Iran - Firuzabad Ensemble

"The ensemble at Firuzabad comprises, within a 12 km diameter area, such archaeological sites as the City of Gur, the Palace of Ardashir (Atashkadeh), Qal'eh Dokhtar fortress, bas reliefs from the time of Ardashir (the founder of the Sassanian dynasty), the Pahlavi inscription of Mehr-Nerse and Tangab Bridge. This ensemble embodies the political, historic, cultural and artistic developments of the early Sassanian period. The City of Gur covers a perfect circle 2 km in diameter, and 8 km away from it, the palace of Ardashir stands beside a pond on the bank of the western branch of Tangab river (Firuzabad). The Qal'eh Dokhtar fortress stands atop the mountain adjoining Tangab river and the ensemble built 4 km away from the palace of Aldashir. At the foot of the Qal'eh Dokhtar fortress the remains of a Sassanian bridge, and on its opposite body the bas-relief depicting the crowning of Ardashir, the Pahlavi Sassanian inscription of Mehr-Nerse, from the time of Yazdgerd II, and at a small distance, between the palace and the fortress, the bas-relief depicting the victory of Ardashir over Ataban V, the last Parthian king, are situated."
Source: UNESCO World Heritage Tentative List

Palace of Ardeshir, Firuz Abad, Iran. It is a tentative list for UNESCO World Heritage nomination. Mailed March 27, 2024. Received April 30, 2024. Thanks to Boris.

Indonesia - Tana Toraja Traditional Settlement

"Tana Toraja Traditional Settlement is a series of 10 traditional settlements or constituents of them, such as burial or ceremonial grounds. The properties are scattered within Tana Toraja Regency in the Province of South Sulawesi, Indonesia. Tana-Toraja occupies about 3.205 km2 of a relatively hilly terrain with plateaus rising from 300 to 2,800 meters above sea level.

The nominated Tana Toraja Traditional Settlement consists of 10 sites which are dispersed in the Tana Toraja Regency (see part I). Traditionally, a Toraja settlement consists of a compound of houses (tongkonan) and granaries (alangs), burials (liang), ceremonial grounds with menhirs (rante), rice-fields, bamboo forests, and grazing ground or pasture for buffalo and pigs. However, not all the nominated sites possess all the settlement components, on account of developmental changes in each site. A brief description of the nominated sites is provided in part I Identification of the Property. The following descriptions present some complementary information about each site.

Source: UNESCO World Heritage Tentative List

Postcard 1
My first postcard sent from Sulawesi (formerly called Celebes) - one of the largest islands in Indonesia after Kalimantan, Sumatra, Java and Irian Jaya.
A typical Toraja traditional rooftops. Nice stamps used. Postcard took more than 3 weeks to arrive. Thanks to Feejin who was visiting Sulawesi.

Postcard 2
Traditional Tana Toraja ancestral buildings with its typical architectural roof. Thanks to Jean-Pierre of France. Received in April 29, 2024.

Philippines - Colonial Urban Plan and Fortifications of the Walled City of Manila

"Shaped like an irregular pentagon, the Historic Center of Manila, known since the late 19th Century as Intramuros, is a 0.67 square kilometer area tied to and woven with the country’s historical narrative from the pre-colonial period to the present. For more than three centuries it was the capital of the Spanish colonial empire in the Far East. It captures, as a landscape, various layers of significance as a witness to the transformative social, historical, economic, religious, and political events of the City of Manila and of the Philippines itself as a result of the intersection between the cultures of Asia, Europe, and America – the primary locus of trade, connection, and competition between these continents in the Western Pacific. Its utmost value is found in being an enduring witness to the confluence of trade and history between continents and peoples."

Source: UNESCO World Heritage Tentative List

Postcard 1
I visited this famous fort in Manila - Intramuros area. Thanks to Dermawan for mailing with stamp of Philippines Miss Universe 2018 of Catriano Gray.

Postcard 2
Intramuros Manila. 

Philippines - Corregidor Island and Historic Fortifications of Manila Bay

"Corregidor Island is a 5.5 square kilometer island at the entrance of Manila Bay in the Philippine island of Luzon located 42 kilometers from the City of Manila. It was a heavily fortified island built tactically and strategically as part of the Harbor Defense of Manila Bay. Corregidor (Fort Mills) was the largest of the four harbor defense fortifications in Manila Bay, that also included El Fraile Island (Fort Drum), Caballo Island (Fort Hughes), and Carabao Island (Fort Frank), that were all fortified during the colonial administration of the United States in the Philippines."

Source: UNESCO World Heritage Tentative List

There is a historical war tour to the Corregidor Island. As Philippines was an American colony during World War II, there were major battles. General MacArthur gave his famous quote, "I shall return"....Thanks to Victor of Singapore for sending this wonderful postcard.

Philippines - The Historic Towns and Landscape of Taal Volcano and its Caldera Lake

"Taal Volcano Protected Landscape — Taal Volcano and Taal Caldera Lake (Cities of Lipa, Tagaytay, and Tanauan, Municipalities of Agoncillo, Alitagtag, Balete, Cuenca, Laurel, Lemery, Malvar, Mataas na Kahoy, San Jose, San Nicolas, Santa Teresita, Taal, and Talisay):  Historic Town of Taal: San Nicolas Ruins.

Taal is an active volcano within a massive caldera, with at least 38 recorded eruptions in the last 450 years. Its most recent major eruption in 2020 prompted evacuations in its surrounding communities while spreading ash across neighboring provinces and regions, including Metro Manila. This eruption had a significant impact on transportation, government, business, and education activities, affecting tens of millions of individuals.

Source: UNESCO World Heritage Tentative List

Beautiful postcard of the crater lake of Taal Volcano - a day trip from Manila, Philippines. Wonderful Year of Ox stamps! Thanks to Bob of Manila. Interesting to note that Philippines postmark ink is purple in color. Postmarked March 13, 2009 - arrived March 20, 2009.

Germany - Moravian Church Settlements (Germany)

 Moravian Church Settlements is a proposed transnational extension of Christiansfeld, a Moravian Church Settlement (Denmark) founded in southern Jutland 1773 as a colony of the Moravian Church, a Protestant denomination in the free church tradition centred in Herrnhut, Saxony. The serial extension comprises three component parts: Herrnhut (Germany), the ‘mother’ or ‘founding town’ of the Renewed Moravian Church, established in 1722 in Saxony and which emerged in step with the evolution of Moravian theology and societal ideals, defining the principles of all Moravian Church settlements; Historic Moravian Bethlehem (USA) founded in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania in 1741, highlighting the most prolific settlement building decade and its early transatlantic dimension, and adding the cultural dimension of the Moravians’ outreach to Native Americans; and Gracehill (UK) founded in Northern Ireland in 1759, representing the importance of the Moravian Church in the UK and representative of a series of ‘ideal’ urban plans, and one which illustrates a remarkable axis of gender symmetry. 

Source: UNESCO World Heritage Tentative List

The town of Hernnhut is hilighted in Germany's nomination as a Monrovian settlement as a tentative list for the UNESCO World Heritage. Thanks to Marcel of Germany.

Bahrain - Saar Heritage Park

The following monuments are located with this area: Early Dilmun town South Burial Complex (the "Honeycomb" complex) * North Burial Complex * Late Dilmun temple * Single Burial mounds To maximize their appeal to the general public, these monuments should be promoted collectively as a single attraction. This should be done by creating a Saar Heritage Park to protect and develop all the monuments listed above. * Early Dilmun town The Dilmun Town covers an area of 2.25 hectares. The main characteristics of the town are: a wide street with subsidiary alleyways running off approximately at right angles; a temple on the highest point; housing blocks sometimes arranged around an open square; and two-and three roomed houses with regular suites of domestic installations. The buildings are remarkably well-preserved, with walls standing over 3m high in places and domestic ovens and hearths intact. The settlement is the only one on Bahrain to have been excavated extensively and visitors are afforded a unique glimpse of daily life in Bahrain 4,000 years ago. * South Burial Complex The so-called 'Honeycomb Cemetery-lies less than half-a-kilometre to the south of the Dilmun town.

Source: Unesco World Heritage Tentative List

A private house of the Dilmun period in Ancient Saar, Bahrain (2000 BC). Thanks to Marcel of Germany.

Greece - Minoan Palatial Centres (Knossos, Phaistos, Malia, Zakros, Kydonia)

"Knossos - Phaistos - Malia - Zakros -Kydonia"

"Crete, prominently and strategically located in the East Mediterranean Basin, formed the bridge between the peoples and cultures of three continents, Europe, Africa and Asia, and was the cradle of a splendid prehistoric civilisation in the land of Greece, the Minoan civilisation.

