Monday, February 11, 2019

DE-7910659 & DE-7912674

Officials from the Sachsenhausen Concentration Camp, a Nazi and Soviet concentration camp just one hour by train from Berlin and Landshut, a town in Bavaria in the south-east of Germany.

Bild und Heimat - Reichenbach (Voglt)
DE-7910659, sent by Marc-André.
The Sachsenhausen Concentration Camp was designed by the SS architects and founded in 1936 by prisoners from the Emsland camps. It was conceived as a model extermination camp, where the ideas of the National Socialism were to be projected and the SS could subject their power on the convicts.
Between 1936 and 1945 over 200,000 prisoners were locked away in the camp. The first people sent to the Death Camp were political opponents of the Nazi regime. However, in the following years, the Nazis put away anyone they believed to be racially or biologically inferior.
Thousands of prisoners died due to illnesses, forced labor and starvation. Many others were victims of the SS extermination techniques.
At the end of the war, on 22 and 23 April 1945, the Soviet and Polish soldiers freed over 3,000 suffering prisoners, nurses and doctors. - in:

© Fotostudio R. u. R. Hackl, Landshut
DE-7912674, sent by Hannes.
Landshut is of national importance because of its predominantly Gothic architecture. The Church of Saint Martin's construction began around 1389, under the architect Hans von Burghausen.  The building was completed in 1500. With a height of 130.6 m (428 feet), the church tower is considered to be the tallest brick building in the world. 

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.

DE-820701, sent by Frank & Daniel.
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.
 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. 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:

Sunday, February 10, 2019

Cologne - Germany

My 1st time in Germany was in 2011 to attend an international Postcrossing meeting. The meeting was held in Cologne, from where all these cards came from. