Monday, October 31, 2016

Sapi Island | Malaysia

Scuba diving paradise
Sapi Island, literally known as "Cow Island" in Malay is just off the south-western tip of Gaya Island. The 25-acre (10 ha) island features one of the nicest beaches in the park and most popular with tourists for snorkelling and scuba diving.

Sapi is one of the 5 islands that comprises  Tunku Abdul Rahman National Park. 

Gaya Island | Malaysia

Snorkeling paradise
The Tunku Abdul Rahman National Park comprises a 5 islands off the coast of Kota Kinabalu in Sabah, Malaysia. 

Gaya is the largest island in the park and is covered with dense virgin, tropical forest. The coral reefs along the entire coast of Gaya island make it a great diving destination.

Sunday, October 30, 2016

Archaeological Site of Monte Albán | Mexico

Unesco Mexico
Monte Albán is a large archaeological site in the southern Mexican state of Oaxaca. Inhabited over a period of 1,500 years the terraces, dams, canals, pyramids and artificial mounds of Monte Albán were literally carved out of the mountain.
Together with nearby historic centre of Oaxaca it is a UNESCO World Heritage site.

The El Universal newspaper is celebrating its centennial in 2016.  

Saturday, October 29, 2016

Palace of the Assembly | India

Unesco India
Palace of the Assembly is a legislative assembly designed by world famous architect Le Corbusier and is located in Chandigarh, India.

The building is part of the UNESCO World Heritage site “The Architectural Work of Le Corbusier, an Outstanding Contribution to the Modern Movement”. The style is characterised by:
  • asymmetrical compositions
  • use of general cubic or cylindrical shapes
  • flat roofs
  • use of reinforced concrete 
  • metal and glass frameworks often resulting in large windows in horizontal bands
  • an absence of ornament or mouldings.

Friday, October 28, 2016

Virigin Komi Forests | Russia

Unesco Russia
The Virgin Komi Forests is a natural UNESCO World Heritage site located in the Northern Ural Mountains of the Komi Republic, Russia.

Virgin Komi Forests are rich in natural monuments with sometimes unusual shapes. Like the Manpupuner rock formations, a set of 7 gigantic abnormally shaped stone pillars, rising up 30 to 40 metres. 

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Takashima Coal mine | Japan

Takashima Coal Mine is part of the Unesco World Heritage site inscribed  under the name ‘Sites of Japan’s Meiji Industrial Revolution: Iron and Steel, Shipbuilding and Coal Mining’. A group of sites that played an important part in the industrialization of Japan from the middle of the 19th century to the early 20th century.

Coal was needed in vast quantities for the Industrial Revolution. Located on Takashima Island, the Takashima Coal mine was Japan’s First Steam Engine-Powered Shaft Mine. The first Japanese coal mine that worked with western technology. The postcard shows the open collar of Hokkei Pit. 

The Town of Diamantina | Brazil

Unesco Brazil
In the heart of arid and rocky mountains in the state of Minas Gerais, the Historic Center of Diamantina rises 150m up the side of a steep valley.

The city's history dates back to the early 1700’s when an expedition found diamonds on the mountain slopes and along the rivers in this region. Mining blossomed in Diamantina in the 18th and early 19th century. After that, richer and better quality deposits in South-Africa were found.

The Historic Centre of the Town of Diamantina is a UNESCO World Heritage site. 

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Surtsey Island | Iceland

Unesco Iceland
Surtsey, the southernmost of the Vestmannaeyjar Islands, was formed during a volcanic eruption lasting from November 1963 to June 1967. Surtsey, meaning 'Surtur's island', is named after Surtr, the fire god in Icelandic mythology.

The island is UNESCO World Heritage site since 2008.

Pjofafoss Waterfall, part of a set of two tourist stamps, issued 2016.  

