Tag Archives: lake

New Zealand – Lake Tekapo

Church of the Good Shepherd at Lake Tekapo

In the centre of the South Island of New Zealand lies Lake Tekapo. This highland lake and settlement at 710 meters (2300 feet) is in the heart of the Mackenzie District and surrounded by a vast basin of golden tussock grass. The name Tekapo derives from Maori words Taka (sleeping mat) and Po (night).

Situated on the shores of Lake Tekapo is the Church of the Good Shepherd, which, in 1935, was the first church built in the Mackenzie Basin. The church at Burkes Pass, St Patrick’s built in 1872 was the first church built by pioneers as a joint community effort, by Anglicans Presbyterian and Catholic settlers. Also a joint venture between Presbyterians and Anglicans, St Columba in Fairlie was built in 1879. The church at Lake Tekapo was designed by Christchurch architect R.S.D. Harman, based on sketches by a local artist, Esther Hope. The church is arguably one of the most photographed in New Zealand, and features an altar window that frames stunning views of the lake and mountains.

Bulgaria – UNESCO – Pirin Mountains

Pirin National Park

Spread over an area of over 27,000 ha, at an altitude between 1008 and 2914 m in the Pirin Mountains, southwest Bulgaria, the site comprises diverse limestone mountain landscapes with glacial lakes, waterfalls, caves and predominantly coniferous forests. It was added to the World Heritage List in 1983. The extension now covers an area of around 40,000 ha in the Pirin Mountains, and overlaps with the Pirin National Park, except for two areas developed for tourism (skiing). The dominant part of the extension is high mountain territory over 2000m in altitude, and covered mostly by alpine meadows, rocky screes and summits.

 

Brasil – UNESCO WHS – Pantanal Conservation area

The Pantanal Conservation Complex consists of a cluster of four protected areas located in western central Brazil on the border with Bolivia and Paraguay. The site is part of the Pantanal region, one of the world’s largest freshwater wetland ecosystems.

The Pantanal is an immense alluvial plain.. Its landscape encompasses a variety of ecological subregions, including river corridors, gallery forests, perennial wetlands and lakes, seasonally inundated grasslands and terrestrial forests.

Surrounded by mountain ridges and plains, the region presents a flat landscape with a small inclination which follows a north-south, east-west direction.

The main source of water for the Pantanal is the Cuiaba River. The water spreads and covers broad expanses, seeking a natural outlet, which will only be found hundreds of kilometres downstream, at the confluence of the river and the Atlantic, beyond the Brazilian territory. Hydrological studies indicate the presence of a network of underground streams and a degree of subsurface water movement.

The vegetation is located in an area of transition between the dry savannah (cerrado) of central Brazil and the semi-deciduous forest of the south and south-east. The diversity of interacting habitat types produces a remarkable plant diversity.

The fauna of the Pantanal is extremely diverse and includes 80 species of mammal, 650 bird, 50 reptile and 400 fish. Dense populations of species of conservation concern such as jaguar, marsh deer, giant anteater and giant otter live in the region.

The Pantanal is a sanctuary for birds with many species occurring in large numbers. It is one of the most important breeding grounds for typical wetland birds such as Jabiru stork, as well as several other species of heron, ibis and duck, which are found in enormous flocks. Parrots are also very diverse, with 26 species recorded in the area including the hyacinth macaw, the world’s largest parrot. A large proportion of the remnant wild population of this species, estimated at about 3,000 birds, inhabit the region. Habitat destruction and capture for the pet trade are two factors that, in combination, have led to the risk of extinction.

(www.whc.unesco.org)

Hungary – Balaton Lake

Lake Balaton is a freshwater lake in the Transdanubian region of Hungary. It is the largest lake in Central Europe, and one of its foremost tourist destinations. As Hungary is landlocked, it is often affectionately called the “Hungarian Sea”. The Zala River provides the largest inflow of water to the lake, and the canalized Sió is the only outflow.

The mountainous region of the Northern shore is known both for its historic character and as a major wine region, while the flat Southern shore is known for its resort towns. Balatonfüred and Hévíz developed early as resorts for the wealthy, but it wasn’t until the late 19th century that landowners, their vines destroyed by lice, began building summer homes to rent out to the burgeoning middle classes.

Belarus – Mir Castle


 

 

 

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 the early 16th century near village Mir (formerly of Minsk guberniya). Around 1568 the Mir Castle passed into the hands of Mikołaj Krzysztof “the Orphan” Radziwiłł, who finished building the castle in the Renaissance style. A three-storey palace was built along the eastern and northern walls of the castle. Plastered facades were decorated with limestone portals, plates, balconies and porches.
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. In 1813, after the death of Dominik Hieronim Radziwiłł, the castle passed into the hands of his daughter Stefania, who married Ludwig zu Sayn-Wittgenstein-Berleburg. The castle later fell into the hands of their daughter Maria, who married Prince Chlodwig Hohenlohe-Schillingsfürst. Their son, Maurice Hohenlohe-Schillingsfürst sold the castle to Nikolai Sviatopolk-Mirski, of the Bialynia clan, in 1895. Nikolaj’s son Michail began to rebuild the castle according to the plans of architect Teodor Bursze. The Sviatopolk-Mirski family owned the castle up to 1939. During WWII, it came under the dominion of the Nazi occupying force and served as a ghetto for the local Jewish population prior to their liquidation.
Despite numerous destruction’s (the heaviest were during 1812 war) the Mir Castle survived till now; and at present it is being successfully restored. This monument is under UNESCO’s auspices.