Monday, March 30, 2015


Mountain ash and tree ferns in Sherbrooke Forrest, Dandenong Ranges National Park, Victoria. 

© Steve Parish Publishing PTY LTD
AU-405427, sent by Carolyn.
Sherbrooke Forest lies at an altitude of 300 m within the Dandenong Ranges, 40 km east of Melbourne, in Victoria, Australia, close to the suburb of Belgrave. The vegetation is classified as wet sclerophyll forest with the dominant tree species the Mountain Ash, Eucalyptus regnans, the tallest flowering plant in the world. From the mid 19th century until 1930 it was logged. In 1958 it was gazetted as a park, and in 1987 it was merged with Doongalla Reserve and Ferntree Gully National Park to form the 32.15 km² Dandenong Ranges National Park.
Sherbrooke Forest is famous for its population of Superb Lyrebirds and was an early, and still important, site for the study and conservation of this species. - in: wikipedia

Namhansanseong - South Korea

Namhansanseong was one of the new sites added last year to the WHS list and this card was the last surprise sent by Claus. He really made my day. Thank you so much!!! 

Namhansanseong was designed as an emergency capital for the Joseon dynasty (1392–1910), in a mountainous site 25 km south-east of Seoul. Built and defended by Buddhist monk-soldiers, it could accommodate 4,000 people and fulfilled important administrative and military functions. Its earliest remains date from the 7th century, but it was rebuilt several times, notably in the early 17th century in anticipation of an attack from the Sino-Manchu Qing dynasty. The city embodies a synthesis of the defensive military engineering concepts of the period, based on Chinese and Japanese influences, and changes in the art of fortification following the introduction from the West of weapons using gunpowder. A city that has always been inhabited, and which was the provincial capital over a long period, it contains evidence of a variety of military, civil and religious buildings and has become a symbol of Korean sovereignty. - in:

Thursday, March 26, 2015


First built as a fortress on the top of Mt. Kinka in 1201, Gifu Castle has a history of about 800 years.

JP-642768, sent by Mary. 
ODA Nobunaga, a famous general in Sengoku period, occupied the castle and became its master in 1567. At this time, ODA changed the name of this area from “Inokuchi” to “Gifu” and of the castle itself from “Inabayama Castle” to “Gifu Castle”. As ODA expanded his empire and unified the nation with his fresh ideas and unique politics, Gifu Castle became a bustling center of activity.
The ODA family lost the castle after Hidenobu, Nobunaga's grandson, allied his clan with the losing side of the decisive Battle of Sekigahara in 1600 that resulted in over 250 years of Edo Shogunate rule of Japan.
The present three-story and four-floor castle was rebuilt with ferroconcrete construction in 1956 and has been a popular symbol of Gifu City ever since. - in:

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Mystras - Greece

The Archaeological Site of Mystras was added to the World Heritage List in 1989 and it was added to my collection last week thanks to Elena. Its the 819th site in my UNESCO collection. 

Mystras, the 'Wonder of the Morea', was built as an amphitheatre around the fortress erected in 1249 by William of Villehardouin. Reconquered by the Byzantines, then occupied by the Turks and the Venetians, the city was abandoned in 1832, leaving only the breathtaking medieval ruins, standing in a beautiful landscape. The complex of the ruins of Mystras offers the image of a city with a brilliant destiny that was deserted by men and threatened by the return of encroaching vegetation, which is splitting the walls and covering the slopes, thus destroying here and there fragile traces of history. - in:

Budapest - Hungary

It was in January that Ara visited Budapest. She said it's a beautiful city and I believe her, it's one of the cities on my must visit list. 

© Photo Huber Pál Kolozs
The card shows the Parliament Building and the Fisherman's Bastion.

Friday, March 20, 2015


Netherlands is already in the past and now its time to think about the next destination. Lithunia is on the top of the list for my trip in september. If I really can travel there, these are two of the churches I'll see in Vilnius. St. Anne's Church (on the left) and Bernardine's Church (on the right). 

Foto: © Antanas Varanka
LT-425959, sent by Ieva. 
Church of Francis from Assisi or Bernardine church is located in Vilnius old-town on the bank of Vilnelė river. Church of Francis from Assisi together with St. Anne’s church makes up a very impressive gothic architecture ensemble.
Once forming part of the city’s original defensive walls and constructed on the site of an earlier wooden church dating from the middle of the 15th century at the behest of an order of Bernadine monks, the current vast Gothic church with Baroque and Renaissance additions dates from the early part of the 16th century onwards. - in:
St. Anne's Church, built between 1495-1500, is a Roman Catholic church in Vilnius' Old Town. It is a prominent example of both Flamboyant Gothic and Brick Gothic styles.

