Monday, July 28, 2014

Norfolk Broads - England

As I already mentioned other times, besides postcards I also like letters and I'm a member of the Penpalling & Letters Group in FB. Postcards are dear to many of group's members and this month someone decided to organize a postcard exchange. I've sent a card to a girl in Germany and I got this one from England, sent by Catherine. I really like it. 

The Norfolk Broads is the UK's largest and finest wetland landscape. This unique patchwork of rivers and lakes is not, as was first thought, a natural landscape, but a result of intensive digging of peat in the Middle Ages to provide fuel. The empty pits were soon filled by rising water levels and now form a network of over 125 miles of navigable waterways providing leisure interest for many. The Norfolk Broads landscape is one of beauty and peace, of water, marsh, woodland and wide skies - with views of church towers and windmills. - in: http://www.tournorfolk.co.uk/norfolkbroads.html

Printed and Published by J. Salmon Ltd. 
One of those windmills is the Horsey Windmill, a five storey windpump built in 1912 to pump water out from the surrounding land so that it could be used for agriculture. It was operational until 1943, when it was hit by lightning. The National trust took ownership of Horsey Windpump in 1948 and restored it. It is now open to visitors on certain days in season. You can climb the floors of the pump and see the workings, with steep steps taking you up to the top for a great view back over Horsey! 
Windmills are a feature of the Norfolk Broads landscape as they were an efficient method of draining the landscape. Nowadays they have all been replaced by electric pumps. - in: http://www.tournorfolk.co.uk/windmills.html

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Hadrian's Wall - England

Hadrian's Wall is a new UNESCO site in my collection. I've got this card thanks to Stephanie. 

Hadrian's Wall was a defensive fortification in Roman Britain, begun in AD 122 during the rule of emperor Hadrian. In addition to its military role, gates through the wall served as customs posts.
A significant portion of the wall still exists and can be followed on foot along the Hadrian's Wall Path. Hadrian's Wall was declared a World Heritage Site in 1987, and in 2005 it became part of the transnational "Frontiers of the Roman Empire" World Heritage Site which also includes sites in Germany. - in: wikipedia

Hadrian's Wall was built, beginning in 122, to keep Roman Britain safe from hostile attacks from the Picts. It was the northernmost boundary of the Roman empire until early in the fifth century.
The wall, stretching from the North Sea to the Irish Sea (from the Tyne to the Solway), was 80 Roman miles (about 73 modern miles) long, 8-10 feet wide, and 15 feet high. In addition to the wall, the Romans built a system of small forts called milecastles (housing garrisons of up to 60 men) every Roman mile along its entire length, with towers every 1/3 mile. Sixteen larger forts holding from 500 to 1000 troops were built into the wall, with large gates on the north face. To the south of the wall the Romans dug a wide ditch, (vallum), with six foot high earth banks.
Today many of the stones have been carted away and recycled into other buildings, but the wall is still there for people to explore and walk along, although the latter is discouraged. - in: http://ancienthistory.about.com/cs/rome/a/aa060600a.htm

Friday, July 25, 2014

Caernarfon Castle - Wales

Yesterday I met Paulo, a portuguese postcards collector with whom I've traded a couple of times. He said he would like to give me bunch of cards but I never thought he would give me so many.... 240 cards!! Yes, that's right, 240 cards from different countries. I already had some of them but not many, some are ad/free cards and a few others have several copies. It was an amazing present!! 
One of the cards I liked the most is this one from Wales showing this amazing view of the Caernarfon castle from across the River Seiont. 

Caernarfon Castle is a medieval fortress in Caernarfon, Gwynedd, north-west Wales cared for by Cadw, the Welsh Government's historic environment service. There was a motte-and-bailey castle in the town of Caernarfon from the late 11th century until 1283 when King Edward I of England began replacing it with the current stone structure. The Edwardian town and castle acted as the administrative centre of north Wales and as a result the defences were built on a grand scale. There was a deliberate link with Caernarfon's Roman past – nearby is the Roman fort of Segontium – and the castle's walls are reminiscent of the Walls of Constantinople.

CADW Welsh Historic Monuments
Despite Caernarfon Castle's external appearance of being mostly complete, the interior buildings no longer survive and many of the building plans were never finished. The town and castle were sacked in 1294 when Madog ap Llywelyn led a rebellion against the English. Caernarfon was recaptured the following year. During the Glyndŵr Rising of 1400–1415, the castle was besieged. When the Tudor dynasty ascended to the English throne in 1485, tensions between the Welsh and English began to diminish and castles were considered less important. As a result, Caernarfon Castle was allowed to fall into a state of disrepair.
Despite its dilapidated condition, during the English Civil War Caernarfon Castle was held by Royalists, and was besieged three times by Parliamentarian forces. This was the last time the castle was used in war. Caernarfon Castle was neglected until the 19th century when the state funded repairs. In 1911, Caernarfon Castle was used for the investiture of the Prince of Wales, and again in 1969. It is part of the World Heritage Site "Castles and Town Walls of King Edward in Gwynedd". - in: wikipedia

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Little Mermaid - Denmark

Located at Langelinje Pier, the Little Mermaid stutue is one of Copenhagen's most famous tourist attractions. 
This beautiful card was sent by Chris. 

