Monday, March 29, 2010

Villa Foscari - Italy

My lastest new unesco site is from Italy, the "City of Vicenza and the Palladian Villas of the Veneto". Villa Foscari is one of those villas.
The card was sent by Isa "red.panda".

"Villa Foscari is a patrician villa in Mira, near Venice, northern Italy, designed by the Italian architect Andrea Palladio. It is also known as La Malcontenta, a nickname which it received when the spouse of one of the Foscaris was locked up in the house because she allegedly didn't live up to her conjugal duty.
The villa was commissioned by the brothers Nicolo and Luigi Foscari, members of a patrician Venetian family that produced Francesco Foscari, one of Venice's most noted doges. It was built between 1558-1560. It is located beside the Branta canal and is raised on a pedestal, which is characteristic of Palladio's villas; this pedestal is more massive than most of Palladio's villas (the base is 11 feet high, more than twice the height Palladio normally used) because it was not possible to construct a subterranean basement on the site.
The villa lacks the agricultural buildings which were an integral part of some of the other Palladian villas. It was used for official receptions, such as that given for Henry III of France in 1574.
The interior of the villa is richly decorated with frescoes by Battista Franco and Giambattista Zelotti. Mythological scenes from Ovid alternate with allegories of the Arts and Virtues. As at other Palladian villas, the paintings reflect villa life in, for example, Astraea showing Jove the pleasures of the Earth. The frescoes have dulled over time, signs of the increasing threat that air pollution poses to works of art.
In 1973, Antonio Foscari (a descendant of the Foscari lineage) and his wife, Barbara del Vicario, recovered the villa, and have undertaken a painstaking process of restoring the villa to its original grandeur. Since 1996 the building has been conserved as part of the World Heritage Site "City of Vicenza and the Palladian Villas of the Veneto". Today, the villa is open to the public for visits on a limited basis." - in: wikipedia


"Varallo commonly known as Varallo Sesia, is a comune and town of c. 7,400 inhabitants in the province of Vercelli in the Piedmont region of Italy.

IT-79792, sent by Rossono.
In 1971 Varallo was awarded the Golden Medal for Military Value for the deeds of its population against the German occupation in the late states of World War II.
150 m above the town the Sacro Monte di Varallo is one of the most famous Piedmontese pilgrimage sites, and the oldest of the Sacri Monti of Piedmont and Lombardy which were inscribed by Unesco in the World Heritage List in 2003." - in:

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Unescos from Indonesia

My unesco collection keeps growing. A few days ago i've received these 3 cards from new places in Indonesia, all of them sent by Shinta :) Lorentz National Park, Ujung Kulon National Park and Sangiran Early Man Site.

"Lorentz National Park (2.5 million ha) is the largest protected area in South-East Asia. It is the only protected area in the world to incorporate a continuous, intact transect from snowcap to tropical marine environment, including extensive lowland wetlands. Located at the meeting-point of two colliding continental plates, the area has a complex geology with ongoing mountain formation as well as major sculpting by glaciation. The area also contains fossil sites which provide evidence of the evolution of life on New Guinea, a high level of endemism and the highest level of biodiversity in the region." - in:

"This national park, located in the extreme south-western tip of Java on the Sunda shelf, includes the Ujung Kulon peninsula and several offshore islands and encompasses the natural reserve of Krakatoa. In addition to its natural beauty and geological interest – particularly for the study of inland volcanoes – it contains the largest remaining area of lowland rainforests in the Java plain. Several species of endangered plants and animals can be found there, the Javan rhinoceros being the most seriously under threat." - in:
"Sangiran is an archaeological excavation site at the island of Java in Indonesia. The area comprises about 48 km² and is located in Central Java. In 1996 it was accepted as World Heritage by the Unesco.
In 1934 the anthropologist Gustav Heinrich Ralph von Koenigswald started to examine the area. During excavations in the next years fossils of some of the first known human ancestors, Pithecanthropus erectus ("Java Man", now reclassified as part of the species Homo erectus), were found here. About 60 more human fossils, among them the enigmatic "Meganthropus", have since been found here. In addition, there are considerable numbers of remains of the animals that these primitive humans hunted, and of others that merely shared the habitat." - in: wikipedia

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

»NEW« TRAVELLING RR - GRoup 66 surprise

I've received another envelope related to this RR. This time i hosted a surprise group.
The 1st card is from Rock of Gibraltar, a Crown property of the UK.

