Jun 30, 2010

Italy. Historic Centre of Rome

Date of Inscription: 1980
Extension: 1990
Criteria: (i)(ii)(iii)(iv)(vi)
Property : 1485.1000 ha
Province of Roma, Lazio region (IT) / Vatican City State (VA) 
N41 53 24.8 E12 29 32.3
Ref: 91bis

Founded, according to legend, by Romulus and Remus in 753 BC, Rome was first the centre of the Roman Republic, then of the Roman Empire, and it became the capital of the Christian world in the 4th century. The World Heritage site, extended in 1990 to the walls of Urban VIII, includes some of the major monuments of antiquity such as the Forums, the Mausoleum of Augustus, the Mausoleum of Hadrian, the Pantheon, Trajan’s Column and the Column of Marcus Aurelius, as well as the religious and public buildings of papal Rome.


Thanks to Luca!

Russia. Kizhi Pogost

Date of Inscription: 1990
Criteria: (i)(iv)(v)
Karelian Autonomous S.S.R., Medvezhjegorskij Region
N62 04 17 E35 13 39
Ref: 544

The pogost of Kizhi (i.e. the Kizhi enclosure) is located on one of the many islands in Lake Onega, in Karelia. Two 18th-century wooden churches, and an octagonal clock tower, also in wood and built in 1862, can be seen there. These unusual constructions, in which carpenters created a bold visionary architecture, perpetuate an ancient model of parish space and are in harmony with the surrounding landscape.


Thanks to Tatjana,  Nina and Julia!

Russia. Lake Baikal

Date of Inscription: 1996
Criteria: (vii)(viii)(ix)(x)
Property : 8800000.0000 ha
Irkutsk and Chita regions, Republic of Buryatia
N53 10 25 E107 39 45
Ref: 754

Situated in south-east Siberia, the 3.15-million-ha Lake Baikal is the oldest (25 million years) and deepest (1,700 m) lake in the world. It contains 20% of the world's total unfrozen freshwater reserve. Known as the 'Galapagos of Russia', its age and isolation have produced one of the world's richest and most unusual freshwater faunas, which is of exceptional value to evolutionary science. http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/754

Thanks to Alisa and Nadya!

Belarus, Poland. Belovezhskaya Pushcha / Białowieża Forest

Date of Inscription: 1979
Extension: 1992
Criteria: (vii)
Property : 92669.0000 ha
Grodno Province (oblast) (BY) / Podlasie Voivodship (PL)
N52 30 0 E23 34 60
Ref: 33bis

Situated on the watershed of the Baltic Sea and the Black Sea, this immense forest range, consisting of evergreens and broad-leaved trees, is home to some remarkable animal life, including rare mammals such as the wolf, the lynx and the otter, as well as some 300 European Bison, a species which has been reintroduced into the park.


Thanks to Elena (Brest)!

Belarus. Mir Castle Complex

Date of Inscription: 2000
Criteria: (ii)(iv)
Grodno Province (oblast), Korelichi District
N53 27 03.9 E26 28 21.8
Ref: 625

The construction of this castle began at the end of the 15th century, in Gothic style. It was subsequently extended and reconstructed, first in the Renaissance and then in the Baroque style. After being abandoned for nearly a century and suffering severe damage during the Napoleonic period, the castle was restored at the end of the 19th century, with the addition of a number of other elements and the landscaping of the surrounding area as a park. Its present form is graphic testimony to its often turbulent history.


Thanks to Olya, Julia  and to Elena from Hrodno!

India. Mahabalipuram

Date of Inscription: 1984
Criteria: (i)(ii)(iii)(vi)
Tamil Nadu State, Chingleput District
N12 37 0.012 E80 11 30.012
Ref: 249

This group of sanctuaries, founded by the Pallava kings, was carved out of rock along the Coromandel coast in the 7th and 8th centuries. It is known especially for its rathas (temples in the form of chariots), mandapas (cave sanctuaries), giant open-air reliefs such as the famous 'Descent of the Ganges', and the temple of Rivage, with thousands of sculptures to the glory of Shiva.

Thanks to Claus!

Italy. Sacri Monti of Piedmont and Lombardy

The Sacred Mount of Varallo

Date of Inscription: 2003
Criteria: (ii)(iv)
Property : 90.5000 ha
Buffer zone: 721.9000 ha
Regions of Lombardy and Piedmont
N45 58 28.4 E9 10 10.4 Multiple Locations
Ref: 1068rev

“The nine Sacred Mounts of Northern Italy are groups of chapels and other architectural edifices constructed in the 16th and 17th centuries, dedicated to different aspects of the Christian faith. In addition to their symbolic and spiritual significance, they also possess notable characteristics of beauty, virtue and pleasantness, and they are integrated in natural and scenic environments of hills, woods and lakes. They also contain very important artistic remains (frescoes an statues)”. With this motivation, in 2003 the UNESCO registered the site “Sacred Mounts of Piemonte and of Lombardia” in its World Heritage List.
The Sacred Mounts of Piemonte (Belmonte, Crea, Domodossola, Ghiffa, Oropa, Orta and Varallo) and the two of Lombardia (Ossuccio and Varese), highlighting the extraordinary wealth and the quality and the value of these jewels of history, of art and of nature.
The series of chapels, which, with statues, paintings and frescos recount episodes and mysteries of sacred life, merge with the welcoming environmental surroundings and contribute to define the features of each monumental complex. Valuable examples of landscape architecture, the Sacred Mounts are important meeting places for the faithful and for lovers of art.
From the ring of the western Alps, where the phenomenon originated more than five hundred years ago, the Sacred Mounts
 then inspired similar models that rose in many parts of Catholic Europe. The seven Sacred Mounts of Piemonte have been included  in the system of protected areas of the Piemonte Region, that cares for their historical and artistic preservation and maintains and safeguards the surrounding environment. (source: http://www.sacrimonti.net/)


Thanks to Chiara!

Thailand. Ayutthaya

Date of Inscription: 1991
Criteria: (iii)
Ayutthaya Province
N14 20 52 E100 33 38
Ref: 576  

Founded c. 1350, Ayutthaya became the second Siamese capital after Sukhothai. It was destroyed by the Burmese in the 18th century. Its remains, characterized by the prang (reliquary towers) and gigantic monasteries, give an idea of its past splendour.


Thanks to Claus!

China. Wulingyuan Scenic and Historic Interest Area

Date of Inscription: 1992
Criteria: (vii)
Property : 26400.0000 ha
The Wulingyuan District of the City of Dayong, Hunan Province
N29 20 E110 30
Ref: 640

A spectacular area stretching over more than 26,000 ha in China's Hunan Province, the site is dominated by more than 3,000 narrow sandstone pillars and peaks, many over 200 m high. Between the peaks lie ravines and gorges with streams, pools and waterfalls, some 40 caves, and two large natural bridges. In addition to the striking beauty of the landscape, the region is also noted for the fact that it is home to a number of endangered plant and animal species.


Thnanks to Xiao Hua and Liuxu!

Malaysia. George Town, Penang

Date of Inscription: 2008
Criteria: (ii)(iii)(iv)
Property : 148.0000 ha
Buffer zone: 284.0700 ha
N5 25 17 E100 20 45
Ref: 1223

George Town or Georgetown, is the capital of the state of Penang in Malaysia. Named after Britain's King George III, George Town is located on the north-east corner of Penang Island and has about 220,000 inhabitants, or about 400,000 including the suburbs.

Formerly a municipality and then a city in its own right, since 1976 George Town has been part of the municipality of Penang Island, though the area formerly governed by the city council is still commonly referred to as a city, and is also known as Tanjung ("The Cape") in Malay and 喬治市 (Qiáozhì Shì) in Chinese.

The inner city of George Town is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

(source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Georgetown,_Penang)


Thanks to SLLiew!

Russia. Moscow Kremlin and Red Square

Date of Inscription: 1990
Criteria: (i)(ii)(iv)(vi)
City of Moscow
N55 44 45 E37 37 47
Ref: 545  

Brief Description
Inextricably linked to all the most important historical and political events in Russia since the 13th century, the Kremlin (built between the 14th and 17th centuries by outstanding Russian and foreign architects) was the residence of the Great Prince and also a religious centre. At the foot of its ramparts, on Red Square, St Basil's Basilica is one of the most beautiful Russian Orthodox monuments.


Thanks to all Russian postcrossers who has sent me these cards!

Finland. Bronze Age Burial Site of Sammallahdenmäki (Sammallahdenmäen pronssikautinen röykkiöalue)

Date of Inscription: 1999
Criteria: (iii)(iv)
Region of Satakunta, Province of Western Finland
N61 07 14 E21 46 39
Ref: 579rev  

This Bronze Age burial site features more than 30 granite burial cairns, providing a unique insight into the funerary practices and social and religious structures of northern Europe more than three millennia ago.

Thanks to Niina!

France. Palace and Park of Versailles

Date of Inscription: 1979
Minor modification inscribed year: 2007
Criteria: (i)(ii)(vi)
Property : 1070.0000 ha
Buffer zone: 9467.0000 ha
Department of Yvelines, Ile-de-France
N48 48 18 E2 7 10
Ref: 83bis

The Palace of Versailles was the principal residence of the French kings from the time of Louis XIV to Louis XVI. Embellished by several generations of architects, sculptors, decorators and landscape architects, it provided Europe with a model of the ideal royal residence for over a century.


Thanks to Steffi!

Germany. Netherlands. The Wadden Sea

Date of Inscription: 2009
Criteria: (viii)(ix)(x)
Property : 968.3930 ha
N53 31 43 E8 33 22
Ref: 1314

The Wadden Sea comprises the Dutch Wadden Sea Conservation Area and the German Wadden Sea National Parks of Lower Saxony and Schleswig-Holstein. It is a large temperate, relatively flat coastal wetland environment, formed by the intricate interactions between physical and biological factors that have given rise to a multitude of transitional habitats with tidal channels, sandy shoals, sea-grass meadows, mussel beds, sandbars, mudflats, salt marshes, estuaries, beaches and dunes. The inscribed site represents over 66% of the whole Wadden Sea and is home to numerous plant and animal species, including marine mammals such as the harbour seal, grey seal and harbour porpoise. It is also a breeding and wintering area for up to 12 millions birds per annum and it supports more than 10 percent of 29 species. The site is one of the last remaining natural, large-scale, intertidal ecosystems where natural processes continue to function largely undisturbed.


Thanks to Mindy from The Netherlands and to Brigitte from Germany!

Germany. Old town of Regensburg with Stadtamhof

Date of Inscription: 2006
Criteria: (ii)(iii)(iv)
Property : 182.8000 ha
Buffer zone: 775.6000 ha
N49 01 13 E12 05 50
Ref: 1155

Located on the Danube River in Bavaria, this medieval town contains many buildings of exceptional quality that testify to its history as a trading centre and to its influence on the region from the 9th century. A notable number of historic structures span some two millennia and include ancient Roman, Romanesque and Gothic buildings. Regensburg’s 11th- to 13th-century architecture – including the market, city hall and cathedral – still defines the character of the town marked by tall buildings, dark and narrow lanes, and strong fortifications. The buildings include medieval patrician houses and towers, a large number of churches and monastic ensembles as well as the 12th-century Old Bridge, which dates from. The town is also remarkable for the vestiges testifing to its rich history as one of the centres of the Holy Roman Empire that turned to Protestantism. http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/1155

Thanks to Sabine!

Germany. Hanseatic City of Lübeck

Date of Inscription: 1987Minor modification inscribed year: 2009Criteria: (iv)
Property : 81.1000 ha
Buffer zone: 693.8000 ha
State of Schleswig-Holstein
N53 52 0.012 E10 41 30.012
Ref: 272bis

Lübeck – the former capital and Queen City of the Hanseatic League – was founded in the 12th century and prospered until the 16th century as the major trading centre for northern Europe. It has remained a centre for maritime commerce to this day, particularly with the Nordic countries. Despite the damage it suffered during the Second World War, the basic structure of the old city, consisting mainly of 15th- and 16th-century patrician residences, public monuments (the famous Holstentor brick gate), churches and salt storehouses, remains unaltered.


Thanks to Sabine!

Germany. Speyer Cathedral

Date of Inscription: 1981
Criteria: (ii)
State of Rhineland-Palatinate (Rheinland-Pfalz)
N49 19 00 E8 26 35
Ref: 168

Speyer Cathedral, a basilica with four towers and two domes, was founded by Conrad II in 1030 and remodelled at the end of the 11th century. It is one of the most important Romanesque monuments from the time of the Holy Roman Empire. The cathedral was the burial place of the German emperors for almost 300 years. 


Thanks to Isabella!

Russia. Ensemble of the Ferrapontov Monastery

Date of Inscription: 2000
Criteria: (i)(iv)
Vologda region
N59 57 0 E38 34 0
Ref: 982

The Ferapontov Monastery, in the Vologda region in northern Russia, is an exceptionally well-preserved and complete example of a Russian Orthodox monastic complex of the 15th-17th centuries, a period of great significance in the development of the unified Russian state and its culture. The architecture of the monastery is outstanding in its inventiveness and purity. The interior is graced by the magnificent wall paintings of Dionisy, the greatest Russian artist of the end of the 15th century.


Russia. Historic Centre of Saint Petersburg and Related Groups of Monuments

Date of Inscription: 1990Criteria: (i)(ii)(iv)(vi)
St. Petersburg region
N59 57 00 E30 19 06
Ref: 540  

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.


Thanks to all Russian postcrossers who has sent me these cards!

Jun 29, 2010

Russia. Ensemble of the Novodevichy Convent

Date of Inscription: 2004
Criteria: (i)(iv)(vi)

Property : 5.1800ha

Buffer zone: 47.0000 ha

City of Moscow

N55 43 34.0 E37 33 18.3

Ref: 1097

The Novodevichy Convent, in south-western Moscow, built in the 16th and 17th centuries in the so-called Moscow Baroque style, was part of a chain of monastic ensembles that were integrated into the defence system of the city. The convent was directly associated with the political, cultural and religious history of Russia, and closely linked to the Moscow Kremlin. It was used by women of the Tsar’s family and the aristocracy. Members of the Tsar’s family and entourage were also buried in its cemetery. The convent provides an example of the highest accomplishments of Russian architecture with rich interiors and an important collection of paintings and artefacts.


Thanks to Julia, Irina and Marina!

Portugal. Landscape of the Pico Island Vineyard culture in the Azores island

Date of Inscription: 2004
Criteria: (iii)(v)
Property : 190.2000 ha
Buffer zone: 2445.2000 ha
N38 30 48.4 W28 32 28.2
Ref: 1117rev  

Brief Description
The 987-ha site on the volcanic island of Pico, the second largest in the Azores archipelago, consists of a remarkable pattern of spaced-out, long linear walls running inland from, and parallel to, the rocky shore. The walls were built to protect the thousands of small, contiguous, rectangular plots (currais) from wind and seawater. Evidence of this viniculture, whose origins date back to the 15th century, is manifest in the extraordinary assembly of the fields, in houses and early 19th-century manor houses, in wine-cellars, churches and ports. The extraordinarily beautiful man-made landscape of the site is the best remaining area of a once much more widespread practice.

Thanks to Joana! 

Portugal. Historic Centre of Évora

Date of Inscription: 1986
Criteria: (ii)(iv)
Province: Alentejo, District: Evora
N38 34 23 W7 54 28
Ref: 361  
This museum-city, whose roots go back to Roman times, reached its golden age in the 15th century, when it became the residence of the Portuguese kings. Its unique quality stems from the whitewashed houses decorated with azulejos and wrought-iron balconies dating from the 16th to the 18th century. Its monuments had a profound influence on Portuguese architecture in Brazil.


Thanks to Marta!