Thursday, October 31, 2013

Bukhara - UZBEKISTAN - UNESCO #602

Another awesome card from Uzbekistan, this time a larger view of the city of Bukhara and the Kalyan minaret (the highest in the country). Thank you very much Kama for sending me this amazing postcard, I already have a card from this city, but I'm very glad for having this one, because with this sunlight Bukhara looks really beautiful. This postcard took 12 days to arrive!
UNESCO #602 - Historic Centre of Bukhara - UZBEKISTAN
Bukhara, which is situated on the Silk Route, is more than 2,000 years old. It is the most complete example of a medieval city in Central Asia, with an urban fabric that has remained largely intact. Monuments of particular interest include the famous tomb of Ismail Samani, a masterpiece of 10th-century Muslim architecture, and a large number of 17th-century madrasas. However, the real importance of Bukhara lies not in its individual buildings but rather in its overall townscape, demonstrating the high and consistent level of urban planning and architecture that began with the Sheibanid dynasty.

Yellowstone - WY - USA - UNESCO #28

The second card Valerie sent me came from a even older UNESCO WHS. The Yellowstone National Park was included in the list right on the first year (1978) and with all the merit. I've watched a National Geographic special several years ago and the beauty of that place is astonishing. Thank you so much Valerie for this wonderful swap. Now I have 215 sites, only 766 to finish. This postcard took 7 days to arrive!

UNESCO #28 - Yellowstone National Park - WY - USA
The vast natural forest of Yellowstone National Park covers nearly 9,000 km2 ; 96% of the park lies in Wyoming, 3% in Montana and 1% in Idaho. Yellowstone contains half of all the world's known geothermal features, with more than 10,000 examples. It also has the world's largest concentration of geysers (more than 300 geyers, or two thirds of all those on the planet). Established in 1872, Yellowstone is equally known for its wildlife, such as grizzly bears, wolves, bison and wapitis.

Everglades - FL - USA - UNESCO #79

After a sunrise in Iowa, a beautiful sunset in Florida! The Everglades National Park (that we all know from movies and TV series like CSI Miami) is one of the oldest UNESCO sites and, unfortunately, part of the infamous list of the World Heritage Sites in Danger mainly for ambient reasons (global warming strikes again). Thank you very much Valerie, this amazing card increases my collection to 214, only 767 to the end. This postcard took 9 days to arrive!

UNESCO #79 - Everglades National Park - FL - USA
Everglades National Park is the largest designated sub-tropical wilderness reserve on the North American continent. Its juncture at the interface of temperate and sub-tropical America, fresh and brackish water, shallow bays and deeper coastal waters creates a complex of habitats supporting a high diversity of flora and fauna. It contains the largest mangrove ecosystem in the Western Hemisphere, the largest continuous stand of sawgrass prairie and the most significant breeding ground for wading birds in North America.


Sunrise over the countryside - IA - USA

The first of three cards I've got today from the states is a official one that shows a gorgeous sunrise over the Iowa countryside (normally we think of beautiful sunsets but watching a sunrise is such a great experience, specially in the mountains). Thank you very much Tamera for this card from The Hawkeye State. This postcard took 9 days to arrive!

Sunrise over the Iowa countryside - IA - USA
Iowa is a U.S. state in the Midwestern United States, a region sometimes called the "American Heartland". Iowa is bordered by the Mississippi River on the east and the Missouri River on the west; it is the only US state whose eastern and western borders are formed entirely by rivers. Iowa derives its name from the Ioway people, one of the many Native American tribes that occupied the state at the time of European exploration. Its capital and largest city is Des Moines. Iowa has been listed as one of the safest states in which to live.


Mill Network at Kinderdijk-Elshout - NETHERLANDS - UNESCO #818

This official card came from the Netherlands and it shows the amazingly beautiful mill network at Kinderdijk, one of the greatest tourist attraction in Holland and one of the places I liked the most on my tour last summer. Thank you very much Wim and Tea, now I have a card from this lovely place that wasn't sent by myself. This postcard took 4 days to arrive! 
UNESCO #818 - Kinderdijk (Multiview) - NETHERLANDS
The outstanding contribution made by the people of the Netherlands to the technology of handling water is admirably demonstrated by the installations in the Kinderdijk-Elshout area. Construction of hydraulic works for the drainage of land for agriculture and settlement began in the Middle Ages and have continued uninterruptedly to the present day. The site illustrates all the typical features associated with this technology – dykes, reservoirs, pumping stations, administrative buildings and a series of beautifully preserved windmills.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Xanthos - TURKEY - UNESCO #484

My good friend Onder sent me this great postcard from a UNESCO WHS in Turkey (today I've got four new sites to my collection, nice!). Even in a ruinous state like the picture shows, this site has a unique historical importance and I'm sure it must be a beautiful place. Thank you very much Onder for another awesome swap and for adding a 213th site to my collection - only 768 to the end.  This postcard took 19 days to arrive!
UNESCO #484 - Xanthos-Letoon - TURKEY
Xanthos directly influenced Lycia throughout antiquity, as demonstrated by the many epigraphic texts found on the two sites as well as by the remarkable funerary monuments preserved there or originating from the area, and also the neighbouring provinces. The Mausoleum of Halicarnassus, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, is a direct descendant of the Nereid Monument at Xanthos.

