Sunday, October 4, 2015

Monthly Favorite Surprise RR * September '15

This afternoon I've been choosing and writing card for October's Monthly Favorite Surprise RR. Three of them will be sent tomorrow and then I need to find the 4th card. But for now, I'm sharing the 4 cards I got last month. This time they came from Austria, Netherlands, Lithuania and Russia.
The beautiful Austrian province of Tirol is one of the best skiing areas in winter. In summer it offers fantastic hiking paths and stunning views of lakes and valleys. In addition, Tiroleans love their traditions and food. It’s a great place to get an insight into the Austrian culture. - in:
The card was sent by Gudrun. 

© Uitgeverij van der Meulen bv Sneek
Nanda sent me this card with the Noordwijk Lighthouse. It dates from 1921 but a wooden light has already been built here in the 19th century. The tower has 6 floors and a staircase with 108 steps. Is not possible to climb the tower. 

Foto: © Antanas Varanka
In August's RR Ausra sent me a card with some churches in Vilnius and in September Ieva sent me this card with St. John's Church, one of the churches in Ausra's card. I didn't get to see this one. 
One of the picturesque parts of the Vilnius University building is the Church of Sts. Johns and its bell tower. The full name of the church is the Church of St. John the Baptist and St. John the Evangelist.
The construction of this church lasted for almost 40 years and was completed in 1426. At that time it was a Gothic building. In 1571 the church was transferred to the Order of Jesuits and became a part of the university complexes.
Besides masses, the Church of Sts. Johns has also witnessed student protests, theatre performances, and welcoming ceremonies for kings. In Soviet times, it was turned into a warehouse. Later, the University Museum was established here.
Today, the Church of Sts. Johns performs its main functions once again. It was visited by Pope John Paul II in 1993.
The bell tower of the church, which is 68 meters high, is among the highest buildings in the Old Town.
The present facade was designed in the 18th century by the most prominent Vilnius Baroque architect, Jonas Kristupas Glaubicas (Johan Christoph Glaubitz). - in:

This was the last card to arrive and it was a wonderful surprise sent by Anna, not only because it is a beautiful card but especially because it is from the only russian UNESCO site I was still missing. I couldn't be happier. Bolgar Historical and Archaeological Complex was added to the WHS list last year.
This property lies on the shores of the Volga River, south of its confluence with the River Kama, and south of the capital of Tatarstan, Kazan. It contains evidence of the medieval city of Bolgar, an early settlement of the civilization of Volga-Bolgars, which existed between the 7th and 15th centuries AD, and was the first capital of the Golden Horde in the 13th century. Bolgar represents the historical cultural exchanges and transformations of Eurasia over several centuries that played a pivotal role in the formation of civilizations, customs and cultural traditions. The property provides remarkable evidence of historic continuity and cultural diversity. It is a symbolic reminder of the acceptance of Islam by the Volga-Bolgars in AD 22 and remains a sacred pilgrimage destination to the Tatar Muslims. - in:

Saturday, October 3, 2015

Monthly Favorite Surprise RR - August '15

In August I also got nice cards from this RR. These came from Lithuania, Czech Republic, Indonesia and Ireland. 

Fotos: K. Driskius, R. Paknys, L. Jankauskas
Exactly one month ago (already one month) I was flying to Vilnius. These are some of the many churches in Vilnius, I visited three of these.
These are: St. Anne and the Bernardines Churches; St. Michael's Church; St. John's Church; the Cathedral; St. Theresa Church and Gates of the Basilian Monastery and St. Peter and St. Paul´s Church. 
The card was sent by Ausra. 

© Foto: Zd. Hartinger
Radana sent me this card of the beautiful Byzantine Chapel of St. Cyril and St. Methodius in Radhošť mountain. The building was consecrated in 1898.

Photo © Heritage Collection
The Great Mosque of Sultan Riau is part of the Penyengat Island Palace complex. 
The complex is an interesting blend of Javanese and Dutch architecture, still imbued with an air of dignity, even though it has been abandoned for more than 80 years. Here are tombs and crypts, and a restored fort.
The pride of the island is the Sultan’s Mosque, the Mesjid Raya Sultan Riau Penyengat. Peeping through the palm trees like a fairy tale castle, it is still in use today. Rumour has it that a large part of the mosque was made of eggs, gifts from the Sultan’s loyal subjects on the occasion of his wedding. The egg-white proved to be a strong bonding agent. The mosque has excellent acoustics and even a whisper can carry right across the auditorium. Here is also the beautifully preserved handwritten and illustrated Quran of over 150 years old. - in:
The card was sent by Jennifer.

