Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Socotra - Yemen

On my last trade with Emerich i chose this card from hus albuns. I already had a touchnote card of the Socotra archipelago but i wanted a real card and now, that i finally have it, i can say i've a new Unesco site in my collection. This arcchipelago has been on the WHS list since 2008.

Socotra is a small archipelago of four islands in the Indian Ocean. The largest island, also called Socotra, is about 95% of the landmass of the archipelago. It lies some 240 kilometres (150 mi) east of the Horn of Africa and 380 kilometres (240 mi) south of the Arabian Peninsula. The island is very isolated and through the process of speciation, a third of its plant life is found nowhere else on the planet. It has been described as the most alien-looking place on Earth.

Photo by Boris Khvostichenko
Socotra is considered the jewel of biodiversity in the Arabian Sea. In the 1990s, a team of United Nations biologists conducted a survey of the archipelago’s flora and fauna. They counted nearly 700 endemic species, found nowhere else on earth; only Hawaii and the Galapagos Islands have more impressive numbers.
The long geological isolation of the Socotra archipelago and its fierce heat and drought have combined to create a unique and spectacular endemic flora. Botanical field surveys led by the Centre for Middle Eastern Plants (part of the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh) indicate that 307 out of the 825 (37%) plant species on Socotra are endemic, i.e., they are found nowhere else on Earth.
One of the most striking of Socotra's plants is the dragon's blood tree (Dracaena cinnabari), which is a strange-looking, umbrella-shaped tree. Its red sap was thought to be the dragon's blood of the ancients, sought after as a medicine and a dye, and today used as paint and varnish.

Heard Island and McDonald Islands

Besides the GTKY RR and the Simgapore meeting card, Relie also sent me these 2 australian cards from the Heard Island and McDonald Islands, which became a World Heritage Site in 1997.

These uninhabited islands are an Australian external territory and volcanic group of barren Antarctic islands and are among the most remote places on Earth.
The distinctive conservation value of Heard and McDonald – one of the world’s rare pristine island ecosystems – lies in the complete absence of alien plants and animals, as well as human impact.

Mawson Peak is a mountain on Heard Island. With its summit at 2,745 metres (9,006 ft), it is the second highest peak in any state or territory of Australia.
An active complex volcano, Mawson Peak is the summit of the Big Ben massif.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Bikini Atoll - Marshall Islands

Yes, this a card from the Bikini Atoll, a Unesco, the only Unesco site on the Marshall Islands. So, this card is a new Unesco site from a new country!! I got it thanks to Emerich.

Bikini Atoll is an atoll in the Micronesian Islands of the Pacific Ocean, part of Republic of the Marshall Islands.

Postcard by PEEM
In the wake of World War II, in a move closely related to the beginnings of the Cold War, the United States of America decided to resume nuclear testing in the Pacific Ocean, on Bikini Atoll in the Marshall archipelago. After the displacement of the local inhabitants, 67 nuclear tests were carried out from 1946 to 1958, including the explosion of the first H-bomb (1952). Bikini Atoll has conserved direct tangible evidence that is highly significant in conveying the power of the nuclear tests, i.e. the sunken ships sent to the bottom of the lagoon by the tests in 1946 and the gigantic Bravo crater. Equivalent to 7,000 times the force of the Hiroshima bomb, the tests had major consequences on the geology and natural environment of Bikini Atoll and on the health of those who were exposed to radiation. Through its history, the atoll symbolises the dawn of the nuclear age, despite its paradoxical image of peace and of earthly paradise. This is the first site from the Marshall Islands to be inscribed on the World Heritage List. - in: http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/1339

Monday, January 28, 2013

Singapore's 2nd Postcrossing Meeting

Relie's 1st postcrossing meeting was the 2nd official meeting in Sigapore, which took place 2 weeks ago.

Relie signed and sent the card and 21 other postcrossers signed it too.

Sultan Mosque - Singapore

The celebrate the New Year, Relie organized a surprise RR on the GTKY thread. I've sent my surprise card to Marie and i've received this one from Relie!!

Published by Intellectual Publishing CO.
A visit to Singapore’s Kampong Glam district isn’t complete without a stop at Sultan Mosque. With its massive golden dome and huge prayer hall, the Sultan Mosque is one of Singapore's most impressive religious buildings, and the focal point of Muslims in Singapore.
The mosque was first built in 1824 by Sultan Hussain Shah, the first sultan of Singapore, with a grant from the East India Company. The minarets and balustrades you see today were added on by architect Denis Santry, who supervised the reconstruction after the mosque’s centennial celebration.
The main prayer hall can hold up to 5,000 worshippers, and is one of the biggest and most amazing religious structures in Singapore. - in: http://www.yoursingapore.com/content/traveller/en/browse/see-and-do/culture-and-heritage/places-of-worship/sultan-mosque.html
 

MY-123190

An official from Malaysia, sent by a forum member, received in October.

Photo by Lee Kok Hou
MY-123190, sent by Ni-San.
The Petronas Towers, also known as the Petronas Twin Towers are twin skyscrapers in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. According to the CTBUH's official definition and ranking, they were the tallest buildings in the world from 1998 to 2004 until surpassed by Taipei 101.
The towers feature a double decker skybridge connecting the two towers on the 41st and 42nd floors, which is the highest 2-story bridge in the world. It is not attached to the main structure, but is instead designed to slide in and out of the towers to prevent it from breaking, as the towers sway several feet in towards and away from each other during high winds. It also provides some structural support to the towers in these occasions. The bridge is 170 m (558 ft) above the ground and 58 m (190 ft) long, weighing 750 tons. - in: wikipedia

Sunday, January 27, 2013

VN-2893

This card from Vietnam is my 1st official from there and was the last official received in 2012.
The card is showing a street scene in Hoi An Ancient Town, a World Heritage Site since 1999.

 P&B JSC (Publishing and Branding) - Photo by Nat
VN-2893, sent by Jo.
Located on the banks of the poetic Thu Bon River, in central Quang Nam province, 30 kilometers south of Da Nang, Hoi An ancient town is an Eastern oriental classic captivation. With the strategic location on the banks of the great river, with one seaside border (East), it used to be one of the major trading centers in Southeast Asia during the 16th century due to the early western trader occupying period.
Hoi An has been through a few centuries of history, but still remains as in the very first days of its being born. Its two main historical landmarks are the occupying of the Japanese & Chinese, and the Western (Dutch and Spanish) during the 16th and 17th centuries. During the period of the China trade, the town was called Hai Pho (Sea Town) in Vietnamese. Originally Hai Pho was a divided town, because across the "Japanese Bridge", it used to be the Japanese settlement (16th-17th century). Then it was known to the French and Spanish as Faifo, a major international port city. Thanks to these days, the foreign comprehensively possitive and special pastimes and culture had made deep influences on the today's Hoi An. - in: http://www.vietnam-beauty.com/top-destinations/destination-in-the-central-region/43-hoi-an-old-town-an-ancient-beauty-of-vietnam.html

Friday, January 25, 2013

Phromthep Cape - Thailand

Katy is in Thailand since last October and in November she sent me this card.
 Phromthep Cape is one of the most popular viewpoints in Phuket and one of the island's most photographed and perhaps best-known locations.

Photo by Somkiat Hansukklaw
Promthep Cape is located at the southernmost point of Phuket Island and offers a spectacular view of the sea and coastline. At sunset it becomes a very popular point with hordes of tourists all descending on the same space in hopes of capturing a beautiful sunset.

PH-45496

In 6 years of postcrossing this is my 2nd official from the Philippines. I love it, this church is really beautiful. The card was one of my favorites.

Photo by Donald C. Tapan
PH-45496, sent by Cayl.
The Miag-ao Church was built in 1786 by Spanish Augustinian missionaries and was declared as part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site "Baroque Churches of the Philippines" in 1993.
On the front facade, which is flanked by two watchtower belfries, one can see the unique blending of Spanish and native influences.
The central feature of the bas-relief facade is a large coconut tree which reaches almost to the apex. While an integral part of the Philippine landscape, the coconut tree is also the subject of lore. According to an old Philippine legend, the coconut tree was the only bequest from a loving mother to her two children, a tree which sustained them for life. On the church's facade the coconut tree appears as the "tree of life" to which St. Christopher carrying the Child Jesus on his shoulder is clinging to. The lesser facades feature the daily life of Miagaowanons during the time. Also depicted are other native flora and fauna, as well as native dress.
The church and its watchtowers were also built to defend the town and its people against raids by the Moros. It therefore has thick walls and, reportedly, secret passages. Indeed stretching along the Iloilo coast are defensive towers, but none that equal the size of the Miag-ao. It is because of this defensive purpose that it is sometimes referred to as the Miag-ao Fortress Church. - in: wikipedia

Officials from Taiwan

I've been sending a lot of officials to Taiwan but i've also been receiving quite a few cards from there. The 3rd of these cards, was the 1st official received in 2013.