Eurasian Linx - Belarus

These cards are so beautiful, I really like them. I've received the 2nd card in 2013 and the 1st arrived a couple of weeks ago. 

The Eurasian lynx (Lynx lynx) is the biggest of the lynxes. It is native to European and Siberian forests. While its conservation status has been classified as "Least Concern", populations of Eurasian lynx have been reduced or extirpated from western Europe, where it is now being reintroduced.

The Eurasian Lynx is the third largest predator in Europe after the brown bear and the grey wolf. Out of the four lynx species, the Eurasian Lynx is the largest in size. It is a strict carnivore, consuming about one or two kilograms of meat every day. The Eurasian Lynx is one of the widest-ranging, and is found in forests of western Europe, Russia, and Central Asia. - in: wikipedia

Uglich - Russia

Uglich Kremlin is on UNESCO Tentative List and that's why this card on in my favorites wall. The card was sent by Svetalana and it shows the 
Palace of Tsarevich Dmitry and the Resurrection Cathedral of the Resurrection Monastery. 

Uglich is a historical town in Yaroslavl oblast of Russia situated on the Volga river. The town was founded in 937 as a border fortress of Moscovy Principality.
The end of XVI century was memorized as a favorable time for Uglich when it became to be the town where major events in Russian history took place. When Prince Dmitry died, the dynasty of Ryurik was replaced by the dynasty of Romanovs whose members of the family originated from Uglich.
Uglich is one of the most precious towns of the Golden Ring as it has numerous buildings of ancient architecture. Uglich has preserved both historical and cultural traditions of Russia. - in:

Both the Palace of Tsarevich Dmitry and the Resurrection Cathedral are located within the territory of the Kremlin.
The palace of Tsarevich Dmitry, Ivan the Terrible's son, is the oldest building in Uglich. The palace dated back to 1480.  It is one of the few medieval Russian palaces that survived. Dmitri lived here from 1584 until 1591. It's an interesting brick building with simple but beautiful decorations. In the past the palace was a part of the ensemble of prince's residence, today the palace is a small museum. - in:
The Resurrection Monastery is one of the most impressive sights in Uglich. Dating back to 1647, the Monastery is comprised of an enormous cathedral, refectory, belfry, and a summer church, all standing in a single row. - in:

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Veliky Novgorod - Russia

This is the St. Peter and Paul Church in Kozhevniki, Veliky Novgorod. The card was sent by Tatiana. 

This is a marvellous church which is distinctive for the mature and complete architectural design. It is a fine example of the architecture of the early 15th century.
The church is made of large limestone blocks while its fine decorative elements are made of brick. The building is not plastered, which makes it look like Russian churches used to do centuries ago. Its trefoil arches made of aspen boards and the red colour of unplastered facades provides an amazing colour effect, and thus, the church perfectly harmonizes with the landscape. - in:

Tuesday, March 17, 2015


After almost a week travelling in the Netherlands, I'm back. I've already requested a few official cards, sent thank you messages, scanned almost the cards I got in the Netherlands and now is time for some updates. Lets start with russian cards. 

RU-3337233, sent by Nat.
This St. Petersburg card is showing the Admiralty Building, the yellow building in the middle with a gilded sprire, St. Isaac's Cathedral dome in the back and one of Peter and Paul Cathedral's domes in the front.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015


An austrian card sent as official from Germany. It shows the Steinhof Church in Vienna. 

© Popp-Hackner photography
DE-3972687, sent by Eberhard.
Otto Wagner designed this church, which was built between 1904 and 1907, on the grounds of the Lower Austrian State Asylum, now the Psychatric Hospital of the City of Vienna. 
 The copper-covered dome of this prime example of Viennese Art Nouveau architecture is visible from quite a distance, as the church stands high on the crest of the hill.
The interior design was adjusted to the requirements of the handicapped parishioners attending services here. The glass mosaics in the windows were designed by Kolo Moser. The inside of the church can be seen only once a week in a guided tour. - in:

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Snowy Crans-Montana - Switzerland

 I didn't post much last month and this month I won't post much either because I'll go on holidays next week.  Snowy Crans-Montana won't be my destination but visiting a place with this much of snow would be great. Not this time though. 
These cards were sent by Óscar. 

