Monday, April 28, 2014

Favorites from Turkey

I believe that most of my turkish cards were sent by Nihan and these two are no exception. Both were in my favorites gallery. The 1st shows Alanya's Dockyard and the 2nd the Dalyan Lycian tombs.

The construction of the dockyard started in 1227, six years later than the Sultan's conquest of the city, near Kızılkule and finished in one year. The Side of the dockyard overlooking the sea and having five cells with arches is 56.5 metres long and it is 44 metres in depth. The area selected for the dockyard was planned to have the most sunlight. 
The dockyard of Alanya was the first one of Selcuks in the Mediterranean, Alaaddin Keykubat, who had the dockyard of Sinop built before, was given the little of "the Sultan of the two seas" with the opening of the dockyard of Alanya. On one side of the dockyard there is a small mosque, and a guard room on the other. There is a well that has dried up in time in one of the cells. You can go to the dockyard by boats or on foot passing the walls near Kızılkule and can enter the dockyard without any payments. - in:

Foto: Semih Kayalar
Dalyan is a riverbank town in Muğla Province located between the well-known districts of Marmaris and Fethiye on the south-west coast of Turkey. One of the most popular attractions are the Lycian Tombs. 
The six Lycian tombs on the outskirts of Kaunos are the most photographed place in the region. Standing in the cliff face, above the Dalyan River, they are seen from miles away and are the finest display of Lycian architecture, even though one was never finished.  
Dating from the 2nd to 4th century, the rock tombs were burial chambers for kings and queens of that era. Behind tall columns that stood next to the entrance, is the main chamber where royalty was buried with their possessions. Sadly over many years, looters stole the gold and expensive items that were meant to accompany the dead into the afterlife.  
Lycains believed that a winged creature would carry them into the after world and this is why most of their tombs exist on high cliff faces or hills. Sadly the high position and lack of safety has made it impossible to walk around the tombs now, however they still look majestic from afar.
While the rock tombs of Dalyan were reserved for royalty, any keen historian will tell you that Lycians who were not wealthy believed the dead should exist with the living. This is seen in Lycian sarcophagi standing in the streets of towns like nearby Kas or Patara. These should be explored if you want to see a Lycian tomb up close. - in:

Friday, April 25, 2014

Tytonidae & Strigidae

Tytonidae and Strigidae are two families of owls. Tytonidae is represented here by the barn owl (tyto alba) and the boreal owl (aegolius funereus) from Belarus. 
Last month went i've been to London, ive visited the natural History Museum and that was where bought the barn owl card. The other card was sent by Irina. 

© 2004 David Tipling
The Barn Owl (Tyto alba) is the most widely distributed species of owl, and one of the most widespread of all birds. T. alba is found almost anywhere in the world except polar and desert regions, Asia north of the Alpide belt, most of Indonesia, and the Pacific islands.
Ghostly pale and strictly nocturnal, Barn Owls are silent predators of the night world. Lanky, with a whitish face, chest, and belly, and buffy upperparts, this owl roosts in hidden, quiet places during the day. By night, they hunt on buoyant wingbeats in open fields and meadows. You can find them by listening for their eerie, raspy calls, quite unlike the hoots of other owls. Despite a worldwide distribution, Barn Owls are declining in parts of their range due to habitat loss. Barn Owls nest and roost in cavities, abandoned barns and other buildings, and dense trees. At night, Barn Owls hunt by flying low, back and forth over open habitats, searching for small rodents primarily by sound.Barn Owls require large areas of open land over which to hunt. This can either be marsh, grasslands, or mixed agricultural fields. For nesting and roosting, they prefer quiet cavities, either in trees or man-made structures such as barns or silos. - in:

The Boreal Owl (Aegolius funereus) is a small unsociable nocturnal owl. 
The Boreal Owl breeds in dense coniferous forests across northern North America and Eurasia, and in mountain ranges such as the Alps and the Rockies. It lays 3–6 eggs in a tree hole. Across much of Europe, and to a lesser extent in Asia and North America, naturalists and biologists put up nest boxes for these and other small owls. 
These Owls can live for at least 7-8 years.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Stalker Castle - Scotland

Two other cards of another scottish castle in a very scenic location. The 1st card was also sent by Doyel and the 2nd is an official that I got not so long ago. 

 © Dennis Hardley
Stalker Castles is a four story tower house (or keep), located in a picturesque location on a tidal islet on Loch Laich off Loch Linnhe, 25 miles from Oban, on the west coast of Scotland. 
The original castle was a small fort, built around 1320 by Clan MacDougall who were then Lords of Lorn. Around 1388 the Stewarts took over the Lordship of Lorn, and it is believed that they built the castle in its present form around the 1440s. The Stewart's relative King James IV of Scotland visited the castle, and a drunken bet around 1620 resulted in the castle passing to Clan Campbell. 

© copyright
GB-503359, sent by Joan.
After changing hands between these clans a couple of times the Campbells finally abandoned the castle in about 1840, when it lost its roof. In 1908 the castle was bought by Charles Stewart of Achara, who carried out basic conservation work. In 1965 Lt. Col. D. R. Stewart Allward acquired the castle and over about ten years fully restored it. Castle Stalker remains in private ownership and is open to the public at selected times during the summer. - in: wikipedia

Kilchurn Castle - Scotland

Look at these cards, aren't they wonderful? When I get cards like these, my 1st thought is "I want to go there and take dozens of pictures." The scenic Kilchurn Castle is definitely on my list of scottish castles to visit. 
The 1st card was sent by Doyel and the 2nd by Kerstin. 

 © Mike Guy
Kilchurn Castle is a ruined 15th and 17th century structure on a rocky peninsula at the northeastern end of Loch Awe, in Argyll and Bute, Scotland. Access to the Castle is sometimes restricted by higher-than-usual levels of water in the Loch, at which times the site effectively becomes a temporary island.
Kilchurn Castle was built in about 1450 by Sir Colin Campbell, first Lord of Glenorchy, as a five storey tower house with a courtyard defended by an outer wall.
Kilchurn was used as a Government garrison during the 1715 and 1745 Jacobite risings. 

Photography © Ian Mills
In 1760, the castle was badly damaged by lightning and was completely abandoned; the remains of a turret of a tower, still resting upside-down in the centre of the courtyard, attest to the violence of the storm.
The ruin is currently in the care of Historic Scotland, and is open to the public during the summer. - in: wikipedia

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Varazze - Italy

Just a few weeks ago Óscar went on a short trip to Varazze, a city in the Province of Savona in the italian region of Liguria. Óscar's son is still a baby and this was his 1st time on the beach. 

Foto: Lasagno
Varazze is an ancient medieval village, dating back to the 11th century. The walled village had five doors which opened onto the inside, both towards the suburbs that reached right up to the beach. The ancient urban layout was characterised by wide market and lemon gardens, creating a scenery that is congenial with the development of élite tourism, then transformed by both the new road network and the expansion of residential areas reaching right up to the hill. 
Today, Varazze is a famous tourist-seaside resort. The growth of the new tourist port, the many coastal beaches with 40 seaside resorts, the possibility to make excursions in the Beigua regional nature park, the beauty of the ancient medieval village, make Varazze one of the most popular tourist destinations. In fact, many tourists that visit Varazze come from the Piedmont and the Lombardy regions as well as from foreign countries (especially the French, German, Swiss and Dutch). In 2007, Varazze was awarded with the Blue Flag, for the quality of its extremely beautiful beaches. It is also known for the pleasurable climatic conditions all year round and in particular for the pleasantness of its waters: the temperature of the sea during the summer months reaches 27 degrees. - in:

Monday, April 21, 2014

TW-1227347 & TW-1227325

Iris is from Taiwan and has 2 different postcrossing accounts and on the same day she got my address twice. She decided to send me two Rome cards.  

TW-1227347, sent by Iris.
The Colosseum is largest amphitheater in the world and is considered to be Rome´s most popular tourist attraction but some of you may not know that:
* the Coliseum in Rome has over 80 entrances and can accommodate about 50,000 spectators;
* it is thought that over 500,000 people lost their lives and over a million wild animals were killed throughout the duration of the Colosseum hosted people vs. beast games;
* the last gladiatorial fights took place in 435 AD;
* all Ancient Romans had free entry to the Colosseum for events, and was also fed throughout the show;
* festivals as well as games could last up to 100 days in the Coliseum;
* the Ancient Romans would sometimes flood the Colosseum and have miniature ship naval battles inside as a way of entertainment;
* many natural disasters devastated the structure of the Colosseum, but it was the earthquakes of 847 AD and 1231 AD that caused most of the damage you see today;
* the original name of the Coliseum was Flavian Amphitheater, after the Flavian Dynasty of Emperors;
* Rome´s most popular monument was built for three reasons. As a gift to the Roman Citizens from the Flavian Dynasty to increase their popularity, to stage various forms of entertainment, and to showcase Roman engineering techniques to the world. - in:

The Arch of Titus is a 1st-century honorific arch located on the Via Sacra, Rome, just to the south-east of the Roman Forum. It was constructed in c. 82 AD by the Roman Emperor Domitian shortly after the death of his older brother Titus to commemorate Titus' victories, including the Siege of Jerusalem in 70 AD.
The Arch of Titus has provided the general model for many of the triumphal arches erected since the 16th century—perhaps most famously it is the inspiration for the 1806 Arc de Triomphe in Paris, France, completed in 1836. - in: wikipedia

Friday, April 18, 2014


I've been to Naples almost 4 years ago and one of the things i wanted to see the most, was Mt. Vesuvius. It not everyday that we get to see a volcano. I saw it and i bought cards, one of them was this very same card. Now i've it stamped & written in italian.  

Daniele Minopoli Editore
IT-266744, sent by Betty.
Mount Vesuvius has experienced eight major eruptions in the last 17,000 years. The 79 AD eruption is one of the most well known ancient eruptions in the world, and may have killed more than 16,000 people. Ash, mud and rocks from this eruption buried the cities of Pompeii and Herculaneum. Pompeii is famous for the casts the hot ash formed around victims of the eruptions. The unfortunate people suffocated on ash in the air, which then covered them and preserved amazing details of their clothing and faces. 
Starting in 1631, Vesuvius entered a period of steady volcanic activity, including lava flows and eruptions of ash and mud. Violent eruptions in the late 1700s, 1800s and early 1900s created more fissures, lava flows, and ash-and-gas explosions. These damaged or destroyed many towns around the volcano, and sometimes killed people; the eruption of 1906 had more than 100 casualties. The most recent eruption was in 1944 during World War II. It caused major problems for the newly-arrived Allied forces in Italy when ash and rocks from the eruption destroyed planes and forced evacuations at a nearby airbase. - in:


Another german official but this one really showing a place in Germany, in this case, Oldenburg, city in the state of Lower Saxony. 

© Schöning GmbH & Co. KG 
DE-3070715, sent by Sven.
The yellow building on the card is the Oldenburg Palace.
The site of the splendid Oldenburg palace used to be the location of a moated castle. The palace as it now stands was built by Count Anton Günther (1583-1667). From 1607 to 1615 he had the medieval-style castle converted into a splendid Renaissance-style palace. From then on it served as the residence of all counts and grand dukes of the city.
 The appearance of the palace also changed frequently in the following centuries. During the period of Danish rule from 1737 to 1753 the palace underwent a great deal of conversion work: The shape of the roof was changed, the tower entrance was closed and a main gate was built instead. In addition a north-east wing was built from 1774 to 1778. It served to house the Danish governor and minister Friedrich Lewin Graf Holmer. Duke Friedrich August probably named this wing the "Holmerflügel" after him. His successor Duke Peter Ludwig had the two-floor "library wing" built and had the inside of the palace refurbished by the court painter Heinrich Wilhelm Tischbein (1751-1829) in a classicist style. In 1894 the dilapidated "Kanzlei-Flügel" was torn down.
Since 1921 the Oldenburg palace has been part of the Federal State Museum for Art and Art History. - in:

Thursday, April 17, 2014


Although this is a german official, the card is actually showing a spanish beach on Menorca, one of the Balearic Islands.

© mauritius images / Tolo Balaguer
DE-3070941, sent by "hot2121".
Cala del Pilar is one of the less accessible pristine beaches throughout Menorca. This isolated sea inlet is the origin of a shell-shaped beach, virgin and isolated, not very big, covered by gravel and sand, rare vegetation, the orientation is toward north, the swell is quite moderate, whereas the wind blows strongly and it is surrounded by the steep cliffs of the hills of Marina de Santa Elisabet. 

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Fátima Sanctuary - Portugal

The beautiful picture of this card was taken by Dúlio, the sender of the card. Its a wonderful shot and it really deserves to be a postcard. 

The Basilica of Our Lady of the Rosary was built to satisfy the express request of Our Lady: “I want you to build Me here a chapel in My honor, because I am the Lady of the Rosary…” (October 13, 1917). It was built on the site where, on May 13, 1917, the three Little Shepherds were playing (...).