TW-729056, sent by Pei.
On this cards there's the silhouettes of photographers taking pictures of Taipei at Elephant Mountain, which is famous for the night scenery of Taipei city.

TW-740218, sent by Camélia.
Dongyong Lighthouse stands on the flank of Shiwei Mountain. Locals call it “Dongyin villa.” It was designated a third-grade national historic site in 1988, making it the northernmost historic site on Taiwan’s territory. The lighthouse was completed in 1877; it, and its accompanying building, are in 18th-century English architectural style. (It was designed by an English engineer.) On the cliff below the lighthouse are two fog cannon; but now, a single foghorn fulfills their function of helping ships navigate. The white lighthouse stands atop a cliff facing the East Sea, forming a strong contrast to the deep-blue sea below the cliff. - in: http://www.matsu-nsa.gov.tw/user/Attraction-Content.aspx?a=91&l=2&forward=1

Osima Photo & Publishing
TW-761517, sent by Szu-Chia.
The National Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall is a famous monument, landmark and tourist attraction erected in memory of Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek, former President of the Republic of China. It is located in Taipei, Republic of China (ROC).
The monument, surrounded by a park, stands at the east end of Memorial Hall Square.
After President Chiang Kai-shek died on 5 April 1975, the Executive branch of the government established a Funeral Committee to build a memorial. The design, by architect Yang Cho-cheng, was chosen in a competition. Yang's design incorporated many elements of traditional Chinese architecture recalling the Sun Yat-sen Mausoleum in Nanjing, China. Groundbreaking for the memorial took place on 31 October 1976, the 90th anniversary of Chiang's birth. The hall officially opened on 5 April 1980, the fifth anniversary of the leader's death. - in: wikipedia

TW-780440, sent by Anjan.
Nice autumn view somewhere in a Taiwan's mountain.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Seonjeongneung Royal Tombs - South Korea

The Seonjeongneung Royal Tombs are three of 40 royal tombs from the Joseon Kingdom (1392-1910) that have together received the UNESCO World Heritage designation.
Johnson from Hong Kong, sent me this card some time ago and now i'm only missing 1 Unesco whs from South Korea.

As sites where not only the physical bodies of the deceased but also their memories and spirits were housed and honored, the burial sites of the Joseon monarchs were selected with great care. Traditionally, they were placed in auspicious locations where they could be protected by hills and face south toward water, ideally with mountain ridges visible in the distance.
Nestled in a quiet, wooded park that is surprisingly peaceful for being located in the heart of busy Gangnam, the Seonjeongneung Royal Tombs and their surroundings have a beauty about them that suggest the importance of the royal burial customs.
The Seonjeongneung Royal Tombs consist of Seolleung and Jeongneung. Seolleung is the burial site of King Seongjong (1457-1494), the ninth king of Joseon, and his second wife Queen Jeonghyeon (1462-1530). Jeongneung is where their son King Jungjong (1488-1544), the eleventh king of Joseon, is buried.
While placed together and collectively called Seolleung, the king and queen’s tombs sit apart. King Seongjong’s tomb sits at the western end of the park, closest to its entrance, where a red-spiked gate known as hongsalmun indicates sacred grounds. In accordance with custom, the royal burial mound is surrounded by a stone fence and stone sculptures of civilian and military vassals and their horses. Just below the tomb area is Jeongjagak, a T-shaped wooden shrine where sacrificial rites were offered in honor of the king’s spirit. - in:
http://m.korea.net/english/NewsFocus/Travel/view?articleId=104150

UNESCO WHS from Mongolia

These are my 1st cards from Mongolia and both are Unesco sites!
The 1st card was sent from Germany by Claus and it shows the Erdene Zuu Monastery, part of the World Heritage Site entitled Orkhon Valley Cultural Landscape and Galina sent me the 2nd card, yurts on the Tes River bank.

