side, containing scenes from the birth and life of Bacchus. The adyton (inner shrine) stands above a flight of steps. - in: wikipedia

Lelepa Island - Vanuatu

The cave on this card, sent by Miguel, is Fele's Cave on Lelepa Island, where Roy Mata was poisened by his brother during a great feast in 1265. This cave is one of the places associated with Roy Mata, classified as UNESCO World Heritage Sites in 2008, on the list under the name "Chief Roi Mata’s Domain".  

Photo by PhillipC
Roy Mata was a powerful 13th century Melanesian chief from what is now Vanuatu. His elaborate grave, containing the bodies of over 25 members of his retinue, was discovered by French archaeologist Jose Garranger in 1967 and inscribed on the World Heritage List in 2008. Garranger was able to locate the grave on Retoka island by analyzing local folklore. According to legend, when Roy Mata conquered the land, his first goal was to unite the tribes. His reign is reputed to have been a peaceful one. Sadly, Roy Mata was poisoned to death by his brother, but his body was not buried on his homeland because the locals feared his spirit. To this date, the name Roy Mata is never used. - in: wikipedia

Monday, October 29, 2012

Australian Unesco cards

In the next days i'll receive lots of new Unesco cards!!! I'm looking foward to get them. But for now i've these two from Australia, both new sites in my collection and sent by Sharon.

 Lake Mungo is a dry lake in south-western New South Wales, Australia. It is located about 760 km due west of Sydney and 90 km north-east of Mildura. The lake is the central feature of Mungo National Park, and is one of seventeen lakes in the World Heritage listed Willandra Lakes Region. Many important archaeological findings have been made at the lake, most significantly the discovery of the remains of Mungo Man, the oldest human remains found in Australia, and Mungo Lady, the oldest human remains in the world to be ritually cremated. - in: wikipedia

Naracoorte Caves is a national park in the south-east of South Australia. It was officially recognised in 1994 for its extensive fossil record when the site was inscribed on the World Heritage List, along with Riversleigh. The park preserves 6 km² of remnant vegetation, with 26 caves contained within the 3.05 km² World Heritage Area.
The limestone of the area was formed from coral and marine creatures 200 million years ago and again 20 million years ago when the land was below sea level. Ground water since then has dissolved and eroded some of the limestone, creating the caves. The caves, such as the Victoria Fossil Cave and Blanche Cave, are often not far below ground, and holes open up creating traps for the unwary. This is the source of the remarkable collection of fossils. Mammals and other land creatures have fallen into open caves and been unable to escape. The fossil record has been preserved in strata formed from eroded topsoil washed and blown in. In some places, the fossil-bearing silt is up to 20 metres thick. Some of these areas are being preserved for future research when better methods of dating and reconstructing fossil records may have been found. These fossil traps are especially significant for tracing Australian megafauna. - in: wikipedia

AU-227259

No, no, this isn't a kangaroo. This little one is a  wallaby. Wallaby is an informal designation generally used for any macropod that is smaller than a kangaroo or wallaroo.  

 Photo by Susan Batho
AU-227259, sent by Susan.
Wallabies are herbivores whose diet consists of a wide range of grasses, vegetables, leaves, and other foliage. Due to recent urbanization, many wallabies now feed in rural and urban areas. Wallabies cover vast distances for food and water, which is often scarce in their environment. Mobs of wallabies often congregate around the same water hole during the dry season.
Their powerful hind legs are not only used for bounding at high speeds and jumping great heights, but also to administer vigorous kicks to fend off potential predators. Wallabies also have a powerful tail that is used mostly for balance and support.
Wallabies face several threats. Wild dogs, foxes, and feral cats are among the predators they face. Humans also pose a significant threat to wallabies due to increased interaction. Many wallabies have been involved in vehicular accidents as they often feed near roads and urban areas. - in: wikipedia

Indonesian cards

Heidy contacted me sometime ago because she wanted to trade cards with me. I picked these cards from her albuns. The 1st two are from Tana Toraja in  South Sulawesi and the 3rd is from Malang in Java. Tana Toraja Traditional Settlement  is on the Unesco Tentative List.

