Friday, 28 February 2014

Archaeological Site of Olympia, Greece (UNESCO)

he site of Olympia, in a valley in the Peloponnesus, has been inhabited since prehistoric times. In the 10th century B.C., Olympia became a centre for the worship of Zeus. The Altis – the sanctuary to the gods – has one of the highest concentrations of masterpieces from the ancient Greek world. In addition to temples, there are the remains of all the sports structures erected for the Olympic Games, which were held in Olympia every four years beginning in 776 B.C.

Sender: Elena, Sent on: 19 Feb, 2014, Received on: 24 Feb, 2014, Travel time: 5 days

Paleochristian and Byzantine Monuments of Thessalonika, Greece (UNESCO)

Founded in 315 B.C., the provincial capital and sea port of Thessalonika was one of the first bases for the spread of Christianity. Among its Christian monuments are fine churches, some built on the Greek cross plan and others on the three-nave basilica plan. Constructed over a long period, from the 4th to the 15th century, they constitute a diachronic typological series, which had considerable influence in the Byzantine world. The mosaics of the rotunda, St Demetrius and St David are among the great masterpieces of early Christian art.

St. Demetrios Greek Orthodox Church
Imperial splendour and the changing fortunes of the Thessalonian church were inextricably linked during the early centuries of Christianity. It was during the period that the palatial complex of Galerius was being built (298-311) that St Demetrius was martyred (c. 303). Some time later the rotunda, which Galerius had probably planned as his mausoleum, was taken over by the Christians who converted it to a church dedicated to St George. North of the Forum, on the ruins of the thermae (baths) where tradition has it that St Demetrius was imprisoned and tortured, they built the Basilica of St Demetrius. Rebuilt in 412-13 by the eparch Leontius and enlarged in 629-34 according to a grandiose plan that included five naves, the church, despite having been ravaged by fire in 1917, remains one of the most notable monuments of the early Christian era.

Sender: Elena, Sent on: 19 Feb, 2014, Received on: 24 Feb, 2014, Travel time: 5 days

Flag of Indonesia

Two equal horizontal bands of red (top) and white; the colors derive from the banner of the Majapahit Empire of the 13th-15th centuries; red symbolizes courage, white represents purity.

Sender: dewimarthaindria, Sent on: 3 Feb, 2014, Received on: 18 Feb, 2014, Travel time: 15 days

Historic Centre of Warsaw, Poland (UNESCO)

During the Warsaw Uprising in August 1944, more than 85% of Warsaw's historic centre was destroyed by Nazi troops. After the war, a five-year reconstruction campaign by its citizens resulted in today's meticulous restoration of the Old Town, with its churches, palaces and market-place. It is an outstanding example of a near-total reconstruction of a span of history covering the 13th to the 20th century.

Sender: Ana_postcrossing, Sent on: 24 Feb, 2014, Received on: 27 Feb, 2014, Travel time: 3 days

Wooden Churches of Maramureş, Romania (UNESCO)

These eight churches are outstanding examples of a range of architectural solutions from different periods and areas. They show the variety of designs and craftsmanship adopted in these narrow, high, timber constructions with their characteristic tall, slim clock towers at the western end of the building, either single- or double-roofed and covered by shingles. As such, they are a particular vernacular expression of the cultural landscape of this mountainous area of northern Romania.

1- Church of the Presentation of the Virgin at the Temple, Bârsana, Bârsana
2- Church of Saint Nicholas, Budesti, Budesti
3- Church of the Holy Paraskeva, Desesti, Desesti
4- Church of the Nativity of the Virgin, Ieud, Ieud
5- Church of the Holy Archangels, Plopis, Sisesti
6- Church of the Holy Parasceve, Poienile Izei, Poienile Izei
7- Church of the Holy Archangels, Rogoz, Târgu-Lapus
8- Church of the Holy Archangels, Surdesti, Sisesti

Postcard 1 : Multiview, Maramureş

1- The Church of the Presentation of the Virgin at the Temple (Bârsana), 
2- The Church of the Holy Parasceve (Deseşti), 3- The Church of the Holy Archangels (Plopiş)
4- The Church of the Nativity of the Virgin (Ieud)