The civilisation was named “Minoan” by Arthur Evans, the excavator of Knossos, which, according to myths preserved by ancient writers, was the seat of King Minos. The Minoan civilisation is connected to a great chapter in Greek mythology: the abduction of Europa by Zeus in the form of a bull, the ingenious Daedalus and his son Icarus, the Minotaur and the Labyrinth, the seven youths and seven maidens sent from Athens as tribute to Minos, the Athenian hero Theseus - who, with the assistance of Ariadne, rid his city of this blood-tax - the bronze giant Talus and the Argonauts, are all inextricably linked with the civilisation of Crete and its palaces, and have been a source of inspiration not only for ancient Greek culture but also for world art, music and literature." 

Source: UNESCO World Heritage Tentative List

Postcard 1
The Palace of Knossos and the Prince with the Lilies. Thanks to Anne of Finland.

Postcard 2
View of Festos (Phaisto) archaelogical site, in Crete, Greece. Thanks to Dustin of Germany.

Postcard 3
The Queen's Hall with frescos of dolphins, Palace of Knossos, Crete with matching frescos of dolphins stamp. Thanks to Dustin of Germany.

Postcard 4
Gold Jewel from Malia 1800 BC in Archaelogical Museum of Herakleion, Greece. A great addition to my museum postcard collection worldwide. Thanks to Dustin of Germany.

Georgia - Gremi Church of Archangels and Royal Tower

City of Gremi, capital of vanished Kachetian Kingdom of Georgia, located on the Gilian-Shemakha branch of the Great Silk Road, was destroyed by the army of Shah Abbas in XVI c. and never been restored since then. The ruins of Gremi city are now important Late Medieval archaeological site with ruins of churches, trading arcades, baths and dwellings. Gremi attracts visitors with the well-preserved architectural complex: Church of Archangels Michael and Gabriel and the Royal Tower.

The Gremi Church was built and painted upon the order of King Leon in 1565. Peculiar relation of proportions to separate volumes of Gremi Church attaches new features to traditional structure of Georgian cross-cupola churches. The main cross of the building is very high and narrow. The arches are arrowed and have not capitals or tractions. The dome is supported on two free-standing piers and the extensions of the apse. The fabric is of so-called Georgian brick. The façades are samples of developed brick church decorative system characteristic to late feudal epoch in Georgia. The forms of décor are achieved through deepening of planes and turquoise fittings. The wall painting of construction period is preserved inside the Church. The Gremi Church has become a prototype for a whole group of other church buildings in Georgia.

Source: UNESCO World Heritage Tentative  List

Gremi, 16th-century architectural monument, consists of the royal citadel and the Church of the Archangels located n Kakheti, Georgia. Thanks to Uli of Austria.

Turkey - The Bodrum Castle

"The Bodrum Castle (Castle of St. Peter) is located on a small rocky peninsula set between two sheltered bays in Bodrum, on the south- west coast of Anatolia. This peninsula inhabited and known in the ancient world as Zephyrion and was probably used as a rear base by the Byzantines in the early Middle Ages and then by the Turks. The Castle was built by the Order of St. John of Jerusalem (also called Knights of St.John, Knights Hospitallers, Knights of Rhodes) under the mastership of The Grand Master Philibert de Naillac, at the beginning of 15th century A.D., and ruled by them almost 120 years until the conquest of Rhodes by Suleiman I (Suleiman The Magnificent) in 1522. In Ottoman Period, the Bodrum Castle is used as a small garrison base and in 1895 it was transformed into a prison. During the 1st World War, the castle was bombed on the 26th of May 1915 by a French battleship. This caused great damage to the castle, the prisoners were moved inland and the castle was evacuated. Then the Italians invaded Bodrum and they posted their soldiers at the castle and used it as their headquarters. Following the success of the Turkish War of Independence under the leadership of Mustafa Kemal on the 5th of July 1921, the Italian military forces were dispersed. Between the years 1939-1945 during the 2nd World War, the Castle was yet again used as a military base but was evacuated at the end of the war. Today, the Bodrum Castle is home to the Museum of Underwater Archaeology, which is unique in Turkey, and one of the most significant Underwater Archaeology Museums in the world."

Source: UNESCO World Heritage Tentative List

Bodrum Castle (Castle of St.Peter) in Bodrum, a seaport in southwestern Turkey. It is nominated in the Tentative List of UNESCO World Heritage. Thanks to Marcel of Germany. 