 Photo by Gottfried Roelcke - Impact Postcards
  Tana Toraja is home to the Toraja, an ethnic group indigenous to a mountainous region of South Sulawesi. Their population is approximately 650,000, of which 450,000 still live in the regency of Tana Toraja.
These houses on the card are called Tongkonan and are the traditional Torajan ancestral houses. They stand high on wooden piles, topped with a layered split-bamboo roof shaped in a sweeping curved arc, and they are incised with red, black, and yellow detailed wood carvings on the exterior walls.
Tongkonan are the center of Torajan social life. The rituals associated with the tongkonan are important expressions of Torajan spiritual life, and therefore all family members are impelled to participate, because symbolically the tongkonan represents links to their ancestors and to living and future kin.
There are three types of tongkonan. The tongkonan layuk is the house of the highest authority, used as the "center of government". The tongkonan pekamberan belongs to the family members who have some authority in local traditions. Ordinary family members reside in the tongkonan batu. - in:
wikipedia

 Photo by Willy Priatmanto - Impact Postcards
On this card there's the Tau Tau, wood-carved fugures placed at the entrance to traditional Toraja grave sites. 
 In Toraja society, the funeral ritual is th e most elaborate and expensive event. The richer and more powerful the individual, the more expensive is the funeral. In the aluk religion, only nobles have the right to have an extensive death feast.
The ceremony is often held weeks, months, or years after the death so that the deceased's family can raise the significant funds needed to cover funeral expenses. Torajans traditionally believe that death is not a sudden, abrupt event, but a gradual process toward Puya (the land of souls, or afterlife). During the waiting period, the body of the deceased is wrapped in several layers of cloth and kept under the tongkonan. The soul of the deceased is thought to linger around the village until the funeral ceremony is completed, after which it begins its journey to Puya.
Another component of the ritual is the slaughter of water buffalo. Buffalo carcasses, including their heads, are usually lined up on a field waiting for their owner, who is in the "sleeping stage". Torajans believe that the deceased will need the buffalo to make the journey and that they will be quicker to arrive at Puya if they have many buffalo.
There are three methods of burial: the coffin may be laid in a cave or in a carved stone grave, or hung on a cliff. It contains any possessions that the deceased will need in the afterlife. The wealthy are often buried in a stone grave carved out of a rocky cliff. - in: wikipedia

 Photo by Paul Zacharia - Impact Postcards
Malang is the second largest city in East Java province.
One of the icon that represents Malang city is Tugu Monument located in the center of Malang city (Jalan Tugu), that was erected in 1950.
Tugu Monument is shape of sharpened bamboo. This bamboo delineate weapon use by Indonesia to fight againts Dutch and sacrificed their life to gain independence. The chain is the the symbol of Indonesia united in one spirit to gain independence that cannot be be separated. The stairs feature 4 and 5 corners delineate year when Indonesia gained independence. Star with 4 levels and 17 bases delineate date and month of Indonesia Independence.
Tugu Monument is located in the mid of pond that is decorated with white and red lotus, symbolize of courage and purity of the heroes. On the bamboo length, there is Indonesia map and face of Bung Karno and Bung Hatta reading the proclamation text. - in: http://www.indonesia.is/places_to_visit_landmarks/tugu_monument

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Gunung Mulu National Park - Malaysia

A treetop walk in Gunung Mulu National Park. It must be exciting to cross that bridge!
This is a touchnote card sent by Gracinha.

Photo by www.drokpa.com
A Unesco-listed site widely regarded as Sarawak’s top attraction, Gunung Mulu is the most heavily promoted of the state’s national parks and one of the most popular destinations in Borneo. The park is an unspoilt wilderness offering caving, trekking and wildlife-viewing. It can be enjoyed simply for its beauty, or tackled as a challenge that even experienced outdoors enthusiasts will relish. However, as a privately managed park, Mulu is also the source of considerable controversy with regard to political profiteering and native land rights.  - in: http://www.lonelyplanet.com/malaysia/malaysian-borneo-sarawak/gunung-mulu-national-park

HK-80450

A nice view of Tai Mo Shan, the highest peak in Hong Kong.