© B. Sodbileg
Orkhon Valley Cultural Landscape sprawls along the banks of the Orkhon River in Central Mongolia, some 320 km west from the capital Ulaanbaatar. It was inscribed by UNESCO in the World Heritage List as representing evolution of nomadic pastoral traditions spanning more than two millennia.
The Erdene Zuu Monastery is probably the most ancient surviving Buddhist monastery in Mongolia.
Construction of the Erdene Zuu monastery was started in 1585 by Abtai Sain Khan, upon the (second) introduction of Tibetan Buddhism into Mongolia. It is surrounded by a wall featuring 100 stupas.
The monastery was damaged during the warfare with Dzungars in 1688. It was rebuilt in the 18th century and by 1872 had a full 62 temples and up to 1000 monks inside.
In 1939 the Communist leader Khorloogiin Choibalsan had the monastery ruined, as part of a purge that obliterated hundreds of monasteries in Mongolia and killed over ten thousand monks. Three small temples and the external wall with the stupas remained; the temples became museums in 1947.
Erdene Zuu was allowed to exist as a museum only. However, after the fall of Communism in Mongolia in 1990, the monastery was turned over to the lamas and Erdene Zuu again became a place of worship. Today Erdene Zuu remains an active Buddhist monastery as well as a museum that is open to tourists. - in: wikipedia

Photo © Pvel Filatov, 2012
The Tes River is a river in northwestern Mongolia and southern Tuva, Russia. The Tes River is primary source of the Uvs Lake.
The Tes River is 1 of the 5 mongolian areas, part of the Uvs Nuur Basin.
The main feeder to Uvs Nuur is the Tes-Khem River, which has its source in a fresh-water lake, Sangyn Dalai Nuur, in the alpine meadows and larch forests of the Sangilen uplands at the eastern extremity of the basin (in Mongolia). The Tes-Khem then flows 500 km westwards, through steppe and desert, into southern Tuva, and then back into Mongolia, before emptying into Uvs Nuur. For its last 100 km, the river meanders through an extensive wetland complex, a green swathe in an otherwise semi-desert landscape; its delta is some 40 km wide and is an important wildlife habitat. - in: http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/769/

Monday, January 21, 2013

HK-102515

On the back of this card: "The Peak - Victoria Peak (552 m) is the highest point on Hong Kong Island. In the evening, from here you can feast on the stunning panorama of the fourth greatest city nightscapes of the world."

Photo by Jacky Yeung
HK-102515, sent by KH.
Victoria Peak is a mountain in Hong Kong. It is also known as Mount Austin, and locally as The Peak. The mountain is located in the western half of Hong Kong Island. With an altitude of 552 m (1,811 ft), it is the highest mountain on the island proper. 
It is a major tourist attraction which offers views over Central, Victoria Harbour, Lamma Island and the surrounding islands. - in: wikipedia

CN-793635

Cute giant pandas from China. 

CN-793635, sent by Julie.

This peaceful creature with a distinctive black and white coat is adored by the world and considered a national treasure in China. The bear also has a special significance for WWF. The panda has been WWF's logo since our founding in 1961.
The rarest member of the bear family, pandas live mainly in bamboo forests high in the mountains of western China, where they subsist almost entirely on bamboo. They must eat from 26 to 84 pounds of it every day, a formidable task for which they use their enlarged wrist bones that function as opposable thumbs.
Newborn pandas are about the size of a stick of butter - about 1/900th the size of its mother - but can grow to up to 330 pounds as adults. These bears are excellent tree-climbers despite their bulk. -in: http://worldwildlife.org/species/giant-panda

Friday, January 18, 2013

Meidaizhao Lamasery - China

Some time ago, Iris hosted a lottery in the GTKY topic but instead picking a single winner, she sent a prize to all the participants. This is one of the cards she sent me.

Meidaizhao Lamasery is located around 80 km east of Baotou city. It was built in 1575 for Alatanhan, a leader of the Mongol tribe in ancient China, also the 17th generation of Genghis Khan. It was one of the most important centers for spreading Tibetan Buddhism in Inner Mongolia.
Meidaizhao Lamasery is more of a walled city than a lamasery. The architecture is a mixture of Central China style with Tibetan and Mongolian features. It covers an area of 4,000 square meters, and contains temples, royal palaces, enclosing walls and city gates.