United Arab Emirates - Ed-Dur Site

Ed-Dur Site is one of the of the largest archaeological sites in the United Arab Emirates, overlooks Al Beidha Lake. It is naturally surrounded by a series of high sand dunes that protect it from the northern offshore wind prevailing in the region. The site is associated with Meliha site in the Emirate of Sharjah, with which it had strong ties. It was considered the food supplier by using marine transport, while Meliha was concerned with agricultural products that were not available in Ed-Dur. These transactions led to the existence of a unified economy with its own currency . The location of Ed-Dur represents a junction between "Shrax" in southern Mesopotamia and the "north-west of India that serves in supplying water and other items, facilitating the commercial trips. This is indicated in the wells found by the archaeological Mission of Belgium, in addition to many goods imported such as coins, pottery and stone vessels.

Source: UNESCO World Heritage Tentative List

Nice Ed Dur archaelogical site postcard with matching stamps. Thanks to Jean-Pierre of France.

India - Tamil Nadu - Temples of Kanchipuram

Another aspect of Kanchi is its rich political legacy. Kanchi was an important city mentioned in the Sangam literature under the rule of the Cholas. However, with the rise of the Pallavas under Simhavishnu about sixth century CE, who made Kanchi as his capital, it gained more political clout and importance. It remained the capital city of the Pallavas for next two centuries. It continued to be a secondary capital under the Cholas as always, they took pride in possessing it and embellishing it with many temples.  After the end of Chola rule in thirteenth century and till toady it never lost its pre-eminence as a centre of culture, religion and sacredness. The ensemble of religious, cultural, social and political efflorescence for several centuries made Kanchipuram a vibrant centre of built heritage, particularly temples dedicated to Siva and Vishnu, in all more than one hundred and fifty temples. The 11 temples are identified under this nomination, are as follows:

  1. The Rajasimhesvaram or Kailasanatha Temple
  2. Piravatnesvara temple
  3. Iravathanesvara temple
  4. Paramesvara Vinnagaram or Vaikuntaperumal temple
  5. Muketswara temple
  6. Arulala or Varadharaja Perumal temple
  7. Ekambaresvara temple (Thirukachiekambam)
  8. Jvaraharesvara temple
  9. Pandava Dootha Perumal Temple
  10. Yathothkari Perumal Temple
  11. Ulagalanda Perumal Temple

Sri Vaikuntaperumal Temple at Kanchipuram. Thanks to Michael of Germany.

Ethiopia - Simien Mountains National Park (SMNP)

"The Simien Mountains National Park (SMNP) is a world heritage property located some 800km north of Addis Ababa in Amhara National Regional State in the northern Ethiopia highland massif. The property area was only 136 square kilometers when it was originally established under the Negarit Gazetta No 4 of 31st October 1969, Order No 59 of 1969. More recently, the Simien Mountains National Park boundary had been extended in order to secure larger areas of suitable habitat for the Walia ibex and Ethiopian wolf and to protect the entire afro-alpine and afro-montane vegetation communities on a scenic landscape in the year 20010-2013. In the effort of the participatory re-demarcation process of the national Park, important sites including Mesarerya and Limalimo Wildlife Reserves; and the Silki, Kidus Yared and Ras Dejen Mountains with the interconnecting corridors had become part of the property and exclude some villages situated on the edge of the park and some areas under cultivation based on the need to comply with the national conservation laws and policies that prohibit settlements and cultivation; and regulate extractive use of resources in national parks. Thus, the current Simien Mountains National park extends from 37051'26.36''E to 38029’27.59’’E longitude and from 13006'44.09 '' N to 13023'07.85'' N latitude with a total area of about 412 square kilometers and formally gazetted in the national law in the year 2014 with the regulation No 337/2014."

Source: UNESO World Heritage Tentative List

A cool postcard of Simien Mountains of Ethiopia. Simien National Park is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. A nice bushbuck deer stamp used. Thanks to Anna who is living in Bahir Dar, Ethiopia.