 HK-80450, sent by Helena.
Tai Mo Shan, literally "Big Hat Mountain"; is the highest peak in Hong Kong, with an altitude of 957 m. It is located at approximately the geographical centre of the New Territories.
Tai Mo Shan was once a volcano and has long been extinct, so it is made up of volcanic rocks from the Jurassic age. Today a small hill that is part of Tai Mo Shan known as "Kwun Yum Shan" still vents warm air though cracks in the rocks that lead all the way to the mantle.
 Due to the height of the mountain, it is claimed to be Hong Kong's most misty area, as it is often covered in clouds. In summer it is frequently covered with cumulus clouds, especially on rainy days, and in winter stratus clouds and fog often cover the peak.
It is rather easy to hike to the peak as there is a road all the way at a comfortable gradient. People actually cannot access the highest point on Tai Mo Shan, as it is occupied by a Hong Kong Observatory (ex-RAF) weather radar station. - in: wikipedia

CN-660760

Cherry blossoms from China.

 CN-660760, sent by Cheer_Z
The cherry trees naturally grow in China. However, the two most famous cherry blossom parks in China reflect Japan's brief occupation of parts of China during the first half of the 20th century or the donation from Japan thereafter:
* Longwangtang Cherry Blossom Park in Lushun, Dalian, Liaoning
* East Lake Cherry Blossom Park near Wuhan University, in Donghu District, Wuhan, Hubei
* Nanshan Botanical Garden in Nanan District, Chongqing - in:
wikipedia

Friday, October 26, 2012

Chinese cards

I've recently traded with 2 chinese girls, Lilian and Tianhui Li. Lilian sent me the 1st card showing the Erwang Temple and Tianhui sent the snowy views the of City Wall of Nanjing and Xuanwu Lake, also in Nanjing.

 Photo by Jiang Mingyi
Erwang or Two Kings Temple is located on the bank of the river at the foot of Mount Yulei. The original Wangdi Temple built in memory of an ancient Shu king was relocated and so locals renamed the temple here in honour of Li Bing and his legendary son whom they had posthumously promoted to kings. - in: wikipedia
This temple is part of the World Heritage Site "Mount Qingcheng and the Dujiangyan Irrigation System".

The card shows the wall of Nanjing, the capital of Jiangsu province in eastern China and has a prominent place in Chinese history and culture, having been the capital of China on several occasions.
Nanjing is one of the most beautiful cities of mainland China with lush green parks, natural scenic lakes, small mountains, historical buildings & monuments, relics and much more, which attracts thousands of tourists every year.
The City Wall of Nanjing was designed by Emperor Zhu Yuanzhang (r. 1368–1398) after he founded the Ming Dynasty(1368–1644) and established Nanjing as the capital 600 years ago. To consolidate his sovereignty and keep out invaders, he adopted the suggestions of advisor Zhu Sheng to build a higher city wall, to collect grains and to postpone the coronation. Then, he started to build the city wall. It took 21 years to complete, and used 200,000 laborers to move 7 million cubic metres of earth. The City Wall of Nanjing was among the largest city walls ever constructed in China, and today it remains in good condition and has been well preserved. - in: wikipedia

Photo by Liu Ning
Xuanwu Lake is a lake in the central-northeast part of Nanjing, Jiangsu, China, near Nanjing Railway Station and Ji Ming Temple. The Ming city wall borders the park to its south and east and there is a notable pagoda and the Zifeng Tower overlooking the lake.
The lake covers 444 hectares and is 15 kilometers in circumference. According to the local legend, a black dragon was seen in the lake and was believed by Chinese Taoists to be a god of water protection called Xuanwu which gave it its name. - in: wikipedia

Indian Unesco cards

I've traded again with Nagi from India. He wanted 2 of my cards and in return i chose these 2 from his unesco offer list. The 1st card is from Munnar, a hill station on the Western Ghats, added to the World Heritage List this year and new to my collection and the 2nd shows the Brihadeeswarar Temple,  part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site "Great Living Chola Temples". I already had a card from this 2nd site.

Photo by V B Anand
The Western Ghats or the Sahyādri constitute a mountain range along the western side of India. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is one of the eight hottest hotspots of biological diversity in the world.
These hills cover 160,000 km2 (62,000 sq mi) and form the catchment area for complex riverine drainage systems that drain almost 40% of India. The Western Ghats block rainfall to the Deccan Plateau. The average elevation is around 1,200 m (3,900 ft).
The area is one of the world’s ten "Hottest biodiversity hotspots" and has over 5000 species of flowering plants, 139 mammal species, 508 bird species and 179 amphibian species; it is likely that many undiscovered species live in the Western Ghats. At least 325 globally threatened species occur in the Western Ghats. - in: wikipedia

Photo by V B Anand
The Brihadeeswarar Temple at Thanjavur in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu, is a Hindu temple dedicated to Shiva and a brilliant example of the major heights achieved by Cholas in Tamil architecture. It is a tribute and a reflection of the power of its patron Raja Raja Chola I. It remains India's largest temple and is one of the greatest glories of Indian architecture.
The entire temple structure is made out of hard granite stones, a material sparsely available in Thanjavur area where the temple is. Built in 1010 AD by Raja Raja Chola in Thanjavur, Brihadeeswarar Temple, also popularly known as the ‘Big Temple', turned 1000 years old in 2010. - in: wikipedia

Touchnotes from Afghanistan

More touch cards sent by Paula, these are from Afghanistan, showing the Buddhas of Bamiyan, two of the properties of the Cultural Landscape and Archaeological Remains of the Bamiyan Valley and the Minaret of Jam.

 Photo by Tsui
The Buddhas of Bamiyan were two 6th century monumental statues of standing buddha carved into the side of a cliff in the Bamyan valley in the Hazarajat region of central Afghanistan, situated 230 km (140 mi) northwest of Kabul at an altitude of 2,500 meters (8,202 ft). Built in 507 CE, the larger in 554 CE, the statues represented the classic blended style of Gandhara art.
The main bodies were hewn directly from the sandstone cliffs, but details were modeled in mud mixed with straw, coated with stucco. This coating, practically all of which wore away long ago, was painted to enhance the expressions of the faces, hands and folds of the robes; the larger one was painted carmine red and the smaller one was painted multiple colors.
The lower parts of the statues' arms were constructed from the same mud-straw mix while supported on wooden armatures. It is believed that the upper parts of their faces were made from great wooden masks or casts. Rows of holes that can be seen in photographs were spaces that held wooden pegs that stabilized the outer stucco.
They were dynamited and destroyed in March 2001 by the Taliban, on orders from leader Mullah Mohammed Omar, after the Taliban government declared that they were idols. International opinion strongly condemned the destruction of the Buddhas, which was viewed as an example of the intolerance of the Taliban. Japan and Switzerland, among others, have pledged support for the rebuilding of the statues. - in: wikipedia

Photo by David Adamec
The Minaret of Jam is a UNESCO World Heritage Site in western Afghanistan. It is located in the Shahrak District, Ghor Province, by the Hari River. The 65-metre high minaret, surrounded by mountains that reach up to 2400m, was built in the 1190s, entirely of baked-bricks. It is famous for its intricate brick, stucco and glazed tile decoration, which consists of alternating bands of kufic and naskhi calligraphy, geometric patterns, and verses from the Qur'an (the surat Maryam, relating to Mary, the mother of Jesus).
The archaeological site of Jam was successfully nominated as Afghanistan's first World Heritage site in 2002. It was also inscribed in UNESCO's list of World Heritage in Danger, due to the precarious state of preservation of the minaret, and results of looting at the site. - in: wikipedia

Touchnote armenian cards

These touchs sent my Paula are great. Although these cards are great i won't consider them for my Unesco collection. Initially i thought it would be great way to get some hard-to-get places but then i realized this would be too easy and not so exciting as getting real cards. But they're a nice way to get identify the places and to know a bit more about them.

