Tuesday, February 25, 2020

Uluru - Australia

Another Australian symbol can be seen in the  in the Northern Territory of Australia. The huge monolith of Ayers Rock, which the Aborigenes call Uluru in their own language, is one of the most visited places in the country. Uluru is protected in the Uluṟu-Kata Tjuṯa National Park. The park classified as  UNESCO World Heritage Sites since 1987.

This park, formerly called Uluru (Ayers Rock – Mount Olga) National Park, features spectacular geological formations that dominate the vast red sandy plain of central Australia. Uluru, an immense monolith, and Kata Tjuta, the rock domes located west of Uluru, form part of the traditional belief system of one of the oldest human societies in the world. The traditional owners of Uluru-Kata Tjuta are the Anangu Aboriginal people. - in: https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/447


AU-100909, sent by Kevin.
Don't test your eyes, i'll copy the text on the card: "Found 350 km south-west of Alice Springs, the world's largest monotlith lies in stark contrast to its flat desert surrounds. Uluru is 343 metres high, 3.6 kms long, 2.4 kms wide, 8 kms in circumference and contrary to popular belief is not a single stone, but one of three surviving peaks of an ancient mountain range.
Steeped in ancient aboriginal mythology, Uluru means Meeting Place, sacred home to the many Dreamtime legends which are decipted in paintings and carvings around the rock.
The colour of the rock appears to change continuously, with sunrise and sunset, the best time to capture the most powerful reads and golds. Thought to be 600 million years old, visitors see just a small fraction of what must be under the surface. Some geologists believe that the roots actually go down more than 600 metres."

Koalas - Australia

The fires, which started in early September in Australia, killed 25 people, destroyed more than 2,000 homes and left thousands and thousands of animals dead. One of the most affected was the koala, one of the country's symbols. It is estimated that more than 25,000 koalas have died, and Australians fear that the fate of their favorite animal may end in functional extinction.
If someone wants to help a Koala, it is possible to adopt rescued animals from the fires, through Koala Hospital and Australia Koala Foundation.

Photo: C. Andrew Henley / LARUS
AU-348150, sent by Lisa.
Along with the kangaroo, the koala is the most famous animal ambassador of Australia.
Though often called the koala "bear," this cuddly animal is not a bear at all; it is a marsupial, or pouched mammal. After giving birth, a female koala carries her baby in her pouch for about six months. When the infant emerges, it rides on its mother's back or clings to her belly, accompanying her everywhere until it is about a year old.
Koalas live in eastern Australia, where the eucalyptus trees they love are most plentiful. In fact, they rarely leave these trees, and their sharp claws and opposable digits easily keep them aloft. During the day they doze, tucked into forks or nooks in the trees, sleeping for up to 18 hours.
When not asleep a koala feeds on eucalyptus leaves, especially at night. Koalas do not drink much water and they get most of their moisture from these leaves. Each animal eats a tremendous amount for its size—about two and a half pounds (one kilogram) of leaves a day. Koalas even store snacks of leaves in pouches in their cheeks.


Photograph: Constantin Stanciu
AU-705297, sent by Julia.
A special digestive system—a long gut—allows koalas to break down the tough eucalyptus leaves and remain unharmed by their poison. Koalas eat so many of these leaves that they take on a distinctive odor from their oil, reminiscent of cough drops.
These plump, fuzzy mammals were widely hunted during the 1920s and 1930s, and their populations plunged. Helped by reintroduction, they have reappeared over much of their former range, but their populations are smaller and scattered. Koalas need a lot of space—about a hundred trees per animal—a pressing problem as Australia's woodlands continue to shrink. - in: http://animals.nationalgeographic.com/animals/mammals/koala/

Sunday, February 23, 2020

TW-2932929

Founded during the Qing Dynasty, this small town was a relatively isolated village until the discovery of gold during the Japanese occupation in 1893, quickly developing the town due to a gold rush. Many buildings in the town remain unchanged to this day, reflecting the Japanese influence on both architecture and culture on the island.

TW-2932929, sent by Maruko Wei.
During World War II, the town housed a Japanese prisoner of war camp where captured Allied Force soldiers (mainly British) were forced to work in the gold mines. After the war, gold mining activities declined, and the town today exists mainly as a tourist destination remembering and celebrating Taiwanese history and culture.
From the beginning of the 1990s, Jiufen experienced a tourist boom that has shaped the town into an attraction easily accessible from Taipei City as a nice day trip (around 2 hours away roundtrip by public transit). Today, the town is filled with both retro Chinese and Japanese style cafés, tea houses, and souvenir shops, as well as fantastic views of the ocean. - in: https://guidetotaipei.com

Friday, February 21, 2020

Olympia - Greece

Rita and Joaninha have been to Greece in 2011 and 2012. Rita spent a weekend in Athens, where she found Olympia cards and Joaninha was there on a cruise and visited the archaeological site, a new UNESCO on her visited list. 

