India - Dholavira: A Harappan City

"The ancient city of Dholavira, the southern centre of the Harappan Civilization, is sited on the arid island of Khadir in the State of Gujarat. Occupied between ca. 3000-1500 BCE, the archaeological site, one of the best preserved urban settlements from the period in Southeast Asia, comprises a fortified city and a cemetery. Two seasonal streams provided water, a scarce resource in the region, to the walled city which comprises a heavily fortified castle and ceremonial ground as well as streets and houses of different proportion quality which testify to a stratified social order. A sophisticated water management system demonstrates the ingenuity of the Dholavira people in their struggle to survive and thrive in a harsh environment. The site includes a large cemetery with cenotaphs of six types testifying to the Harappan’s unique view of death. Bead processing workshops and artifacts of various kinds such as copper, shell, stone, jewellery of semi-precious stones, terracotta, gold, ivory and other materials have been found during archaeological excavations of the site, exhibiting the culture’s artistic and technological achievements. Evidence for inter-regional trade with other Harappan cities, as well as with cities in the Mesopotamia region and the Oman peninsula have also been discovered."

Source: UNESCO World Heritage

Dholaira - also known as Kotada, is a Harappan City in Great Rann of Kutch, Gujerat, India. It is inscribed as a UNESCO World Heritage site in 2021. Thanks to Prashanth of Mumbai, India. Received on September 23, 2021.

India - Kakatiya Rudreshwara (Ramappa) Temple, Telangana

"Rudreshwara, popularly known as Ramappa Temple, is located in the village of Palampet approximately 200km north-east of Hyderabad, in the State of Telangana. It is the main Shiva temple in a walled complex built during the Kakatiyan period (1123–1323 CE) under rulers Rudradeva and Recharla Rudra. Construction of the sandstone temple began in 1213 CE and is believed to have continued over some 40 years. The building features decorated beams and pillars of carved granite and dolerite with a distinctive and pyramidal Vimana (horizontally stepped tower) made of lightweight porous bricks, so-called ‘floating bricks’, which reduced the weight of the roof structures. The temple’s sculptures of high artistic quality illustrate regional dance customs and Kakatiyan culture. Located at the foothills of a forested area and amidst agricultural fields, close to the shores of the Ramappa Cheruvu, a Kakatiya-built water reservoir, the choice of setting for the edifice followed the ideology and practice sanctioned in dharmic texts that temples are to be constructed to form an integral part of a natural setting, including hills, forests, springs, streams, lakes, catchment areas, and agricultural lands."

Source: UNESCO World Heritage 

Rudreshwara Temple, Telangana, India. It is also known as Ramappa Temple. Inscribed in 2021 as a UNESCO World Heritage site. Thanks to Prasanth of Mumbai, India. Received on September 23, 2021.

Iran - Cultural Landscape of Hawraman/Uramanat

"The remote and mountainous landscape of Hawraman/Uramanat bears testimony to the traditional culture of the Hawrami people, an agropastoral Kurdish tribe that has inhabited the region since about 3000 BCE. The property, at the heart of the Zagros Mountains in the provinces of Kurdistan and Kermanshah along the western border of Iran, encompasses two components: the Central-Eastern Valley (Zhaverud and Takht, in Kurdistan Province); and the Western Valley (Lahun, in Kermanshah Province). The mode of human habitation in these two valleys has been adapted over millennia to the rough mountainous environment. Tiered steep-slope planning and architecture, gardening on dry-stone terraces, livestock breeding, and seasonal vertical migration are among the distinctive features of the local culture and life of the semi-nomadic Hawrami people who dwell in lowlands and highlands during different seasons of each year. Their uninterrupted presence in the landscape, which is also characterized by exceptional biodiversity and endemism, is evidenced by stone tools, caves and rock shelters, mounds, remnants of permanent and temporary settlement sites, and workshops, cemeteries, roads, villages, castles, and more. The 12 villages included in the property illustrate the Hawrami people’s evolving responses to the scarcity of productive land in their mountainous environment through the millennia. "

Source: UNESCO World Heritage

Uraman Takkht, Kurdistan, Iran. Thanks to Ehsan of Iran. Written on August 27, 2021 and received on September 17, 2021.

