Cote d'Ivoire - Historic town of Grand-Bassam

"The first capital of Côte d’Ivoire, the Historic Town of Grand-Bassam, is an example of a late 19th and early 20th-century colonial town planned with quarters specializing in commerce, administration, housing for Europeans and housing for Africans. The site includes the N’zima African fishing village alongside colonial architecture marked by functional houses with galleries, verandas and gardens. Grand-Bassam was the most important port, economic and judicial centre of Côte d’Ivoire. It bears witness to the complex social relations between Europeans and Africans, and to the subsequent independence movement. As a vibrant centre of the territory of French trading posts in the Gulf of Guinea, which preceded modern Côte d’Ivoire, it attracted populations from all parts of Africa, Europe and the Mediterranean Levant." Source: UNESCO World Heritage

Old French quarters in Grand Bassam, Cote I'voire. Tanks to Uli of Austria for mailing from Grand Bassam, Cote I'voire.

Japan - Historic Villages of Shirakawa-go and Gokayama

"Located in a mountainous region that was cut off from the rest of the world for a long period of time, these villages with their Gassho-style houses subsisted on the cultivation of mulberry trees and the rearing of silkworms. The large houses with their steeply pitched thatched roofs are the only examples of their kind in Japan. Despite economic upheavals, the villages of Ogimachi, Ainokura and Suganuma are outstanding examples of a traditional way of life perfectly adapted to the environment and people's social and economic circumstances." Source: UNESCO World Heritage

Postcard 1A - Gokayama
View of traditional village house of Gokayama. Postmarked March 30, 2011 in Fukuoka Shi and arrived in Penang on April 5, 2011. Thanks to Kenji-san of Japan. Doumo arigatou gozaimashita.

Postcard 1B - Gokayama
Gokayama. Thanks to Jennier who visited Gokayama.

Postcard 2A - Shirawaka
Shirawaka in Autumn. Thanks to Phoebe of Hong Kong who visiting this lovely place.

Postcard 2B - Shirakawa
This unique farming community with triangle thatched roofs houses is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Water is frequently sprayed to avoid fire. Thanks to Adriana for sending me this lovely card.

Postcards 2C - Shirawaka
Postcard mailed from Shirakawa and a set of postcards of Shirawaka in all seasons bought there. Thanks to YL and family who were visiting in December 2014.

and other postcards from the postcard set.

Postcard 3
Illustration postcard. Thanks to Irene or mailing from Taiwan.

Latvia - Historic Centre of Riga

"Riga was a major centre of the Hanseatic League, deriving its prosperity in the 13th–15th centuries from the trade with central and eastern Europe. The urban fabric of its medieval centre reflects this prosperity, though most of the earliest buildings were destroyed by fire or war. Riga became an important economic centre in the 19th century, when the suburbs surrounding the medieval town were laid out, first with imposing wooden buildings in neoclassical style and then in Jugendstil. It is generally recognized that Riga has the finest collection of art nouveau buildings in Europe." Source: UNESCO World Heritage

Postcard 1
The House of Blackheads of Riga. This building was reconstructed in 1999 as it was destroyed during WWII. Beautiful night wildlife stamps. Thanks to Laura of Riga, Latvia.

Postcard 2
Great multi-view of old town of Riga - Three Brothers, Small Guildhall, Skarnu Street, Jacob's Barrack, National Opera. Thanks to Klina for sending this nice card from Riga while on a Baltic tour.

Postcard 3
Another great panaromic card, extra long size, of Riga, the capital of Latvia (Latvija). Thanks to Mette of Norway who was visiting Riga, Latvia.

Postcard 4
Riga at night. Thanks to Emilla of Latvia.

Japan - Buddhist Monuments in the Horyu-ji Area

"There are around 48 Buddhist monuments in the Horyu-ji area, in Nara Prefecture. Several date from the late 7th or early 8th century, making them some of the oldest surviving wooden buildings in the world. These masterpieces of wooden architecture are important not only for the history of art, since they illustrate the adaptation of Chinese Buddhist architecture and layout to Japanese culture, but also for the history of religion, since their construction coincided with the introduction of Buddhism to Japan from China by way of the Korean peninsula.” Source: UNESCO World Heritage

There are a variety of buildings found in Hōryū-ji and Hokki-ji in Nara Prefecture, Japan.

Postcard 1 - Hokki-ji
Hokki-ji Temple built by Shotoku Taishi. Thanks to Kenji-san of Japan.

Postcard 2 - Horyu-ji
A nice postcard of Horyu Ji Temple in Nara with matching Horyu Ji Temple stamp used. Thanks so much to Kyoko of Japan.

Postcard 3
Painting in Horyu-ji. Thanks to Kayu of Japan.

Russia - Kizhi Pogost

"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." Source: UNESCO World Heritage

Postcard 1
An amazing architectural icon - a cathedral built without nails. Nice large stamps including a diamond shaped WWF stamp. Thanks so much to Alexandra of Moscow.

Postcard 2
Thanks to Alexandra of Russia.

Belgium - France - Belfries of Belgium and France

"Twenty-three belfries in the north of France and the belfry of Gembloux in Belgium were inscribed as a group, an extension to the 32 Belgian belfries inscribed in 1999 as Belfries of Flanders and Wallonia. Built between the 11th and 17th centuries, they showcase the Roman, Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque styles of architecture. They are highly significant tokens of the winning of civil liberties. While Italian, German and English towns mainly opted to build town halls, in part of north-western Europe, greater emphasis was placed on building belfries. Compared with the keep (symbol of the seigneurs) and the bell-tower (symbol of the Church), the belfry, the third tower in the urban landscape, symbolizes the power of the aldermen. Over the centuries, they came to represent the influence and wealth of the towns." Source: UNESCO World Heritage

List of Belfries: ** In bold - already collected

** Antwerp Cathedral of Our Lady
- Antwerp City Hall
- Herentals Former City & 'Laken'(Cloth) Hall
- Lier City Hall and Belfry tower
- Mechelen St. Rumbolds Tower of the cathedral
- Mechelen Old Cloth Hall with Belfry, oldest part of the present-day City Hall

West Flanders
** Bruges Belfry known as Halletoren (Tower of the Halls) and [Market] Halls
- Diksmuide City Hall and Belfry
- Kortrijk Belfry known as Halletoren (Tower of the Hall) [4]
- Lo-Reninge (Lo) Former City Hall with Belfry, at present a hotel
- Menen City Hall and adjacent Belfry
- Nieuwpoort Grain Hall known as Stadshalle (City's [Market] Hall), with Belfry
- Roeselare City Hall, City's Market Hall, and Belfry
- Tielt Belfry known as Hallentoren (Tower of the Halls), Cloth Hall and Aldermen's Chamber
- Veurne Landhuis ("country-house", former seat of the Viscounty of Veurne-Ambacht) and Belfry
- Ypres Cloth Hall with Belfry

East Flanders
- Aalst Aldermen's House with Belfry
- Dendermonde City Hall with Belfry
- Eeklo City Hall with Belfry
** Ghent Belfry, Cloth Hall and Mammelokker
- Oudenaarde City Hall with Belfry

Flemish Brabant
- Leuven St. Peter's Church and tower
- Tienen St. Germanus Church with Stadstoren (City Tower)
- Zoutleeuw St. Leonard's Church

- Sint-Truiden City Hall with Tower
- Tongeren Basilica of Our Lady with Stadstoren (City Tower)

- Binche Belfry of the City Hall
- Charleroi Belfry of the City Hall
- Mons Belfry
- Thuin Belfry
- Tournai Belfry

- Gembloux Belfry
- Namur Belfry

- Armentières Belfry of the City Hall
- Bailleul Belfry of the City Hall
- Bergues Belfry
- Cambrai Belfry of the St. Martin's Church
- Comines Belfry of the City Hall
- Douai Belfry of the City Hall
- Dunkirk Belfry of the City Hall
- Dunkirk Belfry of the St. Eligius Church
- Gravelines Belfry
** Lille Belfry of the City Hall
- Loos Belfry of the City Hall

- Aire-sur-la-Lys Belfry of the City Hall
- Arras Belfry of the City Hall
- Béthune Belfry
- Boulogne-sur-Mer Belfry of the City Hall
** Calais Belfry of the City Hall
- Hesdin Belfry of the City Hall

- Abbeville Belfry
- Amiens Belfry
- Doullens Belfry of the former Municipal Hall, at present the tourist information center
- Lucheux Belfry on the remaining City Gate
- Rue Belfry
- Saint-Riquier Belfry

Postcard 1 - Belgium - Belgium Map of Belfries
Map of Belgium with locations of towns with their belfries. The towns on the maps are Roeselare, Ieper, Oudenaarde, Tienen, Tongeren, Tournai, Mons, etc. Thanks to Fransoise of Brussels, Belgium.

Postcard 2 - France  - Belfries of Nord-Pas de Calais
Nice multiple of Beffrois Nord-Pas de Calais with Rugby 2011 stamp used. Thanks to Veronique for sending from France.

Postcard 3 - Belgium - Belfry of Antwerp
This is the Belfry of Antwerp of the Cathedral of Our Lady in Belgium. Nice postage stamps used. Thanks to Filip of Antwerp, Belgium.

Postcard 4 - Belgium - Brugges Belfry
Belfry of Brugge.

Postcard 5 - Belgium - Ghent Belfry
Ghent Belfry with Sint Baafsplein and Lakenhalle. Thanks to Ferro of Belgium.

Postcard 6 - France - Calais Belfry
Aerial view of Calais showing the Belfry of the Town Hall of Calais, France. Thanks to Veronique of France.

Postcard 7 - France - Belfry of City Hall, Lille
Here is a multi-view with a picture of the Belfry of City Hall of Lille, France in the bottom right.

Postcard 8
Thanks to Jean-Pierre of France.

Postcard 9
Thanks to Jean-Pierre of France.