Summer Dream Editions
The sanctuary of Olympia, in the North West of the Peloponnese, in the Regional Unit of Eleia (Elis), has been established in the valley created by the confluence of the Alpheios and Kladeos rivers in a natural setting of beauty and serenity. The Pan-Hellenic sanctuary has been established in the history of culture, as the most important religious, political and sports centre, with a history that dates back to the end of the Neolithic times (4th millennium BC). The famous sanctuary became the centre of worship of Zeus, the father of the twelve Olympian gods. 

Summer Dream Editions
For the Altis, the sacred grove and the centre of the sanctuary, some of the most remarkable works of art and technique have been created, constituting a milestone in the history of art. Great artists, such as Pheidias, have put their personal stamp of inspiration and creativity, offering unique artistic creations to the world. In this universal place, the Olympic Idea was born, making Olympia a unique universal symbol of peace and competition at the service of virtue. Here, too, prominence was given to the ideals of physical and mental harmony, of noble contest, of how to compete well, of the Sacred Truce; values, which remain unchanged in perpetuity. - in: https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/517/

Archaeological Site of Philippi - Greece

New UNESCO site in my collection, thanks to Miguel. 
The Archaeological Site of Philippi, the most important one in the Eastern Macedonian area of Greece, is on UNESCO’s list of World Heritage Monuments since 2016. 

Photo by A. Pistevou
The remains of this walled city lie at the foot of an acropolis in north-eastern Greece, on the ancient route linking Europe and Asia, the Via Egnatia. Founded in 356 BC by the Macedonian King Philip II, the city developed as a “small Rome” with the establishment of the Roman Empire in the decades following the Battle of Philippi, in 42 BCE. The vibrant Hellenistic city of Philip II, of which the walls and their gates, the theatre and the funerary heroon (temple) are to be seen, was supplemented with Roman public buildings such as the Forum and a monumental terrace with temples to its north. Later the city became a centre of the Christian faith following the visit of the Apostle Paul in 49-50 CE. The remains of its basilicas constitute an exceptional testimony to the early establishment of Christianity. - in: https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/1517

Baltic Sea - Poland

Poland may not be the first seaside destination that comes to mind when booking your summer holiday, but the country’s northern coast, bathed by the Baltic Sea, is filled with wide sandy beaches and charming coastal towns.


Baltic coastline in Poland is 788 kilometers long and is a tourist heaven. 

Apart from the usual golden beaches, studded with pieces of amber, the windy call of the sea and photogenic cliffs, the coastline is dotted with historical towns and cute fishing hamlets-each providing a wonderful opportunity to get lost, willingly, from the hustle-bustle of a calibrated lifestyle, for a couple of days. - in: http://www.polandforvisitors.com/travel_poland/baltic_resorts

Tuesday, February 18, 2020

PL-1664040

The royal Castle Bobolice is one of the most beautiful fortresses on the Eagles' Nests trail.
It was built around 1350 by king Casimir the Great as part of the defense system of the western border of the Kingdom of Poland.

Foto: Krzysztof Kaminski
PL-1664040, sent by Hark.
The castle and its surrounding suffered heavily during repeated invasions. The most dramatic of the invasions was the Swedish Deluge, which took place in the 16th century and left the castle in a state of great destruction. From that time onwards the castle continued to deteriorate in its state. 
Now, after years of reconstructions, Bobolice Castle has been returned to its former glory. As in the centuries before, the development of the castle provokes the development of the whole neighbourhood. Not only does the village of Bobolice now boast a hotel and restaurant, but it has also become one of the most popular and attractive places on the tourist map of Poland. - in: http://www.zamekbobolice.pl/history.html

Monday, February 17, 2020

DE-8963600

The ID on this card is German but the card is from Sweden. 

Christian Bäck
DE-8963600, sent by Jörg.
Lysekil is a town in the western coast of Sweden.
Originally a small fishing village, it developed into a town for fishing industries, commercial shipping and trade during the 18th and 19th centuries. 
During the 19th century, Lysekil was established as a prominent spa and bathing resort and tourism still makes up a large part of the town's economy. - in: wikipedia

Sunday, February 16, 2020

DE-8958516

Not many cities in the world can brag about being on the UNESCO World Heritage List twice. Many places in the city centre of Weimar, a city located in Central Germany, have been designated as WHS, either as part of the Weimar Classicism complex or as part of the Bauhaus complex. 

