Sunday, February 28, 2021

Budj Bim Cultural Landscape - Australia

New UNESCO site in the blog!! This doesn't happen that often nowadays. This one from Australia was one of the last added to the UNESCO list. Due to this pandemic the 44th session of the World Heritage Committee, initially scheduled for 29 June - 9 July 2020 was postponed. In November the Committee has decided to hold an extended 44th session in June/July 2021 in Fuzhou, China. I'm already anxious to know the candidate sites.

On 6 July 2019 Budj Bim Cultural Landscape became the first site in Australia to be inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List purely for its Aboriginal cultural significance.

Photograph: Benjamin Church
The Budj Bim Cultural Landscape, located in the traditional Country of the Gunditjmara people in south-eastern Australia, consists of three serial components containing one of the world’s most extensive and oldest aquaculture systems. The Budj Bim lava flows provide the basis for the complex system of channels, weirs and dams developed by the Gunditjmara in order to trap, store and harvest kooyang (short-finned eel – Anguilla australis). The highly productive aquaculture system provided an economic and social base for Gunditjmara society for six millennia. The Budj Bim Cultural Landscape is the result of a creational process narrated by the Gunditjmara as a deep time story, referring to the idea that they have always lived there. From an archaeological perspective, deep time represents a period of at least 32,000 years. The ongoing dynamic relationship of Gunditjmara and their land is nowadays carried by knowledge systems retained through oral transmission and continuity of cultural practice. - in:
Card sent by Helen.


Nice card but no idea where was it from. After some research and the help of google images, I came to the conclusion that this is one of Kronstadt lighthouses. 

From the beginning of  18th century Kronstadt has been a sea-port. So Kronstadt port needed lighthouses for safe navigation.  The oldest lighthouse of Russia  was constructed in Kronstadt.

RU-8203154, sent by Oleg.
Sometimes identified as the Kronstadt Lighhouse, the Kabotazhnaya Gavan Rear Range Light is a 95 foot high structure, built in the 20th century, located on the Petrovskaya Pristan mole (breakwater) in the main harbour at the Kronstadt Naval Station, Kotlin Island, Russia. Kotlin Island is Northwest of the City of St. Petersburg. 


Most of my Latvian cards are from Riga, it is nice to get cards from other places of the country too, especially when they're this great. 

Aglona is famous in Latvia and beyond for its Basilica of the Assumption — the most important Catholic church in the country. 

LV-374086, sent by Dzeimss (?).
The church and monastery were founded by the Dominican fathers in 1700. The original wooden church and monastery were razed in the 1760s and construction for a new church was begun in 1768 and completed by 1800 when it was consecrated.
 It attracts tens of thousands of pilgrims every year on the day of the Assumption of Mary (15 August) as well as on Pentecost. The historic icon of the Aglona Mother of God is considered miraculous and has long been an object of veneration. Its dates to the 17th century and its authorship is unknown.
In 1980 the Church celebrated its 200th anniversary and was officially given the status of a minor basilica by Pope John Paul II. In 1986 it was the site of celebration of the 800th anniversary of Christianity in Latvia. A major renovation of the basilica and expansion of the church grounds was begun in 1992 in preparation for the pope's visit. The shrine was visited by Pope John Paul II in September 1993 and over 300,000 pilgrims assembled at that time. Pope Francis visited in September 2018. - in: wikipedia

Saturday, February 27, 2021

Church of Saints Simon and Helena - Belarus

Mixing pics and paintings to show a church in Minsk.

BY-519701, sent by Kate.
 This Catholic church (better known as «Red Church») was build in 1908-1910 by a noble Belarusian family upon the premature death of their two young children. 

BY-1667744, sent by Sophie.
The church with red-brick towers, spires, and pitched roofs became a symbol of inconsolable grief for those who died untimely. When the Bolsheviks came to power, the church became a cinema then a film studio. 

BY-219469, sent by Anna.
Only not long ago, in 1990, the church was given back its original status. Services here start at 7 p.m. - in:

Nesvizh Palace - Belarus

Nesvizh Palace is considered the country’s most beautiful palace by the people of Belarus. Its richly diverse architecture and attractive gardens make it one of the most popular tourist attractions in Belarus.

