A closer look at UNESCO WHS: Ksar of Ait-Ben-Haddou

15 07 2009

Name: Ksar of Ait-Ben-Haddou
Country: Morocco
Type: Cultural
Year of inscription: 1978
The site in Google Maps

Aït Benhaddou is a ‘fortified city’, or ksar, along the former caravan route between the Sahara and Marrakech in present-day Morocco. It is situated in Souss-Massa-Draâ on a hill along the Ouarzazate River and has some beautiful examples of kasbahs, which unfortunately, sustain damages during each rainstorm. Most of the town’s inhabitants now live in a more modern village at the other side of the river. Ten families still live within the ksar.


A closer look at UNESCO WHS: White City of Tel-Aviv

1 07 2009

Name: White City of Tel Aviv – the Modern Movement
Country: Israel
Type: Cultural
Year of inscription: 2003
The site in Google Maps

The White City is the name given to Tel Aviv because of the large number of white, or light-coloured buildings built there between the 1920s and the 1950s in the Bauhaus or International style.

Over 4000 buildings in these styles can still be seen in central Tel Aviv; the largest concentration in any one city in the world.

This is my card of Tel Aviv:

I have also visited Tel Aviv myself. 🙂

A closer look at UNESCO WHS: Golden Mountains of Altai

19 06 2009

Name: Golden Mountains of Altai
Country: Russian Federation
Type: Natural
Year of inscription: 1998
The site in Google Maps

Golden Mountains of Altai consists of the Altai and Katun Natural Reserves, Lake Teletskoye, Belukha Mountain, and the Ukok Plateau. As stated in the UNESCO description of the site, “the region represents the most complete sequence of altitudinal vegetation zones in central Siberia, from steppe, forest-steppe, mixed forest, subalpine vegetation to alpine vegetation”. While making its decision, UNESCO also cited Russian Altai’s importance for preservation of the globally endangered mammals, such as snow leopard and the Altai argali.

I have one postcard of Golden Mountains of Altai:

I haven’t visited the site myself but I’ve seen it from the airplane on the way to Beijing, China! 🙂

A closer look at UNESCO WHS: Historic Centre (Old Town) of Tallinn

17 06 2009

Name: Historic Centre (Old Town) of Tallinn
Country: Estonia
Type: Cultural
Year of inscription: 1997, extended in 2008
The site in Google Maps

Tallinn, the capital of Estonia, is named after taani linnus, which means Danish castle. The Castle in question was built by King Waldemar of Denmark in the 13th century. The settlement quickly developed itself into a busy port. In 1248 Tallinn became a member of the Hanseatic League, a chain of European trading cities.

Tallinn was one of the best fortified cities in Europe, with 66 towers adorning the city wall. Only about 20 of them remain today. Nowadays some are used as restaurants and museums.

Here are the postcards of Tallinn I have received. First an aerial overview, the towers and parts of the city wall can be seen in the front:

The second card is a multieview, this card brings you into Tallinn’s Old Town:

And this is the third card, I’ve recently received. It shows Midsummer nights in Tallinn, including the time.
Estonians celebrate ‘Jaaniõhtu’ (‘John’s Night’ in English) on the eve of the Summer Solstice (June 23) with bonfires.  On Jaaniõhtu, Estonians all around the country will gather with their families, or at larger events to celebrate this important day with singing and dancing, as Estonians have done for centuries. The celebrations that accompany Jaaniõhtu are the largest and most important of the year, and the traditions are similar those of Finland and the southern neighbour Latvia.

A closer look at UNESCO WHS: Old City of Dubrovnik

10 06 2009

Name: Old City of Dubrovnik
Country: Croatia
Type: Cultural
Year of inscription: 1979, extended in 1994, endangered from 1991 till 1998
The site in Google Maps

The Old City of Dubrovnik is known for its monumental centre. Dubrovnik became an important Mediterranean sea power from the 13th century onwards. It managed to preserve its beautiful Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque churches, monasteries, palaces and fountains.
The site was extended in 1994 to include the suburbs and the island of Lokrum.

I received two postcards of Old City of Dubrovnik, both are multi views.
Here’s the first card:

And here’s the second card:

A closer look at UNESCO WHS: Historic Centre of Córdoba

24 05 2009

Name: Historic Centre of Córdoba
Country: Spain
Type: Cultural
Year of inscription: 1984, extended in 1994
The site in Google Maps

Cordoba is a city in Andalusia, Southern Spain. It’s located on the banks of the Guadalquivir river and it was founded in ancient Roman times as Corduba by Claudius Marcellus.
In 711 AD, Cordoba, as many other Andalusian cities, was conquered by the Moors. They turned the city into a cultural place, with mosques and palaces. The large Cordoba Mosque was modelled after the mosque in Damascus, and is a real masterpiece. The surrounding neighbourhood formed the heart of the city.
After the Moors left, Cordoba got a more Christian atmosphere.

I received two different postcards of the site:

This card shows some places of interest in Cordoba:

And this card shows the Great Mosque of Cordoba, or in Spanish, Mezquita. Originally built as a church, after the Muslim conquest the building was confiscated for use as a mosque. After the Spanish Reconquista, it was returned to its original use as a church. Today it houses the main church of the diocese of Cordoba in Spain.

I have visited Cordoba. 🙂

A closer look at UNESCO WHS: Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park

13 05 2009

Name: Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park
Country: Australia
Type: Mixed
Year of inscription: 1987, extended in 1994
The site in Google Maps

Uluru, also known as Ayers Rock, is a large sandstone rock formation located in the Northern Territory of central Australia. Uluru is sacred to the Aboriginal people of the area. It has many springs, waterholes, rock caves and ancient paintings. Uluru is listed as a World Heritage Site for both its natural and man-made qualities.

This is the postcard of Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park in my collection, this card shows actually only Uluru. Kata Tjuta is a site nearby but they are listed together:

Due to the lack of a postcard of Kata Tjuta, a photo. I will replace as soon as I receive a card of Kata Tjuta.

I have also visitid both sites myself. 🙂 We didn’t climb Uluru, because the place is sacred to the Aboriginal people, but we did the 10 km base walk early in the morning. At Kata-Tjuta we walked some kilometers on and between the rocks.