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

The ruins of Timgad | Algeria

Unesco Algeria
The ruins of Timgad in Algeria are an impressive set of ancient Roman remains and rank among the best such ruins in North Africa. Timgad was both a military colony and an incentive to the African people to serve in the Roman army, as anybody who did so for twenty-five years would have a home in the base. 

Monday, October 24, 2016

Tower houses in Lenjeri Village | Georgia

Unesco Georgia
Preserved by its long isolation, the Upper Svaneti region of the Caucasus is an exceptional example of mountain scenery with medieval-type villages and tower-houses. The sun rarely peaks out from behind a thin layer of clouds, and pine-covered hills rise over the traditional stone tower buildings.

Lenjeri is a village with many ‘Svan towers’. These tower homes were at the same time familial living quarters, fortified fortresses of defense, and personal treasuries. Most of the towers date back to the period between 9th and 12th century.

Upper Svaneti is a UNESCO World Heritage site since 1996. 

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Morning Glory Pool | USA

Morning Glory Pool is located in Yellowstone National Park. The pool was named in the 1880s for its remarkable likeness to its namesake flower. The pool’s blue color is the result of heat-seeking bacteria. 

However, this beautiful pool has fallen victim to vandalism. People have thrown literally tons of coins, trash, rocks, and logs into the pool. Much of the debris subsequently became embedded in the sides and vent of the spring, affecting water circulation. As a result, other microorganisms have infiltrated the pool, changing its delicate ecosystem and coloring. Today, orange and yellow rings encroach on the blue waters.

Jackson Hole | USA

Jackson Hole is a valley between the Teton Mountain Range and the Gros Ventre Range in Wyoming, USA. Viewed from Jackson Hole valley looking west, the high peaks of the Teton Range rise more than 2,135 meters above the valley floor. What a breathtaking view!

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Archaeological Site of Nalanda Mahavihara | India

Nalanda Mahavihara (meaning Nalanda University) was a centre of learning from the seventh century BCE to 1200 CE. The site comprises the archaeological remains of stupas, shrines, viharas (residential and educational buildings) and important art works in stucco, stone and metal.

In 2016 UNESCO declared the ruins of Nalanda Mahavihara to be a World Heritage Site.

Friday, October 21, 2016

Alto Douro Valley | Portugal

Wine has been produced by traditional landholders in the Alto Douro region for some 2,000 years. Recognising the importance of the landscape and the traditional wine production activities, in 2001, UNESCO classified 24 600 hectares of the Alto Douro Wine Region as a World Heritage.

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Qolşärif Mosque in the Kazan Kremlin | Russia

A kremlin is a major fortified central complex found in historic Russian cities. The Qolşärif Mosque is located inside the Kazan Kremlin, the main historic citadel of Tatarstan. The mosque can accommodate 1,500 believers, while more than 10,000 can be accommodated in the adjacent square. 

The “Historic and Architectural Complex of the Kazan Kremlin” is a UNESCO World Heritage site since 2000.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

A Village Called San Gimignano | Italy

San Gimignano is a small medieval town in Tuscany, Italy. The walled town is famous for its medieval architecture, especially its towers. Located atop a hill the skyline can be seen for several miles outside the town.

The "Historic Centre of San Gimignano", is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Cidade Velha | Cape Verde

The town of Ribeira Grande, renamed Cidade Velha in the late 18th century, was the first European colonial outpost in the tropics. Located in the south of the island of Santiago, the town features some of the original street layout impressive remains including two churches, a royal fortress and Pillory Square with its ornate 16th century marble pillar.

This postcard doesn’t show much of the old town, only a part of the beach/coastline. But as you can read on the back, it is definitely a part of Cidade Velha. 

Monday, October 17, 2016

The Alcázar of Segovia | Spain

The Alcázar of Segovia is a fairy-tale-like castle, located in the old city of Segovia, Spain. The Alcázar was originally built as a fortress but has served as a royal palace, a state prison, a Royal Artillery College and a military academy since then. It is currently in use as a museum and a military archives building.