Abbey and Altenmünster of Lorsch - GERMANY - UNESCO #515

One more German UNESCO WHS postcard sent by Kerstin arrived today, the last of this amazing swap we've done, with the Abbey and Altenmünster of Lorsch in Hessen. According to the sender, that lives only 30 km from here, this whole area is under major renovation. Thank you very much Kerstin, you've been a major helpo to my collection that has now 212 different sites, 769 more and I'm done. This postcard took 7 days to arrive!
UNESCO #515 - Lorsch - GERMANY
The religious complex represented by the former Lorsch Abbey with its 1,200-year-old gatehouse, which is unique and in excellent condition, comprises a rare architectural document of the Carolingian era with impressively preserved sculpture and painting of that period. It gives architectural evidence of the awakening of the West to the spirit of the early and high Middle Ages under the first king and emperor, Charlemagne.

São Luís - BRAZIL - UNESCO #821

It's been a while since I've received my last Maxi Card - I really like them and this one is special, because it celebrates the 400 years of the Town of São Luís in Brazil. Thank you very much Jamila, this is an amazing add-on to my UNESCO collection. 211 down, 770 to go.  This postcard took 15 days to arrive!
UNESCO #821 - Historic Center of São Luís - BRAZIL

The late 17th-century core of this historic town, founded by the French and occupied by the Dutch before coming under Portuguese rule, has preserved the original rectangular street plan in its entirety. Thanks to a period of economic stagnation in the early 20th century, an exceptional number of fine historic buildings have survived, making this an outstanding example of an Iberian colonial town.

Lynx, Białowieża Forest - BELARUS - UNESCO #33

This goodloking wildcat posing for the picture lives in the Białowieża Primeval Forest in Belarus, the last remaining primary deciduous and mixed forest of the European lowlands. In Portugal we have a program to reintroduce the Lynx in the wild on "Serra da Malcata", right here on my region... hopefully soon we'll have them hunting in the woods. Thank you very much Igor for this lovely card. As for my collection, I now have 210 sites, only 771 to finish. This postcard took 25 days to arrive!

UNESCO #33 - Białowieża Forest - BELARUS
Situated on the watershed of the Baltic Sea and the Black Sea, this immense forest range, consisting of evergreens and broad-leaved trees, is home to some remarkable animal life, including rare mammals such as the wolf, the lynx and the otter, as well as some 300 European Bison, a species which has been reintroduced into the park.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Kellerwald-Edersee National Park - GERMANY - UNESCO #1133

This amazing card was the second I've got today for Kerstin and it shows the old beeches in the Kellerwald-Edersee National Park in Hesse (the largest contiguous beech woodland in Germany). I already have a postcard from this UNESCO site, but from Ukraine, so now my collection gets better and if I can get one from Slovakia, this WHS will be complete. Thank you so much Kerstin - it's a beautiful photo. This postcard took 6 days to arrive!
UNESCO #1133 - Primeval Beech Forest, Kellerwald - GERMANY
The Primeval Beech Forests of the Carpathians and the Ancient Beech Forests of Germany are a serial property comprising fifteen components.  They represent an outstanding example of undisturbed, complex temperate forests and exhibit the most complete and comprehensive ecological patterns and processes of pure stands of European beech across a variety of environmental conditions.  They contain an invaluable genetic reservoir of beech and many species associated and dependent on these forest habitats.


Wadden Sea - GERMANY - UNESCO #1314

This postcard shows a beautiful and exquisite photography of the beach in St Peter-Ording on the shores of the Wadden Sea. I know this doesn't really ilustrates the Wadden Sea unique habitats that made it into the UNESCO WHS list as a transboundary site (Germany-Netherlands) but I'll include it in my collection (if we think a little it shows the habitat of the humans, a mammal that migrates to the seashore every summer!). Thank you very much Kerstin for another great card. So with this one I now have 209 sites, only 772 to go. This postcard took 6 days to arrive!
UNESCO #1314 - St.Peter-Ording Beach (Wadden Sea) - GERMANY
The Wadden Sea comprises the Dutch Wadden Sea Conservation Area and the German Wadden Sea National Parks of Lower Saxony and Schleswig-Holstein. It is a large temperate, relatively flat coastal wetland environment, formed by the intricate interactions between physical and biological factors that have given rise to a multitude of transitional habitats with tidal channels, sandy shoals, sea-grass meadows, mussel beds, sandbars, mudflats, salt marshes, estuaries, beaches and dunes.

Old Opera House, Frankfurt - GERMANY

And the third oficial of today came from Germany (the absolut winner in my postcrossing stats, both sent and received) - this one shows a beautiful nightshot of the original opera house in Frankfurt. Thank you very much Annette for this card and your nice words.
Alte Oper (Old Opera), Frankfurt - GERMANY
The original opera house in Frankfurt is now the Alte Oper (Old Opera) and a concert hall and former opera house in Frankfurt am Main, Germany. It was inaugurated in 1880 but destroyed by bombs in 1944. It was rebuilt, slowly, in the 1970s, opening again in 1981. Many important operas were performed for the first time in Frankfurt, including Carl Orff's Carmina Burana in 1937. The square in front of the building is known as Opernplatz (Opera Square).

Historic Center of Prague - CZECH REPUBLIC - UNESCO #616

The second oficial card I've got today is from Praha (Prague) in Czech Republic. Prague must be a awesome city and I'm really thinking of visiting it for the first time really soon (maybe next summer). Thank you very much Filip, Olga and Ludvík for this beautiful postcard. I already have one from this UNESCO site so the counting remains. This postcard took 8 days to arrive!
Prague is one of the most beautiful cities in Europe in terms of its setting on both banks of the Vltava River, its townscape of burger houses and palaces punctuated by towers, and its individual buildings. Built between the 11th and 18th centuries, the Old Town, the Lesser Town and the New Town speak of the great architectural and cultural influence enjoyed by this city since the Middle Ages. 


Casa Batlló (Antoni Gaudi), Barcelona - SPAIN - UNESCO #320

This oficial card came from a portuguese postcrosser but it shows one of the works of the amazing architect Antoni Gaudi, a card she bought when she visited Barcelona and one of the seven landmarks of this UNESCO WHS. Thank you very much Tânia, Barcelonais one of my favorite cities in Europe (one of the few I could easily imagine living in) and this is my first card with a Gaudi work (I really want to collect all seven) so my collection rises to 208, 773 to the end. This postcard took 8 days to arrive!
UNESCO #320 - Casa Battló, Barcelona - SPAIN
Seven properties built by the architect Antoni Gaudí (1852–1926) in or near Barcelona testify to Gaudí’s exceptional creative contribution to the development of architecture and building technology in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The seven buildings are: Parque Güell; Palacio Güell; Casa Mila; Casa Vicens; Gaudí’s work on the Nativity façade and Crypt of La Sagrada Familia; Casa Batlló; Crypt in Colonia Güell.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Lijiang - CHINA - UNESCO #811

This amazing postcard shows the beautiful Wufeng Lou (Five Phoenix Hall) that took 29 year to be built and it's one of the landmarks of the old town of Lijiang in Xishuangbanna (the land without winter... apparently between November and April the temperatures are not to cold neither to warm and it's the best time to visit it because in the summer is to hot and wet). Thank you very much Kim, thanks to you my UNESCO WHS collection rises to 207 sites, only 774 to go. This postcard took 32 days to arrive!
UNESCO #811 - Wufeng Lou, Old Town of Lijiang - CHINA
The Old Town of Lijiang, which is perfectly adapted to the uneven topography of this key commercial and strategic site, has retained a historic townscape of high quality and authenticity. Its architecture is noteworthy for the blending of elements from several cultures that have come together over many centuries. Lijiang also possesses an ancient water-supply system of great complexity and ingenuity that still functions effectively today.

Euskirchen - GERMANY

This is the second official card I've got today (they're my favorite since I never know from where they will come from next, although Germany is always a good bet!) this time showing a multiview of the little town of Euskirchen in the Western Germany. Thank you very much Patrícia for this card and your nice words. This postcard took 7 days to arrive!
Euskirchen, Rhine-Westphalia (multiview) - GERMANY
Euskirchen is a town in North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany, capital of the district Euskirchen. While Euskirchen resembles a modern shopping town, it also has a history dating back over 700 years, having been granted town status in 1302. Parts of the ancient town wall, and three of its defensive towers, are still standing. Tourists are also attracted by Euskirchen due to the proximity of two large cities, Cologne and Bonn, to the North-East, and the hills of the Eifel region to the South.

