Italy - Val d'Orcia

"The landscape of Val d’Orcia is part of the agricultural hinterland of Siena, redrawn and developed when it was integrated in the territory of the city-state in the 14th and 15th centuries to reflect an idealized model of good governance and to create an aesthetically pleasing picture. The landscape’s distinctive aesthetics, flat chalk plains out of which rise almost conical hills with fortified settlements on top, inspired many artists. Their images have come to exemplify the beauty of well-managed Renaissance agricultural landscapes. The inscription covers: an agrarian and pastoral landscape reflecting innovative land-management systems; towns and villages; farmhouses; and the Roman Via Francigena and its associated abbeys, inns, shrines, bridges, etc." 

Source: UNESCO World Heritage

Postcard 1
View of Il Belvedere, Val d'Orcia, Siena in Toscana, Italia. Thanks to Riccardo of Italy.

Postcard 2
Val d'Orcia, Toscana, Italia. Thanks to Ferro of Belgium for mailing from Tuscany, Italy.

Belgium - Flemish Béguinages

"The Béguines were women who dedicated their lives to God without retiring from the world. In the 13th century they founded the béguinages, enclosed communities designed to meet their spiritual and material needs. The Flemish béguinages are architectural ensembles composed of houses, churches, ancillary buildings and green spaces, with a layout of either urban or rural origin and built in styles specific to the Flemish cultural region. They are a fascinating reminder of the tradition of the Béguines that developed in north-western Europe in the Middle Ages." Source: UNESCO World Heritage

Beguinags locations are:
- Antwerp
- Bruges
- Dendermonde
- Diest- Ghent (3: Old Saint-Elisabeth, New Saint-Elisabeth in Sint-Amandsberg and Our-Lady Ter Hooyen)
- Hasselt
- Hoogstraten
- Lier
- Leuven (2: Large and Small)
- Mechelen (2: Large and Small)
- Kortrijk
- Sint-Truiden
- Turnhout
- Tongeren

Postcard 1 - Beijnhor Diest
Beguinage of Diest is one of the oldest - founded in the 13th century. Thanks to Gerda of Belgium.

Postcard 2 - Beguinage of Dendermonde A UNESCO Multiview of Dendermonde showing Beguinage. Thanks to An of Dendermonde, Belgium.

Postcard 3A - Beguinage of Bruges These medieval architecture buildings are listed as UNESCO World Heritage Site. Nice stamps including Beijing Olympics Games 2008 stamp. Thanks to Gilles of Ghent, Belgium for this card

Postcard 3B - Beguinage of Brugge
Another similar view of Beguinage of Brugge. Thanks to Ferro of Belgium with signatures of a postcrossing meet-up in Brugge.

South Korea - Baekje Historic Areas

"Located in the mountainous mid-western region of the Republic of Korea, this property comprises eight archaeological sites dating from 475 to 660 CE, including the Gongsanseong fortress and royal tombs at Songsan-ri related to the capital, Ungjin (present day Gongju), the Busosanseong Fortress and Gwanbuk-ri administrative buildings, and the Naseong city wall related to the capital, Sabi (now Buyeo), the royal palace at Wanggung-ri and the Mireuksa Temple in Iksan related to the secondary Sabi capital. Together, these sites represent the later period of the Baekje Kingdom – one of the three earliest kingdoms on the Korean peninsula (18 BCE to 660 CE) - during which time they were at the crossroads of considerable technological, religious (Buddhist), cultural and artistic exchanges between the ancient East Asian kingdoms in Korea, China and Japan."

Source: UNESCO World Heritage

Baekje 25th King Muryeong - stone inscription epitaph - national treasure no.6. Thanks to Marian of Italy who visited Gongju, South Korea and bought and mailed this postcard.

South Korea - Historic Villages of Korea: Hahoe and Yangdong

"Founded in the 14th-15th centuries, Hahoe and Yangdong are seen as the two most representative historic clan villages in the Republic of Korea. Their layout and location - sheltered by forested mountains and facing out onto a river and open agricultural fields – reflect the distinctive aristocratic Confucian culture of the early part of the Joseon Dynasty (1392-1910). The villages were located to provide both physical and spiritual nourishment from their surrounding landscapes. They include residences of the head families, together with substantial timber framed houses of other clan members, also pavilions, study halls, Confucian academies for learning, and clusters of one story mud-walled, thatched-roofed houses, formerly for commoners. The landscapes of mountains, trees and water around the village, framed in views from pavilions and retreats, were celebrated for their beauty by 17th and 18th century poets." 

Source: UNESCO World Heritage

Postcard 1A - Hahoe
Hyangsa Rite in Byeongsan Seowon - a Confucian academy in traditional cultural villlage of Hahoe. Thanks to Ching-Ru of Taiwan who visiting this UNESCO World Heritage site.

Postcard 1B - Hahoe
Aerial view of historic village of Hahoe. Thanks to Robert of South Korea.

Posctard 2 - Yangdong
Black and white winter view of Yangdong village. Thanks to Marina of Italy who visited Yangdong, South Korea and mailed this postcard.

Lebanon - Tyre

"According to legend, purple dye was invented in Tyre. This great Phoenician city ruled the seas and founded prosperous colonies such as Cadiz and Carthage, but its historical role declined at the end of the Crusades. There are important archaeological remains, mainly from Roman times."

Source: UNESCO World Heritage

Postcard 1
Tyr is a UNESCO World Heritage in Lebanon. Thanks to Stacy for mailing from Lebanon.

Postcard 2
Triumphal Arch of Tyre, Lebanon. Postcard bought in Lebanon. Thanks to Violeta of Romania.

Czech Republic - Historic Centre of Prague

"Built between the 11th and 18th centuries, the Old Town, the Lesser Town and the New Town speak of the great architectural and cultural influence enjoyed by this city since the Middle Ages. The many magnificent monuments, such as Hradcani Castle, St Vitus Cathedral, Charles Bridge and numerous churches and palaces, built mostly in the 14th century under the Holy Roman Emperor, Charles IV." 

Source: UNESCO World Heritage

Postcard 1
St. Vitus Cathedral, Prague. I visited this amazing cathedral and cancelled this postcard in the post office located opposite the cathedral during my visit in May, 2015.

Postcard 2
I really like this picturesque postcard of Praque (Praha), the capital of Czech Republic (Ceska Republika). I used to collect many Czechoslavakia stamps. Now these are two independent countries - Czech Republic and Slovakia. Thanks very much to Adela for sending this nice card.

Postcard 3
Prague has become a major tourist destination. Nice multiview postcard - thanks to Mark of Malta.

Postcard 4
Old Town Square of Praha with Tyn Church. Thanks to Vladimir of Praque.

Postcard 5 
Charles Bridge and Prague Castle. Thanks to Ing of New Zealand. Sent in May, 2016.

Postcard 6
Old Town Square of Prague. Thanks to Eliska of Prague, Czech Republic.

Postcard 7
I walked on Charles Bridge a few times when I visited Prague. Thanks to Mila for mailing this postcard from Czechia in 2017.

Germany - Luther Memorials in Eisleben and Wittenberg

"These places in Saxony-Anhalt are all associated with the lives of Martin Luther and his fellow-reformer Melanchthon. They include Melanchthon's house in Wittenberg, the houses in Eisleben where Luther was born in 1483 and died in 1546, his room in Wittenberg, the local church and the castle church where, on 31 October 1517, Luther posted his famous '95 Theses', which launched the Reformation and a new era in the religious and political history of the Western world." Source: UNESCO World Heritage

Postcard 1 - Eisleben
Multi-view of Eisleben showing the houses where Luther was born, died and the town hall of Eisleben, Germany. Thanks to Nicole of Germany.

Postcard 2A - Wittenberg
Wittenberg is a city in Sachsen-Anhalt in former East Germany. This is a UNESCO World Heritage site. A historical castle church. Thanks to Aileen.

Postcard 2B - Wittenberg
Townhall and Church of Wittenberg - thanks to Thomas of Germany.

Sweden High Coast - Finland Kvarken Archipelago

"The Kvarken Archipelago (Finland) and the High Coast (Sweden) are situated in the Gulf of Bothnia, a northern extension of the Baltic Sea. The 5,600 islands of the Kvarken Archipelago feature unusual ridged washboard moraines, ‘De Geer moraines’, formed by the melting of the continental ice sheet, 10,000 to 24,000 years ago. The Archipelago is continuously rising from the sea in a process of rapid glacio-isostatic uplift, whereby the land, previously weighed down under the weight of a glacier, lifts at rates that are among the highest in the world. As a consequence islands appear and unite, peninsulas expand, and lakes evolve from bays and develop into marshes and peat fens. The High Coast has also been largely shaped by the combined processes of glaciation, glacial retreat and the emergence of new land from the sea. Since the last retreat of the ice from the High Coast 9,600 years ago, the uplift has been in the order of 285 m which is the highest known ''rebound''. The site affords outstanding opportunities for the understanding of the important processes that formed the glaciated and land uplift areas of the Earth''s surface." Source: UNESCO World Heritage

Postcard 1 - Sweden High Coast
Hoga Kusten or Hight Coast of Sweden. Thanks to Merja of Sweden.

Postcard 2A - Finalnd Kvarken Archipelago
A sweeping panaromic view of Vasa Vasa of Kvarken Archipelago, Finland. This UNESCO World Heritage site spans across Finland and Sweden. Nice stamp. Thnanks again to Merja of Finland.

Postcard 2B - Finland Kvarken Archipelago
Thanks to Memm of Finland. Moomin stamp used.

Belgium - Historic Centre of Brugge

"Brugge is an outstanding example of a medieval historic settlement, which has maintained its historic fabric as this has evolved over the centuries, and where original Gothic constructions form part of the town's identity. As one of the commercial and cultural capitals of Europe, Brugge developed cultural links to different parts of the world. It is closely associated with the school of Flemish Primitive painting." 

Source: UNESCO World Heritage

Postcard 1
Night view of Brugge. Thanks to Ruth of USA who visited Brugge.

Postcard 2
The Market Place of Brugge. In different languages written on the back of the postcard - Market Place - Marktplatz - Grand'Place - Grote Markt

Postcard 3
Canals of Brugge. Thanks to Lara of Belgium.