Nesvizh Palace is on the Nesvizh Estate, one of the oldest settlements and most famous places in Belarus. 
The estate and town was acquired by the Radziwil family in the middle of the 16th century, and they stayed there until 1939 when they were expelled by the invading Red Army.
The foundation stone of Nesvizh Palace was laid in 1584. It was rebuilt many times and as a consequence has features of many architectural styles including: Renaissance; Baroque; Rococo; Classicism; Neo-gothic; Modernism. 

BY-180374, sent by Helena.
In 1770 Nesvizh Palace was seized by Russian forces and the Lithuanian Archive removed and sent to Saint Petersburg where it remains to this day. Much of the artwork was distributed among Russian nobility.

BY-2698716, sent by Nadya.
In the late 19th century Nesvizh Palace was restored by the Radziwil family who also designed one of largest landscape gardens in Europe on the estate.
After World War 2 Nesvizh Palace was used as a Sanatorium and the gardens became neglected.
In 1994 the estate was designated the national historical and cultural reserve and in 2006 it was added to the UNESCO World Heritage Site list. - in

Thursday, February 25, 2021

Kiev Pechersk Lavra - Ukraine

The Kiev Pechersk Lavra is one of the many attractions in the capital city of Ukraine. 

Kiev Pechersk Lavra, also known as the Kiev Monastery of the Caves, is an historic Orthodox Christian monastery which gave its name to one of the city districts where it is located in Kiev, the capital of Ukraine.
Since its foundation as the cave monastery in 1015, the Lavra has been a preeminent center of the Eastern Orthodox Christianity in Eastern Europe.

UA-1748044, sent by Yuriy.
Together with the Saint Sophia Cathedral, it is inscribed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The monastery complex is considered a separate national historic-cultural preserve (sanctuary), the national status to which was granted on March 13, 1996. 

UA-1794626, sent by Sofia.
The Lavra also not only located in another part of the city, but is part of a different national sanctuary than Saint Sophia Cathedral. While being a cultural attraction, the monastery is currently active.
It was named one of the Seven Wonders of Ukraine on August 21, 2007, based on voting by experts and the internet community. - in: wikipedia

NL-2327551, sent by Kseniia.
These building are the Uspenskyy Cathedral, on the left side, and the Refectory Church, on the right side, both part of the monastery .
The Uspenskyy Cathedral was built in the XI century. It was blown up in 1941 during World War II and only rebuilt in 1999.
The Refectory Church is a refectory and an adjoining church of Saint Anthony and Theodosius. In the refectory, the Lavra monks had their meals. The building was constructed in 1893-1895 at a time when more than a thousand monks were living within the monastery. 

Happy Postcrossing from... Slovakia

My 8th postcard from this collection arrived a few days ago. I got it through a swap with Lubeno, who is from Trencin, where the castle on the vintage stamp of former Czechoslovakia is located.
Besides the castle of Trencin, some of the most well-known attractions in the country are the castle of Bratislava and the most famous statue of the capital, Čumil, "the observer", which represents a worker from the communist era taking a break or maybe trying to peek under the ladies' skirts; the wooden church in Tvrdosin; the ice cave at Dobsinka, classified as a World Heritage Site; the Cathedral of St. Elizabeth in Kosice. It is also worth exploring the Tatra Mountains and discovering the country's castles.
When it comes to food and drinks, the products that deserve to be highlighted are Bryndzové halušky (one of the national dishes of Slovakia that consists of baked pieces of potato dough and soft sheep's cheese, optionally sprinkled with cooked pieces of bacon) and Borovička, an alcoholic drink flavored with juniper berries.

Saturday, February 20, 2021


My trip to Poland in 2012 was one of my favorites so far. Of all the places depict on this card, I've been to Jasna Góra, Warsaw and Krakow. I'd love to visit the other places too and many others. 

Despite having undergone so much suffering and destruction during the Second World War, Poland remains a fascinating placesto explore. Magical old towns with their cobbled streets and beautiful architecture sit next to communist-era buildings and delightful Gothic churches. 