Helsinki Cathedral - FINLAND

This official came all the way from Finland, sent by a Russian teacher and it shows a beautiful sunset (probably digitally enhanced I think, it's just to perfect) near the Heslinki Cathedral. Thank you very much Irina (I'm more a cat person than a dog person, but we both share the love for having a animal best friend). This postcard took 7 days to arrive!
The Helsinki Cathedral at Sunset - FINLAND
Helsinki Cathedral is the Finnish Evangelical Lutheran cathedral of the Diocese of Helsinki, located in the neighbourhood of Kruununhaka in the centre of Helsinki, Finland. The church was originally built from 1830-1852 as a tribute to the Grand Duke of Finland, Tsar Nicholas I of Russia. It was also known as St Nicholas' Church until the independence of Finland in 1917.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Bungle Bungle - AUSTRALIA - UNESCO #1094

It's always a nice feeling when you get a official postcrossing card showing that the sender took the time to read your profile and choose a postcard according to your preferences. This beautiful panoramic card shows the peculiar sandstone formations in the Purnululu National Park - Thank you very much Heather for this amazing postcard, my 3rd UNESCO site from "down under" and the 206th on my collection, only 775 to finish (almost there!). This postcard took 18 days to arrive!

UNESCO #1094 - Bungle Bungle, Purnululu - AUSTRALIA
The 239,723 ha Purnululu National Park is located in the State of Western Australia. It contains the deeply dissected Bungle Bungle Range composed of Devonian-age quartz sandstone eroded over a period of 20 million years into a series of beehive-shaped towers or cones, whose steeply sloping surfaces are distinctly marked by regular horizontal bands of dark-grey cyanobacterial crust (single-celled photosynthetic organisms). These outstanding examples of cone karst owe their existence and uniqueness to several interacting geological, biological, erosional and climatic phenomena.


The Leaning Tower, Pisa - ITALY - UNESCO #395

This postcard shows probably the most recognizable symbol of Italy... the leaning tower of Pisa, originally erected as the bell tower of the cathedral "La Luminaria" it quickly became the main attraction of this city for all the tourists that visit it every year. Thank you very much Alessandra, this is a major landmark for my collection. 205 sites down, 776 to go. This postcard took 9 days to arrive!

UNESCO #395 - the Leaning Tower,Pisa - ITALY
Standing in a large green expanse, Piazza del Duomo houses a group of monuments known the world over. These four masterpieces of medieval architecture – the cathedral, the baptistry, the campanile (the 'Leaning Tower') and the cemetery – had a great influence on monumental art in Italy from the 11th to the 14th century. 


Balinese Dancers - INDONESIA

This is the second card Raihan sent me - a group of Balinese Dancers getting ready for a performance. I'm watching on youtube some traditional dances from Bali and they're amazing, I particularly like the way they open and move their eyes! Thank you very much Raihan for this awesome double swap. This postcard took 24 days to arrive!
Balinese Traditional Dancers - INDONESIA
Balinese dances are a very ancient dance tradition that is a part of the religious and artistic expression among the Balinese people, native to Bali island, Indonesia. Balinese dance is dynamic, angular and intensely expressive and express the story of dance-drama through the whole bodily gestures; fingers, hands and body gestures to head and eyes movements. Most of dances in Bali are connected to Hindu rituals, such as the Sanghyang Dedari sacred dance than invoked hyang spirits that believed to possess the dancers in trance state during the performance. 


Cultural Landscape of Bali - INDONESIA - UNESCO #1194

Rice terraces are for me something completely strange, because in my country rice is planted in plain fields near the river banks - but the postcards with pictures of the rice terraces in the far east (Philippines, Indonesia) are just amazing. It must be hard to work in those narrow terraces. Thank you very much Raihan, I love this card and it rises my UNESCO collection to 204, 777 more and I'm done. This postcard took 24 days to arrive!

UNESCO #1194 - Cultural Landscape of Bali - INDONESIA
The cultural landscape of Bali consists of five rice terraces and their water temples that cover 19,500 ha. The temples are the focus of a cooperative water management system of canals and weirs, known as subak, that dates back to the 9th century. The subak reflects the philosophical concept of Tri Hita Karana, which brings together the realms of the spirit, the human world and nature. This philosophy was born of the cultural exchange between Bali and India over the past 2,000 years and has shaped the landscape of Bali.


Thursday, October 24, 2013

Vladimir Lenin Statue - CCCP

The fourth card Katya sent me shows the greatest icon of the Soviet Era, Vladimir Lenin. There was a Lenin statue in every town square always with a outstretched hand as a symbol of blessing and a sign to move forward. According to Katya, in the small town  where she lives, in the Moscow region, there's still standing the statue of Lenin in front of the Culture House. Thank you very much Katya, I just love this vintage propaganda cards. This postcard took 30 days to arrive!

Vladimir Lenin Statue - CCCP
Vladimir Lenin, born Vladimir Ilyich Ulyanov on 22 April 1870 and died on 21 January 1924 was a Russian communist revolutionary, politician and political theorist. He served as the leader of the Russian SFSR from 1917, and then concurrently as Premier of the Soviet Union from 1922, until his death. Politically a Marxist, his theoretical contributions to Marxist thought are known as Leninism, which coupled with Marxian economic theory have collectively come to be known as Marxism–Leninism.


The Russian Revolution of 1917 - CCCP

Another great card with a mural reproduction of old soviet times, this one celebrating the year of 1917 when the Bolshevik took the government and gave the power to the Soviets. In Portugal a different type of revolution took place in 1974 and the major symbol was also the carnation. Thank you very much Katya. This postcard took 30 days to arrive!
Russian Revolution of 1917 - CCCP
The Russian Revolution is the collective term for a series of revolutions in Russia in 1917, which dismantled the Tsarist autocracy and led to the creation of the Russian SFSR. The Emperor was forced to abdicate and the old regime was replaced by a provisional government during the first revolution of February 1917. In the second revolution, during October, the Provisional Government was removed and replaced with a Bolshevik (Communist) government.

"Aurora" Cruiser - CCCP

The second postcard I've got from Katya shows a painting celebrating the historical naval cruiser called "Aurora" tht fought both the World Wars and had a important part (and very symbolical one as well) on the 1917 soviet revolution. Thank you very much Katya for another great piece of XX century history. This postcard took 30 days to arrive!

Soviet Cruiser "Aurora" - CCCP
Aurora is a 1900 Russian protected cruiser, currently preserved as a museum ship in St. Petersburg. She battled the Japanese Navy in the Russo-Japanese War. One of the first incidents of the October Revolution in Russia took place on the cruiser Aurora on 25 October 1917, when Aurora refused to carry out an order to put to sea.

"Storming of the Winter Palace" - CCCP

From a esthetic point of view, I always loved old Soviet Art and political propaganda posters... I think they have a extreme straighten and power that attract me. Katya is a postcrosser from Moscow and she sent me four amazing vintage cards with old soviet stamps. I'm even creating a CCCP label for this kind of cards and hope to receive lots of them in the future. This one shows the storming of the winter palace on the days of the October revolution.Thank you very much Katya. This postcard took 30 days to arrive!
"Storming of the Winter Palace" - Pavel Sokolov-Skalia - CCCP
Born June 21, 1899, in Strel’na, now part of Leningrad (St.Petersbourg), died Aug. 3,1961, in Moscow. Pavel Petrovich Sokolov-Skalia was a Soviet painter and graphic artist. Most numerous among Sokolov-Skalia’s works are historical revolutionary and battle scenes imbued with a romantic spirit.

Blenheim Palace - ENGLAND - UNESCO #425

Near Oxford there is a amazing place called Blenheim Palace (the only non-royal house in England that have that title). I went there almost 20 years ago precisely after visiting Oxford University and I remember very well some of the rooms and the beautiful decorations, not to mention the amazing gardens. Thank you very much Lucy for this card, my 203th UNESCO, 778 more and I'm done. This postcard took 9 days to arrive!

UNESCO #425 - Blenheim Palace, England - UNITED KINGDOM
Blenheim Palace, near Oxford, stands in a romantic park created by the famous landscape gardener 'Capability' Brown. It was presented by the English nation to John Churchill, first Duke of Marlborough, in recognition of his victory in 1704 over French and Bavarian troops. Built between 1705 and 1722 and characterized by an eclectic style and a return to national roots, it is a perfect example of an 18th-century princely dwelling.


Praia do Jutuba, Santarém - BRAZIL

This card came from Brazil, sent by a friend I've met in the Postcrossing Forum and I must tell you it made me laugh. I know that it was normal to put mainland names in the New World 500 years ago (New York, New Orleans, New Amsterdam, etc) but I must confess I didn't knew that "Alter do Chão" in "New Santarém" existed and it was such a beautiful Paradise (I laughed specially because "Alter do Chão" in Portugal is a small village far away from the sea, known mostly for horse breeding). Thank you so much Luzia, I love your card and I hope you had lots of fun in your vacations in Pará. This postcard took 14 days to arrive!
Praia do Jutuba, Santarém, Pará, Amazônia - BRAZIL
Santarém is a city in the state of Pará in Brazil. The Tapajós joins the Amazon River there, and it is a popular location for tourism. It is the second most important city in the state and the financial and economic center of the western part of the state. The city was founded in 1661 as New Santarém (after the city in Portugal) and is one of the oldest cities in the Brazilian Amazon.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Historic Inner City of Paramaribo - SURINAME - UNESCO #940