From Spain, a card from the autonomous community of Asturias.

The Porto-Pim Bay on the Faial island, in the portuguese archipelago of Azores.

Also from Portugal, a card from Viseu.

5 buildings
in São Paulo,
Banespa Tower,
Terraço Italia Building,
Copam Building,
Martinelli Building
and Anhangabaú Palace.

Another building in São Paulo, Alexandre Mackenzie Building, better known as Shopping Light Mall.

And now from Finland, a card from Oulu, the largest city in Northern Finland and the sixth largest city in the country.

Hämeenlinna is a city and a municipality in the heart of the historical province of Häme in the south of Finland and is the birthplace of composer Jean Sibelius.

Harmaja is an island and a lighthouse outside Helsinki, south of the Suomenlinna sea forteress. The island has been functioning as a landmark since the 16th century. A landmark structure was built on the island in the 18th century and a light house in 1883.

US-636422 & LT-67423

The last officials that i've received last week.

US-636422, sent by Bruce.
An aerial view featuring the Thomas Jefferson Memorial and the Washington Mounument.
"The Thomas Jefferson Memorial is a presidential memorial in Washington, D. C. that is dedicated to Thomas Jefferson, an American Founding Father and the third president of the United States. The neoclassical building was designed by John Russell Pope. Construction began in 1939, the building was completed in 1943, and the bronze statue of Jefferson was added in 1947. When completed, the memorial occupied one of the last significant sites left in the city." - in: wikipedia
"The Washington Monument is the most prominent structure in Washington, D.C. and one of the city's early attractions. It was built in honor of George Washington, who led the country to independence and then became its first President. The Monument is shaped like an Egyptian obelisk, stands 555’ 5 1/8” tall, and offers views in excess of thirty miles. It was finished on December 6, 1884." - in:

LT-67423, sent by Inga.
"Since the beginning of the XVI century Šiluva has been famous for the indulgenced Feast of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, popularly called "Šilinės". Ever since that time, pilgrims have been attracted to this venerable image of the Blessed Virgin Mary holding the Child Jesus in her arms.
Šiluva is famous for the first widely known apparition of the Mother of God in Europe. This happened in a region marked with religious controversies, some of which led even to bloodshed. The Virgin Mary appeared and talked to a person of a different faith, a Calvinist. Is not this unique fact, a sign of the Lord given through His Mother, an eloquent exhortation toward Christian reconciliation?
Today Šiluva is one of the most important pilgrimage sites in Lithuania with its ancient tradition of the indulgenced Feast of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary. The faithful respond to the invitation of the Mother of God to worship Her Son. The thousands who come to pray for physical and spiritual health often experience a spiritual rebirth and an opening of their hearts to God." - in:

Friday, March 19, 2010

Osorno Volcano - Chile

A new volcano in my collection. This one is from Chile and the card was sent by Francisca.

"Its figure ideally synthesizes what a volcano is. Its unique colors, as well as its slopes and a summit that remains covered with white, unspoilt snow almost 365 days a year.
Standing almost 60 kilometers to the Northwest of Puerto Varas, it reaches a height of 2,661 meters above sea level. Its great height makes it visible from every point in the district of Osorno, even in some places on Chiloé Island. Therefore, it represents an impressive and typical postcard of the region. With its classical blackish dark green color and ornamented with arms of eternal snow, its presence attracts the thousands of tourists who visit it every year.
The forest that protects its slopes lodges a wide range of remarkable species and it benefits from the plentiful rainfalls recorded all through the year. The first stretch of the circuit (located between two hundred and one thousand meters above sea level) is dwelled by coihues and lengas. Above the eight hundred meters, the most ancient species in the forest can be found: the Andean birch. It is between 4,000 and 5,000 years old and today is protected by regulations on endangered species, though sometimes they are not fully respected.
As for the fauna, the pudú, the chingue (Patagonian skunk), the culpeo (Patagonian fox), the quique (a kind of ferret) and the puma may be observed. The long-muzzled weasel, the huet-huet, the hummingbird, the kestrel, the tit-tyrant and woodpeckers of all sizes and multiple varieties take shelter in the humid forests." - in:

»NEW« TRAVELLING RR - Group 23 Unesco

In November i've joined this travelling RR and hosted the group #23 for unesco cards. I've sent the envelope on November 17th with 10 cards and received the envelope back exactly 4 months later.
I've got 4 unesco cards from Brazil - Brasília, Historic Centre of the Town of Goiás and Iguaçu National Park; Portugal - Historic Centre of Porto and Alcobaça Monastery; France - Strasbourg - Grande Île; Poland - Centennial Hall in Wroclaw; Germany - Würzburg Residence with the Court Gardens and Residence Square.
I already had cards from all those places...

but one of the cards was from a new site, Durham Cathedral, included on the Unesco WHS since 1986.
"The Cathedral Church of Christ, Blessed Mary the Virgin and St Cuthbert of Durham — known as Durham Cathedral — in the city of Durham, England, is the seat of the Anglican Bishop of Durham. The Bishopric dates from 995, with the present cathedral being founded in AD 1093. The cathedral is regarded as one of the finest examples of Normam architecture and has been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site along with nearby Durham Castle.
The present cathedral replaces the 10th century "White Church" built as part of a monastic foundation to house the shrine of Saint Cuthbert of Lindisfarne. The treasures of Durham Cathedral include relics of St Cuthbert, the head of St Oswald of Northumbria and the remains of the Venerable Bede.
Durham Cathedral occupies a strategic position on a promontory high above the River Wear. From 1080 until the 19th century the bishopric enjoyed the powers of a Bishop Palatine, having military as well as religious leadership and power.
There are daily Church of England services at the Cathedral, with the Durham Cathedral Choir singing daily except Mondays and while the choir is in recess. The cathedral is a major tourist attraction within the region, the central tower of 217 feet (66 m) giving views of Durham and the sorrounding area." - in: wikipedia

Kinabalu National Park - Malaysia

With this Kinabalu card, sent by SLLiew, i've all the unesco whs from Malaysia.

"Kinabalu National Park, established as one of the first national parks of Malaysia in 1964, is Malaysia's first World Heritage Site designated by UNESCO in December 2000 for its "outstanding universal values" and the role as one of the most important biological sites in the world.
Located on the west coast of Sabah, east Malaysia on the island of Borneo; it covers an area of 754 square kilometers surrounding Mount Kinabalu, which at 4,095.2 metres, is the highest mountain on the island of Borneo.
The park is one of the most popular tourist spot in Sabah as well as in Malaysia. In 2004, more than 415,360 visitors and 43,430 climbers visited the Park." - in: wikipedia

Berlin Modernism Housing Estates

Today i've received the 32º unesco card from Germany, that means i only need 1 to have all the unesco sites from there :)
This is was sent by Nicole "sternchen84".

"Berlin Modernism Housing Estates consists of six subsidized housing estates (Siedlungen) that testify to innovative housing policies from 1910 to 1933, especially during the Weimar Republic, when the city of Berlin was particularly progressive socially, politically and culturally. The properties are outstanding examples of the building reform movement that contributed to improving housing and living conditions for people with low incomes through novel approaches to town planning, architecture and garden design. The estates also provide exceptional examples of new urban and architectural typologies, featuring fresh design solutions, as well as technical and aesthetic innovations.
Bruno Taut, Martin Wagner and Walter Gropius were among the leading architects of these projects which exercised considerable influence on the development of housing around the world." - in: wikipedia

Arras - France

"Decided in 1463, the construction of the Arras belfry was only completed 91 years later. However, it was a great success, this "prodigious slim belfry, indented with a thousand caprices, that raises to the clouds (…) its enormous, light structure" (Paul Verlaine, 1889).