Fot: Christian Parma
PL-174838, sent by Martyna.
Almost completely destroyed in the Second World War, Warsaw’s old town has been painstakingly restored to some of its former glory. A mishmash of different architectural styles, Gothic churches, fantastic museums and modern edifices can be found among the drab grey concrete buildings of the communist era.
* Unlike any other city in Poland, Gdansk’s tumultuous history has resulted in a unique identity and look. Due to its large port, wealthy merchants coming here to trade left their mark, while its strategic location meant it was once fought over by Teutonic Prussia and Poland.
Consequently, there are a lot of diverse architectural styles on show, and the post-WWII reconstruction of Gdansk only added to this. A popular destination, its cobbled streets are lined with delightful old churches and elegant buildings, while interesting museums lie side by side with shops, restaurants and cafes.
* Located on the Vistula, Torun is an absolute delight to wander around – its peaceful streets seem a world away from more popular tourist destinations in Poland. A walled city, Torun’s Gothic old town has some fantastic architecture for visitors to view. Unlike many cities in Poland, it thankfully emerged relatively unscathed from WWII. Tucked away amidst its winding streets you’ll find lovely atmospheric bars and restaurants, as well sights and images related to two of Torun’s claims to fame – Nicolaus Copernicus, who was born here, and the famous gingerbread that originated from the city.
* Krakow’s gorgeous Old Town is mesmerizing – delightful churches and old buildings line its picturesque squares. In fact, it has the biggest market square in Europe, in the shape of Rynek Glowny. A popular tourist destination, the former royal capital has lots to see and do, with Wawel Castle being just one of the highlights.
* Buzzing with energy and a youthful feel, Poznan is a fun city to hang out in. The capital of Wielkopolska, its old town has lots of great historical sites to visit, as well as some fantastic museums. - in:
* The Pauline monastery at Jasna Góra in Częstochowa is the foremost centre of religious life in Poland, and one of the best known Marian sanctuaries in Europe and the world. - in:

Sunday, February 14, 2021

Officials from Germany

After last week's empty mailbox, these last days I've got a few cards, including officials, most of them from Germany. 

Wolfg. Hans Klocke Verlag
DE-10111660, sent by Lelley.
Paderborn is a city in eastern North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany. The name of the city derives from the river Pader and "born", an old German term for the source of a river. The river Pader, the shortest in the country, only 4.4 km's long, originates in more than 200 springs near Paderborn Cathedral. 

Jürgen Held

DE-9882645, sent by Christian.
Nikolaiviertel quarter, founded about 1200, is part of the reconstructed historical heart of the German capital of Berlin. 
The towers seen behind the buildings belong to Nicholas' Church, originally erected about 1230, now a museum and occasionally a concert venue. The area around the church with its medieval alleys in the main had been preserved throughout the centuries, until it was destroyed by the air raids and the Battle of Berlin during World War II. Today the area is famous for its traditional German restaurants and bars.

DE-10113006, sent by Jan.
The spot where St. Michael's Church now stands has seen its share of trouble. A lightning strike and then a catastrophic fire centuries later destroyed the first and second churches that were built on this site. But the city's Protestants persevered, and in 1912 the construction of the church that we see today was finished. Although heavily damaged during WWII, it has been fully repaired, and today you'll find a baroque gem that is regularly listed among Northern Germany's most beautiful churches and important landmarks. - in

Tuesday, February 9, 2021

Mainz - Germany

Mainz is the capital of the state of Rhineland-Palatinate in Germany. The city is famous as the home of the invention of the movable-type printing press, as the first books printed using movable type were manufactured in Mainz by Gutenberg in the early 1450s. - in: wikipedia

verlag johannes oefner
DE-4435084, sent by Thea.
Mainz Cathedral or St. Martin's Cathedral, on the left side, is 1000-year-old Roman Catholic cathedral. 
St. Stefan's Church, on the right side, dates from the late medieval era; construction of the main area of the church began in about 1267 and was completed in 1340.

© Schöning GmbH & Co. KG
The Cathedral of Mainz dates from 975 AD but was continually rebuilt and restored, reaching its present form mainly in the 13th and 14th centuries. It was at Mainz Cathedral on March 27, 1188, that Holy Roman Emperor Frederick I (Frederick Barbarossa), took up the Cross in the Third Crusade called by Pope Gregory VIII.
Mainz Cathedral is predominantly Romanesque in style, but later exterior additions over many centuries have resulted in the appearance of various architectural influences seen today. It comprises three naves and stands under the patronage of Saint Martin of Tours. The eastern quire is dedicated to Saint Stephen.

mauritius images / Robbin
DE-9872322, sent by Inge.
In World War II, Mainz was a target of Allied bombing multiple times. The cathedral was hit several times in August 1942. Most of the roofs burned, and the top level of the cloister was destroyed. The vault, however, withstood the attacks and remained intact. The damaged elements were restored as authentically as possible, a process which continued well into the 1970s. In addition, much of the glass in the cathedral was replaced.

