Gračanica is a town located in central Kosovo — de-facto independent, partially recognized state. This town of more than 10,000 mostly Serbian people is centered around the Gračanica Monastery, ten kilometers east of Pristina, the capital of Kosovo. The image of this postcard: Fresco of Saint King Milutin, the founder of Gračanica Monastery, originated between 1319 and 1321.
According to Wikipedia, the Gračanica municipality was supposed to become part of the Community of Serb Municipalities after the 2013 Brussels Agreement, however this still hasn’t been implemented yet despite the promises from the Prishtina government. Still, we can see Serbian post, not Kosovar, was used when this postcard was sent: Serbian stamp is used. Also interesting, if I read the postmark correctly, it shows the name of the town in both Serbian and Albanian languages: Gračanica and Graçanicë.
“Health, Peace and Prosperity” — is the motto of the Republic of Kiribati. The motto I can stand behind! Kiribati (pronounced Kiribass, which surprised everyone I know when they heard it for the first time) is an island country in the Pacific Ocean. It consists of 33 islands, of which only 20 are inhabited. The islands are scattered over a vast area of ocean along the equator. The rising sea levels, a result of global warming, will be disastrous for the islands of Kiribati, as many of them are atolls that rise no higher than some 8 meters. It’s not surprising that fish is the bulk of the country’s production and exports, as well as dried coconut kernels from which coconut oil is expelled. Coconut palms dominate the landscape on each island. Another interesting export item is hand-caught ornamental fish (for aquariums)!
Kenya is the most popular of Africa’s safari destinations. It is is located in East Africa with coastline on the Indian Ocean. It encompasses savannah, lakelands, the dramatic Great Rift Valley and mountain highlands. It’s also home to wildlife like lions, elephants and rhinos. Kenyan safaris visit the Masai Mara National Park known for its abundant wildlife and annual Great Migration, and Amboseli National Park, offering views of Tanzania’s Mt. Kilimanjaro.
Sharyn Canyon (also known as Charyn Canyon) is a canyon on the Sharyn River in Southeast region of Kazakhstan. The canyon is roughly 154 kilometers (96 mi) in length. Though it is much smaller than the Grand Canyon, it has been described as being equally impressive. There are a few legends about the canyon. People believed that it was a place haunted by spirits who didn’t like to be disturbed by the living. To keep people away, these evil spirits drove animals to the cliffs and forced them to jump down on anyone walking through the canyon.
Qusayr ‘Amra was built between 730 – 740 AD. This desert establishment was both a fortress with a garrison and a residence/pleasure palace that comprises a reception hall and hammam, all richly decorated with figurative murals, which depict hunting and dancing scenes as well as craftsmen at work, and represent the transition between Byzantine culture and the new Islamic era. It is located in present-day eastern Jordan.
Qusayr ‘Amra was placed on the World Heritage List in 1985.
Petra is a historic and archaeological city in Jordan, and is famous for its rock-cut architecture and water conduit system. It was inhabited by the Nabataeans, nomadic Arabs, and became their capital by second century BC. UNESCO has described Petra as “one of the most precious cultural properties of man’s cultural heritage”. The Monastery, or Ad Deir, pictured on this postcard, is a monumental building carved out of rock.
Jersey is the largest of the Channel Islands – an archipelago in the English Channel between England and France. It is a self-governing dependency of the United Kingdom, with a mix of British and French cultures. Jersey is most notable for being one of the world’s largest offshore finance centers.
La Corbière is the extreme south-western point of Jersey. The name means “a place where crows gather“. However, seagulls have long since displaced the crows from their coastal nesting sites.
Mount Fuji has become famous throughout the world and is considered to be the symbol of Japan. It is 3,776 meters tall active volcano located 100 km southwest of Tokyo and is visible from there on clear days. Mount Fuji’s exceptionally symmetrical cone is frequently depicted in art and photography. It is a UNESCO World Heritage List site since 2013.
Jamaica is a Caribbean island nation. The name comes from the indigenous people’s, the Taíno, language, and means the “Land of Wood and Water”. The Taíno people were virtually exterminated by Spanish colonists, and today the population of Jamaica consists predominantly of the descendants of African slaves brought by English settlers to work the sugar estates. This makes this postcard interesting: the the Devon House Mansion is the former residence of George Stiebel, Jamaica’s first black millionaire. It has been restored, and today it is operated as a house museum and National Heritage Site.
Ivory Coast or Côte d’Ivoire is African country with beach resorts and rainforests, and it is world’s largest exporter of cocoa beans. Prior to its colonization by Europeans, Ivory Coast was home to several states. It was colonized by France in 1893, and achieved independence in 1960.
Fun fact: Abidjan, Ivory Coast’s largest city, is the city with the third largest French speaking population anywhere in the world.