Sangay National Park

With its outstanding natural beauty and two active volcanoes, the park illustrates the entire spectrum of ecosystems, ranging from tropical rainforests to glaciers, with striking contrasts between the snowcapped peaks and the forests of the plains. Its isolation has encouraged the survival of indigenous species such as the mountain tapir and the Andean condor.

Since 1983 it is a Unesco site.

Thanks to Paul for the postcard.

Advertisements

Qhapaq ร‘an, Andean Road System

This site is an extensive Inca communication, trade and defence network of roads covering 30,000ย km. Constructed by the Incas over several centuries and partly based on pre-Inca infrastructure, this extraordinary network through one of the worldโ€™s most extreme geographical terrains linked the snow-capped peaks of the Andes โ€“ at an altitude of more than 6,000ย m โ€“ to the coast, running through hot rainforests, fertile valleys and absolute deserts. It reached its maximum expansion in the 15th century, when it spread across the length and breadth of the Andes. The Qhapac ร‘an, Andean Road System includes 273 component sites spread over more than 6,000ย km that were selected to highlight the social, political, architectural and engineering achievements of the network, along with its associated infrastructure for trade, accommodation and storage, as well as sites of religious significance.

Since 2014 it is a Unesco site.

Thanks to Paul for the postcard.

Messel Pit Fossil Site

Messel Pit is the richest site in the world for understanding the living environment of the Eocene, between 57 million and 36 million years ago. In particular, it provides unique information about the early stages of the evolution of mammals and includes exceptionally well-preserved mammal fossils, ranging from fully articulated skeletons to the contents of stomachs of animals of this period.

Since 2010 it is a Unesco site.

Thanks to Chiara for the postcard.

Gobustan Rock Art Cultural Landscape

Gobustan Rock Art Cultural Landscape covers three areas of a plateau of rocky boulders rising out of the semi-desert of central Azerbaijan, with an outstanding collection of more than 6,000 rock engravings bearing testimony to 40,000 years of rock art. The site also features the remains of inhabited caves, settlements and burials, all reflecting an intensive human use by the inhabitants of the area during the wet period that followed the last Ice Age, from the Upper Paleolithic to the Middle Ages. The site, which covers an area of 537 ha, is part of the larger protected Gobustan Reservation.

Since 2007 it is a Unesco site.

Thanks to Sini for the postcard.

Decorated Cave of Pont dโ€™Arc, known as Grotte Chauvet-Pont dโ€™Arc, Ardรจche

Located in a limestone plateau of the Ardรจche River in southern France, the property contains the earliest-known and best-preserved figurative drawings in the world, dating back as early as the Aurignacian period (30,000โ€“32,000ย BP), making it an exceptional testimony of prehistoric art. The cave was closed off by a rock fall approximately 20,000 years BP and remained sealed until its discovery in 1994, which helped to keep it in pristine condition. Over 1,000 images have so far been inventoried on its walls, combining a variety of anthropomorphic and animal motifs. Of exceptional aesthetic quality, they demonstrate a range of techniques including the skilful use of shading, combinations of paint and engraving, anatomical precision, three-dimensionality and movement. They include several dangerous animal species difficult to observe at that time, such as mammoth, bear, cave lion, rhino, bison and auroch, as well as 4,000 inventoried remains of prehistoric fauna and a variety of human footprints.

Since 2014 it is a Unesco site.

Thanks to Gosia for the postcard.