The layout of Meidaizhao Lamasery serves for three main purposes: temple of worshipping Buddha, royal residence, and protection from invasion. The Lamasery is surrounded by long and thick walls with a total length of 681 meters. Watchtowers are built at four corners of the walls. This design will help protect the city from outside invasion.
Meidaizhao Lamasery is of great importance for the study of Mongolian history of religion, architecture and arts in the Ming Dynasty. Inside the temples, the walls are covered with beautiful frescos portraying buddhist stories, Mongolians in traditional costumes, Sakyamuni's images, Mongolian nobility worshipping Buddhism, as well as images of Alatanhan and his wife. Royal palaces are located deep in the city. Inside the wooden tower of Empress Hall stored the ashes of Alatanhan's wife.
Every year on May 13 of lunar calendar, there is a traditional Meidaizhao Temple Fair. The fair lasts about a week's time. People from all quarters gather here, not only for worshipping or sightseeing, but also for trading and selling local products and agricutural produce. - in: http://www.chinahighlights.com/baotou/attraction/meidaizhao-lamasery.htm

Thursday, January 17, 2013

China Danxia

This China Danxia's card, also sent by "sapic" is a new chinese Unesco site in my collection. The card is showing Mount Danxia, one of the nine areas inscribed on the World Heritage List in 2010.
China Danxia is the name given in China to landscapes developed on continental red terrigenous sedimentary beds influenced by endogenous forces (including uplift) and exogenous forces (including weathering and erosion). The inscribed site comprises six areas found in the sub-tropical zone of south-west China. They are characterized by spectacular red cliffs and a range of erosional landforms, including dramatic natural pillars, towers, ravines, valleys and waterfalls. These rugged landscapes have helped to conserve sub-tropical broad-leaved evergreen forests, and host many species of flora and fauna, about 400 of which are considered rare or threatened. - in: http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/1335

Mount Danxia is a famous scenic area near Shaoguan city in the northern part of Guangdong, China. The Danxia mountain is formed from a reddish sandstone which has been eroded over time into a series of mountains surrounded by curvaceous cliffs and many unusual rock formations (Danxia Landform). It is described in local signage as a "world famous UNESCO geopark of China". There are a number of temples located on the mountains and many scenic walks can be undertaken. There is also a river winding through the mountains on which boat trips can be taken to enjoy the scenery. - in: wikipedia

Bagerhat - Bangladesh

This is my 1st card from Bangladesh :) Manú "sapic" is always helping me with my Unesco collection and he sent me this card of Bagerhat. The card identifies this monument as Kodla Math in Bagerhat but it is actually located in Ayodhya a village about 10 km. northwest of Bagerhat town. However, the Unesco site says that the  Historic Mosque City of Bagerhat extended for 50 km2, which means, i can consider this card as part of my Unesco collection.... i think.

The Mosque City of Bagerhat is a formerly lost city, located in the suburbs of Bagerhat city.
The historic city, listed by Forbes as one of the 15 lost cities of the world, has more than 50 Islamic monuments which have been found after removing the vegetation that had obscured them from view for many centuries. The site has been recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1983 under criteria (iv), "as an outstanding example of an architectural ensemble which illustrates a significant stage in human history". - in: wikipedia

Anuradhapura - Sri Lanka

I've other 3 cards from Sri Lanka but this is my 1st written and stamped from there. It was sent by Naafiah and shows the Ruwanwelisaya stupa in the Sacred City of Anuradhapura, a Unesco World Heritage Site since 1982. 

© Vijitha and Lalana Yapa
Anuradhapura is one of the ancient capitals of Sri Lanka, famous for its well-preserved ruins of ancient Sri Lankan civilization.
 It is one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world. 
From the 4th century BC, it was the capital of Sri Lanka until the beginning of the 11th century AD. During this period it remained one of the most stable and durable centers of political power and urban life in South Asia. The ancient city, considered sacred to the Buddhist world, is today surrounded by monasteries covering an area of over sixteen square miles (40 km²).
Ruwanwelisaya is the oldest and the most voluminous stupa at Anuradhapura.  

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Mysore Palace - India

When my grandma is staying with me, she likes to see my cards and she really liked this one!! It was sent by Claus and shows Mysore Palace, situated in the city of Mysore in southern India.

Mysore Palace is one of the most visited monuments in India. And its one of the largest palaces in the country, also known as Amba Vilas Palace, was the residence of the Wodeyar Maharaja's of the Mysore state.

Photo V. B. ANAND
The original palace built of wood, got burnt down in 1897, during the wedding of Jayalakshammanni, the eldest daughter of Chamaraja Wodeyar and was rebuilt in 1912 at the cost of Rs. 42 lakhs. The present Palace built in Indo-Saracenic style and blends together Hindu, Muslim, Rajput, and Gothic styles of architecture. It is a three-storied stone structure, with marble domes and a 145 ft five-storied tower. Above the central arch is an impressive sculpture of Gajalakshmi, the goddess of wealth, prosperity, good luck, and abundance with her elephants. The palace is surrounded by a large garden. Designed by the well-known British architect, Henry Irwin, the palace is a treasure house of exquisite carvings and works of art from all over the world.
The palace is now converted into a museum that treasures souvenirs, paintings, jewelery, royal costumes and other items, which were once possessed by the Wodeyars. - in: http://www.inmysore.com/mysore-palace

Jantar Mantar - Jaipur

This is another card from a new Unesco site, Jantar Mantar in Jaipur, India. This site was added to the Word Heritage list in 2010. 
The card was sent by Piyush. 

The Jantar Mantar, in Jaipur, is an astronomical observation site built in the early 18th century. It includes a set of some 20 main fixed instruments. They are monumental examples in masonry of known instruments but which in many cases have specific characteristics of their own. Designed for the observation of astronomical positions with the naked eye, they embody several architectural and instrumental innovations. This is the most significant, most comprehensive, and the best preserved of India's historic observatories. It is an expression of the astronomical skills and cosmological concepts of the court of a scholarly prince at the end of the Mughal period. -

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Um Er-Rasas - Jordan

Um Er-Rasas is my fourth and last Unesco site from Jordan!! This card, showing the Bell Tower of this archeological site, was sent by Lucca.
The site contains ruins from the Roman, Byzantine, and early Muslim civilizations. It was inscribed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2004.

 
Photo by Mohsen Ulama
Most of this archaeological site, which started as a Roman military camp and grew to become a town from the 5th century, has not been excavated. It contains remains from the Roman, Byzantine and Early Muslim periods (end of 3rd to 9th centuries AD) and a fortified Roman military camp. The site also has 16 churches, some with well-preserved mosaic floors. Particularly noteworthy is the mosaic floor of the Church of Saint Stephen with its representation of towns in the region. Two square towers are probably the only remains of the practice, well known in this part of the world, of the stylites (ascetic monks who spent time in isolation atop a column or tower). Um er-Rasas is surrounded by, and dotted with, remains of ancient agricultural cultivation in an arid area. - in: http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/1093

St Stepanos Monastery - Iran

St. Stepanos Monastery is one of the three Armenian Monastic Ensembles of Iran, in the north-west of the country. The other two are St Thaddeus and the Chapel of Dzordzor. They are classified by UNESCO as World Heritage Sites and this is a new site in my collection. The card was sent by Marcel.
These edifices are examples of outstanding universal value of the Armenian architectural and decorative traditions. They bear testimony to very important interchanges with the other regional cultures, in particular the Byzantine, Orthodox and Persian. Situated on the south-eastern fringe of the main zone of the Armenian cultural space, the monasteries constituted a major centre for the dissemination of that culture in the region. They are the last regional remains of this culture that are still in a satisfactory state of integrity and authenticity. Furthermore, as places of pilgrimage, the monastic ensembles are living witnesses of Armenian religious traditions through the centuries. - in: http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/1262

Photo by Maghsoud Same Sardroudi
The St. Stepanos Monastery is an Armenian monastery about 15 km northwest of Jolfa city, East Azarbaijan Province northeast Iran. It is situated in a deep canyon along the Arax river on the Iranian side of the border between Azerbaijan and Iran. It was built in the 9th century and rebuilt in the Safavid era after several earthquakes damaged it.- in: wikipedia

Friday, January 11, 2013

Tel Aviv - Israel

I hate not beeing able to put the stamps here!! Why?? I hope this isn't a permanent situation. I've put this stamp in a picasa album but the upload to this post was slow because the album is too full. The picasa albuns tend to get slow when their capacity is close to 600 pictures. If i've to do this from now on, it will take ages to create a new post and i'm not that patient.

© Published by Palphot Ltd. Photo by A. Shabataev, L. Borodulin
I wasn't expecting this card from Israel. It was a surprise from Luís and his son. His son went to Israel and he asked him to send cards to some of his postcrosser friends!! I was one of the lucky friends.
Tel Aviv was founded in 1909 and developed as a metropolitan city under the British Mandate in Palestine. The White City was constructed from the early 1930s until the 1950s, based on the urban plan by Sir Patrick Geddes, reflecting modern organic planning principles. The buildings were designed by architects who were trained in Europe where they practised their profession before immigrating. They created an outstanding architectural ensemble of the Modern Movement in a new cultural context. - in: http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/1096

Bethlehem - Palestine

This is my 1st card from Palestine. It was sent by Marcel and i chose this card from his albuns because it shows a new Unesco site, the Church of the Nativity.  
The site of the Church of the Nativity is a World Heritage Site, and was the first to be listed under Palestine by UNESCO). The site is also on UNESCO's List of World Heritage Sites in Danger.

© Copyright owner: Photo Garo M. Nalbandian
The Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem is a major Christian holy site, as it marks the traditional place of Christ's birth. It is also one of the oldest surviving Christian churches.
The first evidence of a cave in Bethlehem being venerated as Christ's birthplace is in the writings of Justin Martyr around 160 AD.
In 326, Constantine and his mother St. Helena commisioned a church to be built over the cave. This first church, dedicated on May 31, 339, had an octagonal floor plan and was placed directly above the cave. In the center, a 4-meter-wide hole surrounded by a railing provided a view of the cave. Portions of the floor mosaic survive from this period.
The Constantinian church was destroyed by Justinian in 530 AD, who built the much larger church that remains today. The Persians spared it during their invasion in 614 AD because, according to legend, they were impressed by a representation of the Magi — fellow Persians — that decorated the building. This was quoted at a 9th-century synod in Jerusalem to show the utility of religious images.
Muslims prevented the application of Hakim's decree (1009) ordering the destruction of Christian monuments because, since the time of Omar (639), they had been permitted to use the south transept for worship.
The Crusaders took Jerusalem on 6 June 1009. Baldwin I and II were crowned there, and in an impressive display of tolerance the Franks and Byzantines cooperated in fully redecorating the interior (1165-69). A Greek inscription in the north transept records this event.
The Church of the Nativity was much neglected in the Mamluk and Ottoman periods, but not destroyed. Much of the church's marble was looted by the Ottomans and now adorns the Temple Mount in Jerusalem. An earthquake in 1834 and a fire in 1869 destroyed the furnishings of the cave, but the church again survived.
In 1847, the theft of the silver star marking the exact site of the Nativity was an ostensible factor in the international crisis over the Holy Places that ultimately led to the Crimean War (1854–56).
In 1852, shared custody of the church was granted to the Roman Catholic, Armenian and Greek Orthodox churches. The Greeks care for the Grotto of the Nativity. - in: http://www.sacred-destinations.com/israel/bethlehem-church-of-the-nativity

TR-114994

For some reason i can't upload images directly from the computer. I've all my cards in picasa albuns and i can upload them from there, but i don't put the stamps in albuns, i just scan and keep them in my PC files to show here. So for now, i'll only show the cards with no stamps :(

TR-114994, sent by Cuneyt.
Pamukkale, meaning "cotton castle" in Turkish, is a natural site in Denizli Province in southwestern Turkey. The area was declared a World Heritage Site in 1988.
The stunning white calcium pools, which cling to the side of a ridge, have long been one of the most famous picture postcard views of Turkey.
Pamukkale was formed when a spring with a high content of dissolved calcium bicarbonate cascaded over the edge of the cliff, which cooled and hardened leaving calcium deposits. This formed into natural pools, shelves and ridges. - in: https://www.goturkey.com/en/place/detail/pamukkalehierapolis

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Greek Unesco WHS

In one single envelope, sent by Sapic, i've got these three new greek Unesco sites, Mycenae, Delos and theTemple of Apollo Epicurius at Bassae.

Edition E. TZAFERIS sa
Mycenae is an archaeological site in Greece, located about 90 km southwest of Athens, in the north-eastern Peloponnese.
In the second millennium BC Mycenae was one of the major centres of Greek civilization, a military stronghold which dominated much of southern Greece. - in: wikipedia
The civilisation of Mycenae dates from 1600 BC to 1100 BC approximately, reaching its peak between 1400 BC and 1200 BC. History testifies the Myceneans as being successful warriors and having a social scale and archaeology provides interesting details about this ancient civilisation.
UNESCO has declared the Mycenae archaeological site as part of the World Heritage, on December 2nd of 1999. - in: http://www.greeka.com/peloponnese/mycenae/mycenae-archaeological-site.htm