 Photo by Butcher
Mother Cathedral of Holy Etchmiadzin  is a 4th century Armenian church in the town of Ejmiatsin, Armenia. It is also the central cathedral of the Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin of the Armenian Apostolic Church.
Etchmiadzin Cathedral is listed among the UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
The Etchmiadzin Cathedral is the oldest state-built church in the world. The original vaulted basilica was built in 301-303 by Saint Gregory the Illuminator when Armenia became the first officially Christian country in the world. Gregory had converted King Tiridates III and members of his court. - in: wikipedia

Photo by Fpga
Haghpat Monastery is a medieval Armenian monastery complex in Haghpat, Armenia.
Described as a "masterpiece of religious architecture and a major center of learning in the Middle Ages", this venerable institution of the Armenian Apostolic Church was placed on UNESCO's World Heritage List in 1996.
The monastery was founded by Saint Nishan (Sourb Nshan) in the 10th century during the reign of King Abas I.
The largest church in the complex, the Cathedral of St. Nishan, was built from 967-991. It is a typical example of tenth century Armenian architecture. - in: wikipedia

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Bagrati Cathedral - Georgia

Another great card, this one from Georgia, the country, not the US state. It was kindly sent by Sini, after her holidays in Georgia. The Bagrati Cathedral was one of the monuments she visited. She says that the cathedral is a bit different than it looks on the card. Now it has a green roof and the building is surrounded by a fence, which makes impossible to visit the interior of the cathedral.
This is only my 2nd card from Georgia and my 2nd Unesco site from there.

 Photo by Tornike Turabelidze
The Cathedral of the Dormition, or the Kutaisi Cathedral, more commonly known as Bagrati Cathedral is the 11th-century cathedral church in the city of Kutaisi, the region of Imereti, Georgia. The cathedral, rebuilt officially on September 16th, 2012 after heavy damage ages ago,served as a masterpiece in the history of modern and medieval Georgan architecture.
A distinct landmark in the scenery of central Kutaisi, the cathedral rests upon the top of Uk’imerioni Hill. It was built in the early years of the 11th century, during the reign of King Bagrat III due to which it was called "Bagrati" Cathedral, i.e., Bagrat’s cathedral. In 1692, it was devastated in an explosion by the Ottoman troops, which had invaded the Kingdom of Imereti. The incident caused the cupola and ceiling to collapse.
The conservation and restoration are at works, as well as archaeological studies, which began in 1952, are finally finished. In 1994, the Bagrati Cathedral, together with the Gelati Monastery, was included in the UNESCO World Heritage Site list as a single entity. In 2001, the cathedral was restored to the Georgian Orthodox Church. It is now of limited use for worship services, but attracts many pilgrims and tourists. It is also frequently used as a symbol of the whole city of Kutaisi, being one of its main tourist attractions. - in: wikipedia

TR-112008

Yesterday when i got home i had a few cards waiting for me, one of them was the gorgeous afficial from Turkey. I love it, i had it in my favorites wall. This is the kind of places i like to visit. I've to put Mardin on my must visit list.

 PTT
TR-112008, sent by Selcan
Mardin is a historical city in Southeastern Anatolia, Turkey. A city situated on the top of a hill, it is known for its fascinating architecture consisting of heavily decorated stonework cascading from the hilltop. - in: wikitravel
Mardin has preserved the old-style carving in its houses. Since located in a volcanic area, the basic input used in local architecture is easily workable calcareous rock. Houses in Mardin, reflecting all features of a closed-in life style are surrounded by 4 meters high walls and isolated from the street. These walls also provide protection from harsh climatic conditions.
Houses have their separate sections for males and females and mostly have no kitchen. The most important feature of these houses is the stone craftsmanship called "Midyat Work". Doors, windows and small columns are dressed with arches and various motif. The central settlement was given the status of urban site area in 1979. Above the house doors are carved pictures of the Kaaba if the owner has made the pilgrimage to Mecca, and the door knockers have a distinctive form resembling the beaks of birds. Often the lanes run through arched tunnels beneath the upper floors of houses. Relief carvings of animals and fruit lend the city a dream-like character, and the modern world seems to fade away. - in: http://www.allaboutturkey.com/mardin.htm

Fira - Greece

I'm back from my holidays on the Terceira Island, Azores. I had a great time there but you'll have to wait a bit to see some cards from there.

Speaking of islands, this is a card from Santorini in Greece. It was sent by Joaninha and the picture was taken when she visited the island last May. This is a great panorama of Fira.

Photo by Joana Santos
Fira is the capital of the island and the most important village. Early in the 19th century the capital of the island was moved from Pyrgos to Fira. After the earthquake of 1956 a part of the town was destroyed (only a small part of the 18th century buildings were saved). Fira is perched on the edge of an impressive cliff 260m high and offers a great panorama over the submerged volcano. It is made of many white painted houses in stepped streets with blue domed churches and sun-bathed verandas. - in: http://www.travel-to-santorini.com/place.php?place_id=3

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Gjirokastër - Albania

As i said a few posts ago, i'm not done yet with the touchnote cards, actually, i've received another one of these cards last monday! Not this one though. This one, sent by Paula, arrived in late august. It shows a few houses in Gjirokastër, Albania.

Gjirokastër is a city in southern Albania with a population of 43,000. Its old town is inscribed on the World Heritage List as "a rare example of a well-preserved Ottoman town, built by farmers of large estate."

Photo by wikipedia
The city is built on the slope surrounding the citadel, located on a dominating plateau. Although the city's walls were built in the third century and the city itself was first mentioned in the 12th century, the majority of the existing buildings date from 17th and 18th centuries. Typical houses consist of a tall stone block structure which can be up to five stories high. There are external and internal staircases that surround the house. It is thought that such design stems from fortified country houses typical in southern Albania. The lower storey of the building contains a cistern and the stable. The upper storey is composed of a guest room and a family room containing a fireplace. Further upper stories are to accommodate extended families and are connected by internal stairs. Since Gjirokastër's membership to UNESCO, a number of houses have been restored though others continue to degrade.
Many houses in Gjirokastër have a distinctive local style that has earned the city the nickname "City of Stone", because most of the old houses have roofs covered with stones. - in: wikipedia

Srebarna - Bulgaria

Another Unesco card but this one is from a new site and with this card, i've all the bulgarian sites :D This is another card sent by Lilia.

UNICART
Srebarna Nature Reserve protects a lake and wetland ecosystem of 638ha located near to the village of Srebarna on the west bank of the Danube River. The reserve includes the lake and the former agricultural lands north of the lake, a belt of forest plantations along the Danube, the island of Komluka and the aquatic area locked between the island and the riverbank.
Srebarna Nature Reserve is an important wetland on the Western Palaearctic bird migratory flyway. It provides nesting grounds for 99 species of birds and seasonal habitat to around 80 species of migratory birds. The property is surrounded by hills which provide a natural boundary and offer an ideal means for observing the waterfowl. - in: http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/219

Cathedral of St. James - Croatia

This lovely card was in my favorites wall and, like the previous slovenian card, this one was also sent by Sunny.
I've already had a different card of this cathedral but i like this one better.

Šibenik is a historic town in Croatia, located in central Dalmatia where the river Krka flows into the Adriatic Sea.

Photo by A. Carli
The central church in Šibenik, the Cathedral of St. James, is on the UNESCO World Heritage list.
Several successive architects built it completely in stone between 1431 and 1536, both in Gothic and in Renaissance style. The interlocking stone slabs of the Cathedral's roof were damaged when the city was shelled by Serbian forces in 1991. The damage has since been repaired. - in: wikipedia

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Slovenian cards

More cards from lovely Slovenia to my collection, sent by Ivana.

Photo © Claudio Costerni Camporosso
This one and the next are thank you cards from Ivana. I've sent her some portuguese stamps and she sent me 3 cards in return. The 3rd one was a view of the Ljubljana castle but i already had that card.
Mangart or Mangrt is a mountain in the Julian Alps, located on the border between Italy and Slovenia. With an elevation of 2,679 metres (8,789 ft), it is after Triglav and Škrlatica the third-highest peak in Slovenia. - in: wikipedia

© Galerija Svetle
This a painting by Simon Šubic-Svetle, a slovenian painter.
Simon Šubic – Svetle with his pictures and drawings becomes widely known in the late 90'. As a 'naïve' in the field of painting he had a lot of interesting things to see in the local area. In the Žiri area there were a lot of representers of the 'naïve', painters who gained respect and praise all over the world for their unique talent and skills. - in: http://www.svetle.com/author/

Saturday, October 13, 2012

CZ-207965

An official from Slavkov u Brna, a town east of Brno in the South Moravian Region of the Czech Republic. I don't often received officials from Czech Republic, in 6 years of postcrossing, this is my 5th card from there :o
The card shows the Baroque Slavkov Palace (Austerlitz).

The palace has 115 rooms and an impressive garden in the French style. The Palace was designed by Italian architect Domenico Martinelli. In its historic salon, an armistice was signed between Austria and France after the battle of Austerlitz on 2 December, 1805. There is a small historic museum (only in Czech) and a multimedia presentation about the battle. - in: wikipedia

Prague - Czech Republic

I really want to visit Prague. The city is my 1st option for my winter holidays next year. Every card i received from there makes me dream even more about this city. This card, sent by Kati, is a fine example of how beautiful this city is.

This magical city of bridges, cathedrals, gold-tipped towers and church domes, has been mirrored in the surface of the swan-filled Vltava River for more than ten centuries. Almost undamaged by WWII, Prague's compact medieval centre remains a wonderful mixture of cobbled lanes, walled courtyards, cathedrals and countless church spires all in the shadow of her majestic 9th century castle that looks eastward as the sun sets behind her. Prague is also a modern and vibrant city full of energy, music, cultural art, fine dining and special events catering to the independent traveller's thirst for adventure.
It is regarded by many as one of Europe's most charming and beautiful cities, Prague has become the most popular travel destination in Central Europe along with Budapest and Krakow. Millions of tourists visit the city every year.

  © KINA Italia/L.E.G.O
Prague was founded in the later 9th century, and soon became the seat of Bohemian kings, some of whom ruled as emperors of the Holy Roman Empire. The city thrived under the rule of Charles IV, who ordered the building of the New Town in the 14th century - many of the city's most important attractions date back to that age. The city also went under Habsburg rule and became the capital of a province of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. In 1918, after World War I, the city became the capital of Czechoslovakia. After 1989 many foreigners, especially young people, moved to Prague. In 1992, its historic centre was inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List. In 1993, Czechoslovakia split into two countries and Prague became capital city of the new Czech Republic.
 The east bank of the Vltava riverThe Vltava River runs through Prague, which is home to about 1.2 million people. The capital may be beautiful, but pollution often hovers over the city due to its location in the Vltava River basin. - in: http://wikitravel.org/en/Prague

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Chapel on Water - Poland

Last March when i went to Poland, i've been to the Ojcow National Park. The main idea was to visit the Pieskowa and Ojcow castles but the 1st stop was to visit this chapel, St. Joseph Chapel.

Photo by Paula Ribeiro
One legend connects establishing the chapel with decision of Russian tsar Nikolai II, who prohibited to build temples on the ground of Ojców. It was punishment for taking part of the society with the uprising against Russian occupation. Clever people build the temple not on the ground, as it was prohibited, but on the water.
The legend, however beautiful, has nothing common with the truth. The building was constructed to attract the spa located on the river Prądnik, just 300 meters downstream.  Below the temple a dam was constructed. In this way one created small lake with the temple in the middle.     Today’s chapel os St. Joseph is built on the plan of Latin cross and dimensions 5x11 meters. It is an example of wooden construction in so called Switzerland-Ojców style. - in:
http://przewodnicypokrakowie.pl/ojcowski_national_park_chapel_on_water.htm

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

PL-519030 & PL-545683

And now two officials from Poland, one from Białystok and the other from Lublin.

 DDK Edition
 PL-519030, sent by Joanna.
The card is nice but the best part of it is it's back, fully written!! I'm impressed how Joanna managed to written so much in such a small space!
On the front, the card shows the St Nicholas the Miracle-worker Orthodox church, built in the years 1843 - 1846. The building is a classicist construction, erected on the plane of a Greek cross.

 Photo by Zbigniew Lemiech
PL-545683, sent by Natalia.
Lublin is the ninth largest city in Poland, and the second largest city of Lesser Poland.
The card shows the Tynitarska Tower, the Market Square with the Cracow Gate, the Castle Square, the Monument to Lublin Union and a view of Plac Zamkowy area.