Sunday, June 25, 2017

National Museum of Western Art - Japan

The National Museum of Western Art in Tokyo is another one of French-Swiss architect Le Corbusier's  buildings classified by UNESCO as World Heritage Site. It is a concrete museum which holds a collection dedicated to western thought and art.
This card was sent by Bei Hao.

The National Museum of Western Art was built in the mid-19th century and opened in 1959. Originally, the museum housed the personal collection of Japanese industrialist Matsukata Kojiro.
When the museum was commissioned, Mr Kojiro's collection had remained mostly in Europe after the second world war. An agreement was reached between the Japanese and French governments; the latter agreed to return the artworks to Japan, on the condition that they be housed in a museum designed by a Frenchman.

The result is an exemplary Modernist building that encompasses several of Le Corbusier's key ideas.
The central galleries are laid out in a square plan, whose double-height spaces are raised on pilotis.
Throughout the building, vertical circulation is mostly through ramps, and a skylight system brings natural light into the galleries. The facade is made of precast concrete panels that rest on steel brackets.
While Le Corbusier took the lead on the design, he left the detailing and construction supervision to three Japanese apprentices: Kunio Maekawa, Junzo Sakakura and Takamasa Yoshizaka. All three would go on to be successful in their own right.
The National Museum of Western Art is the famed architect's only built project in the far east. It remains open today and houses the work of significant western artists including Rodin, Manet, Picasso and Pollock. - in:

Saturday, June 17, 2017

Mausoleum of Khoja Ahmed Yasawi - Kazakhstan

There's no doubts about this card, this one is really from an UNESCO site, the Mausoleum of Khoja Ahmed Yasawi in Kazakhstan, my 1st from there. It was sent by Emilia and she used a nice postcrossing stamp. 

The Mausoleum of Khoja Ahmed Yasawi, in the town of Yasi, now Turkestan, was built at the time of Timur (Tamerlane), from 1389 to 1405. In this partly unfinished building, Persian master builders experimented with architectural and structural solutions later used in the construction of Samarkand, the capital of the Timurid Empire. Today, it is one of the largest and best-preserved constructions of the Timurid period. - in:

Jakir - Bosnia

There are an estimated number of 60,000 stecci, monumental medieval tombstones, within the borders of modern Bosnia and Herzegovina. Last year UNESCO inscribed 22 bosnian necropolises in the WHS list. 
Sanda thought these in Jakir were classified but, unfortunately, I can't find them in the list of inscribed properties, therefore I won't consider this card for my UNESCO collection. 

In a field in Jakir, near Glamoč in western Herzegovina, there's a supersized headstone standing over 4 meters tall and capped with a 2-meter turban. This the tombstone of Omer Aga Bašić, the tallest tombstone in Bosnia & Herzegovina. 

Friday, June 16, 2017

Warsaw Ghetto - Poland

Not much was left of Warsaw Ghetto after the Uprising, suprisingly the St. Augustin Church was and is still standing. A great card sent by Emanuela & Cesare. 

Shortly after the German invasion of Poland, in September 1939, more than 400,000 Jews in Warsaw, the capital, were confined to an area of the city that was little more than 1 square mile. In November 1940, this ghetto was sealed off by brick walls, barbed wire and armed guards, and anyone caught leaving was shot on sight. The Nazis controlled the amount of food that was brought into the ghetto, and disease and starvation killed thousands each month. (Ghettos were established in cities throughout Nazi-occupied Eastern Europe. The Warsaw ghetto was the largest in Poland.)

In July 1942, Heinrich Himmler (1900-45), the head of the Nazi paramilitary corps known as the Shutzstaffel (SS), ordered that Jews be “resettled” to extermination camps. (The Jews were told they were being transported to work camps; however, word soon reached the ghetto that deportation to the camps meant death.) Two months later, some 265,000 Jews had been deported from the Warsaw ghetto to the Treblinka extermination camp, while more than 20,000 others were sent to a forced-labor camp or killed during the deportation process.

fot: Lech Zielaskowski
An estimated 55,000 to 60,000 Jews remained in the Warsaw ghetto, and small groups of these survivors formed underground self-defense units such as the Jewish Combat Organization, or ZOB, which managed to smuggle in a limited supply of weapons from anti-Nazi Poles. On January 18, 1943, when the Nazis entered the ghetto to prepare a group for transfer to a camp, a ZOB unit ambushed them. Fighting lasted for several days before the Germans withdrew. Afterward, the Nazis suspended deportations from the Warsaw ghetto for the next few months.
On April 19, 1943, Himmler sent in SS forces and their collaborators with tanks and heavy artillery to liquidate the Warsaw ghetto. Several hundred resistance fighters, armed with a small cache of weapons, managed to fight the Germans, who far outnumbered them in terms of manpower and weapons, for nearly a month. However, during that time, the Germans systematically razed the ghetto buildings, block by block, destroying the bunkers were many residents had been hiding. In the process, the Germans killed or captured thousands of Jews. By May 16, the ghetto was firmly under Nazi control, and on that day, in a symbolic act, the Germans blew up Warsaw’s Great Synagogue.
An estimated 7,000 Jews perished during the uprising, while nearly 50,000 others who survived were sent to extermination or labor camps. It is believed that the Germans lost several hundred men in the uprising. - in:

Wednesday, June 14, 2017


In ten years of Postcrossing activity, this is only the 4th time I get an official card from Norway. All of them great cards, by the way. 
The most famous Glaciers in the Arctic Circle are Okstindan and Svartisen. This is a card of Svartisen, the 2nd largest glacier in Norway. 

Foto: NK/Fjellanger Wideroe
NO-147441, sent by Heidi.
The Svartisen glacier is a part of Saltfjellet / Svartisen national park, wich is Norway´s most various national park. The Svartisen glacier is 375 square kilometer, an thereby covers quite a bit of land. The glacier stretches all the way from the widths in Saltfjellet mountain area, through beautifull valleys with calm rivers, and out to fjords and steep mountains at the coast. - in:

Tampere International PC Meeting - Finland

In the last days of May, between 26 and 28 May, a Postcrossing meeting was held in the Finnish city of Tampere. The meeting had a small but important Portuguese representation, Ana & Paulo, and Paula & Vitória. They sent me postcards and I've got another one sent by Heidi. 

© Virpi Pekkala
Finland celebrates its centenary this year and to celebrate it, a number of activities have been carried out throughout the year. One of them was FINLAND 2017 - an international stamp exhibition.

Foto: Kati Koskinen
Finlandia 2017 was partially the venue for Tampere International Postcrossing Meeting as well. The theme for the last day of Finlandia 2017 was Postcrossing.

Tuesday, June 6, 2017


My 1st option for my summer holidays this month, was a trip to Finland + Estonia and visiting Porvoo was in my plans. I'm not going to Finland now but I'll try again next year and Porvoo will stay in my plans. 

© Maria W Boström 2010
FI-2993413, sent by Isabel
Founded nearly 800 years ago, Porvoo is the second oldest city in Finland and evidence of its long history can still be seen and felt as you walk its charming streets. For centuries, the city has served as both a home and a source of inspiration for many Finnish artists.
Located about 50 kilometres east from Helsinki, it is possible to travel from the capital to Porvoo by steamboat in the summer. Even though Porvoo is not exactly a coastal town, it is connected to the Gulf of Finland via the Porvoo River. The river flows through the city, passing Porvoo’s most well-known landmarks: its red shore houses. Originally, the shore houses were painted red in honour of the arrival of Gustav III, the king of Sweden.
Historically, Porvoo has been an important centre of trade and the shore houses were once used to store goods and produce, such as exotic delicacies from distant lands. - in: