Sunday, January 23, 2022

Cologne's Cathedral - Germany

It is impossible to speak about Cologne and without mentioning its huge and impressive cathedral. It can be seen from nearly every point in the city centre with its towers dominating the city's panorama. 
If you'd like to enjoy some nice views of downtown Cologne and the Rhine, I suggest that you climb to the  platform of the cathedral's southern tower. However, you need to go up 533 steps in order to enjoy the views  because there is no lift. I did that and it was worth it. 

Dedicated to the saints Peter and Mary, Cologne Cathedral (Kölner Dom) is the seat of the Catholic Archbishop of Cologne. Cologne Cathedral is the greatest Gothic cathedral in Germany and has been Cologne's most famous landmark for centuries. Once the tallest building in the world, Cologne Cathedral still boasts the world's largest church façade.

© Schöning Verlag
DE-10375282, sent by Maria.
Construction of the present Gothic church began in the 13th century and took, with interruptions, more than 600 years to complete. The new structure was built to house the relics of the Three Magi, taken from Milan by Holy Roman Emperor Fredrick Barbarossa and given to the Archbishop of Cologne, Rainald von Dassel in 1164.

DE-820701, sent by Frank & Daniel.
The foundation stone of Cologne Cathedral was laid on August 15, 1248, by Archbishop Konrad von Hochstaden, and the choir was consecrated in 1322. 
The completion of Germany's largest cathedral was celebrated as a national event in 1880, 632 years after construction had began.

© Citysights GmbH
 DE-1563221, sent by Stefan.
The cathedral suffered 14 hits by World War II aerial bombs but did not collapse and reconstruction was completed in 1956. 
 
© Citysights GmbH
 
DE-11360270, sent by Dirk.
In the northwest tower's base, an emergency repair carried out with bad-quality brickstones taken from a nearby war ruin remained visible until the late 1990s as a reminder of the War, but then it was decided to reconstruct this section according to the original appearance. It is possible to climb a spiral staircase to a viewing platform about 98 metres above the ground.

 © Schöning GmbH & Co, KG
DE-1464294, sent by Jens.
In 1996, the cathedral was added to the UNESCO World Heritage List. - in: http://www.sacred-destinations.com/germany/cologne-cathedral

Saturday, January 22, 2022

Writing-on-Stone / Áísínai’pi - Canada

It was because of this card that I tagged Nancy. Writing-on-Stone / Áísínai’pi was the only UNESCO site that I was still missing from Canada. 

The property is located on the northern edge of the semi-arid Great Plains of North America, on the border between Canada and the United States of America.

 © 2020 by Suaithai
 The Milk River Valley dominates the topography of this cultural landscape, which is characterized by a concentration of pillars or hoodoos – columns of rock sculpted by erosion into spectacular shapes. The Blackfoot Confederacy (Siksikáíítsitapi) left engravings and paintings on the sandstone walls of the Milk River Valley, bearing testimony to messages from Sacred Beings. Dated in situ archaeological remains cover a period between ca. 4,500 BP - 3,500 years BP and the Contact Period. This landscape is considered sacred to the Blackfoot people, and their centuries-old traditions are perpetuated through ceremonies and in enduring respect for the places. - in: https://whc.unesco.org

L'Anse aux Meadows - Canada

L'Anse aux Meadows is an archaeological site first excavated in the 1960s of a Norse settlement dating to approximately 1,000 years ago.  The site was designated a National Historic Site of Canada in 1968 and a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1978.
The 1st card was sent a few years ago by Trupti and the 2nd is also a card sent by Nancy.

 L’Anse aux Meadows National Historic Site contains the excavated remains of a complete 11th-century Viking settlement, the earliest evidence of Europeans in North America. Situated at the tip of the Great Northern Peninsula of the island of Newfoundland, this exceptional archaeological site consists of eight timber-framed turf structures built in the same style as those found in Norse Greenland and Iceland from the same period. The buildings include three dwellings, one forge and four workshops, on a narrow terrace overlooking a peat bog and small brook near the shore of Epaves Bay in the Straight of Belle Isle.
 