Sender: Daniela_dmp, Sent on: 17 Feb, 2014, Received on: 24 Feb, 2014, Travel time: 7 days

Aranjuez Cultural Landscape, Spain (UNESCO)

The Aranjuez cultural landscape is an entity of complex relationships: between nature and human activity, between sinuous watercourses and geometric landscape design, between the rural and the urban, between forest landscape and the delicately modulated architecture of its palatial buildings. Three hundred years of royal attention to the development and care of this landscape have seen it express an evolution of concepts from humanism and political centralization, to characteristics such as those found in its 18th century French-style Baroque garden, to the urban lifestyle which developed alongside the sciences of plant acclimatization and stock-breeding during the Age of Enlightenment.

Sender: MissPatitav, Sent on: 10 Feb, 2014, Received on: 24 Feb, 2014, Travel time: 14 days

Archaeological Ensemble of Mérida, Spain (UNESCO)

The colony of Augusta Emerita, which became present-day Mérida in Estremadura, was founded in 25 B.C. at the end of the Spanish Campaign and was the capital of Lusitania. The well-preserved remains of the old city include, in particular, a large bridge over the Guadiana, an amphitheatre, a theatre, a vast circus and an exceptional water-supply system. It is an excellent example of a provincial Roman capital during the empire and in the years afterwards.

Postcard 1 : Multiview, Merida

1- Roman Theatre, 2- Temple of Diana
3- Arab Citadel 4- Roman Amphitheatre

Sender: JoaoNogueira, Sent on: 17 Feb, 2014, Received on: 24 Feb, 2014, Travel time: 7 days

Old Town of Cáceres, Spain (UNESCO)

The city's history of battles between Moors and Christians is reflected in its architecture, which is a blend of Roman, Islamic, Northern Gothic and Italian Renaissance styles. Of the 30 or so towers from the Muslim period, the Torre del Bujaco is the most famous.

Sender: JoaoNogueira, Sent on: 17 Feb, 2014, Received on: 24 Feb, 2014, Travel time: 7 days

Roman Walls of Lugo, Spain (UNESCO)

The walls of Lugo were built in the later part of the 3rd century to defend the Roman town of Lucus. The entire circuit survives intact and is the finest example of late Roman fortifications in western Europe.

Sender: aechmay, Sent on: 6 Feb, 2014, Received on: 24 Feb, 2014, Travel time: 18 days

Stonehenge, Avebury and Associated Sites, United Kingdom (UNESCO)

Stonehenge and Avebury, in Wiltshire, are among the most famous groups of megaliths in the world. The two sanctuaries consist of circles of menhirs arranged in a pattern whose astronomical significance is still being explored. These holy places and the nearby Neolithic sites are an incomparable testimony to prehistoric times.

Sender: stascha15, Sent on: 9 Feb, 2014, Received on: 18 Feb, 2014, Travel time: 9 days

Great Smoky Mountains National Park, USA (UNESCO)

Stretching over more than 200,000 ha, this exceptionally beautiful park is home to more than 3,500 plant species, including almost as many trees (130 natural species) as in all of Europe. Many endangered animal species are also found there, including what is probably the greatest variety of salamanders in the world. Since the park is relatively untouched, it gives an idea of temperate flora before the influence of humankind.

Sender: radala, Sent on: 5 Feb, 2014, Received on: 27 Feb, 2014, Travel time: 22 days

Flag of California, USA

The Bear Flag is the official flag of the state of California. The precursor of the flag was first flown during the 1846 Bear Flag Revolt and was also known as the Bear Flag.

Sender: lejuana, Sent on: 9 Feb, 2014, Received on: 24 Feb, 2014, Travel time: 15 days

Historic Centre of Vienna, Austria (UNESCO)

Vienna developed from early Celtic and Roman settlements into a Medieval and Baroque city, the capital of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. It played an essential role as a leading European music centre, from the great age of Viennese Classicism through the early part of the 20th century. The historic centre of Vienna is rich in architectural ensembles, including Baroque castles and gardens, as well as the late-19th-century Ringstrasse lined with grand buildings, monuments and parks.

