Crac des Chevaliers and Qal’at Salah El-Din

Brief description

These two castles represent the most significant examples illustrating the exchange of influences and documenting the evolution of fortified architecture in the Near East during the time of the Crusades (11th – 13th centuries). The Crac des Chevaliers was built by the Hospitaller Order of Saint John of Jerusalem from 1142 to 1271. With further construction by the Mamluks in the late 13th century, it ranks among the best-preserved examples of the Crusader castles. The Qal’at Salah El-Din (Fortress of Saladin), even though partly in ruins, represents an outstanding example of this type of fortification, both in terms of the quality of construction and the survival of historical stratigraphy.

Unesco WHS list ref:  1229

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syria-homs-crac-des-chevaliers

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Three Castles, Defensive Wall and Ramparts of the Market-Town of Bellinzona

Brief description

The Bellinzona site consists of a group of fortifications grouped around the castle of Castelgrande, which stands on a rocky peak looking out over the entire Ticino valley. Running from the castle, a series of fortified walls protect the ancient town and block the passage through the valley. A second castle (Montebello) forms an integral part of the fortifications, while a third but separate castle (Sasso Corbaro) was built on an isolated rocky promontory south-east of the other fortifications.

Unesco WHS list ref:  884

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switzerland-bellinzona

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Levoča, Spišský Hrad and the Associated Cultural Monuments

Brief description

Spišský Hrad has one of the largest ensembles of 13th and 14th century military, political and religious buildings in eastern Europe, and its Romanesque and Gothic architecture has remained remarkably intact.
The extended site features the addition of the historic town-centre of Levoča founded in the 13th and 14th centuries within fortifications. Most of the site has been preserved and it includes the 14th century church of St James.

Unesco WHS list ref:  620

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slovakia-spissky-hrad

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Cultural Landscape of Sintra

Brief description

In the 19th century Sintra became the first centre of European Romantic architecture. Ferdinand II turned a ruined monastery into a castle where this new sensitivity was displayed in the use of Gothic, Egyptian, Moorish and Renaissance elements and in the creation of a park blending local and exotic species of trees. Other fine dwellings, built along the same lines in the surrounding serra , created a unique combination of parks and gardens which influenced the development of landscape architecture throughout Europe.

Unesco WHS list ref:  723

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portugal-sintra

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Castle of the Teutonic Order in Malbork

Brief description

This 13th-century fortified monastery belonging to the Teutonic Order was substantially enlarged and embellished after 1309, when the seat of the Grand Master moved here from Venice. A particularly fine example of a medieval brick castle, it later fell into decay, but was meticulously restored in the 19th and early 20th centuries. Many of the conservation techniques now accepted as standard were evolved here. Following severe damage in the Second World War it was once again restored, using the detailed documentation prepared by earlier conservators.

Unesco WHS list ref:  847

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poland-malbork

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Quseir Amra

Brief description

Built in the early 8th century, this exceptionally well-preserved desert castle was both a fortress with a garrison and a residence of the Umayyad caliphs. The most outstanding features of this small pleasure palace are the reception hall and the hammam, both richly decorated with figurative murals that reflect the secular art of the time

Unesco WHS list ref:  327

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jordan-amra

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Himeji-jo

Brief description

The finest surviving example of early 17th-century Japanese castle architecture, comprising 83 buildings with highly developed systems of defence and ingenious protection devices dating from the beginning of the Shogun period. It is a masterpiece of construction in wood, combining function with aesthetic appeal, both in its elegant appearance unified by the white plastered earthen walls and in the subtlety of the relationships between the building masses and the multiple roof layers.

Unesco WHS list ref:  661

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japan-himeji

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