Produced and distributed by M & B Postcards
Artifacts found at the site show evidence of activities including iron production and woodworking, likely used for ship repair, as well as indications that those who used the camp voyaged further south. The remnants correspond with the stories told in the Vinland Sagas, which document the voyages of Leif Erikson and other Norse explorers who ventured westward across the Atlantic Ocean from Iceland and Greenland to find and explore new territory, a significant achievement in the history of human migration and discovery. - in:https://whc.unesco.org

Tuesday, January 18, 2022

National Park of American Samoa

This card is also a first, the first from American Samoa, and it was also sent by Nancy. 

The National Park of American Samoa is a national park in the United States territory of American Samoa, distributed across three islands: Tutuila, Ofu, and Ta‘ū. This card is from Tatuila island and it shows Pola Island.
The park preserves and protects coral reefs, tropical rainforests, fruit bats, and the Samoan culture.

 

Pola Island is an island just offshore from the village of Vatia on Tutuila Island.The island is known for its high cliffs, populated by seabirds, and is one of American Samoa's primary seabird nesting sites.

Rashaida Women - Eritrea

I've tagged Nancy on a UNESCO tag and the she asked me if we could swap a few cards. I said yes and that's how I got this card from Eritrea, a new country in my collection 😃 

The Rashaida migrated to Eritrea and north-eastern Sudan from Saudi Arabia in 1846. The cause of their migration was due to ethnic warfare breaking out in Saudi Arabia. The Rashaida are thought to be related to the Bedouin of Saudi Arabia and are the only true nomadic people left in Eritrea. They are primarily Muslim, and very few Christians are known to exist among the group. According to the Eritrean government, the Rashaida made up 2.4% of Eritrea's population, and numbered around 78,000 in 1996. The language spoken by them is Arabic, although some are capable in speaking Tigre.
 
 
Photograph © Carol Beckwith and Angela Fisher
Rashaida women are famous for their black-and-red geometrically patterened dresses, and their burkas (long, heavy veils) elaborately embroidered with silver thread, beads and sometimes seed perals. Once a Rashaida girl reaches the age of 5, she is required to wear a veil that covers most of her face, with the exception of her eyes. Since the sexes do not mix freely in Rashaida culture, young men and women have few chances to meet of their own accord. As a result, marriages are usually arranged by familes. However, if a Rashadian girl is ready to marry, she will at times approache the man she wants and flirtatiously lift her veil so that he can see her chin. If he accepts her offer he must find 100 camels for her bride price. - in: http://www.madote.com

Friday, January 14, 2022

Red foxes

A beautiful red foxes from Finland and Belarus sent by Sirpu and Anna. 

Red foxes live around the world in many diverse habitats including forests, grasslands, mountains, and deserts. They also adapt well to human environments such as farms, suburban areas, and even large communities. The red fox's resourcefulness has earned it a legendary reputation for intelligence and cunning.
 
Kuva: Vastavalo / Anja West
Red foxes are solitary hunters who feed on rodents, rabbits, birds, and other small game—but their diet can be as flexible as their home habitat. Foxes will eat fruit and vegetables, fish, frogs, and even worms. If living among humans, foxes will opportunistically dine on garbage and pet food.

In winter, foxes meet to mate. The vixen (female) typically gives birth to a litter of 2 to 12 pups. At birth, red foxes are actually brown or gray. A new red coat usually grows in by the end of the first month, but some red foxes are golden, reddish-brown, silver, or even black. Both parents care for their young through the summer before they are able to strike out on their own in the fall. - in: http://www.nationalgeographic.com/animals/mammals/r/red-fox/

Chaves Church - Portugal

Paula also sent me a non Christmas card to wish me happy holidays. I believe that all the cards that I've posted from Church were about the roman bridge. Today I'm showing the city's parish church.

Francisco Más, Lda
 
The historic Church of Santa Maria Maior (the Igreja Matriz or Parish Church) is located in the center of Chaves. 
The original Romanesque church dates back to the mid-13th century and may even be 12th century and have been built over a previous Visigothic church, which was constructed over an even earlier Roman temple. The bell tower and Romanesque portal date from the 13th century.
In the 16th century the Church of Santa Maria Maior underwent major renovation which included the integration of two Mannerist (Late Renaissance) portals into the existing Romanesque structure, one on the main facade, crowned by a circular oculus (circular opening) crowned with an image of Christ and the other on the north side, surmounted by two medallions with the images of St. Paul and St. Peter. - in: https://www.portugalvisitor.com