Iraq - Babylon - Cultural Landscape and Achaeological City

"The Sacred Complex of Babylon, comprising the Esagila temple dedicated to the God of Marduk and the ziggurat Etemenanki (the legendary Tower of Babylon), constituted the spiritual and political hearth of Babylon, capital of the Old Kingdom of Babylonia. With an extension of ca. 180x125 meters of the major temple Esagila (the "House of the Headraising"), and ca. 460x410 meters of the tower complex Etemenanki, meaning "the foundation of heaven and earth", this was the most massive walled-in space within the city. Out of the substructure of approximately 90 x 90 meters, the height of which was in the original of about 15 meters, the tower developed in all together five more levels, one smaller than the other. Both of these Mesopotamian architectural components formed one unit, so that the low temple Esagila, is neither in its construction nor in its content to be separated from Etemenanki. Their cultic connection was established by the procession street Aj-ibur-shapu running between them, which allowed equal access to both sanctuaries."

Source: UNESCO World Heritage Tentative List

Cool postcard of Babylon, Iraq. Thanks to the Maselis family of Belgium.

Myanmar - Shwedagon Pagodaon Singuttara Hill

"The Shwedagon Pagoda, situated on Singuttara Hill in the center of Yangon (Rangoon), is the most sacred Buddhist stupa in Myanmar and one of the most important religious reliquary monuments in the world. The proposed property includes the hill atop of which the main stupa is located, the hill-top reliquary stupa and associated religious buildings and sacred statuary, bells, and other emblems situated on the hill, as well as the hill’s surrounding sacred perimeter. The proposed property comprises a total area of 46.3 hectares."

Source: UNESCO World Heritage Tentative List

Shwedagon Pagoda in the heart of Yangon, Myanmar (formerly Rangoon, Burma). I climbed up this awesome temple, barefooted as required. This nice card is provided by England Vision Optical. Thanks to Bryan Wu who lives in Yangon.

Canada - Gwaii Haanas

"The Gwaii Haanas National Park Reserve and Haida Heritage Site covers about 15 percent of the Queen Charlotte Islands, an archipelago 80 km off the northwest coast of mainland British Columbia that separates Hecate Strait from the Pacific Ocean. The size of the terrestrial area, which consists of 138 islands, is 1 495 km2, with a surrounding marine conservation area (proposed) of 3 400 km2 . The park reserve includes SGaang Gwaii World Heritage Site, a 3 km2 island inscribed in 1981 under cultural criterion (iii). Two other remarkable former Haida villages, Tanu and Skedans, are located within the park reserve. As well, more than 600 archaeological features in the park reserve give evidence of Haida occupation and activities in the region. Traditional narratives, songs, places names and language relate the park reserve area intimately to Haida history and way of life. The rich and living culture of the Haida people permeates the area. The natural resources of the area, with their abundance of essential ingredients for sustenance and growth, are an integral part of Haida traditional culture, and life with the land and sea. Natural features of Gwaii Haanas range from the highly dissected San Christoval Mountains, which form the backbone of the area, to fiords, 40 freshwater lakes, old-growth temperate rainforests and a rich diversity and abundance of wildlife. The proposed marine conservation area lies along one section of the Queen Charlotte tectonic plate, and includes highly diverse living intertidal and subtidal marine communities. It is also strategically located along the Pacific flyway, hosting huge seabird breeding colonies as well as being an important migrant stopover. Marine mammals are also abundant, including sea lions, porpoises, killer whales and migrating grey whales."

Source: UNESCO World Heritage Tentative List

Sculpin, a bottom dwelling fish, on sponge - at proposed Gwaii Haanas National Marine Conservation Area Reserve, British Columbia, Canada. Thanks to Marie of Canada. Postcard received in November, 2018.

Germany - Hydraulic Engineering and Hydropower, Drinking Water and Decorative Fountains in Augsburg

"Hydraulic Engineering and Hydropower, Drinking Water and Decorative Fountains in Augsburg combine to make up a complex system of water management that features significant technical and architectural monuments and noteworthy industrial archaeology objects in the time from the 15th to the early 20th century. These elements provide a complete account over this period of the succession of and connections between technological developments. The significance of water has been held in high regard for centuries and this is expressed through exquisitely decorated fountains. The Romans established Augsburg at the confluence of the Lech and Wertach rivers and from this time the city was being supplied with process water from the Singold across the Lechfeld plain via open water channels. Augsburg has been using the water power from the Lech canals from at least the Middle Ages."

Source: UNESCO World Heritage Tentative List

Augustus Fountain is one of the 3 main well known fountains of Ausgburg, Germany. Thanks to Ute of Augsburg, Germany.

Belarus - Poland - The Augustów Canal (Kanal Augustowski)

"The area of the property encompasses the Augustów Canal together with buildings and hydraulic engineering structures and the area integral to them, necessary to the Canal operation, described as the conservation protection zone – in the territory of the Republic of Poland and the Republic of Belarus. Total length 101.20 km. The area covered by the property Pl=74.25 km² Bl=8.42 km² total 82,67 km²

The Augustów Canal is a cross-border monument of technology located in the territory of two states, in the north-eastern part of Poland and the north-western part of Belarus. It is a linear object. It is a navigable watershed canal, linking the Vistula River through the Biebrza River – a tributary of the Narew River, with the Neman River through its tributary – the Czarna Hancza River. It uses a postglacial channel depression, forming the chain of Augustów lakes, and the river valleys of the Biebrza, the Netta, the Czarna Hancza and the Neman, which made it possible to perfectly integrate the Canal with the surrounding elements of the natural environment."

Source: UNESCO World Heritage Tentative List

Postcard 1 - Belarus
Augustow Canal. Thanks to Yuli of Belarus.

Postcard 2 - Poland
Map postcard of Augustow Canal. Thanks to Radek of Czech Republic.

Thailand - Phra That Phanom, its related historic buildings and associated landscape

"Phra That Phanom is located within the walled compound of the "Temple of Phra That Phanom" in Nakorn Phanom Province, Thailand, about 600 meters west of the Mekong River. Believed by the people in the region to have been built by Monk Maha Kassapa, a chief disciple of Buddha, to enshrine the Buddha's breastbone relics 8 years after Buddha's Nirvana, this Stupa is regarded as the most ancient Buddha's Relics Stupa in the Northeast of Thailand and in the Middle Mekong River Basin. Throughout the millennia, Phra That Phanom has been steadfastly venerated by the multi-ethnic and multi-national populations living in all directions of the region."

Source: UNESCO World Heritage Tentative List

I visited Wat Phra That Phanom, which is north of Mukdahan town, along the Mekong River opposite of Laos. Got the cancellation from the post office next to this famous Buddhist temple in October 2018.

Georgia - Alaverdi Cathedral

"Alaverdi St. George Cathedral (first half of the 11th century) is located 18 km from the town of Telavi in the Alazani-River valley. Earliest structures of Alaverdi Monastery date back to 6th century. The present day Cathedral is part of an 11th century Georgian Orthodox monastery. The Monastery was founded by the monk Joseph [Abba] Alaverdeli, who came from Antioch and settled in Alaverdi, then a small village and the former pagan religious centre dedicated to Moon. At the beginning of 11th century, Kakhetian King Kvirike the Great built a cathedral in the place of a small church of St. George."

Source: UNESCO World Heritage Tentative List

Alaverdi Cathedral, 11th century, Georgia. Thanks to Kate of Russia for mailing from Tbilisi, Georgia.

China - The Coast of the Bohai Gulf and the Yellow Sea of China

"1) Dandong Yalu River Estuary National Nature Reserve, Liaoning 
2) Changhai Provincial Nature Reserve for Rare Marine Life, Liaoning
3) Beidaihe-Geziwo/Xin River Estuary, Hebei 
4) Qilihai in Beidaihe New District, Hebei 
5) Luannan-Zuidong Coastal Wetland, Hebei 
6) Caofeidian Wetland, Hebei 
7) Nandagang Wetland in Cangzhou, Hebei 
8) Huanghua Ancient Shell Ridges, Hebei 
9) Yellow River Delta National Nature Reserve, Shandong 
10) Yancheng Wetland Rare Birds National Nature Reserve, Jiangsu
11) Lianyungang Salt Works, Jiangsu 
12) Rudong-Tiezuisha Coast, Jiangsu 
13) Dafeng Pere David's Deer National Nature Reserve, Jiangsu  
14) Qidong North Branch of the Yangtze River Estuary Nature Reserve, Jiangsu 

The coast of the Bohai Gulf and the Yellow Sea ranges from Yalu River Estuary on the north to Yangtze River Estuary on the south. Along the coastline distribute natural habitats such as deltas, sandbars, mudflats, rocky shores, islands, reed marshes and shell ridges, as well as cultural landscapes such as salt works, fish ponds and rice fields. Sediments and nutrients are continuously discharged from the Yellow River and the Yangtze River (they are among the world’s longest ten rivers) and other rivers including the Yalu River, the Liao River, the Luan River and the Hai River, accumulating to form the world’s largest continuous mudflat coast. The dynamic process of sediment accumulation and continental shelf subsidence still continues to shape the geological landscape and ecosystem on the Bohai Gulf-the Yellow Sea coast, making it one of the most diverse and fertile coasts in the world, a key habitat for the migratory birds on the East Asian-Australasian Flyway. Besides, habitats formed by thousands of years of human activities, including rice fields and salt works, also provide stopover sites for migratory birds in certain periods of the year."

Source: UNESCO World Heritage Tentative List

Yancheng Rare Birds Nature Reserve in Jiangsu. Thanks to Wei of Hangzhou, China.

Netherlands - Nieuwe Hollandse Waterlinie

"The Nieuwe Hollandse Waterlinie is a military defence line that marked the administrative and economic heart of the Netherlands - Fort Holland. It was designed to keep out invaders by the controlled flooding of a chain of inundation fields to a depth of up to a metre. The inundation line was laid in the 19th and 20th centuries and runs from Fort Naarden to Fort Steurgat in the Biesbosch. The line consists of a system of waterworks and over 1,000 forts, casemates, sluices and wooden houses. The Nieuwe Hollandse Waterlinie is one of the largest projects ever undertaken in the Netherlands. The fields of fire and inundation basins around the forts consist mainly of open land, since the Strategic Defences Act (Kringenwet) of 1853, which was only repealed in 1963, prohibited any building on such designated areas until 1963. The Nieuwe Hollandse Waterlinie links up with, and is an extension of, the Stelling van Amsterdam, which already has World Heritage status."

Source: UNESCO World Heritage Tentative List

Postcard 1
Muiderslot is part of Nieuw Hollandse Waterlinie. Thanks to Mike of Netherlands.

Postcard 2
Loevestein Castle is part of New Dutch Waterline. Thanks to Mike of Netherlands.

Russia - Mamayev Kurgan Memorial Complex "To the Heroes of the Battle of Stalingrad"

"Mamayev Kurgan Memorial complex "To the heroes of the Battle of Stalingrad" in Volgograd is a symbol of heroism and patriotism of the Soviet nation and a tribute to the memory of those who died in the great battle of the Volga river, the most significant land battle in the human history which became a turning point in the World War II.

Due to its convenient location in the very centre of the city, Mamayev Kurgan held the key position in the defence of Stalingrad, and it is here where the construction of an enormous memorial complex started in the May of 1959, it being first presented on 15th October, 1967.

The Memorial complex "To the heroes of the Battle of Stalingrad" represents a unique formation with a total height of 820 meters from its foot to the top."

Source: UNESCO World Heritage Tentative List

Mamayev Kurgan Monutment - Motherland, Volgograd City. Thanks to Piotr of St Petersburg, Russia.

Russia - Krasnoyarsk Stolby

"The nominated area is located on the north-western spur of the Eastern Sayan. Its natural borders are right tributaries of the Yenisey River; in the north-east the Bazaikha, in the south and south-west - the rivers Mana and Bolshaya Slimeva. In the north-east the territory borders on the suburb of Krasnoyarsk."

Source: UNESCO World Heritage Tentative List

Panorama postcard of Krasnoyarsk Area State Nature Reserve, Stolby, Russia. Thanks to Piotr of St Petersburg, Russia.

Belarus - Worship wooden architecture (17th -18th centuries) in Polesye

"Wood was the main building material in Belarus up to the end of the 19th century. Artistic styles of stone architecture influenced greatly the development of worship wooden architecture. The process of the form development in wooden architecture was more complex than in stone architecture, for it presupposed not just renewal but also a return to the cultural roots. Therefore, in 17th and 18th centuries, two types of the Polesye architectural schools emerged - those of the Western Polesye and of the Eastern Polesye. The Western Polesye school has formed itself in the territory between Brest and Pinsk. The typical edifices of the zone are marked by the peculiar construction, planning design, organizational pattern of the yard and architecture. Typical for the school temples were frames, different in size and form, united under a single plastic shingled roof (St. Nikita Church in Zditovo). In addition, churches were constructed with pyramidal tower roofs, with their upper parts cut off (Spasopreobrazhenskaya Church in Otlusha), temples with steeples built to the main facade etc. This architectural school has common features with the architecture of Ukraine, Lithuania, and Poland. St. Nikita Church in Zditovo is a monument of wooden architecture. It was constructed in 1502 in the village of Zditovo of the Zhabinka Rayon on the right bank of the Muchovets River. The temple sizes 9,40 x 15,65 x 6 meters. The Church has three right-angled frames and the apses, covered by a joint pent roof. In the 19th century a frame tambour was attached to the entrance. The walls are covered by vertical wooden planks, 2 The ensemble approach to the architectural design of the avenue, including squares, parks, public gardens, main public buildings has contributed to the enlargement and development the city center."

