My Missing Countries/ Sites List

Complete List of UNESCO World Heritage Sites - Missing and Received can be seen HERE

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Lebanon - Anjar - UNESCO World Heritage Site

"The city of Anjar was founded by Caliph Walid I at the beginning of the 8th century. The ruins reveal a very regular layout, reminiscent of the palace-cities of ancient times, and are a unique testimony to city planning under the Umayyads."

Source: UNESCO World Heritage List
Founded during the Umayyad period under Caliph Walid Ibn Abd Al-Malak (705-715), the city of Anjar bears outstanding witness to the Umayyad civilization. Anjar is an example of an inland commercial centre, at the crossroads of two important routes: one leading from Beirut to Damascus and the other crossing the Bekaa and leading from Homs to Tiberiade. The site of this ancient city was only discovered by archaeologists at the end of the 1940s.  Excavations revealed a fortified city surrounded by walls and flanked by forty towers, a rectangular area (385 x 350 m).
Dominated by gates flanked by porticos, an important North-South axis and a lesser East-West axis, superposed above the main collectors for sewers, divide the city into four equal quadrants.  Public and private buildings are laid out according to a strict plan: the great palace of the Caliph and the Mosque in the South-East quarter occupies the highest part of the site, while the small palaces (harems) and the baths are located in the North-East quarter to facilitate the functioning and evacuation of waste waters.
Secondary functions and living quarters are distributed in the North-West and South-West quarters. The ruins are dominated by spectacular vestiges of a monumental tetrapyle, as well as by the walls and colonnades of the Umayyad palace, three levels of which have been preserved. These structures incorporate decorative or architectonical elements of the Roman era, but are also noteworthy for the exceptional plasticity of the contemporary decor within the construction.
Anjar was never completed, enjoying only a brief existence. In 744, Caliph Ibrahim, son of Walid, was defeated and afterwards the partially destroyed city was abandoned. Vestiges of the city of Anjar therefore constitute a unique example of 8th century town planning. Built at the beginning of the Islamic period, it reflects this transition from a protobyzantine culture to the development of Islamic art and this through the evolution of construction techniques and architectonical and decorative elements that may be viewed in the different monuments.
What do you think about this lovely Lebanese UNESCO site?

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Seychelles: Aldabra Atoll - UNESCO World Heritage Site

"The atoll is comprised of four large coral islands which enclose a shallow lagoon; the group of islands is itself surrounded by a coral reef. Due to difficulties of access and the atoll's isolation, Aldabra has been protected from human influence and thus retains some 152,000 giant tortoises, the world's largest population of this reptile."

Source: UNESCO World Heritage List

The least-disturbed large island in the Indian Ocean, Aldabra is of outstanding scientific interest. It is the only place in the world where a reptile is the dominant herbivore; some 150,000 giant tortoises (more than on the Galápagos Islands) feed on tie grasses and shrubbery, including plants that have evolved to take advantage of tortoise grazing patterns. The tortoises are the last survivors of a life form once found on many Indian Ocean islands; slow-moving and vulnerable, the giant land tortoises on all other Indian Ocean islands have been driven to extinction by human exploitation, leaving Aldabra as their only remaining stronghold. The island's isolation has allowed the evolution of a distinct fauna, with two endemic birds (Aldabra arush warbler and Aldabra drongo) and another 11 birds that have distinct subspecies (showing evolution in action); among the most interesting is the Aldabran white-throated rail, the last representative of the western Indian Ocean flightless birds - all others have gone the way of the dodo.
Aldabra is a classic coral atoll which has been built up from the seabed. It consists of four main islands of coral limestone separated by narrow passes and enclosing a large shallow lagoon. Most of the land surface consists of ancient coral reef (about 125,000 years old) now raised above sea level, the rest being even older reef limestones. The lagoon contains many smaller islands and the entire atoll is surrounded by an outer reef. Geomorphological processes have produced a varied topography, generally rugged, which supports a variety of habitats with a relatively rich biota for an oceanic island, and a high degree of endemism. Over much of the surface of the islands, weathering has led to dissection of the limestones into holes and pits, although at the eastern end the surface is more continuous on upraised lagoonal sediments. Along the coast are undercut limestone cliffs, with a perched beach and sand dunes on the southern (windward) coast. Marine habitats range from coral reefs to mangrove mudflats with minimal human impact. Tidal range is more than 3 m, which can lead to strong channel currents.

Mauritania: Ancient Ksour of Ouadane, Chinguetti, Tichitt and Oualata

"Founded in the 11th and 12th centuries to serve the caravans crossing the Sahara, these trading and religious centres became focal points of Islamic culture. They have managed to preserve an urban fabric that evolved between the 12th and 16th centuries. Typically, houses with patios crowd along narrow streets around a mosque with a square minaret. They illustrate a traditional way of life centred on the nomadic culture of the people of the western Sahara."
Source: UNESCO World Heritage List

It literally seems to be as a red village and is an amazing site! The complete site is listed in the list as "Ancient Ksour of Ouadane, Chinguetti, Tichitt and Oualata" whereas the view on the postcard is from "Ancient Ksour of Ouadane".
What do you think?

Mauritius: Aapravasi Ghat - A UNESCO World Heritage Site

"In the district of Port Louis, lies the 1,640 m2 site where the modern indentured labour diaspora began. In 1834, the British Government selected the island of Mauritius to be the first site for what it called ‘the great experiment’ in the use of ‘free’ labour to replace slaves. Between 1834 and 1920, almost half a million indentured labourers arrived from India at Aapravasi Ghat to work in the sugar plantations of Mauritius, or to be transferred to Reunion Island, Australia, southern and eastern Africa or the Caribbean. The buildings of Aapravasi Ghat are among the earliest explicit manifestations of what was to become a global economic system and one of the greatest migrations in history."
Source: UNESCO World Heritage Sites Page

Aapravasi Ghat is another beautiful UNESCO World Heritage Site and it is located in Mauritius.
This postcard is also sent by Postcard Interactive Company of Sydney.

Monday, March 25, 2013

Democratic Republic of Congo - Okapi Wildlife Reserve

"The Okapi Wildlife Reserve occupies about one-fifth of the Ituri forest in the north-east of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The Congo river basin, of which the reserve and forest are a part, is one of the largest drainage systems in Africa. The reserve contains threatened species of primates and birds and about 5,000 of the estimated 30,000 okapi surviving in the wild. It also has some dramatic scenery, including waterfalls on the Ituri and Epulu rivers. The reserve is inhabited by traditional nomadic pygmy Mbuti and Efe hunters."
Source: UNESCO World Heritage List
This beautiful postcard showing an Okapi in Democratic Republic of Congo was sent to me by Postcard Interactive Company of Sydney. The store specialises in UNESCO World Heritage Site Postcards. You can also find many nice postcards there.
It is inscribed as a Natural Heritage Site in Danger.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Cambodia: Angkor

"Angkor is one of the most important archaeological sites in South-East Asia. Stretching over some 400 km2, including forested area, Angkor Archaeological Park contains the magnificent remains of the different capitals of the Khmer Empire, from the 9th to the 15th century. They include the famous Temple of Angkor Wat and, at Angkor Thom, the Bayon Temple with its countless sculptural decorations. UNESCO has set up a wide-ranging programme to safeguard this symbolic site and its surroundings."
Source: UNESCO World Heritage List
This superb Cambodian postcard was sent to me by Zarah from Cambodia.
As mentioned by Zarah at the back of the postcard, "Angkor Temple is the World's Largest Religious Structure", a UNESCO World Heritage Site, a truly magnificent Khmer architectural masterpiece and the highlight to every tourist's visit to Cambodia. I've been there many times and it never fails to amaze me everytime. And who doesn't? It truly is a world wonder."
 The stamp used on the postcard was issued in 2003 at the eve of 45th Anniversary of Cambodian-Chinese Friendship and shows another UNESCO World Heritage Site from China - The Great Wall of China. It is one stamp of the set of two stamps issued on the event. The 2nd stamp featured Angkor Wat Temple from Cambodia. You can see the complete set here.

Indonesia: Borobudur Temple Compounds

"This famous Buddhist temple, dating from the 8th and 9th centuries, is located in central Java. It was built in three tiers: a pyramidal base with five concentric square terraces, the trunk of a cone with three circular platforms and, at the top, a monumental stupa. The walls and balustrades are decorated with fine low reliefs, covering a total surface area of 2,500 m2. Around the circular platforms are 72 openwork stupas, each containing a statue of the Buddha. The monument was restored with UNESCO's help in the 1970s."
Source : UNESCO World Heritage Sites List
Borobudur Temple is a UNESCO Cultural World Heritage Site.
The Borobudur Temple Compounds is one of the greatest Buddhist monuments in the world, and was built in the 8th and 9th centuries AD during the reign of the Syailendra Dynasty. The monument is located in the Kedu Valley, in the southern part of Central Java, at the centre of the island of Java, Indonesia.
The main temple is a stupa built in three tiers around a hill which was a natural centre: a pyramidal base with five concentric square terraces, the trunk of a cone with three circular platforms and, at the top, a monumental stupa. The walls and balustrades are decorated with fine low reliefs, covering a total surface area of 2,520 m2. Around the circular platforms are 72 openwork stupas, each containing a statue of the Buddha.
The postcard was sent to me by Naya from Indonesia. As per Naya, "Borobudur Temple is the largest Buddhist temple in the World and was built in 9th century. Completed almost 100 years from the time construction began, Borobudur is constructed as a 10-terraces building. It also has 1460 Relief Panels and 504 Buddha Effigies."

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

India: Elephanta Caves

"The 'City of Caves', on an island in the Sea of Oman close to Bombay, contains a collection of rock art linked to the cult of Shiva. Here, Indian art has found one of its most perfect expressions, particularly the huge high reliefs in the main cave."
Source: UNESCO World Heritage Site List
The construction time of the famous Elephanta Caves is still very much debated and varies from the 6th century to the 8th century according to different specialists. They constitute one of the most striking collections of rock-art in India. The above postcard features a dancing but broken sculpture of Shiva as Nataraja and is dancing the celestial dance.
There are two groups of caves. To the east, Stupa Hill (thus named because of a small brick Buddhist monument at the top) contains two caves, one of which is unfinished, and several cisterns. To the west, the larger group consists of five rock-cut Hindu shrines. The main cave is universally famous for its carvings to the glory of Shiva, who is exalted in various forms and act ions. The cave consists of a square plan mandapa whose sides measure about 27 m.
The postcard was sent to me by Anuradha Shankar from Mumbai in Maharashtra State of India.
The postcard also features a beautiful Butterfly Stamp of India. This Red Butterfly Indian Stamp was issued by India Post on 20 November 2000 and is of Rupees 15 denomination. It is a part of definitive series - Wildlife. The back of the postcard also shows a nice monogram of India Post.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Russia: Historic Center of St. Petersburg and Related Group of Monuments

"The 'Venice of the North', with its numerous canals and more than 400 bridges, is the result of a vast urban project begun in 1703 under Peter the Great. Later known as Leningrad (in the former USSR), the city is closely associated with the October Revolution. Its architectural heritage reconciles the very different Baroque and pure neoclassical styles, as can be seen in the Admiralty, the Winter Palace, the Marble Palace and the Hermitage."
Source : UNESCO World Heritage Site List
The ensembles designed in St Petersburg and the surrounding area by several international architects exerted great influence in the 18th and 19th centuries on the development of architecture and monumental arts in Russia and Finland. The site links outstanding examples of Baroque imperial residences with the architectural ensemble of St Petersburg, the Baroque and neoclassical capital par excellence. St Petersburg was, moreover, directly associated with events of universal significance.
 The card also feature two beautiful stamps - one with a castle issued in 2011 and the other showing a boat, issued in 2009.
I am sure that you will like this postcard. You can see another post regarding the same postcard at my regular postcard blog here.
Please leave your comments, if you like this poatcard.

Russia: Volcanoes of Kamchatka

"This is one of the most outstanding volcanic regions in the world, with a high density of active volcanoes, a variety of types, and a wide range of related features. The six sites included in the serial designation group together the majority of volcanic features of the Kamchatka peninsula. The interplay of active volcanoes and glaciers forms a dynamic landscape of great beauty. The sites contain great species diversity, including the world's largest known variety of salmonoid fish and exceptional concentrations of sea otter, brown bear and Stellar's sea eagle."
Source: Volcanoes of Kamchatka - UNESCO WHS List
 Here's an official postcrossing postcard to add to my UNESCO World Heritage Sites. It is always nice to receive an official postcard featuring a UNESCO site and helping my project. It is the 2nd postcard in my collection from Russian Federation or Russia. The postcard features "Volcanoes of Kamchatka" in Northern Russia, which is a UNESCO Natural Heritage Site.
More than 300 volcanoes are found in Kamchatka, 29 being currently active, including caldera, strata-volcano, somma-volcano and mixed types, the largest included in the World Heritage site being Kronotskaya Sopka (3,528 m). In addition there is a multitude of thermal and mineral springs, geysers and other phenomena of active vulcanism.
If I am not wrong, then the postcard shows a view of Koryaksky Volcano. If you have any knowledge, then please feel free to share with us.
Anna sent this beautiful postcard to me and pasted 4 beautiful stamps at the back of the card and an amazingly lovely heart sticker too. Anna has  a 10 years old daughter, who is also a postcrosser. I am sure that she must be enjoying this fun activity already.
Thanks a lot Anna for this lovely postcard from Siberia.
If you have any question or any details to share, please feel free to leave a comment below.

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