Thursday, March 23, 2017

St. John's Hospital, Brugge - Belgium

St. John's Hospital in beautiful Brugges. Brugges is one of my favorite cities in Europe! Loved it ❤ 
The 1st card was bought by me and the 2nd is an official.

Saint John’s Hospital has an eight hundred-year-old history of caring for pilgrims, travellers, the poor and the sick. Visit the medieval wards where the nuns and monks performed their work of mercy.

Sint-Janshospitaal is one of the oldest preserved hospital buildings in Europe. In the museum, you can learn more about hospital life in the past and how the wards would have looked then. Furniture, paintings, sculptures, silverware, and pewterware are the silent witnesses of the care for bodies and souls that took place in this hospital through the centuries. The building’s supporting framework is also unique and is one of the oldest and largest in Europe.

BE-492648, sent by Pascal.
The old infirmary took patients in from the 12th to the middle of the 19th century. Initially anyone in need of food or a bed could come here. The nuns, however, had limited medical knowledge and devoted themselves mainly to the care of the soul. Paintings and sculptures of healing saints, reliquaries, and an atmospheric chapel bear witness to a strong faith. In the 19th century the hospital moved to a nearby neo-gothic building of bright red brick, where patients could go until 1978. - in: https://www.visitbruges.be/en/sint-janshospitaal-saint-johns-hospital

Augustusburg Palace - Germany

Anja and Heidi sent me these cards in 2011. Back then I needed a card from one of the Brühl Palaces to have all the german UNESCO sites. Since 2011 6 other sites were added to the WHS list. 

Augustusburg Palace – together with Falkenlust Palace and their extensive gardens – was added to the World Heritage List in 1984.

Augustusburg Palace represents one of the first examples of Rococo creations in Germany. For the Cologne elector and archbishop Clemens August of the House of Wittelsbach it was the favourite residence.
In 1725 the Westphalian architect Johann Conrad Schlaun was commissioned by Clemens August to begin the construction of the palace on the ruins of a medieval moated castle.
In 1728, the Bavarian court architect François de Cuvilliés took over and made the palace into one of the most glorious residences of its time. Until its completion in 1768, numerous outstanding artists of European renown contributed to its beauty. A prime example of the calibre of artists employed here is Balthasar Neumann, who created the design for the magnificent staircase, an enchanting creation full of dynamism and elegance.

The magical interplay of architecture, sculpture, painting and garden design made the Brühl Palaces a masterpiece of German Rococo.
From 1949 onwards, Augustusburg Palace was used for representative purposes by the German Federal President and the Federal Government for many decades.
Today, the state of North Rhine-Westphalia maintains these palaces for the public as museums, preserving its status as an internationally renowned World Heritage Site. - in: http://www.schlossbruehl.de/en_augustusburg_palace

Neuschwanstein Castle - Germany

The Neuschwanstein Castle is one of the most visited castles in Germany and one of the most popular tourist destinations in Europe.
The castle is located in Bavaria, near the town of Fussen. It was built by King Ludwig II of Bavaria, also known as the “Fairytale King”. 

© Schöning GmbH & Co. KG

DE-5927634, sent by Ecke.
King Ludwig was a great admirer and supporter of Richard Wagner, the world-renowned composer.
Neuschwanstein Castle was built in his honor and many rooms in the castle’s interior were inspired by Wagner’s characters.
The third floor particularly reflects Ludwig’s admiration of Wagner’s operas.The Singers Hall, which occupies the entire fourth floor of Neuschwanstein also contains characters from Wagner’s operas.
Neuschwanstein literally means “New Swan Castle” referencing of “the Swan Knight” one of the Wagner’s characters.

The Neuschwanstein Castle looks like a fairytale castle. Neuschwanstein is a castle of the paradox, it was built in the 19th century in Bavaria, in a time when castles no longer had strategical and defensive purposes.
While Neuschwanstein’s look is that of a medieval castle, it was equipped inside with state of the art technology at that time. For example on every floor of the castle there were toilets with automatic flushing system, as well as an air heating system for the whole castle. Water was supplied by a nearby spring situated at only 200 meters above the castle.