75 metres high, this Gothic tower provides the finishing touch to the town hall and two famous squares in Arras, with the splendid row of 155 houses, all different, in Flemish baroque style.
The belfry is topped with the imperial crown of Charles Quint, king of the Netherlands, inspired by that of Audenarde belfry in Belgium, recalling the fact that the county of Artois used to belong to the Germanic Holy Roman Empire.
In 1914, everything collapsed under the bombing raids. Rebuilt “exactly as before”, the belfry has a cement framework onto which the stone dressing is attached. And in 1932, a set of 37 bells restored the soul to this splendid example of human genius." - in:

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Blue Mountains - Australia

This is only my 2nd unesco whs from Australia. I got it thanks to Steffi "catty412".

The waterfalls on the card are:
1. Katoomba Cascades.
2. Victoria Cascades.
3. Wentworth Falls.
4. Govett's Leap Falls.
6. Kattomba Falls.

"The Greater Blue Mountains Area consists of 1.03 million ha of sandstone plateaux, escarpments and gorges dominated by temperate eucalypt forest. The site, comprised of eight protected areas, is noted for its representation of the evolutionary adaptation and diversification of the eucalypts in post-Gondwana isolation on the Australian continent. Ninety-one eucalypt taxa occur within the Greater Blue Mountains Area which is also outstanding for its exceptional expression of the structural and ecological diversity of the eucalypts associated with its wide range of habitats. The site provides significant representation of Australia's biodiversity with ten percent of the vascular flora as well as significant numbers of rare or threatened species, including endemic and evolutionary relict species, such as the Wollemi pine, which have persisted in highly-restricted microsites." - in:

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Unesco whs from Egypt

I've already received a lot of card this week and i still have updates from last week, fortunately, these are the last cards. Both are from Egypt, both new unesco whs and both sent by Claus, like the previous ones.

"The pyramids of Giza are perhaps the only true rival to the Great Sphinx when one thinks of ancient Egypt and its architecture. The Valley of Giza-- with its wonderful monuments-- is truly a marvel of architectural prowess. The three largest pyramids located in the valley consist of the Great Pyramid of Khufu, the Pyramid of Kafhre and the Pyramid of Menkaura. Each Pyramid is a tomb dedicated to a different king of Egypt.

All three pyramids were built during the Third and Fourth Dynasty; these structures resulted from a monumental effort by the king (and his sons). The Pyramid of Khufu has a base which covers roughly a nine acre area (approximately 392,040 square feet). The Pyramid of Menkaura, unlike the other pyramids, has granite covering one tier of its base. The Pyramid of Khafre had a two-tiered base encased in granite.

Unfortunately, like many of the great kings of the Old Kingdom of Egypt, the Pyramids of Menkaura, Khufu, and Kafhre were not finished by the end of each respective king's reign. As an example: in the case of Menkaura, the king died before its construction was completed. The monuments of Giza and the entire Giza Valley stand as a marvelous reminder of the skill executed in the creation of the pyramids, and are truly fabulous to see." - in:

"The Karnak Temple Complex — usually called simply Karnak — comprises a vast conglomeration of ruined temples, chapels, pylons and other buildings, notably the Great Temple of Amen and a massive structure begun by Pharaoh Amenhotep III (ca. 1391-1351 BC). It is located near Luxor, some 500 km south of Cairo, in Egypt. The area around Karnak was the ancient Egyptian Ipet-isut ("The Most Selected of Places") and the main place of worship of the Theban Triad with the god Amun as its head. It is part of the monumental city of Thebes. The Karnak complex takes its name from the nearby (and partly surrounded) modern village of el-Karnak, some 2.5 km north of Luxor". - in: wikipedia

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Unesco whs from Asia

Two of the unesco cards i requested to Claus were from Asia. The Mahabodhi Temple Complex at Bodh Gaya in India and the Shrines and Temples of Nikko in Japan.

"The Mahabodhi Temple Complex is one of the four holy sites related to the life of the Lord Buddha, and particularly to the attainment of Enlightenment. The first temple was built by Emperor Asoka in the 3rd century B.C., and the present temple dates from the 5th or 6th centuries. It is one of the earliest Buddhist temples built entirely in brick, still standing in India, from the late Gupta period." - in:

"The UNESCO World Heritage Site Shrines and Temples of Nikkō encompasses 103 buildings or structures and the natural setting around them. It is located in Nikkō, Tochigi Prefecture, Japan. The buildings belong to two Shinto shrines (Futarasan Shrine and Tōshō-gū) and one Buddhis temple (Rinnō-ji). Nine of the structures are designated National Treasures of Japan while the remaining 94 are Important Cultural Properties. UNESCO listed the site as World Heritage in 1999." - in: wikipedia

Surprise Unesco cards

Claus surprised me again. We had a swap for 5 unesco cards but he sent 7 cards, 2 of them as extra cards.
The 1st card is from Oman, the Archaeological Sites of Bat, Al-Khutm and Al-Ayn and the 2nd from the Netherlands, D.F. Wouda Steam Pumping Station.

"The protohistoric site of Bat lies near a palm grove in the interior of the Sultanate of Oman. Together with the neighbouring sites, it forms the most complete collection of settlements and necropolises from the 3rd millennium B.C. in the world." - in:

"The ir. D.F. Woudagemaal (ir. Wouda pumping station) in the Netherlands, is the biggest currently running steam-powered pumping station in the world. On October 7, 1920 Queen Wilhelmina opened the pumping station that is used to pump out redundant water from Friesland.

In 1967, after 47 years running on coal, the boilers were rebuilt to run on oil. Since 1998 the ir. D.F. Woudagemaal has been listed on the UNESCO World Heritage Site list." - in: wikipedia

Official cards of the week

Last week i've sent a few official cards and received 3.
These cards are from Serbia, Belgium and Estonia.

RS-5863, sent by Judit.
"Novi Sad is the capital of the northern Serbian province of Vojvodina. The city lies in the southern part of Central Europe's Pannonian Plain, on both banks of the Danube river.Is Serbia's second largest city, after Belgrade.
Petrovaradin Fortress is a fortress located in the province of Vojvodina, on the right bank of the Danube river. The cornerstone of the present-day southern part of the fortress was laid on October 18, 1692, by Prince Croy. Petrovaradin Fortress has many underground tunnels as well (16 km of underground countermine system)." - in:

BE-54061, sent by Jolien.
"The belfry of Bruges, or Belfort, is a medieval bell tower in the historical center of Bruges, Belgium. One of the city's most prominent symbols, the belfry formerly housed a treasury and the municipal archives, and served as an observation post for spotting fires and other danger. A narrow, steep staircase of 366 steps, accessible by the public for an entry fee, leads to the top of the 83-meter-high building, which leans about a meter to the east.
To the sides and back of the tower stands the former market hall, a rectangular building only 44 m broad but 84 m deep, with an inner courtyard. The belfry, accordingly, is also known as the Halletoren (tower of the halls)." - in: wikipedia

EE-65744, sent by Ene.
"Sangaste Castle, misleadingly described in most local brochures as being a 'copy' of Windsor Castle, isin fact a wildly eccentric, red-brick, neo-Gothic manor house, which until recently had very basic accommodation with very little appeal for most tourists, let alone the British royal family (not surprisingly the Queen and Prince Philip gave it a miss when they came to Estonia in October 2006). For many years it served as a children's holiday home and it has scarcely been refurbished since then, but this should not put off passing visitors who can eat well here and can try to make sense of the building, both inside and out. Refurbishment started in 2006 so in due course the interior of the building will become a fully functional conference centre.
The owner of the building throughout its existence as a private house was the scientist Count Magnus von Berg (1845-1938), who become famous for his work on the cultivation of rye. He commissioned this house in 1874.
The large reception/meeting rooms on the ground floor exhibit hunting trophies. The first floor has a small exhibition of items and photographs linked to the family.
Von Berg, rather than Hippius, must have been responsible for the total eccentricity that the building now represents. Every window is different, as are all the porches and the towers.
In the park at the back of the castle is an oak tree allegedly planted by Peter the Great. This park is often also called an 'English garden' but is largely a play area for children with a wood in the background. This wood contains about 300 different species of tree." - in:

Minho cards - Portugal

Minho is a region in northern Portugal, Américo "valdagua" visit the region a few days ago and sent me thse cards from there.