Paramaribo is the capital and the biggest city in Suriname and there we can some historic buildings that show the fusion between European architecture and construction techniques with indigenous South America materials and crafts... yes because Suriname is in South America and not in Africa (Sherwin, the postcrosser that swapped this card with me asked me to say this, because he gets lots of requests from people that think Suriname is in Africa!). Thank you very much Sherwin for this nice card that rises my UNESCO collection to 202 different sites, only 779 to the end. This postcard took 9 days to arrive!
UNESCO #940 - Historic Inner City of Paramaribo - SURINAME
Paramaribo is a former Dutch colonial town from the 17th and 18th centuries planted on the northern coast of tropical South America. The original and highly characteristic street plan of the historic centre remains intact. Its buildings illustrate the gradual fusion of Dutch architectural influence with traditional local techniques and materials.


Another amazing card from Uzbekistan, this time sent by Marina, a postcrosser from Tashkent. This is not a UNESCO WHS site yet, only a tentative, but according to the sender, this IX century mausoleum is very well preserved and it shows well the great development of the construction and the higs level of archicteture in that region amost 1200 years ago. Thank you very much Marina, let's hope it will enter the oficial UNESCO list next year. This postcard took 16 days to arrive!
Memorial complex of Chor-Bakr has developed in the place of the prospective burial place of Abu-Bakr-Said who has died in 360 year by Muslim Calendar (970-971 A.D.) - one of the four of Abu-Bakrs (Chor-Bakr) - descendants of the Prophet Muhammad. At the tomb "sacred" appeared the necropolis of family tombs, constructed court yards enclosed with walls.

Crans-Montana - SWITZERLAND

Today I've got a card from the beautiful Swiss lake in Crans-Montana, where my friend Oscar lives (you're a lucky guy, waking up each morning with such a beautiful scenery like this). Thank you very much Óscar, it's true I asked for a 007 postcard autographed by Roger Moore that also lives there, but this one is very beautiful (love the reflex effect in the photo). This postcard took 3 days to arrive!
L'etang Grenon, Crans-Montana - SWITZERLAND
Crans-Montana is a ski resort in southwestern Switzerland, in the heart of the Swiss Alps in the canton of Valais. It is located on a plateau above Sierre at an elevation of about 1,500 m above sea level, allowing good view over the Valais Alps and Weisshorn in particular. The resort is a fusion of the two centers of Crans and Montana and belongs to 6 municipalities (Chermignon, Icogne, Lens, Mollens, Montana and Randogne).

Tuesday, October 22, 2013


This is the 9th card I've got from Ondřej, showing Basilica of St Procopius and the Jewish Quarter in the city of Trebíc on the south of Czech Republic. All this area was scheduled for demolition during soviet domination in the middle of the XX century - fortunately that infamous plan didn't go through. Thank you so much Ondřej for this amazing swap... thanks to you I've got all the Czech Republic UNESCO sites now and my collection rose to 201 sites, 780 more and I'm done! This postcard took 5 days to arrive!
UNESCO #1078 - Jewish Quarter, Třebíč - CZECH REPUBLIC
The ensemble of the Jewish Quarter, the old Jewish cemetery and the Basilica of St Procopius in Trebíc are reminders of the co-existence of Jewish and Christian cultures from the Middle Ages to the 20th century. The Jewish Quarter bears outstanding testimony to the different aspects of the life of this community. St Procopius Basilica, built as part of the Benedictine monastery in the early 13th century, is a remarkable example of the influence of Western European architectural heritage in this region.

Holy Trinity Column, Olomouc - CZECH REPUBLIC - UNESCO #859

This is the only card Ondřej sent me that shows a place I already have in my collection, but I'm very happy he sent it because it shows the interior of the great Holy Trinity Column and I have a thing for stone spiral staircases (I love to visit cathedral towers and climb those narrow steps, specially when we can see all the way down, like in Gaudi's "Sagrada Familia" in Barcelona for instance). This postcard took 5 days to arrive!
UNESCO #859 - Holy Trinity Column, Olomouc - CZECH REPUBLIC
This memorial column in Olomouc, erected in the early years of the 18th century, is the most outstanding example of a type of monument specific to central Europe. In the characteristic regional style known as Olomouc Baroque and rising to a height of 35 m, it is decorated with many fine religious sculptures, the work of the distinguished Moravian artist Ondrej Zahner.

Litomyšl Castle - CZECH REPUBLIC - UNESCO #901

One more card from Czech Republic with one more beautiful UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Renaissance Castle in the city of Litomyšl (according to Ondřej all the city is amazing with lots of monuments and a major Opera festival every year, because it was here that Bedřich Smetana, the famous composer, was born). Well, I must confess my ignorance, it's the first time I read Bedřich Smetana name, but I'm listening the opera "The Brandenburgers in Bohemia" at this exact moment and I'm liking it a lot. Thanks again Ondřej for this card and for introducing me to this composer.   This postcard took 5 days to arrive!
UNESCO #901 - Litomyšl Castle - CZECH REPUBLIC
Litomyšl Castle was originally a Renaissance arcade-castle of the type first developed in Italy and then adopted and greatly developed in central Europe in the 16th century. Its design and decoration are particularly fine, including the later High-Baroque features added in the 18th century. It preserves intact the range of ancillary buildings associated with an aristocratic residence of this type.

Holašovice - CZECH REPUBLIC - UNESCO #861

Not far from Český Krumlov, the Holašovice historical village is, according to Ondřej, not exactly a living museum but almost, because all the constructions were built in a Folk Baroque style and are very well preserved. I'm sure it must be a very interesting place to visit. This postcard took 5 days to arrive!
UNESCO #861 - Holašovice Historical Village - CZECH REPUBLIC
Holašovice is an exceptionally complete and well-preserved example of a traditional central European village. It has a large number of outstanding 18th and 19th-century vernacular buildings in a style known as 'South Bohemian folk Baroque', and preserves a ground plan dating from the Middle Ages.

Gardens and Castle at Kroměříž - CZECH REPUBLIC - UNESCO #860

Also located in the Moravian part of Czech Republic, the complex of Kroměříž holds the best preserved baroque garden in Europe and the castle was the principal residence of archbishops of Olomouc (hey, the place of the Holy Column... I'm starting to know something about Czech Republic - it's amazing the things you learn with the help of POSTCROSSING).  This postcard took 5 days to arrive!
UNESCO #860 - Gardens and Castle at Kroměříž - CZECH REPUBLIC
Kroměříž stands on the site of an earlier ford across the River Morava, at the foot of the Chriby mountain range which dominates the central part of Moravia. The gardens and castle of Kroměříž are an exceptionally complete and well-preserved example of a European Baroque princely residence and its gardens.

Lednice-Valtice Cultural Landscape - CZECH REPUBLIC - UNESCO #763

Another awesome card from a place I didn't knew before receiving this postcard - this massive park on South Moravia (near the border with Austria) was owned and designed by the Duke of Liechtenstein and along that romantic landscape there are lots of constructions like temples, ruins and even a muslim minaret. This postcard took 5 days to arrive!
UNESCO #763 - Lednice-Valtice Landscape - CZECH REPUBLIC
Between the 17th and 20th centuries, the ruling dukes of Liechtenstein transformed their domains in southern Moravia into a striking landscape. It married Baroque architecture (mainly the work of Johann Bernhard Fischer von Erlach) and the classical and neo-Gothic style of the castles of Lednice and Valtice with countryside fashioned according to English romantic principles of landscape architecture. At 200 km2 , it is one of the largest artificial landscapes in Europe.


Another great card sent by Ondřej now with Kutná Hora one of the  biggest and richest towns of the Czech Kingdom (because of the silver mines - the church is devoted to St Barbara because she is the patroness of the miners). Thank you very much Ondřej, reading your cards and watching all this amazing pictures give me a strong desire to visit your country! This postcard took 5 days to arrive!
Kutná Hora developed as a result of the exploitation of the silver mines. In the 14th century it became a royal city endowed with monuments that symbolized its prosperity. The Church of St Barbara, a jewel of the late Gothic period, and the Cathedral of Our Lady at Sedlec, which was restored in line with the Baroque taste of the early 18th century, were to influence the architecture of central Europe. These masterpieces today form part of a well-preserved medieval urban fabric with some particularly fine private dwellings.

St John of Nepomuk - CZECH REPUBLIC - UNESCO #690

The second card I've got from Ondřej shows a peculiar little church devoted to one of the Czech national saints, St John of Nepomuk (patron against calumnies and a protector from floods), a major pilgrimage site in Zelená Hora, near the town of Ždár. This postcard took 5 days to arrive!
UNESCO #690 - Pilgrimage Church of St John of Nepomuk - CZECH REP
This pilgrimage church, built in honour of St John of Nepomuk, stands at Zelená Hora, not far from Ždár nad Sázavou in Moravia. Constructed at the beginning of the 18th century on a star-shaped plan, it is the most unusual work by the great architect Jan Blazej Santini, whose highly original style falls between neo-Gothic and Baroque.


Today I received the biggest swap I made since I've joined POSTCROSSING - 9 UNESCO cards from Czech Republic completing that country - thank you very much Ondřej! They're all a special edition from the Czech Ministery of Culture representing the UNESCO sites in that country (I already had one from Český Krumlov) and they're simply beautiful. The first one shows the historic center of the city of Telč. This postcard took 5 days to arrive!
UNESCO #621 - Historic Center of Telč - CZECH REPUBLIC
The houses in Telč, which stands on a hilltop, were originally built of wood. After a fire in the late 14th century, the town was rebuilt in stone, surrounded by walls and further strengthened by a network of artificial ponds. The town's Gothic castle was reconstructed in High Gothic style in the late 15th century.

Monday, October 21, 2013

National Gallery, Museum Island, Berlin - GERMANY - UNESCO #896

Berlin is one of the few European capitals I've never visited (probably because I can't speak a word in German) but the will to know it is growing fast thanks to all the beautiful cards I receive from there and the things I read about it - The Museum Island will be one of the sites I'll not miss for sure. Thank you very much Nikalie, I really like this nightview, my 12th UNESCO site in Germany and the 193th in my collection - only 788 to the end. This postcard took 4 days to arrive!
UNESCO #896 - Museum Island, Berlin - GERMANY  
The museum as a social phenomenon owes its origins to the Age of Enlightenment in the 18th century. The five museums on the Museumsinsel in Berlin, built between 1824 and 1930, are the realization of a visionary project and show the evolution of approaches to museum design over the course of the 20th century. Each museum was designed so as to establish an organic connection with the art it houses. The importance of the museum's collections – which trace the development of civilizations throughout the ages – is enhanced by the urban and architectural quality of the buildings.

Chiado, Lisbon - PORTUGAL

Portuguese masons use ceramic tiles in buildings since the XV century (we took from the Moors the tecnology and also the word: "Zalij" in Arab, "Azulejo" in Portuguese). Even today ceramic tiles are often used in buildings, mainly on decorative panels. Historic downtown Lisbon is famous for the tiled façades like the one on this card (a early XX century building in Chiado). Thank you very much Zé for this beautiful postcard. This postcard took 18 days to arrive!
Tiles in Façade (XX century), Chiado, Lisbon - PORTUGAL
Chiado is the name of a square and its surrounding area in the city of Lisbon, Portugal and it is located between the neighbourhoods of Bairro Alto and Baixa Pombalina. It's a traditional shopping area that mixes old and modern commercial establishments, mostly located at the Carmo and Garrett streets. The most well-known café of Chiado is "A Brasileira", famous for having had poet Fernando Pessoa among its customers, and today it is very popular among tourists. The Chiado is also an important cultural area, with several museums and theatres.


The Tower of London - ENGLAND - UNESCO #488

One of the obligatory visits when you go to London is the great fortress in the city center known as The Tower of London (originally called White Tower) and travel trough time guided by a smiling Beefeater - it was the best tour I had the first time I went to London more than 20 years ago and now I can revisit it thanks to this beautiful card. Thank you very much Lucy for another great swap, now I have all the UNESCO sites in London and my collection reaches 192, only 789 to the end. This postcard took 5 days to arrive!
UNESCO #488 - The Tower of London and Tower Bridge - ENGLAND
The massive White Tower is a typical example of Norman military architecture, whose influence was felt throughout the kingdom. It was built on the Thames by William the Conqueror to protect London and assert his power. The Tower of London – an imposing fortress with many layers of history, which has become one of the symbols of royalty – was built around the White Tower.

Friday, October 18, 2013

Huanglong Scenic Area, Sichuan - CHINA - UNESCO #638

Another amazing photo of a natural treasure in China (simply incredible some landscapes you have there) taken in a UNESCO WHS, Huanglong in the province of Sichuan (yes, the same of the Pandas). Thank you very much Xiaomomo and let me give in advance my congratulations on yout university graduation. Ok now, as for my collection, 191 down, only 790 to go. This postcard took 12 days to arrive!
UNESCO #638 - Huanglong Scenic Area - CHINA
Situated in the north-west of Sichaun Province, the Huanglong valley is made up of snow-capped peaks and the easternmost of all the Chinese glaciers. In addition to its mountain landscape, diverse forest ecosystems can be found, as well as spectacular limestone formations, waterfalls and hot springs. The area also has a population of endangered animals, including the giant panda and the Sichuan golden snub-nosed monkey.