Iran - Hyrcanian Forests

"Hyrcanian forests form a unique forested massif that stretches 850 km along the southern coast of the Caspian Sea. The history of these broad-leaved forests dates back 25 to 50 million years, when they covered most of this Northern Temperate region. These ancient forest areas retreated during the Quaternary glaciations and then expanded again as the climate became milder. Their floristic biodiversity is remarkable: 44% of the vascular plants known in Iran are found in the Hyrcanian region, which only covers 7% of the country. To date, 180 species of birds typical of broad-leaved temperate forests and 58 mammal species have been recorded, including the iconic Persian Leopard (Panthera pardus tulliana)."

Source: UNESCO World Heritage Tentative List

Kelardasht, Mazandaran, Iran. Thanks to Ehsan of Iran. Written on August 27, 2021 and arrived in Penang island on September 17, 2021.

Iran - Tchogha Zanbil

"The ruins of the holy city of the Kingdom of Elam, surrounded by three huge concentric walls, are found at Tchogha Zanbil. Founded c. 1250 B.C., the city remained unfinished after it was invaded by Ashurbanipal, as shown by the thousands of unused bricks left at the site."

Source: UNESCO World Heritage

Chogha Zanbil, Khuzestan, Iran. Thanks to Ehsan. Written on August 27, 2021 and arrived in Penang island on September 17, 2021.

Germany - ShUM Sites of Speyer, Worms and Mainz

"Located in the former Imperial cathedral cities of Speyer, Worms and Mainz, in the Upper Rhine Valley, the serial site of Speyer, Worms and Mainz comprise the Speyer Jewry-Court, with the structures of the synagogue and women’s shul (Yiddish for synagogue), the archaeological vestiges of the yeshiva (religious school), the courtyard and the still intact underground mikveh (ritual bath), which has retained its high architectural and building quality. The property also comprises the Worms Synagogue Compound, with its in situ post-war reconstruction of the 12th century synagogue and 13th century women’s shul, the community hall (Rashi House), and the monumental 12th-century mikveh. The series also includes the Old Jewish Cemetery in Worms and the Old Jewish Cemetery in Mainz. The four component sites tangibly reflect the early emergence of distinctive Ashkenaz customs and the development and settlement pattern of the ShUM communities, particularly between the 11th and the 14th centuries. The buildings that constitute the property served as prototypes for later Jewish community and religious buildings as well as cemeteries in Europe. The acronym ShUM stands for the Hebrew initials of Speyer, Worms and Mainz."

Source: UNESCO World Heritage

Postcard 1 - Speyer
ShUM site of Speyer. I visited Speyer, Germany and bought this postcard showing the Ritual Bath and remaining wall of the Synagoque at the Speyer Jewish museum in May 2015.

Postcard 2 - Worms
Postcard of Worms, Germany showing newly inscribed UNESCO World Heritage of ShUM. Thanks Svenja of Germany. Postmarked August 9, 2021 and arrived on September 13, 2021.

Belgium - Netherlands - Colonies of Benevolence

"The transnational serial property encompasses four settlements; cultural landscapes with one colony in Belgium and three in The Netherlands. Together they bear witness to a 19th century experiment in social reform, an effort to alleviate urban poverty by establishing agricultural colonies in remote locations. Established in 1818, Frederiksoord (the Netherlands) is the earliest of these colonies and home to the original headquarters of the Society of Benevolence, an association which aimed to reduce poverty at the national level. Other components of the property are the colonies of Wilhelminaoord and Veenhuizen, in the Netherlands, and Wortel in Belgium. As the colonies’ small farms yielded insufficient revenues, the Society of Benevolence sought other sources of revenue, contracting with the State to settle orphans, soon followed by beggars and vagrants, leading to the creation of “unfree” colonies, such as Veenhuizen, with large dormitory type structures and larger centralized farms for them to work under the supervision of guards. The colonies were designed as panoptic settlements along orthogonal lines. They feature residential buildings, farm houses, churches and other communal facilities. At their peak in the mid-19th century, over 11,000 people lived in such colonies in the Netherlands. In Belgium their number peaked at 6,000 in 1910. "

Source: UNESCO World Heritage

Postard 1
Colony Wilhelminaoord in Drenthe, Netherlands is inscribed as a UNESCO World Heritage site in 2021. Thanks to Jarina of Netherlands. Postmarkd Zwolle, written on August 5, 2021 and arrived in Penang island on September 8, 2021.

