Friday, March 20, 2009

The Yungang Grottoess (The 20th Cave), China

China-28, originally uploaded by Abhishek's Received Postcards.

The Yungang Grottoes are ancient Buddhist temple grottoes near the city of Datong in the Chinese province of Shanxi. They are excellent examples of rock-cut architecture and one of the three most famous ancient sculptural sites of China. The others are Longmen and Mogao.
The site is located about 16 km south-west of the city, in the valley of the Shi Li river at the base of the Wuzhou Shan mountains. The grottoes were mainly constructed in the period between 460-525 AD during the Northern Wei dynasty. They are an outstanding example of the Chinese stone carvings from the 5th and 6th centuries. All together the site is composed of 252 grottoes with more than 51,000 Buddha statues and statuettes.


Five colours sea in Yello Dragon Temple, China

China-33, originally uploaded by Abhishek's Received Postcards.

Yellow Dragon Temple Scenic Area, is situated in the Yellow Dragon Village north of Songpan County after being built in the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644).Originally the building consisted of three temples, the front temple, the middle temple and the rear temple. But only the rear temple still stands.
It is a part of the "Jiuzhaigou Valley Scenic and Historic Interest Area"


Excavation site of the Peking Man ruins in 1927, China

China-29, originally uploaded by Abhishek's Received Postcards.

Zhoukoudian or Choukoutien is a cave system near Beijing in China. It has yielded many archaeological discoveries, including one of the first specimens of Homo erectus, dubbed Peking Man, and a fine assemblage of bones of the gigantic hyena Pachycrocuta brevirostris. The Peking Man lived in this cave approximately 200,000 to 750,000 years ago.
The Peking Man Site was discovered by Johan Gunnar Andersson in 1921 and was first excavated by Otto Zdansky in 1921 and 1923 unearthing two human teeth. These were later identified by Davidson Black as belonging to a previously unknown species and extensive excavations followed.
Peking Man, also called Sinanthropus pekinensis (currently Homo erectus pekinensis), is an example of Homo erectus. A group of fossil specimens was discovered in 1923-27 during excavations at Zhoukoudian (Chou K'ou-tien) near Beijing (at that time known as Peking), China. More recently, the finds have been dated from roughly 500 000 years ago, although a new study suggests they may be as much as 680 000-780 000 years old.


Fushi Huanji Building, China

China-34, originally uploaded by Abhishek's Received Postcards.

Fujian Tulou is a unique Chinese rammed earth building of the Hakka and other people in the mountainous areas in southwestern Fujian, China. They are mostly built between the 12th to the 20th centuries. Tulou is usually a large enclosed building, rectangular or circular in configuration, with a very thick weight supporting earth wall (up to 6 feet thick) and wooden skeletons, from three to five storeys high, housing up to 80 families. These earth buildings usually have only one main gate, guarded by 4-5 inch thick wooden doors reinforced with an outer shell of iron plate. The top level of these earth building have gun holes for defense against bandits.


South China Karst, China

China-31, originally uploaded by Abhishek's Received Postcards.

The South China Karst, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, spread across China's southern provinces of Guangxi, Guizhou, and Yunnan. The region of south China is particularly noted of its karst features and landscapes as well as rich biodiversity. The site comprises three clusters: Libo Karst, Shilin Karst and Wulong Karst. UNESCO describes the South China Karst as "unrivalled in terms of the diversity of its karst features and landscapes."


Ancient Villages in Southern Anhui, China

China-30, originally uploaded by Abhishek's Received Postcards.

Hongcun with Xidi were made UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2000 as a part of "Ancient Villages in Southern Anhui".
Hongcun is a village in Yixian county, Anhui province, located near the southwest slope of Mount Huangshan, in China. The architecture and carvings of the approximately 150 residences dating back to the Ming and Qing dynasties are said to be among the best of their kind in China. One of the biggest of the residences open to visitors, Chenzhi Hall, also contains a small residence museum. Hongcun was a location where the film Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon was shot. Since then, tourism has dramatically increased.
Xidi was first built during the reign of emperor Huangyou during the Song Dynasty (960-1279 AD) and was originally called Xichuan (West River), because of the water courses which flow through the village.


Suzhou Classical Gardens, China

China-35, originally uploaded by Abhishek's Received Postcards.

Suzhou is a city on the lower reaches of the Yangtze River and on the shores of Lake Taihu in the province of Jiangsu, China. The city is renowned for its beautiful stone bridges, pagodas, and meticulously designed gardens which have contributed to its status as a great tourist attraction. Many of the famous private gardens were constructed by the gentry of the Ming and Qing dynasties. Many gardens were devastated by the end of the Japanese invasion in 1937. In the early 1950s, restoration was done on gardens such as Zhuo-Zheng Yuan (Humble Administrator's Garden) and Dong Yuan (East Garden) to bring them back to life. As per the documentation in UNESCO WHS list about Classical Gardens of Suzhou "Classical Chinese garden design, which seeks to recreate natural landscapes in miniature, is nowhere better illustrated than in the nine gardens in the historic city of Suzhou. They are generally acknowledged to be masterpieces of the genre".


Morning Sunlight at Taishan Mountain, China

China-32, originally uploaded by Abhishek's Received Postcards.

Mount Tai is a mountain of historical and cultural significance located north of the city of Tai'an, in Shandong Province, China. The tallest peak is Jade Emperor Peak, which is commonly reported as 1545 metres (5069 ft) tall, but is described by the Chinese government as 1532.7 metres (5028.5 ft).
Mount Tai is one of the "Five Sacred Mountains". It is associated with sunrise, birth, and renewal, and is often regarded the foremost of the five. The temples on its slopes have been a destination for pilgrims for 3,000 years.


Highland light Infantry, Private, 1829, Canada

USA-22, originally uploaded by Abhishek's Received Postcards.

The Highland Light Infantry of Canada was an infantry regiment of the Canadian Army. Originally founded in 1886 as the 29th Waterloo Battalion of Infantry the regiment went through several name changes including: 1900 - 29th Waterloo Regiment, and; 1915 - 29th Regiment (Highland Light Infantry of Canada); acquiring its present title in 1920. In 1954, as a result of the Kennedy Report on the Reserve Army, this regiment was amalgamated with The Perth Regiment to form The Perth and Waterloo Regiment (Highland Light Infantry of Canada).

Commissioned by the Toronto Historical Board, this series of water-colours by J.C.H. Forster is on display at Historic Fort York, Garrison Road, Toronto


Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Cabinet of Ministers of the Republic of Uzbekistan, Uzbekistan


Kalyan Mosque, Bukhara, Uzbekistan

Bukhara, also spelled as Bukhoro and Bokhara, from the Soghdian ßuxarak ("lucky place"), is the capital of the Bukhara Province (viloyat) of Uzbekistan. The region around Bukhara has been inhabited for at least five millennia and the city itself has existed for half that time. Located on the Silk Road, the city has long been a center of trade, scholarship, culture, and religion.
In picture one can see, The Kalyan Mosque (Masjid-i kalyan), arguably completed in 1514, is equal with Bibi-Khanym Mosque in Samarkand in size. Although they are of the same type of building, they are absolutely different in terms of art of building.


Sher-Dor Madrasah, Samarkand, Uzbekistan

Samarkand, is the second-largest city in Uzbekistan and the capital of Samarqand Province.The city is most noted for its central position on the Silk Road between China and the West, and for being an Islamic centre for scholarly study.
The Registan was the heart of the ancient Samarkand, Uzbekistan. The name Registan means "Sandy place" in Persian. Three madrasahs of the Registan are: Ulugbek Madrasah (1417-1420), the Sher-Dor Madrasah (1619-1636) and the Tilya-Kori Madrasah (1646-1660). Madrasah is a medieval Moslem clergy academy.


Uzbekistan Bank Association Building, Tashkent, Uzbekistan


Ancient Village of Likeng, China

China-27, originally uploaded by Abhishek's Received Postcards.

Located in Wuyuan County, Jiangxi province, the village is situated adjacent to a mountain and facing a river, the residences are characterized as Hui type beside streets along a river with white colored walls and black tiles and flying brims and outstanding ridges, forming a beautiful view of the river and streets at the river bay. The roads in Likeng extend in all directions with more than 40 streets and alleys constructed with flagstones, 9 bridges constructed with stone arcades and flagstones. There exists above ground channels, underdrains, ponds and other drainages and fire fighting facilities with 2 sets of ancient fire-fighting Shuirong well-kept in 2 temples.
The cultural value characteristics of the legacy in Likeng match with the architecture craftworks and technics of Hui prefecture in Ming and Qing dynasties (1368-1911). The ancient villages maintained well the original and authentic style and features of Ming and Qing dynasties in the fields of whole layout, environment, and architecture style, building materials, decorative craftworks, construction techniques and so on.There are physical materials and written literatures for the authenticity of the legacy. Likeng and Wangkou kept well many inscription monuments of Ming and Qing dynasties (1368-1911).
Likeng village was founded in 1150 with a history of 850 years and a population of more than 1130 surnamed Yu. There exists 130 ancient buildings mainly of mansions and commercial houses with a total construction area of 68 km², among which 24 buildings were constructed in Ming Dynasty, and 106 constructed in Qing Dynasty. In history, there were 16 people who were successful candidates in the highest imperial examination, 36 people who were officials above seventh level and 333 pieces of books authored by some of the villagers. So the village was praised as "Famous Scholars Village".

Source : Welcome to Likeng Village


Central Station, Luxembourg

Luxembourg railway station is the main railway station serving Luxembourg City, in southern Luxembourg. It is operated by Chemins de Fer Luxembourgeois, the state-owned railway company.The station's main building is built in the traditional Moselle neo-baroque style.


Monastery of Saint John the Theologian, Greece

Greece-11, originally uploaded by Abhishek's Received Postcards.

The Monastery of Saint John the Theologian (also called Monastery of Saint John the Divine) is a Greek Orthodox monastery founded in 1088 in Chora on the island of Patmos.

Patmos is a small Greek island in the Aegean Sea. One of the northernmost islands of the Dodecanese complex. Patmos' main communities are Chora (the capital city), and Skala, the only commercial port. Other settlements are Grikou and Kampos. The churches and communities on Patmos are of the Eastern Orthodox tradition. In 1999, the island's historic center Chora, along with the Monastery of Saint John the Theologian and the Cave of the Apocalypse, were declared World Heritage Sites by UNESCO. The monastery was founded by Saint Christodulos.


Athenes, Greece

Greece-12, originally uploaded by Abhishek's Received Postcards.

Athens, the capital and largest city of Greece, dominates the Attica periphery; as one of the world's oldest cities, its recorded history spans around 3,400 years.
On the Top Right hand corner, you may see the western side of the Parthenon on the Acropolis of Athens.


Daphni Monastery, Greece

Greece-10, originally uploaded by Abhishek's Received Postcards.

Dafni or Daphni is a monastery 11 km north-west of downtown Athens in Chaidari, south of Athinon Avenue. It is situated near the forest of the same name, on the Sacred Way that led to Eleusis. The forest covers about 15 to 20 km².
The Daphnion was founded about the turn of the 6th century, Christianizing the site of the Sanctuary of Apollo Daphnaios that had been desecrated by the Goths in 395, and reusing the Ionic columns of the ancient temple of Apollo in its portico; only one remains, the others having been removed to London by Thomas Bruce, 7th Earl of Elgin.
The principal church (catholikon), a fine monument of the 11th-century Byzantine art, is a crossin-square church of the octagonal type surmounted by a broad and high dome. The church houses the best preserved complex of mosaics from the early Comnenan period (ca. 1100) when an austere and hieratic manner typical for the Macedonian epoch and represented by the famous Christ Pantocrator image inside the dome, was metamorphosing into a more intimate and delicate style, of which The Angel before St Joachim — with its pastoral backdrop, harmonious gestures and pensive lyricism — is considered a superb example.


Olympia, Greece

Greece-12, originally uploaded by Abhishek's Received Postcards.

Olympia, a sanctuary of ancient Greece in Elis, is known for having been the site of the Olympic Games in classical times, comparable in importance to the Pythian Games held in Delphi. Both games were held every Olympiad (i.e. every four years), the Olympic Games dating back possibly further than 776 BC. In addition to temples, there are the remains of all the sports structures erected for the Olympic Games. In the 10th century B.C., Olympia became a centre for the worship of Zeus


Mir Castle, Belarus

Belarus-2, originally uploaded by Abhishek's Received Postcards.

The Mirsky Castle Complex, is a UNESCO World Heritage site in Belarus located in the town of Mir in the Karelichy District of the Hrodna voblast.
The construction of the castle began at the end of the 15th century, in the Gothic architecture style. Building of the castle was completed by Duke Ilinich in early 16th century near the village Mir (formerly of Minsk guberniya). Around 1568 the Mir Castle passed into the hands of Mikolaj Krzysztof "the Orphan" Radziwill, who finished building the castle in the Renaissance style. A three-storey palace was built along the eastern and northern walls of the castle. After being abandoned for nearly a century and suffering severe damage during the Napoleonic period, the castle was restored at the end of the 19th century.