Sao Tome and Principe - Volcanic Islands of Sao Tome and Principe

"Located off the coasts of Equatorial Guinea and Gabon, the volcanic islands of the Gulf of Guinea include the islands of Principe, Sao Tomé (together forming the Democratic Republic of Sao Tome and Principe), Bioko and Annobon (part of the Republic of Equatorial Guinea), which all join the volcanic line of Cameroon. The nominated property includes the islands of Sao Tome and Principe. The island of Sao Tome, with a total area of ​​857 square kilometers, lies 255 km west of Gabon and has several islets, the largest of which are llha das Cabras in the north, Santana in the east and Sete Pedras and Rolas to the south. The equator passes through the center of the Rolas islet. The highest point, Pico de Sao Tomé, is 2024 meters above sea level. The island of Principe, with a total area of ​​139 square kilometers, lies 220 km west of the island. continental Africa. Pr[ncipe Island is associated with six main satellite islets: Pedra da Galé, Mosteiros and Born-Born to the north, Caroço to the southeast, and Tinhosa Grande and Tinhosa Pequena which lie about 20 km to the south. The highest point, Pico do Principe, is 942 meters above sea level. In 2006, Parque Natural "Obô" de Sao Tomé and Parque Natural "Obô" de Principe were created, with areas of 19,500 ha and 8,500 ha on the respective islands (a total area of ​​approximately one-third of the country) to protect their representative forest, coastal and marine ecosystems. The “Obô” Natural Park of Sao Tomé and Principe is the nominated property of the State Party of Sao Tomé and Principe."

Source: UNESCO World Heritage Tentative List

Pico Cão Grande (Great Dog Peak) of Obo National Park is a landmark needle shaped volcanic plug in the south of Sao Tome island. Thanks to Uli of Austria who visited Sao Tome and Principe.

Singapore - The Padang Civic Ensemble

"The Padang (Malay for ‘field’) is a multi-use open green space set at the heart of the historic Singapore settlement that combines the features and functions of a playing field, ceremonial parade ground, and tropical civic square. As one of the oldest open spaces in Singapore, the Padang is a seemingly nondescript yet dynamic green that has evolved organically and accrued diverse functions since its formation in the early 1820s. Shortly after the establishment of a British trading post in Singapore in 1819, the Padang originated as a military parade ground within the larger cantonment which served as the settlement’s military and governing centre. It also served as a defensive esplanade and provided a clear field of fire to defend the fledgling British settlement against foreign naval invasions and internal uprisings. Once the military threat subsided, the site soon gained new and overlapping functions –developing over time into a playing field for British sports like cricket, the town’s municipal and civic centre, and a commemorative venue for pageantries, royal celebrations and Singapore’s independence day parade. Continuously activated over two centuries, the Padang has been a mainstay in Singapore’s urban and social fabric since the colonial era till present.

The Padang is the focal point of a British colonial civic square which was developed by the former colonial administration as its municipal headquarters, and subsequently appropriated by the post-independence government. Sharing the evolutionary trajectory of similar open spaces and civic squares found in former British settlements, the property bears testament to the widespread phenomenon of decolonisation and the globally significant transition of long-held British territories to newly independent nations in the decades following World War II.

With the Padang as its centrepiece, the property comprises the Former City Hall and Former Supreme Court buildings (currently the National Gallery Singapore), Saint Andrew’s Cathedral, Old Parliament House (currently the Arts House), Former Town Hall and Victoria Memorial Hall (currently Victoria Theatre and Concert Hall respectively), and the Former Empress Place building (currently the Asian Civilisations Museum) which all date to the period of British colonial rule in Singapore (1819–1963). This cluster of Neoclassical buildings juxtapose against the adjacent New Parliament and New Supreme Court buildings which were constructed during the post-independence era (1965–present). Two sporting clubs, the Singapore Recreation Club and the Singapore Cricket Club occupy the Padang’s north and south ends respectively, and contribute to the site’s long-running recreational character. The Padang Civic Ensemble collectively represents the administrative, legislative, social, recreational, religious and cultural functions that served colonial and post-colonial society in Singapore."

Source: UNESCO WHS Tentative List

Postcard 1
Aerial view of Padang, Singapore. Bought this postcard in Singapore and cancelled it at Changi Airport, Singapore.

Postcard 2
Aerial view of Padang and adjacent British Colonial Buildings. Bought this postcard in Singapore and cancelled the stamp at Singapore Changi Airport Post Office.

Postcard 3 
Saint Andrew Catheral - Aerial View.  Bought this postcard inside the Cathedral. 

Postcard 4 
Saint Andrew Catheral - Interior View. Bought this postcard inside the cathedral.