Postcard 1 : Old Town, Vienna

Sender: Meixi,  Sent on: 11 Jun, 2014, Received on: 24 Jun, 2014, Travel time: 13 days

Postcard 2 : St Stephen's Cathedral

St Stephen's Cathedral dates from the 14th and 15th centuries. The period also saw the construction of civic ensembles, such as initial parts of the Hofburg. Whereas the monastic complexes were generally built from stone, becoming part of the defences of the medieval city, the residential quarters were of timber and suffered frequent fires.

Sender: sarahamina, Sent on: 18 Feb, 2014, Received on: 24 Feb, 2014, Travel time: 6 days

City of Graz – Historic Centre and Schloss Eggenberg, Austria (UNESCO)

The City of Graz – Historic Centre and Schloss Eggenberg bear witness to an exemplary model of the living heritage of a central European urban complex influenced by the secular presence of the Habsburgs and the cultural and artistic role played by the main aristocratic families. They are a harmonious blend of the architectural styles and artistic movements that have succeeded each other from the Middle Ages until the 18th century, from the many neighbouring regions of Central and Mediterranean Europe. They embody a diversified and highly comprehensive ensemble of architectural, decorative and landscape examples of these interchanges of influence.

Postcard 1 : City of Graz

Sender: Mini286, Sent on: 20 Feb, 2014, Received on: 27 Feb, 2014, Travel time: 7 days

Postcard 2 : Schloss Eggenberg

Sender: Mini286, Sent on: 20 Feb, 2014, Received on: 27 Feb, 2014, Travel time: 7 days

Wednesday, 19 February 2014

Mausoleum at Halicarnassus - Seven Wonders of the Ancient World

The Mausoleum at Halicarnassus or Tomb of Mausolus was a tomb built between 353 and 350 BC at Halicarnassus (present Bodrum, Turkey) for Mausolus, a satrap in the Persian Empire, and Artemisia II of Caria, who was both his wife and his sister. The structure was designed by the Greek architects Satyros and Pythius of Priene.
The Mausoleum was approximately 45 m (148 ft) in height, and the four sides were adorned with sculptural reliefs, each created by one of four Greek sculptors — Leochares, Bryaxis, Scopas of Paros and Timotheus. The finished structure of the mausoleum was considered to be such an aesthetic triumph that Antipater of Sidon identified it as one of his Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. It was destroyed through many earthquakes from 12th century to 15th century.
The word mausoleum has now come to be used generically for an above-ground tomb.

Saturday, 15 February 2014

Independence Hall, USA (UNESCO)

The Declaration of Independence (1776) and the Constitution of the United States (1787) were both signed in this building in Philadelphia. The universal principles of freedom and democracy set forth in these documents are of fundamental importance to American history and have also had a profound impact on law-makers around the world.

Sender: mysonictruth, Sent on: 21 Jan, 2014, Received on: 14 Feb, 2014, Travel time: 24 days

Hanseatic Town of Visby, Sweden (UNESCO)

A former Viking site on the island of Gotland, Visby was the main centre of the Hanseatic League in the Baltic from the 12th to the 14th century. Its 13th-century ramparts and more than 200 warehouses and wealthy merchants' dwellings from the same period make it the best-preserved fortified commercial city in northern Europe.

Sender: anet_h, Sent on: 9 Feb, 2014, Received on: 14 Feb, 2014, Travel time: 5 days

Mudejar Architecture of Aragon, Spain (UNESCO)

The development in the 12th century of Mudejar art in Aragon resulted from the particular political, social and cultural conditions that prevailed in Spain after the Reconquista. This art, influenced by Islamic tradition, also reflects various contemporary European styles, particularly the Gothic. Present until the early 17th century, it is characterized by an extremely refined and inventive use of brick and glazed tiles in architecture, especially in the belfries.

In the Province of Zaragoza there are the Palace of La Aljafería, initially an Islamic royal palace; the Cathedral of La Seo del Salvador, built over a former Moorish mosque; the Church of San Pablo, which has a octagonal tower, and its Almohad-type minaret remains largely intact although with some Renaissance additions and a Baroque spire; the Collegiate Church of Santa María, Calatayud, replacing a former Moorish mosque, with the 14th-century cloister on the north side (the largest of such Mudejar constructions); the Parish Church of Santa Tecla, Cervera de la Cañada, built on top of an old castle; and the Church of Santa María, Tobed, which is well preserved and with fine interiors with carved and painted ceilings, built to the order of Pope Benedict XIII under the patronage of the Order of the Holy Sepulchre.