© Schöning GmbH & Co. KG
DE-8958516, sent by Conny.
Although it only lasted around 50 years, Weimar Classicism was one of the greatest eras in European intellectual history. It all began with Duchess Anna Amalia, who drew the great poets and philosophers to the small town despite its distance from the seats of power. Their fame is still associated with Weimar today. Reminders of Classical Weimar include the places where the writers and their patrons lived and worked – the houses of Goethe and Schiller, Belvedere Palace, Ettersburg Palace and Tiefurt House with their fabulous parks, sites associated with Herder, Wittums Palace, where the illustrious round table assembled, the renowned Duchess Anna Amalia Library and the historical cemetery with its royal crypt, where you can see the tombs of Goethe and Schiller. The adoption of Classical Weimar as a UNESCO World Heritage site was based both on the art-historical significance of the town's buildings and parks from the cultural flowering of the Classical Weimar period and on the role of the town as an intellectual centre in the late 18th and early 19th centuries. For all these reasons and more, Weimar was one of the European Capitals of Culture in 1999.
Another great epoch that emerged and flourished in Weimar was the Bauhaus, one of the foremost movements in architecture and design of the 20th century and regarded by many as Germany's most significant export at that time. The Bauhaus museum's 300 plus exhibits provide an insight into the work of the State Bauhaus, whose creations have lost nothing of their timeless and simple beauty. - in: https://www.germany.travel

Saturday, February 15, 2020

Museum of Human Evolution - Spain

Burgos, in Spain, used to be a frequent stop for Óscar and his family when they traveled from Switzerland to Portugal and they have been to this museum twice. 

© Alberto Rodrigo
The Museum of Human Evolution (Spanish: Museo de la Evolución Humana - MEH) is a museum on the subject of human evolution situated on the south bank of the river Arlanzón, in the Spanish city of Burgos. It is located roughly 16 kilometres west of the Sierra de Atapuerca, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and location of some of the most important human fossil finds in the world.
The museum was opened on July 13, 2010, and had received 148,045 visitors as of December 31, 2010, making it the most visited museum in Castile and León. - in: wikipedia

PT-662790

Here comes my 1st portuguese official of the year. A nice surprise.

Tiles (called azulejos) are everywhere in Portugal and they are one of the strongest expressions of our culture. They often portray scenes from our history, our traditions, monuments, faith or simply serve as street signs, nameplates, or house numbers. 

sofoto* Foto © Marialva
PT-662790, sent by Nádia.
Al-zuleique is the Arabic word that became the Portuguese azulejo (tile) and referred to the “small, smooth stone” used by Muslims in the Middle Ages. Their use of tiles to decorate floors and walls pleased the Portuguese Kings and subsequently won pride of place in architecture from the 15th century. We could say that Portugal adopted them in an unparalleled way, like no other European country.
It was in the 18th century that tiles “invaded” churches and convents, palaces and homes, gardens, fountains and staircases. With geometric patterns, telling the life stories of saints or depicting profane themes, such as La Fontaine’s fables, sometimes with captions like an old version of a cartoon, they became one of the main features of Portuguese decoration.
Travelling across the country is like visiting a living museum of tiles, but it is in the National Tile Museum in Lisbon that you can get to know, like nowhere else, their history and artistic and technical evolution, from early times to modern-day production.
Tiles are still used in the 21st century by the most avant-garde trends as a key feature of civic art. - in: https://www.visitportugal.com/en/content/country-tiles

Tuesday, February 11, 2020

Monthly Fav. Surprise RR - January 20

I didn't join this RR in December, way too much mail to send that month, but last month I joined again. January's cards arrived from Austria, Philippines, Taiwan and Belarus. 

www.papersisters.de
Yay, Marienne sent me a new card to my still small Happy Postcrossing from collection. Thank you so much.
On the card stand out two famous Austrians, Mozart and Freud. When it comes to food, some of the most famous specialities are Kaiserschmarrn, a sweet dessert, Sacher Torte and Wiener schnitzel. 
Other things worth to mention are the Clock Tower of Graz, Hohensalzburg Fortress in Salzburg, Lake Neusiedl and Lipizzaner horses.

The Philippines is an archipelago of over 7,000 islands. Guyam Island is one of the three islands located in the Surfing Capital of the Philippines, Siargao.
It is an islet that has a small stretch of powdery-white sand and dotted with coconut trees. It also has interesting coral rock formations that are perfect for snorkeling. The rest of the island (facing the Pacific) is battered with rocks. A few meters away from the island, tourists can enjoy surfing and swimming. - in: https://www.vigattintourism.com
The card was sent by Aiden. 

Surrounded by sea on four sides, Taiwan has a total of 36 lighthouses in different shapes. Keelung Lighthouse is located on the top of a hill near the Port of Keelung in northern Taiwan. 
Card sent by Chi. 