Postard 2
Colonies of Benevolence at Veenhuizen, Netherlands - a 2021 inscribed UNESCO World Heritage site. This nice postcard with UNESCO WHS stamps used was sent on August 5, 2021 and arrived in Penang island on September 9, 2021. Thanks so much to Jarina of Netherlands.

Austria, Belgium, Czechia, France, Germany, Italy, United Kingdom - The Great Spa Towns of Europe

"The transnational site of The Great Spa Towns of Europe comprises 11 towns, located in seven European countries: Baden bei Wien (Austria); Spa (Belgium); Františkovy Lázně (Czechia); Karlovy Vary (Czechia); Mariánské Lázně (Czechia); Vichy (France); Bad Ems (Germany); Baden-Baden (Germany); Bad Kissingen (Germany); Montecatini Terme (Italy); and City of Bath (United Kingdom). All of these towns developed around natural mineral water springs. They bear witness to the international European spa culture that developed from the early 18th century to the 1930s, leading to the emergence of grand international resorts that impacted urban typology around ensembles of spa buildings such as the kurhaus and kursaal (buildings and rooms dedicated to therapy), pump rooms, drinking halls, colonnades and galleries designed to harness the natural mineral water resources and to allow their practical use for bathing and drinking. Related facilities include gardens, assembly rooms, casinos, theatres, hotels and villas, as well as spa-specific support infrastructure. These ensembles are all integrated into an overall urban context that includes a carefully managed recreational and therapeutic environment in a picturesque landscape. Together, these sites embody the significant interchange of human values and developments in medicine, science and balneology."

Source: UNESCO World Heritage Sites

Postcard 1 - United Kingdom
Views of the Great Bath, the Circular Bath, the King's Bath. Card bought at Bath.

Postcard 2-1A  Germany - Baden Baden Multiview 1
Beautiful multi-view postcard of the German Spa town of Baden Baden. Thanks to YL for mailing from there.

Postcard 2-1B  Germany - Baden Baden Multiview 2
Thanks to Ing of New Zealand who visited Baden Baden. Mailed in May 2016.

Postcard 2-1C  Germany - Baden Baden Multiview 3

Postcard 2-1D  Germany - Baden Baden Multiview 4

Postcard 2-1E  Germany - Baden Baden Aerial view

Postcard 2-2 Germany - Bad Kissingen

Postcard 3A - France - Vichy
Vichy - Opera house. Postmarked in Allier on June 23, 2010. Thanks to Jean-Pierre of France.

Postcard 3B - France - Vichy
Aerial view of the thermal spa city of Vichy, France. Nice mint postcard mailed inside envelope from France postmarked Oct 21, 2020 and received in Penang island on Nov 26, 2020. Thanks to Jean-Pierre of France.

Postcard 4 - Belgium - The Spa
The Spa. Thanks to Raquel of Belgium.

Postcard 5 - Italy - Montecatini Terme
The spa town of Montecatini Terme, Italy. Nice Italian stamp used. Thanks to Cristina of Italy.

Postcard 6 - Czechia - Mariánské Lázně
Mariánské Lázně is, in terms of area, one of the largest spa complexes in the Czech Republic. This spa town does not have a long history. It was established in the period of Classicism, early in the 19th century. Its creators changed an inhospitable valley into a charming park town with Classicist and Empire houses, gazebos, garden houses and colonnades. Thanks to Pavla of Czech Republic.

Postcard 7 - Austria - Baden bei Wien
Baden bei Wien of Austria is inscribed as UNESCO World Heritage site of European Spas in 2021. Thanks to Uli of Austria. Written in August 3 2021 and arrived in Penang island on September 8, 2021.