The Alcázar is part of UNESCO World Heritage site Old Town of Segovia and its Aqueduct.

Protected Fauna – Crayfish, part of a set of three stamps issued in 2016.

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Kronborg Castle | Denmark

Kronborg is a castle and stronghold in the town of Helsingør, Denmark. The castle is situated on the extreme northeastern tip of the island of Zealand. The origins of this castle dates back to the year 1420. Kronborg is a UNESCO World Heritage site since 2000.

Did you know that this is the castle that Shakespeare set Hamlet in? Shakespeare called Kronborg Castle Elsinore.   

The stamps are part of a set of 4 stamps about (Danish) farm animals (issue 2016). From left to right: the Oldenburg Stallion, Danish Red Holstein and Wyandotte Chicken.

Saturday, October 15, 2016

In remembrance of His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej (1927-2016) | Thailand

The Grand Palace and the Temple of the Emerald Buddha (Wat Phrakaew) are located on Rattanakosin island, the heart of Old Bangkok city. The Emerald Buddha is a dark green statue, approximately 66 centimetres tall, carved from a single jade stone.

Wat Phra Kaew is located inside the Grand Palace complex, undoubtedly Bangkok’s most famous landmark. Built in 1782 - and for 150 years the home of the Thai King.

Friday, October 14, 2016

Temple Mount | Israel

The Temple Mount, known to Muslims as el-Harem al-Sharif (the Noble Sanctuary) with its golden Dome of the Rock Islamic shrine and lead-domed al-Aqsa mosque, dominates this aerial view of the Old City of Jerusalem.

The UN's cultural agency Unesco has adopted a motion which marginalises Jewish ties to several holy sites in Jerusalem: the Temple Mount and the Western Wall.Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said the resolution, sponsored by several Arab countries, denies the Jewish connection to holy sites in Jerusalem and is a "theatre of the absurd".

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Mantenga Cultural Village | Swaziland

Mantenga is a small protected area of 725 hectares in a secluded corner of the Ezulwini Valley in Swaziland. The reserve is home to the Mantenga Cultural Village, a living museum of old traditions and represents a classical Swazi lifestyle during the 1850s. 

Thanks again David for yet another surprise card!

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

The ruins of Spiš Castle | Slovakia

The ruins of Spiš Castle in eastern Slovakia form one of the largest castle sites in Central Europe. This is one of the biggest European castles by area (41 426 m²). On the left you see St. Martin's Cathedral in nearby Spišská Kapitula.

Both are part of the UNESCO World Heritage site inscribed under the name‘ Levoča, Spišský Hrad and the Associated Cultural Monuments’.

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Madriu-Perafita-Claror Valley | Andorra

The Madriu-Perafita-Claror Valley is an exceptional geographical unit located in the south-eastern part of Andorra, in the heart of the Pyrenees. It covers more than 9% of the national territory.

The upper part of the valley is an exposed glacial landscape, with spectacular steep cliffs, rock and lake glaciers. Lower down, the valley narrows and becomes more wooded, while in its lowest section the river flows into a short gorge. A secondary valley, the Perafita-Claror Valley, merges with the Madriu Valley from the South-West.

Postal services in Andorra are not operated by its two larger neighbouring countries, Spain and France. This postcard travelled through the Spanish mail system.

Monday, October 10, 2016

Pearling, Testimony of an Island Economy | Bahrain

Pearling, Testimony of an Island Economy is the 2nd Unesco World Heritage site of Bahrain.

The site consists of seventeen buildings in Muharraq City, three offshore oyster beds, part of the seashore and the Qal’at Bu Mahir fortress on the southern tip of Muharraq Island, from where boats used to set off for the oyster beds. Muharraq Island is the second largest island in the archipelago of Bahrain.

The building you see on the postcard is the windtower (or wind catcher) of Isa bin Ali House, residence of the former ruler of Bahrain. 


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