Tag Archives: asia

Painted Churches in the Troodos Region

This region is characterized by one of the largest groups of churches and monasteries of the former Byzantine Empire. The complex of 10 monuments included on the World Heritage List, all richly decorated with murals, provides an overview of Byzantine and post-Byzantine painting in Cyprus. They range from small churches whose rural architectural style is in stark contrast to their highly refined decoration, to monasteries such as that of St John Lampadistis.

Since 1985 it is a Unesco site.

Thanks to Therese for the postcard.

Historic City of Yazd

The City of Yazd is located in the middle of the Iranian plateau, 270 kilomtres southeast of Isfahan, close to the Spice and Silk Roads. It bears living testimony to the use of limited resources for survival in the desert. Water is supplied to the city through a qanat system developed to draw underground water. The earthen architecture of Yazd has escaped the modernization that destroyed many traditional earthen towns, retaining its traditional districts, the qanat system, traditional houses, bazars, hammams, mosques, synagogues, Zoroastrian temples and the historic garden of Dolat-abad.

Since 2017 it is a Unesco site.

Thanks to Gian Luca for the postcard.

Pearling, Testimony of an Island Economy

The site consists of seventeen buildings in Muharraq City, three offshore oyster beds, part of the seashore and the Qalโ€™at Bu Mahir fortress on the southern tip of Muharraq Island, from where boats used to set off for the oyster beds. The listed buildings include residences of wealthy merchants, shops, storehouses and a mosque. The site is the last remaining complete example of the cultural tradition of pearling and the wealth it generated at a time when the trade dominated the Gulf economy (2nd century to the 1930s, when Japan developed cultured pearls). It also constitutes an outstanding example of traditional utilization of the seaโ€™s resources and human interaction with the environment, which shaped both the economy and the cultural identity of the islandโ€™s society.

Since 2012 it is a Unesco site.

Thanks to Edwin for the postcard.

Pergamon and its Multi-Layered Cultural Landscape

This site rises high above the Bakirรงay Plain in Turkeyโ€™s Aegean region. The acropolis of Pergamon was the capital of the Hellenistic Attalid dynasty, a major centre of learning in the ancient world. Monumental temples, theatres, stoa or porticoes, gymnasium, altar and library were set into the sloping terrain surrounded by an extensive city wall. The rock-cut Kybele Sanctuary lies to the north-west on another hill visually linked to the acropolis. Later the city became capital of the Roman province of Asia known for its Asclepieion healing centre. The acropolis crowns a landscape containing burial mounds and remains of the Roman, Byzantine and Ottoman empires in and around the modern town of Bergama on the lower slopes.

Since 2014 it is a Unesco site.

Thanks to Tayfun for the postcard.

Sichuan Giant Panda Sanctuaries – Wolong, Mt Siguniang and Jiajin Mountains

Sichuan Giant Panda Sanctuaries, home to more than 30% of the world’s pandas which are classed as highly endangered, covers 924,500 ha with seven nature reserves and nine scenic parks in the Qionglai and Jiajin Mountains. The sanctuaries constitute the largest remaining contiguous habitat of the giant panda, a relict from the paleo-tropic forests of the Tertiary Era. It is also the species’ most important site for captive breeding. The sanctuaries are home to other globally endangered animals such as the red panda, the snow leopard and clouded leopard. They are among the botanically richest sites of any region in the world outside the tropical rainforests, with between 5,000 and 6,000 species of flora in over 1,000 genera.

Since 2006 it is a Unesco site.

Thanks to Danise for the postcard.

Selimiye Mosque and its Social Complex

The square Mosque with its single great dome and four slender minarets, dominates the skyline of the former Ottoman capital of Edirne. Sinan, the most famous of Ottoman architects in the 16th century, considered the complex, which includes madrasas (Islamic schools), a covered market, clock house, outer courtyard and library, to be his best work. The interior decoration using Iznik tiles from the peak period of their production testifies to an art form that remains unsurpassed in this material. The complex is considered to be the most harmonious expression ever achieved of the Ottoman kรผlliye, a group of buildings constructed around a mosque and managed as a single institution.

Since 2011 it is a Unesco site.

Thanks to Tayfun for the postcard.