United Kingdom - The Slate Landscape of Northwest Wales

"The Slate Landscape of Northwest Wales illustrates the transformation that industrial slate quarrying and mining brought about in the traditional rural environment of the mountains and valleys of the Snowdon massif. The territory, extending from mountain-top to sea-coast, presented opportunities and constraints that were used and challenged by the large-scale industrial processes undertaken by landowners and capital investors, which reshaped the agricultural landscape into an industrial centre for slate production during the Industrial Revolution (1780-1914). The serial property comprises six components each encompassing relict quarries and mines, archaeological sites related to slate industrial processing, historical settlements, both living and relict, historic gardens and grand country houses, ports, harbours and quays, and railway and road systems illustrating the functional and social linkages of the relict slate industrial landscape. The property was internationally significant not only for the export of slates, but also for the export of technology and skilled workers from the 1780s to the early 20th century. It played a leading role in the field and constituted a model for other slate quarries in different parts of the world. It offers an important and remarkable example of interchange of materials, technology and human values."

Source: UNESCO World Heritage

Ffestiniog Railway in North Wales built in the 1830's for transporting slate from quarries at Blaeneau Ffestiniog to coast at Porthmadog for sea trnasport until the 1940's. Thanks to Kerstin of United Kingdom. Welsh themed stamps used.

Austria - Germany - Slovakia - Frontiers of the Roman Empire – The Danube Limes (Western Segment)

"It covers almost 600km of the whole Roman Empire’s Danube frontier. The property formed part of the much large frontier of the Roman Empire that encircled the Mediterranean Sea. The Danube Limes (Western Segment) reflects the specificities of this part of the Roman Frontier through the selection of sites that represent key elements from road, legionary fortresses and their associated settlements to small forts and temporary camps, and the way these structures relate to local topography"

Source: UNESCO World Heritage

Roman wall ruins of Passau, Lower Bavaria, Germany. Thanks to Anne of Passau, Germany.

Italy - The Porticoes of Bologna

"The serial property comprises twelve component parts consisting of ensembles of porticoes and their surrounding built areas, located within the Municipality of Bologna from the 12th century to the present. These portico ensembles are considered to be the most representative among city’s porticoes, which cover a total stretch of 62 km. Some of the porticoes are built of wood, others of stone or brick, as well as reinforced concrete, covering roads, squares, paths and walkways, either on one or both sides of a street. The property includes porticoed buildings that do not form a structural continuum with other buildings and therefore are not part of a comprehensive covered walkway or passage. The porticoes are appreciated as sheltered walkways and prime locations for merchant activities. In the 20th century, the use of concrete allowed the replacement of the traditional vaulted arcades with new building possibilities and a new architectural language for the porticoes emerged, as exemplified in the Barca district. Together, the selected porticoes reflect different typologies, urban and social functions and chronological phases. Defined as private property for public use, the porticoes have become an expression and element of Bologna’s urban identity. " Source: UNESCO World Heritage Tentative List

Postcard 1
Maggiore Square of Bologna. Nice Lambrghini stamp used. Thanks to Isabeta of Italy.

Postcard 2
The Neptune in Bologna. Thanks to Jean-Pierre of France.

Slovenia - The works of Jože Plečnik in Ljubljana – Human Centred Urban Design

"The work Jože Plečnik carried in Ljubljana between World War I and World War II present an example of a human centred urban design that successively changed the identity of the city following the dissolution of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, when it changed from a provincial city into the symbolic capital of the people of Slovenia. The architect Jože Plečnik contributed to this transformation with his personal, profoundly human vision for the city, based on an architectural dialogue with the older city while serving the needs of emerging modern 20th century society. The property consists of a series of public spaces (squares, parks, streets, promenades, bridges) and public institutions (national library, churches, markets, funerary complex) that were sensitively integrated into the pre-existing urban, natural and cultural context and contributed to the city’s new identity. This highly contextual and human-scale urbanistic approach, as well as Plečnik’s distinctive architectural idiom, stand apart from the other predominant modernist principles of his time. It is an exceptional case of creating public spaces, buildings and green areas according to the vision of a single architect within a limited time, the limited space of an existing city, and with relatively limited resources."

Source: UNESCO World Heritage Tentative List

Beautiful center of Old town of Ljubljana, Slovenia. Year of Tiger stamp used. Thanks to Vesna of Slovenia.