Tanya sent me my erd card of the the Corpus Christi Church in Nesvizh. It is part of the Architectural, Residential and Cultural Complex of the Radziwill Family at Nesvizh, an Unesco World Heritage Site. 

Sunday, February 2, 2020

Church of Saint Francis of Assisi, BH - Brazil

When I went to the Brazilian state of Minas Gerais I visited 3 UNESCO sites, one of which is the Pampulha Modern Ensemble, which includes the Church of Saint Francis of Assisi. I must say that it didn't impress me mucg, especially after having seen the beautiful churches of Ouro Preto, São João del Rei and other places. Once again it was confirmed that modern architecture is not my thing.
As for these postcards, they were sent by Renata and Luciano.


The Church of Saint Francis of Assisi is a chapel in Pampulha region of Belo Horizonte, in the state of Minas Gerais, southeastern Brazil. It was designed by the Brazilian architect Oscar Niemeyer in the organic modern style. It is the first listed modern architectural monument in Brazil and consists of four undulating concrete parabolas with outdoor mosaics. The interior hosts a mural by Candido Portinari, and the exterior features a landscape designed by Roberto Burle Marx.

Foto: Sérgio Mourão
The curved lines of the church enchanted artists and architects, but scandalized the city's conservative culture. Despite its completion in 1943 and Juscelino Kubitschek's call for its consecration, the church was not consecrated until 1959. For 14 years, the ecclesiastical authorities, led by Antonio dos Santos Cabral, prohibited the chapel from providing Catholic services.
As of July 2016, the church is classified as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, part of the Pampulha Modern Ensemble, a collection of Niemeyer buildings in Pampulha. - in: wikipedia

São Miguel das Missões - Brazil

Look how beautiful these cards are!! Back in 2012 I didn't have any cards from this brazilian UNESCO site but than Jussely surprised me with my 1st card from there, the bottom one in this post. A few years later, I've got a 2nd card, also a surprise, but sent by Déa. Both cards are great.
São Miguel das Missões, together with other Jesuit Missions of the Guaranisin Argentina, is an Unesco World Heritage Site since 1983.

Photo by Paulo Rogério Magro
São Miguel das Missões (Portuguese for St. Michael of the Missions) is a Unesco World Heritage site located in the small town of São Miguel das Missões in the northwestern region of Rio Grande do Sul. It was one of the many Spanish Jesuit Reductions in Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and Bolivia. 

Photo by Paulo Rogério Magro
Jesuit missionaries founded the mission in the 18th century in part to catechise the Guaraní Indian population and to protect the natives from the Portuguese slave traders known as the Bandeirantes.
The mission was built between 1735 to around 1745. - in: wikipedia

Saturday, February 1, 2020

St. Basil's Cathedral - Russia

I only got 2 cards this week and don't have many to post right now. This means I might repost some old cards, like these two of the spectacular St. Basil's Cathedral in Moscow, the most famous sight on the Red Square.

St. Basil's was commissioned by Ivan the Terrible in the 16th century to commemorate the capture of the Tatar stronghold of Kazan in 1552, which occured on the Feast of the Intercession of the Virgin. The cathedral was thus officially named Cathedral of the Intercession of the Virgin by the Moat (the moat being one that originally ran beside the Kremlin).
But the cathedral was popularly known as St. Basil's Cathedral, after St. Basil the Blessed (a.k.a. St. Basil Fool for Christ; 1468-1552), almost from the beginning. Basil impressed Ivan in 1547 when he foretold a fire that swept through Moscow that year. Upon his death, Basil was buried in the Trinity Cathedral that stood on this site at the time.
The Cathedral of the Intercession a.k.a. St. Basil's Cathedral was constructed from 1555 to 1560. Legend has it that after it was completed, Ivan had the architect blinded in order to prevent him from building a more magnificent building for anyone else. (In fact, he went on to build another cathedral in Vladimir.)

RU-934036, sent by Anastasia. 
In 1588, Tsar Fyodor Ivanovich added a ninth chapel added on the eastern side to house the grave of St. Basil.
In modern times, St. Basil's came very close to falling victim to Stalin, who resented that it prevented his soldiers from leaving Red Square en masse. But the architect Baranovsky stood on the cathedral's steps and threatened to cut his own throat if the masterpiece was destroyed and Stalin relented (but punished Baranovsky with five years in prison).
More recently, St. Basil's Cathedral has suffered significant damage from weather and neglect. It was not until the Millennium that funds were allocated to restore its foundations and flaking surfaces. - in: http://www.sacred-destinations.com/russia/moscow-st-basil-cathedral