All posts by Marina

I'm an italian girl crazy for any kind of object I can collect.

Medina of Essaouira (formerly Mogador)

Essaouira is an exceptional example of a late-18th-century fortified town, built according to the principles of contemporary European military architecture in a North African context. Since its foundation, it has been a major international trading seaport, linking Morocco and its Saharan hinterland with Europe and the rest of the world.

Since 2001 it is a Unesco site.

Thanks to Edgar for the postcard.

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Medina of Fez

Founded in the 9th century and home to the oldest university in the world, Fez reached its height in the 13thโ€“14th centuries under the Marinids, when it replaced Marrakesh as the capital of the kingdom. The urban fabric and the principal monuments in the medina โ€“ย madrasas, fondouks, palaces, residences, mosques and fountains – date from this period. Although the political capital of Morocco was transferred to Rabat in 1912, Fez has retained its status as the country’s cultural and spiritual centre.

Since 1981 it is a Unesco site.

Thanks to Edgar for the postcard.

Ksar of Ait-Ben-Haddou

Theย ksar, a group of earthen buildings surrounded by high walls, is a traditional pre-Saharan habitat. The houses crowd together within the defensive walls, which are reinforced by corner towers. Ait-Ben-Haddou, in Ouarzazate province, is a striking example of the architecture of southern Morocco.

Since 1987 it is a Unesco site.

Thanks to Edgar for the postcard.

Kernavฤ— Archaeological Site (Cultural Reserve of Kernavฤ—)

The Kernavฤ— Archaeological site, about 35 km north-west of Vilnius in eastern Lithuania, represents an exceptional testimony to some 10 millennia of human settlements in this region. Situated in the valley of the River Neris, the site is a complex ensemble of archaeological properties, encompassing the town of Kernavฤ—, forts, some unfortified settlements, burial sites and other archaeological, historical and cultural monuments from the late Palaeolithic Period to the Middle Ages. The site of 194,4 ha has preserved the traces of ancient land-use, as well as remains of five impressive hill forts, part of an exceptionally large defence system. Kernavฤ— was an important feudal town in the Middle Ages. The town was destroyed by the Teutonic Order in the late 14th century, however the site remained in use until modern times.

Since 2004 it is a Unesco site.

Thanks to Anastasia for the postcard.

Kulangsu, a Historic International Settlement

Kulangsu is a tiny island located on the estuary of the Chiu-lung River, facing the city of Xiamen. With the opening of a commercial port at Xiamen in 1843, and the establishment of the island as an international settlement in 1903, this island off the southern coast of the Chinese empire suddenly became an important window for Sino-foreign exchanges. Kulangsu is an exceptional example of the cultural fusion that emerged from these exchanges, which remain legible in its urban fabric. There is a mixture of different architectural styles including Traditional Southern Fujian Style, Western Classical Revival Style and Veranda Colonial Style. The most exceptional testimony of the fusion of various stylistic influences is a new architectural movement, the Amoy Deco Style, which is a synthesis of the Modernist style of the early 20th century and Art Deco.

Since 2017 it is a Unesco site.

Thanks to Wei for the postcard.

Macquarie Island

Macquarie Island (34 km long x 5 km wide) is an oceanic island in the Southern Ocean, lying 1,500 km south-east of Tasmania and approximately halfway between Australia and the Antarctic continent. The island is the exposed crest of the undersea Macquarie Ridge, raised to its present position where the Indo-Australian tectonic plate meets the Pacific plate. It is a site of major geoconservation significance, being the only place on earth where rocks from the earthโ€™s mantle (6 km below the ocean floor) are being actively exposed above sea-level. These unique exposures include excellent examples of pillow basalts and other extrusive rocks.

Since 1997 it is a Unesco site.

Thanks to Helen for the postcard.

Heard and McDonald Islands

Heard Island and McDonald Islands are located in the Southern Ocean, approximately 1,700 km from the Antarctic continent and 4,100 km south-west of Perth. As the only volcanically active subantarctic islands they โ€˜open a window into the earthโ€™, thus providing the opportunity to observe ongoing geomorphic processes and glacial dynamics. The distinctive conservation value of Heard and McDonald โ€“ one of the worldโ€™s rare pristine island ecosystems โ€“ lies in the complete absence of alien plants and animals, as well as human impact.

Since 1997 it is a Unesco site.

Thanks to Helen for the postcard.