Source: UNESCO World Heritage Tentative List

Wooden Churches of Belarus. Thanks to Natalia of Belarus.

Belarus - Saviour Transfiguration Church and St. Sophia Cathedral in the town of Polatsk

"The town of Polatsk is one of the most ancient towns founded by West Slavs. First mentioned in "Pouvest vremennyh let" (a Chronicle of Kiev and Kievan Rus) in 862. The town was named in accordance with the Palata river name, on the right bank of which the first settlements appeared. From 10th to 13th centuries Polatsk was the central town of the Polatsk Principality. Favorable geographical location on trade ways ("From Varengians to Greeks") promoted the rapid economical and cultural development. At that time outstanding examples of architecture of the period St. Sofia Cathedral and Savior Transfiguration Church were constructed.

The Saviour Transfiguration Church in the town of Polatsk, Vitsebsk Province, is a monument of ancient Russian architecture. Its style suggests the Polatsk school of architecture. It was built between 1152 and 1161 by the Polatsk architect Ioann by the order of the princess St. Euphrosyne of Polatsk as a cathedral church of the Convent of the Saviour and St. Euphrosyne."

Source: UNESCO World Heritage Tentative List

Saint Sophia'S Cathedral, Polatsk, Belarus.Thanks to Natalia of Belarus.

Croatia - Varazdin - Historic Nucleus and Old Town (the Castle)

"The medieval-renaissance-baroque historic nucleus and the Old Town of Varaždin has features that are remarkable even in comparison with other sites in the greater European setting, and it is an exceptional location in its own country. The old and preserved grid of streets and squares is lined with noble baroque palaces and smaller buildings used as dwellings and it is crowned with an interesting layer of medieval-renaissance-baroque set of buildings of the Old Town (the Castle) located on the north-west corner of the town centre. The baroque seal of this urban entity rests on the town parish church of St. Nicholas and three independent sites holding the Franciscan church, the Jesuit church and the church of St. Ursula with their monasteries in the centre of the historic nucleus. Two baroque churches, of St. Florian and St. Vid, and another, Capuchin monastery, are located on the rim of this site and another two votive chapels, St. Rok and Sts. Fabian and Sebastian on the access roads to the town. The town panorama is marked by their church steeples that can be seen from afar."

Source: UNESCO World Heritage Tentative List

Old town of Varazdin - a former capital of Croatia before it was moved to Zagreb after a major fire. Thanks to Antonella of Croatia.

Germany - Darmstadt Artists’ Colony Mathildenhöhe

"The total artwork of the Darmstadt Artists’ Colony on the Mathildenhöhe Darmstadt, with its buildings, gardens and works of art spanning the years 1901-1914, constitutes not only a unique ensemble testifying to experimental creativity, but also an incomparable document of the architectural and artistic renewal at the dawn of Modernism inspired by the international reform movement of the early 20th century.

The art-loving Hessian Grand Duke, Ernst Ludwig, founded the Darmstadt Artists’ Colony in 1899 as a means of promoting the arts and crafts in Hesse. Over the 16 years of its existence, 23 notable artists were members of this community. The Mathildenhöhe (Mathilde Heights), situated in the eastern part of the city of Darmstadt, developed into an innovative and experimental centre dedicated to architecture and all areas of the fine and applied arts mainly under the direction of Joseph Maria Olbrich, a former member of the Vienna Secession. Other eminent members were Peter Behrens, Hans Christiansen, Albin Müller, and Bernhard Hoetger. The Mathildenhöhe artists’ programmatic focus on the aspects of “domestic living” and “work” came to provide a major inspiration for architectural developments of the early 20th century. Over the course of four exhibitions, a number of pioneering buildings came into being, complete with their interior decoration and furnishings, all surrounded by a park embellished with sculptures, fountains and pavilions. From living space to garden and from furniture to tableware, the artists orchestrated walk-in living environments, each in the form of an aesthetic total art work (“Gesamtkunstwerk”)."

Source: UNESCO World Heritage Tentative List

Postcard 1
Thank you to YL who visited Darmstadt and mailed to me these 4 wonderful Darmstadt Artists' Colony Mathildenhohe with the Russian Church.

Postcard 2
Classic edition of Mathildenhoe Darmstadt.

Postcard 3
Multi-view of Darmstadt Mathildenhohe.

Postcard 4
Ernst-Ludwig Hause by Joseph Mari Olbrich.