"Valença do Minho is a historical village the North of Portugal, located right in the border with Spain, separated only by the lovely Minho river, and surrounded by defensive walls in the top of a hill, showing its ancient defensive facet. The village is characterized by the stone-paved narrow streets that show history on every corner, where a bustling typical commerce with traditional small shops specialized in hand made products of this region, such as gold, linen, basketry and also ceramics and pottery." - in: "Lindoso is a small village located in the North of Portugal, in the Minho region, situated in the border with Spain, in between the mountain range areas of Amarela Mountain and Cabril Mountain, on the left River bank of the river Lima. Lindoso has 1300 inhabitants that are mostly dedicated to agriculture and shepherding, in this lovely mountain area, reaching up to 1365,5 meters high in the Louriça peak. The village is composed by typical old granite houses, some ancient agricultural buildings with straw’s ceiling. Lindoso was, since the beginning of the Portuguese nationality, an important defensive point, as it is attested by its Castle, nowadays transformed into an interesting museum space. Other important monument in Lindoso is its “Largo dos Espigueiros”, a square with several Espigueiros (a typical granite granary, raised from the ground by pillars ending in flat stones, to avoid the access of rodents, with grooves in the walls for ventilation purposes), situated in between the castle and the granite pillory, yet many other Espigueiros can be found in the region." - in:

Friday, March 12, 2010

Terra Nostra Park

I'm showing these 2 cards from the Terra Nostra Park, in S. Miguel Azores. I've received the 1st one this week, sent by Lurdes and i've got the 2nd one a few years ago when my cousins return from the Azores where they spent their honey moon.
"Terra Nostra Park, is a 32 acre public garden in the parish of Furnas, smack in the middle of the village.
The park was the brainchild of Thomas Hickling an orange grower and merchant from Boston and for awhile the US consul to the
Azores, based in São Miguel. In 1780 Thomas Hickling built a small wooden house in five acres of land.
By mid-19th century, the property was owned by the Viscount of Praia. The Viscount and the Viscondessa, a keen gardener, replaced the house with a larger mansion, added more land and created formal gardens with water steams, groves and meadows of trees, and flower beds.

The son, the Viscount of Praia and Monforte, continued his father’s work with the help of Portuguese and Scottish garden designers. He further developed the park’s infrastructure to include lagoons. Trees were imported from all over the world, some of them still living. The oldest of the species are approaching 140 years old.

In 1930, the hotelier Vasco Bensaude acquired the garden after he built the Hotel Terra Nostra Garden. He hired John McEnroy of Scotland as head gardener and continued expanding and restoring the plant and flower collections. The brilliance of McEnroy put the finishing touches on an already good park to become a superb garden, known all over Europe and more recently starting to be discovered by the rest of the world.

In 1990 Filipe Bensaude (Vasco’s son), oversaw yet another expansion and renovation of the gardens and the hotel, with English gardeners and a handful of tree surgeons. Local engineers rebuilt the canals and the tree surgeons worked on approximately 2,500 trees. New species of trees and plants were brought in including a collection of Rhododendrons, a Malesian native species of tropical mountains. Terra Nostra is the only garden in Europe that can grow these plants outdoors and unprotected. Most recently a garden of cycads, a fern garden and formal flower and plant gardens were added
Going to the Azores, or more specifically to São Miguel without visiting this garden is much like going to Rome and not visiting the Sistine Chapel." -in:

Saturday, March 6, 2010


Official from Spain.

ES-68938 sent by Fer & Sara.
"Our Lady of the Pillar is the name given to the Blessed Virgin Mary for her claimed appearance in Spain. Her shrine is in the Basilica of Our Lady of the Pillar in Zaragoza, by the river Ebro.
According to legend, in the early days of the Church, the Apostle James the Greater was evangelizing the Gospel in Caesaraugusta, but his mission was making little progress until miraculously, he saw Mary committing him to Jerusalem. In his vision, she was atop a column or pillar, which was being carried by angels. That pillar is believed to be the same one venerated in Zaragoza today. Miraculous healings have been reported at the scene." - in: wikipedia