DE-1749690, sent by Marion.
The outside of the cathedral was colored red to match the historical buildings of Mainz. In addition, extensive cleaning and restoration efforts were undertaken, ending in 1975. In that year, the thousandth year since the beginning of the cathedral's construction was celebrated. - in: wikipedia

Gorham's Cave Complex - Gibraltar

I believe that one of the biggest frustrations for unesco collectors is to visit a site or beeing close to that site and couln't find any cards of it. That's pretty much what happened to me in Gibraltar. I didn't visit these caves but I visited every souvenir shop hoping to find cards but had no luck. 3 years after my visit to the Rock, I finally have a card of the caves, sent from Gibraltar and Eric even used a matching stamp. 

Photo by K. Martinez

The steep limestone cliffs on the eastern side of the Rock of Gibraltar contain four caves with archaeological and paleontological deposits that provide evidence of Neanderthal occupation over a span of more than 100,000 years. This exceptional testimony to the cultural traditions of the Neanderthals is seen notably in evidence of the hunting of birds and marine animals for food, the use of feathers for ornamentation and the presence of abstract rock engravings. Scientific research on these sites has already contributed substantially to debates about Neanderthal and human evolution. - in:

Friday, February 5, 2021

Costa Blanca - Spain

A few months ago Paulo sent me 2 envelopes full of cards and many of them were from Spain. These are all from Costa Blanca, literally meaning "White Coast", a 200 kilometres (120 mi) of Mediterranean coastline in the Alicante province, on the southeastern coast of Spain. 

Fotografia: José B. Ruiz
Gata de Gorgos lies in the Marina Alta area of the north Costa Blanca. It is in fact a small market town that is quite near to the popular massive seaside resorts of Javea and Dennia. The city is located on the banks of the river Gorgos or Jalon. It is located amid the inner side towns of Pedreguar and Teulada. It is popular for its bamboo industry. The city is known for its cane furniture, wicker furniture, American style furniture and fine-looking Balinese furnishings. - in

Strategically located on a fertile valley, only 10 kilometres away from Benidorm, La Nucía emerges in a picturesque valley filled with orchards and pinewoods, sheltered by Sierra of Aitana.
The historic quarter contains a network of white houses, dominated by a parish church, with many charming little corners from where the visitor can enjoy gorgeous views of the surroundings. 

Fotografia: José B. Ruiz
Dénia is a historical coastal city in the province of Alicante, halfway between Alicante and Valencia. The city's historical heritage has been influenced by Iberian, Greek, Roman, Islamic, Napoleonic and Christian civilizations. 
Dénia is home to a large Moorish castle on a rocky crag overlooking the city. It was built in the 11th and 12th century and offers views around the sea, the city and the surrounding area. Located in the castle is the Palau del Governador and its corresponding museum. - in: wikipedia

Cave of Altamira - Spain

No cards this week, an entire week without any mail!! January was a great month when it comes to mail but February didn't start well. No new cards this week but I've a few old ones to share. I'm reposting a card of a a spanish UNESCO site that Ana sent me back in 2008 and a card from the same site that I got last year from Paulo. 

"Altamira is a cave in Spain famous for its Upper Paleolithic cave paintings featuring drawings and polychrome rock paintings of wild mammals and human hands. It is located near the town of Santillana del Mar in Cantabria, Spain, 30 km west of the city of Santander. The cave with its paintings has been declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO." - in: wikipedia

"Seventeen decorated caves of the Paleolithic age were inscribed as an extension to the Altamira Cave, inscribed in 1985. The property will now appear on the List as Cave of Altamira and Paleolithic Cave Art of Northern Spain. The property represents the apogee of Paleolithic cave art that developed across Europe, from the Urals to the Iberian Peninusula, from 35,000 to 11,000 BC. Because of their deep galleries, isolated from external climatic influences, these caves are particularly well preserved. 

The caves are inscribed as masterpieces of creative genius and as the humanity’s earliest accomplished art. They are also inscribed as exceptional testimonies to a cultural tradition and as outstanding illustrations of a significant stage in human history." - in: