Sunday, February 27, 2011

8th Postcrossing Meeting in São Paulo - Brazil

The Ipiranga Museum in São Paulo was the meeting point for the 8th postcrossing meeting in this brazilian city. The meeting took place last february the 13th and joined 10 postcrossers. Déa sent me this card. The other postcrossers were: Daniel, Heloísa, Adriana, Cinthia, Paula, Alessandra, Renato, Valéria and Karina.

"The Museu Paulista of the University of São Paulo (commonly known in Sao Paulo as Museu do Ipiranga) is a Brazilian history museum located near where Emperor D. Pedro I proclaimed the Brazilian independence on the banks of Ipiranga brook in the Southeast region of the city of São Paulo, then the "Caminho do Mar," or road to the seashore. It contains a huge collection of furniture, documents and historically relevant artwork, especially relating to the Brazilian Empire era.
The most famous work of art in the collection is the 1888 painting Independência ou Morte (Independence or Death) by Pedro Américo.
A few months after the Brazilian Declaration of Independence, people started to suggest a monument on the site where the declaration took place, although they were not sure about what sort of memorial construction to build. In 1884, Italian architect Tommaso Gaudenzio Bezzi, who was hired to develop the project, chose to build an eclectic-styled construction similar to the French Palace of Versailles with impressive and perfectly manicured gardens and fountain." - in: wikipedia


I´ve been receiving a lot of officials from Germany and they've been really nice.

DE-837148, sent by Martin.
"Dortmund is a city in Germany. It is located in the Bundeslan of North Rhine-Westphalia. Its population of 587,830 (in June 2005) makes it the 8th largest city in Germany and the 34th largest in the European Union.
Cultural history tones are set by the churches in the city centre whose towers characterise the skyline of Dortmund. The Reinoldikirche and the Marienkirche are gems of medieval architecture.
The city centre of Dortmund still retains the outline of the medieval city. A ring road marks the former city wall, and the Westen-/Ostenhellweg, part of a medieval salt trading route, is still the major (pedestrian) street bisecting the city centre." - in: wikipedia


This official from Russia was a double mistery. Sometimes i don't know where the image of the card is from because there's no information in english, but this time i don't know what's written on the card either, because the sender wrote in russian :o I found out this is a card from Tyumen thanks to the zip code because the sender wrote her address.

"Tyumen is a city in Urals Federal District in Russia, located on the Tura River 2,144 kilometers (1,332 mi) east of Moscow.
Tyumen was the first Russian outpost in Siberia; it was founded in 16th century to support Russian expansion to Siberia. Since its foundation, Tyumen has always been an important settlement. Located at the crossing of water and land routes, the town rapidly developed from a small military settlement to a large commercial and industrial city. The city core, the Old Tyumen, retains many historic buildings illustrating the city's development during the 18th-20th centuries.
Today Tyumen is one of the most important business centres of Russia, and is of importance in the nation's in politics, education and culture. The capital of a vast oil-rich region stretching from the Kazakh border to the Artic Ocean, Tyumen is an important transportation hub and industrial center of its region, and the home to many companies active in Russia's oil and gas industry.
Tyumen is also a destination for a fair number of tourists, in particular from Germany. Tyumen's population draws from a wide range of peoples, cultures, and religions." - in: wikipedia


A dutch official card.

NL-565695, sent by Astrid.
A nouvelles images card. "Je t'aime" by Bernard Hermann.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Aquileia - Italy

My 511th unesco site arrived today - Archaeological Area and the Patriarchal Basilica of Aquileia - a Unesco World Heritage Site since 1998. The card was sent by Luca "diaboluke".

"Aquileia (in Friuli-Venezia Giulia), one of the largest and wealthiest cities of the Early Roman Empire, was destroyed by Attila in the mid-5th century. Most of it still lies unexcavated beneath the fields, and as such it constitutes the greatest archaeological reserve of its kind. The patriarchal basilica, an outstanding building with an exceptional mosaic pavement, played a key role in the evangelization of a large region of central Europe." - in:

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Komodo Dragons - Indonesia

This week i haven't received any unesco cards yet but i still have tomorrow. This indonesian card was the last unesco card i got. It was sent by Shinta and it shows Komodo dragons in the Komodo National Park, a Unesco World Heritage Site since 1991.
"The Komodo dragon is a large species of lizard found in the Indonesian islands of Komodo, Rinca, Flores and Gili Motang. A member of the monitor lizard family (Varanidae), it is the largest living species of lizard, growing to an average length of 2 to 3 metres (6.6 to 9.8 ft) and weighing around 70 kilograms (150 lb). Their unusual size has been attributed to island gigantism, since there are no other carnivorous animals to fill the niche on the islands where they live.However, recent research suggests that the large size of komodo dragons may be better understood as representative of a relic population of very large varanid lizards that once lived across Indonesia and Australia, most of which, along with other megafauna, died out after contact with modern humans.
As a result of their size, these lizards dominate the ecosystems in which they live. Although Komodo dragons eat mostly carrion, they will also hunt and ambush prey including invertebrates, birds and mammals.

Mating begins between May and August, and the eggs are laid in September. About twenty eggs are deposited in abandoned megapode nests and incubated for seven to eight months, hatching in April, when insects are most plentiful. Young Komodo dragons are vulnerable and therefore dwell in trees, safe from predators and cannibalistic adults. They take around three to five years to mature, and may live as long as fifty years. They are among the rare vertebrates capable of parthenogenesis, in which females may lay viable eggs if males are absent, producing only female offspring.
Komodo dragons were first recorded by Western scientists in 1910. Their large size and fearsome reputation make them popular zoo exhibits. In the wild their range has contracted due to human activities. They are protected under Indonesian law, and a national park, Komodo National Park, was founded to aid protection efforts." - in: wikipedia

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Venezuela cards

I only realized now that i've a card of the 3rd and last unesco site from Venezuela i was looking for, Canaima National Park. Some time ago i arranged a swap to get a card from this park but a few days ago i've received these two venezuelan cards and one of them, the 1st showing the Angel's Fall, is from the Canaima Park. What a nice surprise.
"Angel Falls is a waterfall in Venezuela. It is the world's highest waterfall, with a height of 979 m (3,212 ft) and a plunge of 807 m (2,648 ft). The waterfall drops over the edge of the Auyantepui mountain in the Canaima National Park, a Unesco World Heritage Site in the Gran Sabana region of Bolívar State, Venezuela.
The height of the fall is so great that, before getting anywhere near the ground, much of the water is evaporated or carried away as a fine mist by the strong wind. The base of the falls feeds into the Kerep River (alternatively known as the Río Gauya), which flows into the Churun River, a tributary of the Carrao River.
The height figure 979 m (3,212 ft) mostly consists of the main plunge but also includes about 400 m (0.25 mi) of sloped cascades and rapids below the drop and a 30 m (98 ft) high plunge downstream of the talus rapids. While the main plunge is undoubtedly the highest single drop in the world, some feel that including the lower cascades somewhat stretches the criteria[2] for the measurement of waterfalls, although there are no universally recognized standards of waterfall measurement." - in: wikipedia

This 2nd card shows one of the many beaches on the Los Roques archipelago.

The archipelago consists "of about 350 islands, cays or islets. The archipelago is located 80 miles (128 km) directly north of the port of La Guaira, and is a 40-minute flight, has a total area of 40.61 square kilometres. Being almost an untouched coral reef, it attracts many visitors, especially from Europe, some of which come in their own yachts and anchor in the inner, protected shallow waters. However, development and tourism are controlled.
Because of the wide variety of seabirds and rich aquatic life, the Venezuelan government declared Los Roques a National Park in 1972." - in: wikipedia

Bulgarian WHS

After 3 envelopes and 1 resent envelope, i've completed my trades with Lilia "childish". She sent me the total of 9 new unesco sites, these 7 from Bulgaria, 1 from Cyprus and 1 from Serbia.

"Spread over an area of over 27,000 ha, at an altitude between 1008 and 2914 m in the Pirin Mountains, southwest Bulgaria, the site comprises diverse limestone mountain landscapes with glacial lakes, waterfalls, caves and predominantly coniferous forests. It was added to the World Heritage List in 1983. The extension now covers an area of around 40,000 ha in the Pirin Mountains, and overlaps with the Pirin National Park, except for two areas developed for tourism (skiing). The dominant part of the extension is high mountain territory over 2000m in altitude, and covered mostly by alpine meadows, rocky screes and summits." - in:

"The Madara Rider, representing the figure of a knight triumphing over a lion, is carved into a 100-m-high cliff near the village of Madara in north-east Bulgaria. Madara was the principal sacred place of the First Bulgarian Empire before Bulgaria’s conversion to Christianity in the 9th century. The inscriptions beside the sculpture tell of events that occurred between AD 705 and 801." - in:

The monument has been on the Unesco World Heritage List since 1979.

"Discovered in 1982 near the village of Sveshtari, this 3rd-century BC Thracian tomb reflects the fundamental structural principles of Thracian cult buildings. The tomb has a unique architectural decor, with polychrome half-human, half-plant caryatids and painted murals. The 10 female figures carved in high relief on the walls of the central chamber and the decoration of the lunette in its vault are the only examples of this type found so far in the Thracian lands. It is a remarkable reminder of the culture of the Getes, a Thracian people who were in contact with the Hellenistic and Hyperborean worlds, according to ancient geographers." - in:
This tomb is a World Heritage Site since 1985.

"Discovered in 1944, this tomb dates from the Hellenistic period, around the end of the 4th century BC. It is located near Seutopolis, the capital city of the Thracian king Seutes III, and is part of a large Thracian necropolis. The tholos has a narrow corridor and a round burial chamber, both decorated with murals representing Thracian burial rituals and culture. These paintings are Bulgaria’s best-preserved artistic masterpieces from the Hellenistic period." - in:
The Thracian Tomb of Kazanlak is a World Heritage Site since 1979.

"Located on the outskirts of Sofia, Boyana Church consists of three buildings. The eastern church was built in the 10th century, then enlarged at the beginning of the 13th century by Sebastocrator Kaloyan, who ordered a second two storey building to be erected next to it. The frescoes in this second church, painted in 1259, make it one of the most important collections of medieval paintings. The ensemble is completed by a third church, built at the beginning of the 19th century. This site is one of the most complete and perfectly preserved monuments of east European medieval art." - in:

The monument was added to the Unesco World Heritage List in 1979.

"In the valley of the Roussenski Lom River, in north east Bulgaria, a complex of rock-hewn churches, chapels, monasteries and cells developed in the vicinity of the village of Ivanovo. This is where the first hermits had dug out their cells and churches during the 12th century. The 14th-century murals testify to the exceptional skill of the artists belonging to the Tarnovo School of painting." - in:
These churches are on the World Heritage Site list since 1979.

"Rila Monastery was founded in the 10th century by St John of Rila, a hermit canonized by the Orthodox Church. His ascetic dwelling and tomb became a holy site and were transformed into a monastic complex which played an important role in the spiritual and social life of medieval Bulgaria. Destroyed by fire at the beginning of the 19th century, the complex was rebuilt between 1834 and 1862. A characteristic example of the Bulgarian Renaissance (18th–19th centuries), the monument symbolizes the awareness of a Slavic cultural identity following centuries of occupation." - in:

The Unesco classified this monastery as a World Heritage Site in 1983.

Choirokoitia - Cyprus

This grey-green steatite figurine is probably one of the remais found in the archaeological site of Choirokoitia on the island of Cyprus. This site has been listed as a World Heritage Site since 1998.

"The Neolithic settlement of Choirokoitia, occupied from the 7th to the 4th millennium B.C., is one of the most important prehistoric sites in the eastern Mediterranean. Its remains and the finds from the excavations there have thrown much light on the evolution of human society in this key region. Since only part of the site has been excavated, it forms an exceptional archaeological reserve for future study." - in:

The Amphitheatre of El Djem - Tunisia

Yesterday i've finally counted my unesco cards and know i know i've cards from 507 unesco sites around the world. The 507th arrived today. It is this one from Tunisia, sent from Poland by "bodexs".