The blue print for the project was conceived by Dutch Architect Gerardus Samuel van Krieken and finished by Architect João Antunes.
On May 13, 1928, the first stone was blessed by Archbishop of Évora, Most Rev. Manuel Mendes da Conceição Santos. The dedication was celebrated on October 7, 1953. 
The title of Basilica was granted by Pius XII, through the Brief “Luce Superna” of November 11, 1954.
The building, 70.5 meters long and 37 meters wide, was constructed only of local stone (...). It has capacity to accommodate about 650 people seated. The bell tower, erected at the center of the façade, is 65 meters high and topped with a 7.000kg bronze crown. - in:

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Fortaleza Cathedral - Brazil

 Besides the 4 previous cards, Mauro also sent me a 5th card, the 1st of these night views of the Fortaleza's Cathedral. 
The 2nd card was sent back in 2011 by Paulo.

Foto: Wilson Polano
The construction of Fortaleza's Metropolitan Cathedral began in 1939 but it was close to four decades later when it was actually completed in 1978. 

The cathedral was designed by French architect George Mounier and built in Gothic-Roman style. With a capacity for 5,000 people, it's Brazil's third largest cathedral. 

Brazilian cards

A few weeks ago, Mauro from Água Branca, in Piauí state, Brazil, sent me an envelope with cards from the neighboring state of Ceará.

Foto: Wilson Polano
Pedra da Galinha Choca (Rock of the Brooding Hen) is a rock formation in the Brazilian city of Quixadá, taking its name from its curious shape. It is located 5 km from the city center. It consists of inselberg diorites and granites, which are igneous rocks, i.e., formed from cooling magma. Like other monoliths of the region, the Pedra da Galinha Choca is on a crystalline ground, i.e., consists of ancient and tough rocks that were formed during the Precambrian, and which with erosion eventually stood above the surface.
In the vicinity was built the Açude do Cedro (Cedar's Dam), and together they form the best known quixadaense landscape. - in: wikipedia

 Fotos: Olympio Simões Freire
Prainha is a Brazilian beach in the municipality of Aquiraz, 26 km from Fortaleza, the state's capital city. Is situated at the mouth of the rio Catu. Is famous for its local crafts, especially lace.
Beach Park, located in Porto das Dunas, just 16 km from Fortaleza, is one of Latin America’s largest aquatic complexes. 

Foto: Wilson Polano
The Iracema Guardian statue was made by the artist Zenon Barreto and inaugurated in 1996, in Fortaleza's Iracema Beach. 
Iracema is a character of José de Alencar romance novel "Iracema", published in 1865. 

Monday, April 7, 2014

Cirque de Mafate - Réunion Island

With this card from the Réunion Island, i'm only missing 2 french UNESCO sites. 
When i saw this card on Emerich albuns, i wasn't sure if it was from a UNESCO site but my hunch was correct. The card shows the Cirque de Mafate, which is a caldera formed from the collapse of the large shield volcano the Piton des Neiges. This volcano was the origin of two other cirques but only Mafate is entirety located within the perimeter defined as WHS. 
Pitons, cirques and remparts of Réunion Island were classified by UNESCO in 2010. 

Editions Clin D'Oil * © TAVERA ph. 
The Pitons, cirques and remparts of Reunion Island site coincides with the core zone of La Réunion National Park. The property covers more than 100,000 ha or 40 % of La Réunion, an island comprising two adjoining volcanic massifs located in the south-west of the Indian Ocean. Dominated by two towering volcanic peaks, massive walls and three cliff-rimmed cirques, the property includes a great variety of rugged terrain and impressive escarpments, forested gorges and basins creating a visually striking landscape. It is the natural habitat for a wide diversity of plants, presenting a high level of endemism. There are subtropical rainforests, cloud forests and heaths creating a remarkable and visually appealing mosaic of ecosystems and landscape features. - in:

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Dzanga Sangha - Central African Republic

A new Unesco WHS from a new african country. This gorilla was photographed in the Dzanga Sangha Reserve. It is one of several areas within the Dzanga-Sangha Complex of Protected Areas (DSCPA), each within its own protective status and along with Lobéké National Park in Cameroon and Nouabalé-Ndoki National Park in Republic of Congo, it is part of the Sangha Tri National Landscape, classified as WHS in 2012. 