© Photo Edition Darbellay CH-Martigny
The Plaine Morte is a glacier located at an elevation of 2,750 m (9,020 ft), in the canton of Bern in Switzerland. The ice field, which covers 10 square kilometres (3.9 sq mi), is located below the mountain of Wildstrubel in the Bernese Alps.
The area of Plaine Morte is easily accessible from Crans-Montana by cable car and the practice of cross-country skiing is possible throughout the year. The summit of the Pointe de la Plaine Morte offers impressive views of the Valais Alps. - in: wikipedia

© Photo Edition Darbellay CH-Martigny
Etang Grenon or Lac Grenon is a lake at Montana in the canton of Valais, Switzerland. Located at an elevation of 1497 m, its surface area is 3.5 ha. - in: wikipedia

Monday, March 2, 2015

The Seine & Notre-Dame Cathedral - France

When I get a card similar to other cards that I already have, I mean, cards from the same place but with a different view, I like to post them together. I think is kind of interresting to see how different a place can be in different seasons, from different view points or different hours of the day. 
All these cards were sent as officials and all show the Notre Dame Cathedral seen from the Seine. 

FR-487942, sent by Patricia.
The Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris  is a Gothic cathedral on the eastern half of the Île de la Cité in the fourth arrondissement of Paris, France.
Notre Dame Cathedral is widely considered one of the finest examples of French Gothic architecture in the world. It was restored and saved from destruction by Eugène Viollet-le-Duc, one of France's most famous architects. The name Notre Dame means "Our Lady" in French, and is frequently used in the names of Catholic church buildings in Francophone countries.

Photo: Nicholas Keil
FR-360277, sent by Chris.
The Notre Dame Cathedral was one of the first Gothic cathedrals, and its construction spanned the Gothic period. Its sculptures and stained glass show the heavy influence of naturalism, unlike that of earlier Romanesque architecture.

 Foto: Karel A. DE GENDRE
FR-288619, sent by Cyrille. 
The Notre Dame Cathedral Paris was among the first buildings in the world to use the flying buttress (arched exterior supports). The building was not originally designed to include the flying buttresses around the choir and nave. 

FR-51330, sent by Alexandra.
 After the construction began and the thinner walls (popularized in the Gothic style) grew ever higher, stress fractures began to occur as the walls pushed outward. In response, the cathedral's architects built supports around the outside walls, and later additions continued the pattern.

DE-3953090, sent by Lisa.
The cathedral suffered desecration during the radical phase of the French Revolution in the 1790s, when much of its religious imagery was damaged or destroyed. During the 19th century, an extensive restoration project was completed, returning the cathedral to its previous state. - in:

Montalegre - Portugal

Manú visited Montalegre, a city in northern Portugal, a few weeks ago and sent me these 4 cards from there. Just a few days later, Gracinha, also sent me one of these cards, the last one. 

Edição: Câmara Municipal de Montalegre
This 1st card is showing a "chega de bois", a bulls fight. This is an important part of the cattle breeders  activity in the portuguese region of Trás-os-Montes. Of ancestral origins, these bull fights were driven in the last decades as an incentive to the creation of the Portuguese breeds, especially the Mirandesa and Barrosã breeds.
Every year, during summer, is held in Montalegre the Barrosã's breed National Bull Fight Championship and the Mirandesa's breed National Bull Fight Championship in Vinhais
The idea of these fights is to approach two males, which will keep their heads against each other to determine the strongest. These fights rarely imply some kind of injury to any of the animals. 

Edição: Câmara Municipal de Montalegre
A lady shepherd with her herd in Larouco mountain. 

Edição: Câmara Municipal de Montalegre
Montalegre Castle is a portuguese National Monument situated at a place inhabited by Lusitanian people, Romans, Suevi and Visigoths in ancient times. It was built between 1279-1325. Under D. Afonso IV ruling, the still existing keep was erected. This castle is about 21m high and it has a cistern covered by carved stone. 

Edição: Câmara Municipal de Montalegre
This historical structure, popularly named as “Roman Fountain”, is situated in the picturesque small village of Arcos, in Montalegre municipality. 
This is a region with quite ancient human occupancy, rich in archaeological vestiges, many of them dated from the Roman occupancy of the territory. 
The region is also characterized by its astonishing natural landscapes, rich in fresh and pure mountain water. 
Many small villages and settlements in the region have taken advantage of this precious good. In most of the places one can find fountains that for centuries have supplied the populations with the freshest waters. 
That’s the case of this granite structure, that supplied Arcos population for centuries.