Photography reproduced from original artistic work © Liam Blake
In this RR I've received another card from John and like in the July's RR, this card was also from my favorites.
This is a view of the Blasket Islands from Dunquin, Dingle Peninsula, Co. Kerry.
Dunquin or Dún Chaoin is a traditionally Irish speaking Gaeltacht village on the most south westerly tip of the Dingle Peninsula, in the south-west of Ireland. It comprises eleven townlands on the mainland and the Blasket Islands three miles offshore and it is often referred to as "the next parish to America"
Dún Chaoin is renowned for its scenery and its surviving Gaelic culture. The spectacular views of the Blasket islands, the rugged cliffs which make up the coastline, the picturesque, narrow, winding pathway leading to the pier and the splendid sunsets are featured in many calendars, postcards and tourist brochures each year. - in:

Friday, September 25, 2015

Monthly Favorite Surprise RR * July '15

Last July I joined this great RR. The idea is to send cards (1 card minimum, 8 cards maximum) according to the receivers favorites or wishlists. I've already joined 3 times and I always send 4 cards, in return I get the same number of cards but I don't know who'll send them. So far, i've only got nice cards. These are the 1st four I got, from Germany, Netherlands, France and Ireland. 

I've already sent a couple of cards to Antje, tags, but this was the 1st card I got from her. This is the Old Bridge in Jena, built in 1534. It was destroyed during the Thirty Years War (1637), reconstructed in 1706 and received its present appearance in 1744 . During World War II on April 12, 1945, a few arches were damaged. The reconstruction started in 2001 and was completed in 2004.

© The online postcard shop
Marina sent me this beautiful card of the Heeswijk Castle, located near Heeswijk in the North Brabant province of the Netherlands. The castle was originally constructed during the 11th century and was later restored in 2005. A motte was first erected in 1080, but would be reduced over the next few centuries. A castle would eventually be built in its place.
Heeswijk Castle was an integral part of the history of the Netherlands. Prince Mauritis failed twice to take over Heeswijk in 1600. His half-brother Frederick Henry, however, did succeed in 1629. This allowed him to attack ‘s-Hertogenbosch.
In 1649, the castle was transformed into a baroque residence and lost its defensive features. In 1672, Louis XIV stayed at Heeswijk while campaigning against the Dutch Republic. King Charles II of England as well as the bishops of Munster and Cologne visited the castle to sign the Treaty of Heeswijk.
General Pichegru, who was under Napolean’s command, used the castle as a headquarters in the late 18th century. In the early 1800s, the castle was purchased by Andre Baron van den Bogaerde van Terbrugge. However, by this time, the castle had already fallen into a state of disrepair. Reconstruction began and the castle was then expanded to include an armory. The “Iron Tower” was also constructed and served as a place to store his son’s collection of art and curiosa.
Surprisingly, the castle only suffered minimal damage during World War II. In 1944, the parachutists of the 101st Airborne Division actually landed around Heeswijk Castle. - in:

Photo: Marc-Olivier Sicard
Another castle, this one from France, sent by Nathalie. 
Unusually among the historical castles of France, Rambouillet plays a role as important now as it did in the past - it is now the summer residence for French presidents, and frequent host to heads of state from other countries.
Dating from the 14th century, at which time it was a manor house, it gained importance as an occasional royal residence, and it was here that King Francois I died in 1547.
The castle retains a medieval defensive form, with turrets in each corner of the building, although the castle has been very extensively altered during the follwoing centuries.
The extensive gardens and parkland that surround the castle were laid out during the first half of the 17th century - the castle is surrounded by 200 square kilometres of land, much of it covered by ancient forests. The garden is significantly more 'English' in style than many of the castles in the Paris region and the Loire Valley.
Towards the end of the 18th century the castle passed to the crown under Louis XVI, bought as a gift for Marie Antoinette. It's political importance continued into the 19th century - Napoleon occasionally stayed here, and his 'successor' King Charles X, abdicated at the castle.
It is from the end of the 19th century that Rambouillet has acted as the official French Presidential summer residence.
During the 20th century many important meetings and summits have been held here. General de Gaulle frequently held important receptions at the castle. More recent engagements have included the G6 meetings of leading industrialised nations, Kosovo peace agreement discussions, and state visits by Boris Yeltsin and Nelson Mandela. - in:

Photography reproduced from original artistic work © Liam Blake
And the last card of the July's RR came from Ireland, sent by John. In a few weeks, 4, I'll visit Trinity College in Dublin. 
Trinity College, known in full as the College of the Holy and Undivided Trinity of Queen Elizabeth near Dublin, is a research university and the sole constituent college of the University of Dublin in Ireland. The college was founded in 1592 as the "mother" of a new university,[Note 1] modelled after the collegiate universities of Oxford and of Cambridge, but, unlike these, only one college was ever established; as such, the designations "Trinity College" and "University of Dublin" are usually synonymous for practical purposes. It is one of the seven ancient universities of Britain and Ireland, as well as Ireland's oldest university. - in: wikipedia

Thursday, September 24, 2015

US-3529534, US-3529533 & US-3427335

Officals from Iowa, Indiana and Washington in the United States. 

US-3529534, sent by Abby.
Asbury United Methodist Church in Webster City, built between 1911 and 1912.  

Photos: Kim White
US-3529533, sent by Natalya.
Potter's Bridge Park features the only remaining covered bridge in Hamilton County, and is surrounded by a 66-acre park. Constructed between 1870-1871 by Josiah Durfee, and restored in 1999, the bridge serves as the centerpiece of Potter's Bridge Park. The bridge boasts beautiful views of the White River and is a great place to observe wildlife in its natural habitat. - in:
The bridge was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1991 and in 1999 Potter's Bridge Park was opened. 

Photo © James P. Rowan
US-3427335, sent by Colleen.
Cape Flattery is northwesternmost point in the continental United States. Here, where the Strait of Juan de Fuca meets the Pacific, Cape Flattery protrudes into a sea of tumultuous waters. A land of dramatic headlands, sea stacks, and deep narrow coves, Cape Flattery exhibits sheer rugged beauty. Scores of seabirds ride the surf and scavenge the sea stacks. Watch for whales and sea lions too. - in: 

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Zion National Park - USA

Zion National Park is both the oldest and the oldest national park in Utah. It was the state’s first federally designated park (1919). It’s also Utah’s most visited national park, drawing more than 3 million visitors annually. The park is known for its slot canyons, towers and monoliths, rivers and waterfalls, and scenic sandstone.
The card was sent by "wayness".

Photo: John Wagner
On the back of the card: The Watchman, a monolith of Navajo sandstone, is a prominent landmark near the mouth of Zion Canyon in Zion National Park. Protected within the parks's 229 square miles is a dramatic landscape of sculptured canyons and soaring cliffs. This unique geography and the variety of the life zones within the park, make Zion significant as a place of unusual plant and aninal diversity. 

Monarch Butterfly Biosphere Reserve - Mexico

5th and last card sent by Marco. Now I've 20 of the 32 mexican UNESCO sites. The Monarch Butterfly Biosphere Reserve was added to the WHS list in 2008. 

Foto: Encar
The 56,259 ha biosphere lies within rugged forested mountains about 100 km northwest of Mexico City. Every autumn, millions, perhaps a billion, butterflies from wide areas of North America return to the site and cluster on small areas of the forest reserve, colouring its trees orange and literally bending their branches under their collective weight. In the spring, these butterflies begin an 8 month migration that takes them all the way to Eastern Canada and back, during which time four successive generations are born and die. How they find their way back to their overwintering site remains a mystery. - in:

Friday, September 18, 2015

Cabo San Lucas - Mexico

Cabo San Lucas is one of the areas classified and identified on the UNESCO list as Islands and Protected Areas of the Gulf of California. The site was classified in 2005 and comprises 244 islands, islets and coastal areas that are located in the Gulf of California in north-eastern Mexico. 
This 4th card sent by Marco shows the Arch of San Lucas, the exact place where the Pacific Ocean becomes the Gulf of California, also known as Sea of Cortez.

The Sea of Cortez and its islands have been called a natural laboratory for the investigation of speciation. Moreover, almost all major oceanographic processes occurring in the planet’s oceans are present in the property, giving it extraordinary importance for study. The site is one of striking natural beauty in a dramatic setting formed by rugged islands with high cliffs and sandy beaches, which contrast with the brilliant reflection from the desert and the surrounding turquoise waters. - in:

© Claude Vogel
The distinctive landmark of Cabo San Lucas is the rugged taffy-colored El Arco (The Arch) rock formation that erupts from the sea at the tip of the Baja Peninsula. the arch is also known as Land's End because, as the crow flies, if you followed a line south from here, you would not touch land again until you reached the South Pole.