As the birthplace of Artemis and Apollo, the Greek island of Delos (Greek: Δηλος; Dhílos, "Brilliant") was a major sacred site for the ancient Greeks, second in importance only to Delphi. At its height, the sacred island was covered in a variety of temples and sanctuaries dedicated to a variety of gods. Today, it is a fascinating archaeological site located just two miles from Mykonos.
The Lion District, occupying the north end of the ruins, is named for the famous Terrace of the Lions (7th century BC). Here at least nine elegant lions made of Naxian marble guarded the sanctuary, looking out to the Sacred Lake. This arrangement recalls the avenues of guardian animals in Egypt, such as at Karnak. The lions on the site are replicas; five weathered originals are displayed in the museum. Another one has been at the Arsenal in Venice since the 17th century. - in: http://www.sacred-destinations.com/greece/delos

Edition E. TZAFERIS sa
Located on a remote mountainside in the Peloponnese, the Temple of Apollo Epicurius at Bassae is an exceptionally large, well-preserved and mysterious Classical temple. It is unique in many ways, not least in its daring combination of Doric, Ionic and Corinthian elements.
The present Temple of Apollo Epicurius was built sometime between 450 and 400 BC, around the time of the Parthenon in Athens. The construction of the Temple of Apollo Epicurius was no modest, back-woods shrine. It is built on a grand scale with great precision and architectural creativity. Its combination of Doric and Ionic orders in a single structure was quite daring, and its Corinthian capital is the oldest known example in the ancient world.
The temple at Bassae remained well-preserved over the centuries, thanks primarily to its isolation.  All but forgotten, it was too far up in the mountains for looting of materials to be practical anyway. The ancient ruin was not rediscovered until 1765, when the French architect Joachim Bocher stumbled on it by accident.
The Greek Archaeological Society restored the temple from 1902 to 1906, re-erecting some fallen columns and restoring the cella walls. Another renovation was carried out in the 1960s, during which some fragments of the frieze were excavated.
A "temporary" protective tent was erected over the temple in 1987 that still remains in place today. It keeps out the extremes of the mountain weather, but obscures much of the architectural beauty of this celebrated Classical temple. - in: http://www.sacred-destinations.com/greece/bassae-temple-of-apollo-epicurius

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Prague's Churches

I really want to go to Prague but i don't want to go alone. In the next days my friends will decide if they can go or not!! Let's hope for some good news.
If i get to go i won't need to buy these cards, well, at least not for me. These were sent my Emerich.

 Photo by Ewald Junghans
On this card there's St. Francis Knights of the Cross Church dome and St. Salvator Church façade.
St. Salvator Church in Prague is part of a group of buildings forming the oldest Czech Jesuit College - the Klementinum.
This large, majestic church is a city landmark, located at one end of Charles Bridge, at the entrance to the Old Town.
St. Salvator Church was built initially in the Gothic style between 1578-1601 by the Jesuits, however many of the important features are Baroque, added during a final phase of construction between 1649-1654.
St. Salvator is indeed considered as one of the most valuable examples of early-Baroque architecture in Prague. Famous architects Lurago, Caratti and Kanka were all involved with its construction. - in: http://www.pragueexperience.com/places.asp?PlaceID=1428

Photo by Milan Kincl
St. George's Basilica is the oldest church building within the Prague Castle complex. It is also the best-preserved Romanesque church in Prague.
St. George's Basilica was founded by Prince Vratislav (915-921) in 920. The basilica was then enlarged in 973 with the construction of St. George's Benedictine Convent.
In 1142 St. George's Basilica had to be rebuilt following a fire. And the Baroque facade that we see today was added in 1671-1691. - in: http://www.pragueexperience.com/places.asp?PlaceID=1115

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Czech Castles

New czech castles sent by Emerich. Dívčí Hrad in South Moravia and Žumberk fortress in South Bohemia.

Photo by DAN AIR picture
 The ruin of a stronghold built at the beginning of the 13th century in place of a wooden king’s castle. In 1645 it was conquered by Swedish troops and used as a guarding stronghold. It was abandoned at the beginning of the 19th century. There are remains of buildings, Renaissance bastions and fortifications. - in: http://www.czecot.com/tourist-attraction/5474_maidens-castles-castle-ruins-pavlov

Photo by Petr Znachor
The 13 th century Žumberk fortress is located in the village of the same name. At the beginning of the 17th century it was rebuilt into the Renaissance style and all the village was fortified with walls with six round bastions. The last reconstruction was in the 19th century and the village changed its original appearance.
In the 1970's the village was completely reconstructed and it is now in good condition. One of the fortress buildings houses now a museum.