Edition Cromática S. L© Distribution Forlaget Svanen Aps
Unveiled on 23 August 1913, The Little Mermaid was a gift from Danish brewer Carl Jacobsen to the City of Copenhagen.
The sculpture is made of bronze and granite and was inspired by Hans Christian Andersen’s fairy tale about a mermaid who gives up everything to be united with a young, handsome prince on land.
Every morning and evening she swims to the surface from the bottom of the sea and, perched on her rock in the water, she stares longingly towards the shore hoping to catch a glimpse of her beloved prince.
Carl Jacobsen fell in love with the character after watching a ballet performance based on the fairy tale at the Royal Danish Theatre in Copenhagen.
The brewer was so captivated by both the fairy tale and the ballet that he commissioned the sculptor Edvard Eriksen to create a sculpture of the mermaid.
The sculpture was inspired by ballerina Ellen Price, who in 1909 danced the lead role in the ballet The Little Mermaid at the Royal Theatre.
However, Ellen Price would not model in the nude for sculptor Edvard Eriksen. Thus Eriksen’s wife, Eline Eriksen, posed for the sculpture of The Little Mermaid.
The little mermaid has several times been the victim of vandalism. Twice she has lost her head, once the arm was sawn off, and several times she has had paint poured on her.
But every time she is rescued and restored, so she can stay in her place by the water and bid travellers welcome to Copenhagen harbour. - in: http://www.visitcopenhagen.com/copenhagen/the-little-mermaid-gdk586951

Van Nelle Factory - Netherlands

One of the places added to the UNESCO WHS list this year, was this factory in Rotterdam. The Van Nelle Factory is considered as one of the most important industrial heritage monuments in the Netherlands. 
This card was sent by Mike. 

The Van Nelle Factory is built between 1927 and 1930 and is an icon of post WW I modern architecture in the Netherlands. The ‘Nieuwe Bouwen’ as it is called in Dutch was, among others inspired by the architecture of Le Corbusier. Characteristic of this ‘Nieuwe Bouwen’ is the use of modern materials and construction materials that create transparent, spacious and clear spaces. The Van Nelle Factory is a good example with its transparent metal constructions and large glass windows that create, inside and outside the building, a feeling of brightness and spaciousness. This result is further strengthened by the fact that not the façades but the pillars in the building support the construction.
The factory was designed by the architects Brinkman & Van der Vlugt in cooperation with design engineer Ir. J.G. Wiebenga. The principal, the director of the factory Kees van der Leeuw, tried to create a pleasant working environment for his employees. That’s why there are no basements; one worked in a building filled with light, air and space. On top of that showers were installed and even a tennis court was built, all for the employees of Van Nelle to use.
The Van Nelle factory produced tobacco, coffee and tea until 1995 when the production was finished. Together with the new owner (since 1987) Sara Lee/ Douwe Egberts new ways to use the buildings were examined. In 1998 the Ontwerpfabriek bought the factory. They shaped the former factory into a dynamic premises with offices and rentable spaces for creative entrepreneurs. - in: http://www.artrotterdam.com/users/128/content/Home/EN-Van%20Nelle.html

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Lavertezzo - Switzerland

Lavertezzo with its characteristic stone buildings is a typical picturesque village in the swiss canton of Ticino. I've already mentioned it before because of its famous 17th century stone double-arched bridge, Ponte dei Salti, but the village has more to offer to its visitors. 

© photoglob Zürich
On this card send by Óscar, besides the river, is still possible to see the 18th century Madonna degli Angeli Parish Church, the only baroque church in the valley.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Monte San Giorgio - Switzerland

Monte San Giorgio is another UNESCO WHS shared by Switzerland and Italy. It was inscribed on the UNESCO list in 2003. I already had another card from this site but I really wanted a another one. Óscar noticed that I was still looking for a card from there and sent me this one. 

Monte San Giorgio is a living legend of a historical masterpiece with fossils dating back to over 200 million years ago. Back then, it was surrounded by a lagoon and was partially separated from the open sea, due to which various marine life flourished in the region making it a rich source of fossils. These marine life and invertebrate can still be seen in the Fossil museum in Meride for visitors who want to relive the early moments of Middle Triassic period. 

©  Photographer Renato Bagattini * Distribution: photoglob.com
Depending whether you are in Serpiano, Meride or at the summit; Monte San Giorgio offers magnificent views of the lake Lugano and Lake Melano. Do not miss out the sunset panoramic view of the magical village Morcote that makes Monte San Giorgio a perfect viewing point for any visitor. This mountain is surrounded by two branches of the lake of Lugano and includes the towns of Meride, Tremona, Arzo, Besazio, Riva San Vitale e Brusino Arsizio in Switzerland and the towns of Porto Ceresio, Saltrio and Viaggù in Italy. Monte San Giorgio stands 1100m high in the south of Canton Ticino in Switzerland and the region of Lombardy in Italy.
Apart from being home to fossil museum, numerous vineyards can be approached when strolling along the southern slopes of the woody mountain. Sauntering through the charming town of Meride or pampering oneself in the grottos of the Mendrisiotto region, you can be assured that you will always find something to do on Monte San Giorgio. - in: http://www.ticino.ch/en/commons/details/Monte-San-Giorgio-a-sea-of-memories/73495.html