Sender: mapilast, Sent on: 16 Jan, 2014, Received on: 10 Feb, 2014, Travel time: 25 days

White Monuments of Vladimir and Suzdal, Russia (UNESCO)

These two artistic centres in central Russia hold an important place in the country's architectural history. There are a number of magnificent 12th- and 13th-century public and religious buildings, above all the masterpieces of the Collegiate Church of St Demetrios and the Cathedral of the Assumption of the Virgin.
1- Cathedral of the Assumption, Vladimir
2- The Golden Gate, Vladimir
3- The Prince Castle in Bogolyubovo (Cathedral of the Nativity of the Virgin and Staircase Tower of the Palace of Andrei Bogolyubsky), Vladimir
4- Church of the Intercession on the River Nerl, Vladimir
5- Cathedral of St. Demetrius, Vladimir
6- Kremlin of Suzdal and Cathedral of the Nativity, Suzdal
7- Monastery of Our Savior and St Euthymius, Suzdal
8- Church of Sts Boris and Gleb, Suzdal
Postcard 1 : Vladimir
Cathedral of St. Demetrius, Vladimir
Sender: zasranka, Sent on: 4 Feb, 2014, Received on: 14 Feb, 2014, Travel time: 10 days
Postcard 2 : Suzdal
Kremlin of Suzdal and Cathedral of the Nativity, Suzdal
Sender: mad_madchen, Sent on: 31 Mar, 2014, Received on: 16 Apr, 2014, Travel time: 17 days

Virgin Komi Forests, Russia (UNESCO)

The Virgin Komi Forests cover 3.28 million ha of tundra and mountain tundra in the Urals, as well as one of the most extensive areas of virgin boreal forest remaining in Europe. This vast area of conifers, aspens, birches, peat bogs, rivers and natural lakes has been monitored and studied for over 50 years. It provides valuable evidence of the natural processes affecting biodiversity in the taiga.

Sender: mad_manchen, Sent on: 29 Jan, 2014, Received on: 14 Feb, 2014, Travel time: 16 days

Natural System of Wrangel Island Reserve, Russia (UNESCO)

Located well above the Arctic Circle, the site includes the mountainous Wrangel Island (7,608 km2), Herald Island (11 km2) and surrounding waters. Wrangel was not glaciated during the Quaternary Ice Age, resulting in exceptionally high levels of biodiversity for this region. The island boasts the world’s largest population of Pacific walrus and the highest density of ancestral polar bear dens. It is a major feeding ground for the grey whale migrating from Mexico and the northernmost nesting ground for 100 migratory bird species, many endangered. Currently, 417 species and subspecies of vascular plants have been identified on the island, double that of any other Arctic tundra territory of comparable size and more than any other Arctic island. Some species are derivative of widespread continental forms, others are the result of recent hybridization, and 23 are endemic.

Sender: mad_manchen, Sent on: 29 Jan, 2014, Received on: 14 Feb, 2014, Travel time: 16 days

Cultural and Historic Ensemble of the Solovetsky Islands, Russia (UNESCO)

The Solovetsky archipelago comprises six islands in the western part of the White Sea, covering 300 km2 . They have been inhabited since the 5th century B.C. and important traces of a human presence from as far back as the 5th millennium B.C. can be found there. The archipelago has been the site of fervent monastic activity since the 15th century, and there are several churches dating from the 16th to the 19th century.

Sender: mad_manchen, Sent on: 29 Jan, 2014, Received on: 14 Feb, 2014, Travel time: 16 days

Church of the Ascension, Kolomenskoye, Russia (UNESCO)

The Church of the Ascension was built in 1532 on the imperial estate of Kolomenskoye, near Moscow, to celebrate the birth of the prince who was to become Tsar Ivan IV ('the Terrible'). One of the earliest examples of a traditional wooden tent-roofed church on a stone and brick substructure, it had a great influence on the development of Russian ecclesiastical architecture.

Sender: lavander, Sent on: 29 Jan, 2014, Received on: 10 Feb, 2014, Travel time: 12 days