Postcard Sunday: South Korea

Jeju Volcanic Island and Lava Tubes, UNESCO World Heritage List #: 1264

Jejudo is a volcanic island, 130 kilometers from the southern coast of the Korean Peninsula. The largest island and smallest province in South Korea, the island has a surface area of 1,846 square kilometers. It is listed at number 23 on CNN Go’s 50 natural wonders: The ultimate list of scenic splendor.

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Postcard Sunday: Denmark

St. Gallen Abbey, UNESCO World Heritage List #: 695

Roskilde Cathedral, in the city of Roskilde on the island of Zealand in eastern Denmark, is a cathedral of the Lutheran Church of Denmark. The first Gothic cathedral to be built of brick, it encouraged the spread of the Brick Gothic style throughout Northern Europe. Constructed during the 12th and 13th centuries, the cathedral incorporates both Gothic and Romanesque architectural features in its design. Until the 20th century, it was Zealand’s only cathedral. Its twin spires dominate the skyline of the town.

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Postcard Sunday: Italy

Pisa, UNESCO World Heritage List #: 395

Pisa is a city in Tuscany, Central Italy, on the right bank of the mouth of the River Arno on the Tyrrhenian Sea. It is the capital city of the Province of Pisa. Although Pisa is known worldwide for its leaning tower (the bell tower of the city’s cathedral), the city of over 88,332 residents (around 200,000 with the metropolitan area) contains more than 20 other historic churches, several palaces and various bridges across the River Arno.

The city is also home of the University of Pisa, which has a history going back to the 12th century and also has the mythic Napoleonic Scuola Normale Superiore di Pisa and Sant’Anna School of Advanced Studies as the best Superior Graduate Schools in Italy.

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Postcard Sunday: Switzerland

St. Gallen Abbey, UNESCO World Heritage List #: 268

The Abbey of Saint Gall (German: Fürstabtei St. Gallen) is a Roman Catholic religious complex in the city of St. Gallen in present-day Switzerland. The Carolingian-era Abbey has existed since 719 and became an independent principality during the 13th century, and was for many centuries one of the chief Benedictine abbeys in Europe. It was founded by Saint Othmar on the spot where Saint Gall had erected his hermitage. The library at the Abbey is one of the richest medieval libraries in the world. Since 1983 it has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

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Postcard Sunday: San Marino

San Marino Historic Center, UNESCO World Heritage List #: 1245

San Marino, officially the Republic of San Marino and also known as the Most Serene Republic of San Marino (Italian: Serenissima Repubblica di San Marino), is an enclaved microstate surrounded by Italy, situated on the Italian Peninsula on the north-eastern side of the Apennine Mountains. Its size is just over 61 km2 (24 sq mi) with an estimated population of over 30,000. Its capital is the City of San Marino. San Marino has the smallest population of all the members of the Council of Europe.

San Marino claims to be the oldest surviving sovereign state and constitutional republic in the world, as the continuation of the monastic community founded on 3 September 301, by stonecutter Marinus of Arba. Legend has it that Marinus left Rab, then the Roman colony of Arba, in 257 when the future emperor, Diocletian, issued a decree calling for the reconstruction of the city walls of Rimini, which had been destroyed by Liburnian pirates.

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Postcard Sunday: Brazil

Christ the Redeemer, UNESCO World Heritage List #: 1100

Christ the Redeemer is a statue of Jesus Christ in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; considered the largest Art Deco statue in the world and the 5th largest statue of Jesus in the world. It is 30 metres (98 ft) tall, not including its 8 metres (26 ft) pedestal, and its arms stretch 28 metres (92 ft) wide. It weighs 635 tonnes (625 long, 700 short tons), and is located at the peak of the 700-meter (2,300 ft) Corcovado mountain in the Tijuca Forest National Park overlooking the city. A symbol of Brazilian Christianity, the statue has become an icon for Rio de Janeiro and Brazil. It is made of reinforced concrete and soapstone, and was constructed between 1926 and 1931.

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Postcard Sunday: Japan

Historic Villages of Shirakawa-gō and Gokayama, UNESCO World Heritage List #: 734

The Shirakawa-go and neighboring Gokayama regions line the Shogawa River Valley in the remote mountains that span from Gifu to Toyama Prefectures. Declared a UNESCO world heritage site in 1995, they are famous for their traditional gassho-zukuri farmhouses, some of which are more than 250 years old.

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Postcard Sunday: New Zealand

Mount Taranaki and Lake Mangamahoe

Mount Taranaki, or Mount Egmont, is an active but quiescent stratovolcano in the Taranaki region on the west coast of New Zealand’s North Island. Although the mountain is more commonly referred to as Taranaki, it has two official names under the alternative names policy of the New Zealand Geographic Board. The 2518-metre-high mountain is one of the most symmetrical volcanic cones in the world. There is a secondary cone, Fanthams Peak (Māori: Panitahi), 1,966 metres (6,450 ft), on the south side. Because of its resemblance to Mount Fuji, Taranaki provided the backdrop for the movie The Last Samurai.

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Postcard Sunday: China

The Great Wall, UNESCO World Heritage List #: 438

The Great Wall of China is a series of fortifications made of stone, brick, tamped earth, wood, and other materials, generally built along an east-to-west line across the historical northern borders of China in part to protect the Chinese Empire against intrusions by various nomadic groups or military incursions by various warlike peoples or forces. Several walls were being built as early as the 7th century BC; these, later joined together and made bigger, stronger, and unified are now collectively referred to as the Great Wall. Especially famous is the wall built between 220–206 BC by the first Emperor of China, Qin Shi Huang. Little of that wall remains. Since then, the Great Wall has on and off been rebuilt, maintained, and enhanced; the majority of the existing wall was reconstructed during the Ming Dynasty.

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Postcard Sunday: Alaska

Turnagain Arm, Alaska, USA

Cook Inlet stretches 180 miles (290 km) from the Gulf of Alaska to Anchorage in south-central Alaska. Cook Inlet branches into the Knik Arm and Turnagain Arm (postcard) at its northern end, almost surrounding Anchorage. The watershed covers about 100,000 km² of southern Alaska, east of the Aleutian Range and south of the Alaska Range, receiving water from its tributaries the Knik River, the Little Susitna River, and the Susitna and Matanuska rivers. The watershed includes the drainage areas of Mount McKinley. Within the watershed there are several national parks and the active volcano Mount Redoubt, along with three other historically active volcanoes. Cook Inlet provides navigable access to the port of Anchorage at the northern end, and to the smaller Homer port further south. Approximately 400,000 people live within the Cook Inlet watershed. Before the growth of Anchorage, Knik was the destination for most marine traffic in upper Cook Inlet.

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