"El Djem is famous for its amphitheatre (often incorrectly called "a colosseum"), capable of seating 35,000 spectators. Only Rome's Colosseum (about 45,000 spectators) and the ruined theatre of Capua are larger. The amphitheatre at El Djem was built by the Romans under proconsul Gordian, who was acclaimed Emperor at Thysdrus, around 238 and was probably mainly used for gladiator shows and chariot races. It is also possible that construction of the amphitheatre was never finished.
Until the 17th century it remained more or less whole. From then on its stones were used for building the nearby village of El Djem and transported to the Great Mosque in Kairouan, and at a tense moment during struggles with the Ottomans, the Turks used cannons to flush rebels out of the amphitheatre.
The ruins of the amphitheatre were declared a World Heritage Site in 1979." - in: wikipedia

PT x Other Countries RR - Group 11

Group 11 in this RR was Portugal x Slavic Countries and the countries were Ukraine, Slovenia and Poland.

Liudmyla "tari" send this card with the Tarkhankutskyi lighthouse in the Black Sea.

Polona "copacabana" traveled to China not so long ago and for this RR she decided to send a chinese card. This is a view of the Jialing river bank.
"The Jialing River is a tributary of the Yangtze River with its source in Gansu province. The Jialing River is 1119 km long.
The Jialing River's most notable characteristic is its sinuous course. From Zhangwang Miao (Temple of Zhangfei) in Guangyuan to Longdongtuo in Hechuan, the distance as the crow flies is only slightly more than 200 km. However the river itself travels over 600 km. The most tortuous part of its course is between Nanchong and Washeng." - in: wikipedia

"The Castle in Malbork was built in Prussia by the Teutonic Order, a German Roman Catholic religious order, as an Ordensburg (fortified castle of the order). The Order named it Marienburg (Mary's Castle). The town which grew around it was also named Marienburg. Since 1945, when it became part of the nation of Poland after World War II, it has been called Malbork.
The castle is a classic example of a medieval fortress, and on its completion in 1406 was the world’s largest brick Gothic castle. Unesco designated the "Castle of the Teutonic Order in Malbork" and its museum as World Heritage Site in December 1997." - in: wikipédia
The card was sent by Sylwia "sylwiail".

Monday, February 14, 2011

Donegal - Ireland

Claudia "chrissybaby" sent me this beautiful irish card, which was one of my favorites.

On the back of the card: "The unique beauty of Ireland's landscape and it's rich historic, literary and artistic associations have long made it a favourite resort for tourists. Encompassing a wealth of natural beauty within its modest dimensions, Ireland boasts a landscape which is a much diverse as it is gratifying. The secnic grandeur is set off by Ireland's position. Standing in the path of both the prevailing wasterly winds of the Atlantic and the warming currents of the Gulf Stream, Ireland enjoys an equable climate which gives the country its unique fresh appearance."

Studenica Monastery - Serbia

This is one of the cards i've recently received from Lilia "childish". We've traded 6 cards and now i'm waiting for 3 others but these are from a tag.
The 1st 6 cards are from Bulgaria and this one with the Studenica monastery in Serbia.

"The Studenica monastery is a Serbia Orthodox monastery situated 39 km southwest of Kraljevo, in central Serbia. It is one of the largest and richest Serb Orthodox monasteries.
Stefan Nemanja, the founder of the medieval Serb state, founded the monastery in 1190. The monastery's fortified walls encompass two churches: the Church of the Virgin, and the Church of the King, both of which were built using white marble. The monastery is best known for its collection of 13th- and 14th century Byzantine-style fresco paintings.
Studenica was declared Monument of Culture of Exceptional Importance in 1979, and it is protected by Republic of Serbia, and in 1986 UNESCO included Studenica monastery on the list of World Heritage Sites." - in: wikipedia

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Chinese Unesco cards

I need to count my Unesco cards, i'm not sure if i've more or less than 500 sites.
Last week i've received a few cards from new sites, two are from China, Mogao Caves, a WHS since 1987 and Mount Taishan also on the list since 1987.

"The Mogao Caves (aka Mogao Grottoes, Caves of the Thousand Buddhas, or Caves of Dunhuang) are a system of Buddhist cave temples near the city of Dunhuang in Gansu province. They were a center of culture on the Silk Road from the 4th to the 14th centuries and contain a religious artworks spanning that entire period. There are about 600 surviving cave temples, of which 30 are open to the public.
There were originally about 1,000 Buddhist cave temples at Mogao, over 600 of which survive. About 30 caves are accessible to the public, but visitors cannot usually manage to visit more than 15 in a day. The rest of the caves are closed for preservation, because they are not of significant interest, or because they contain Tantric murals considered too explicit for visitors. Generally, the oldest caves are in the center of the cliff. Each cave is clearly labeled with a number above the doors. The caves are not lit inside in order to preserve the murals, but guides carry flashlights and visitors should bring their own as well." - in:

"Tai Shan (a.k.a., Mt. Tai, Mt. Taishan) is one of five sacred Taoist mountains in China. It is located in central Shandong Province just north of Tai'an City.
Tai Shan has an extremely rich cultural heritage and, in the words of Guo Moruo, a modern Chinese scholar, is "a partial miniature of Chinese culture." Moreover, the way in which the culture has been integrated with the natural scenery is considered to be a precious legacy. Cultural relics on Mt. Tai include memorial objects, ancient architectural complexes, stone sculptures and archaeological sites of outstanding importance. There are 22 temples, 97 ruins, 819 stone tablets, and 1,018 cliffside and stone inscriptions." - in:

Montemor-o-Velho Castle

I was supposed to visit this castle in Montemor-o-Velho yesterday but i really needed to spend a day off at home and decided not to go. Now i might visit it next week.

"Above the town are the forbidding ruins of its massive castle, at one time amongst Portugal's strategically most important fortresses. Nothing remains of the original castle, first mentioned in 716 when occupied by the Moors. The existing ruins date from the 11th and 12th C. and are enclosed within a double circuit of walls, oval in plan, with imposing towers and battlements.
From the top of the towers, some of which can be climbed, there is a superb view over the surrounding countryside. Within the walls is the Manueline church of Santa Maria de Alcáçova (16th C.) by the famous architect Boytaca, with a beautiful wooden ceiling, azulejo decoration in 16th C. Moorish style and a double font." - in:

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Portuguese cards

I had these two places in my portuguese wishlist, i've never visited these cities and i wanted to have cards of these monuments. Vitória "blicas blocas" saw the wishlist and sent me the cards.

"The Arouca Monastery dates back to the 10th century. In 1210, D. Sancho I, Portugal’s King, donated it to his daughter D. Mafalda. Enlargement works were carried out in the 15th and in 16th centuries in the monastery. The existing imposing building, as we perceive it today, dates back to the 17th and 18th centuries. It forms a big rectangle comprising three inner patios. Worth highlighting is the church, in the north wing, and the ancient barn, on the opposite side. The Neoclassical cloister began to be built in the end of the 18th century. Inside the church, one can not miss the choir, the chairs and the monumental organ, ultimate Portuguese Baroque exponents. The monastery also includes the tomb of Holy Mafalda and the Sacred Art Museum, located in the former convent facilities. The visit includes the cloister, the kitchen and the chapter room. The museum’s collection assembles vestments, liturgical books, painting and gold and silver works." - in:
"Portalegre cathedral and Bishop’s House form a distinguished set, located at the historical centr in the uppermost zone of the city. Built in the 16th century, it is a hall-church integrated in a late renaissance. The majority of the décor elements date back to the 17th century and 18th centuries. Its interior decoration is also worth mentioning, namely a set of 96 paintings in wood, regarded as a unique collection in the country. This collection reveals a mainly Mannerism taste. Some of the paintings depict apocrypha themes." - in:

Portugal x Other Countries RR - Group 6

These are also cards from the Portugal x Other Countries RR, but this was a group only for portuguese postcrossers.