Alpiner Kunstverlag Hans Huber, Garmisch-Partenkirchen
US-2051824, sent by Louise
Neuschwanstein’s positioning is also a fairytale one. It is located in the Alps in Bavaria, Germany, in a magnificent landscape, on the top of a hill. Neuschwanstein overlooks the Hohenschwangau valley. If you come to visit this castle, you will be amazed by the extremely beautiful landscape that surrounds it.
Also, Neuschwanstein lies very close to the town of Fussen, which is also a popular tourist destination in Germany.

DE-425666, sent by Andrea.
The construction of the Neuschwanstein castle began in 1869, and originally it was projected to last three years. But Ludwig II wanted the castle to be perfect, so the immense building was not finished even at Ludwig’s death in 1886 and it is not completely finished to this day.

 Neuschwanstein Castle has a very beautiful inner garden surrounded by a walled courtyard. It even has an artificial cave. Neuschwanstein’s interior is as beautiful as its outside. Though only 14 rooms were finished before Ludiwg II’s sudden death in 1886, these rooms were majestically decorated.

DE-2624717, sent by Klaus.
The two story throne room was designed in Byzantine style, with wall paintings depicting angels. Ironically, there is no throne in the Throne Room, as Ludwig died before it was completely finished.

 Copyright: Foto Studio Verlag Kienberger
DE-3654451, sent by Lotte.
This fairytale look of the Neuschwanstein castle inspired Walt Disney to create the Magic Kingdom. Today, Neuschwanstein is the most visited castle in Germany, and one of the most popular tourist destination in the world. Every year over 1.300.000 people cross its gate. - in: http://neuschwansteincastle.net/

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

DE-6048588 & DE-5935736

Officials from Germany. 

Photo: B. Böhmer
DE-6048588, sent by Ariane (I think).
The towers of two churches, Hugenottenkirche and Neustädter Kirche in Erlanger, a city in Bavaria.

Martin Vollet/2016
DE-5935736, sent by Lea.
Neuendettelsau Palace and Lutheran St. Nikolai church in Neuendettelsau, another Bavarian city.

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Cinque Terre - Italy

Cinque Terre was on Ara's must visit list and is also on my list. I really, really want to go there someday. 

The Cinque Terre (five towns) is a string of five fishing villages perched high on the Italian Riviera (region Liguria) which until recently were linked only by mule tracks and accessible only by rail or water.
An ancient system of footpaths is still the best way to visit the five villages: Monterosso, Vernazza, Corniglia, Manarola and Riomaggiore.
The Cinque Terre is noted for its beauty. Over centuries, people have carefully built terraces to cultivate grapes and olives on the rugged, steep landscape right up to the cliffs that overlook the Mediterranean Sea.
The breathtaking views of harbours far below the wild but hospitable coastline along with the medieval fortresses and plentiful vines and vibrant colours make this a memorable holiday. - in: http://www.cinqueterre.eu.com/en/
The Cinque Terre are classified by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site. They are also a National Park and Protected Marine Area with the aim of protecting this great cultural heritage and natural environment. 

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Varenna - Italy

There's no better way to start a year than travelling somewhere. I bet Ara agrees with me. Last January she traveled to Italy. 

Varenna is an attractive village on the eastern shore of Lake Como, looking over the central part of the lake towards Bellagio. Varenna's picturesque lanes and old fishermen's houses are unpretentiously appealing, and some visitors prefer the town to its grander neighbours. Although Varenna is a tourist destination, and its pretty waterfront and tiny stone beach fill up with holidaymakers, it has somehow a more authentic air than the other hotel-packed resorts. The main tourist activities in Varenna are relaxing by the lake, and visiting the gardens of two villas, Villa Monastero and Villa Cipressi.
Varenna is a useful gateway to Lake Como, as it lies on a railway line with direct trains to Milan, and is connected to the other lake resorts by regular car and passenger ferries. - in: http://www.italyheaven.co.uk/lombardy/varenna.html

Limoges Cathedral - France

I've added this card to my favorites wall just a few days ago and now, thanks to Damien, is already in my collection. Love it!! 

Editions RENE
Limoges Cathedral (French: Cathédrale Saint-Étienne de Limoges) is a Roman Catholic church located in Limoges, France. It is a national monument and the seat of the Bishop of Limoges.
The construction of the Gothic cathedral began in 1273 and finished only in 1888 when the nave was connected to the belltower. It is noted for its Renaissance rood loft built in 1534 and for the fine, partly octagonal, bell tower. - in: wikipedia