Photo by Khalil Baalbaki
The Dzanga Sangha Reserve is located in the rainforest in the south-western part of the Central African Republic. It comprises a total area of more than 4 000 km2 (more than 400 000 hectares).
Large mammals such as forest elephants, forest buffalos, giant forest hogs (large boars), gorillas and bongos (forest antelopes), can be encountered in densities described as unique. At the Dzanga saline (a forest clearing), more than 4000 elephants have been counted and identified over the last years. From a platform at the edge of this saline, visitors frequently get the chance to observe between 30 and 100 elephants feeding on the mineral-rich soil, allowing at the same time observations of their social behaviour.
Large mammals require extensive protected areas in order to be conserved. This is one of the reasons why the Sangha Tri-national Protected Area was created, extending from the Republic of Congo (Brazzaville) to Cameroon, in the middle of which lies the Dzanga Sangha Reserve in Central African Republic. - in:

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Masjed-e Jāmé of Isfahan - Iran

On my last trade with Emerich, i've got cards from 4 new UNESCO sites. This one is from Iran, it shows the Oljaito Altar, inside the Masjed-e Jāmé of Isfahan.
Masjed-e Jāmé of Isfahan was classified as a UNESCO WHS in 2012. 

Photo by: M. Ebrahimi
Located in the historic centre of Isfahan, the Masjed-e Jāmé (‘Friday mosque’) can be seen as a stunning illustration of the evolution of mosque architecture over twelve centuries, starting in ad 841. It is the oldest preserved edifice of its type in Iran and a prototype for later mosque designs throughout Central Asia. The complex, covering more than 20,000 m2, is also the first Islamic building that adapted the four-courtyard layout of Sassanid palaces to Islamic religious architecture. Its double-shelled ribbed domes represent an architectural innovation that inspired builders throughout the region. The site also features remarkable decorative details representative of stylistic developments over more than a thousand years of Islamic art. - in:

Old Nisa - Turkemenistan

This is not exactly a beautiful card but when it comes to cards from missing UNESCO sites, i'm not very picky. These are fragments of architectural décor of the Red Building, one of the two buildings in the main central complex of the city's citadel. 
The card was sent by Emerich. 

Nisa (also Parthaunisa) was an ancient city, located near modern-day Bagir village, 18 km southwest of Ashgabat, Turkmenistan. 
Nisa is one of the most important sites of the Parthian Empire. The Parthians ruled in Persia from 247 BC to 228 AD. They defeated the Seleucids (successors of Alexander the Great) and conquered great parts of the Middle East and southwest Asia. 
The earliest settlements in the area of Nissa date back to the 4th millenium BC. In the 3rd century BC the Parthians built an impressive fortress at Old Nisa and erected a royal residence, which probably was the first royal residence of the Parthian kings. The city was named Mithradatkert (fortress of Mithradates) during the reign of King Mithradates the Great (174-138 BC). Greek sources refer to the city as administrative and economic centre during the reign of the Arsacid dynasty. The Arsacid dynasty conquered a huge area from the Indus to the Euphrates and Nisa became an important city on the crossroads of many cultures from Persia, Greece and Central Asia. 
New Nisa was conquered by the Arabian Caliphate in the 7th century and became part of the Seljuk Empire in the 11th century. 
Archaeological research at the site began in the 1930s. Since 1990 it is excavated by the University of Torino, Italy (Centro Scavi di Torino). In 2007, the fortresses of Nissa were declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site. - in: wikitravel

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Mount Nemrut - Turkey

I kind of already had a card from this UNESCO site but it was a card with a view of this place and another  differente place. I wasn't totally happy with that card but last december i've got a great card sent by Onder and a few days ago another great card from the same place (the sunset view), sent by Nihan. Now i'm really happy with these cards. 

 Nemrut is a 2,134 m (7,001 ft) high mountain in southeastern Turkey, notable for the summit where a number of large statues are erected around what is assumed to be a royal tomb from the 1st century BC.
The mountain lies 40 km (25 mi) north of Kahta, near Adıyaman. In 62 BC, King Antiochus I Theos of Commagene built on the mountain top a tomb-sanctuary flanked by huge statues (8–9 m or 26–30 ft high) of himself, two lions, two eagles and various Greek, Armenian, and Iranian gods, such as Hercules-Vahagn, Zeus-Aramazd or Oromasdes (associated with the Iranian god Ahura Mazda), Tyche, and Apollo-Mithras. 

These statues were once seated, with names of each god inscribed on them. The heads of the statues have at some stage been removed from their bodies, and they are now scattered throughout the site.
The pattern of damage to the heads (notably to noses) suggests that they were deliberately damaged as a result of iconoclasm. The statues have not been restored to their original positions. - in: wikipedia