Teresa "caracolinho" sent me this map card. This card brings me good memories of my 10th and 11th grade geography classes. Geography was one of the subjects i liked in school. That was long ago.

Guimarães is a lovely city, i was there last summer and loved it. This card was sent by Manú "sapic12".
"Guimarães is a Portuguese city located in the North of Portugal. Is one of the most important historical cities of the country. Its historical center is a Unesco World Heritage Site, making it one of the largest tourist centers in the region.
The city of Guimarães is historically associated with the foundation and identity of the Portuguese nationality. Guimarães, among other settlements, precedes the foundation of Portugal and because of its role in the foundation of the country it is known as the "cradle of the Portuguese nationality". In 1128, major political and military events that would lead to the independence and the birth of a new nation took place in Guimarães. For this reason, in one of the old towers of the city's old wall it is written "Aqui nasceu Portugal" (Portugal was born here)." - in: wikipedia

And finally, a card sent by Marília "tripeira" with a view of the "Ribeira" in Porto.
This is one of my favorite views in all country. I love the houses, the boats and that beautiful bridge.

Friday, February 11, 2011

PT x Other Countries RR - Group 9

More spanish cards but these are from a postcrossing RR, the Portugal x Other Countries RR, group 9 Portugal x Spain.

I happy to received cards from places or monuments that i've alreaby been to. I've always wanted to visit the Sagrada Família and visited it in 2005. I really would live to visit Barcelona again. This card was sent by Clara "klayreh".
"Sagrada Família, is a large Roman Catholic church, designed by Catalan architect Antoni Gaudí. Although incomplete, the church is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and in November 2010 was consecrated and proclaimed a minor basilica by Pope Benedict XVI.
Though construction of Sagrada Familia had commenced in 1882, Gaudi took over in 1883, transforming the project with his architectural and engineering style — combining Gothic and curvilinear, Art Nouveau forms with ambitious structural columns and arches.
Gaudi devoted his last years to the project and at the time of his death in 1926, less than a quarter of the project was complete. Sagrada Familia's construction progressed slowly as it relied on private donations and was interrupted by the Spanish Civil War — only to resume intermittent progress in the 1950s. Construction passed the mid-point in 2010 with some of the project's greatest challenges remaining and an anticipated completion date of 2026 — the centennial of Gaudí's death.
The basílica has a long history of dividing the citizens of Barcelona — over the initial possibility it might compete with Barcelona's cathedral, over Gaudi's design itself, over the possibility that work after Gaudi's death disregarded his design, and the recent possibility that an underground tunnel of Spain's high-speed train could disturb its stability." - in: wikipedia

I believe this is my 1st card from Santander, the capital of the Cantabria community, in northern Spain. The card was sent by Rosa "earwen".
The Magdalena Palace is an early 20th-century palace in Santander. "Its construction was initiated in 1908 by the local government of Santander for the purpose of providing a seasonal residence for the royal family of Spain. Funding was provided via popular subscription of the local populace.
The design and construction of the palace were overseen by architects Javier González Riancho and Gonzalo Bringas Vega, with construction completed in 1912. King Alfonso XIII and his family first arrived at the Palacio de la Magdalena on August 4, 1913, and returned annually to summer at the palace thru 1930. The royal family used the palace as a base for numerous recreational and sporting activities, and the king sometimes also held government meetings at the property. The annual trips ended with the proclamation of the Second Spanish Republic in 1931.
Beginning in 1932, the palace was used to host summer courses through the International University Menéndez Pelayo. The palace, which was declared an historical monument in 1982 and renovated between 1993 and 1995, continues to be used as a conference and meeting hall today. It is the most visited place in the city of Santander." - in: wikipedia

And the last card of this RR was sent by Aurora "cucutrashhh". She sent this view of Almagro's Town Square. Almagro is a city situated in Ciudad Real province, in the autonomous community of Castile-La Mancha.
Almagro's Town Sqaure was originally Conceived as a place of arms. It is flanked by arcades with tuscan pilars. It houses the City Hall, a construction of 16th century.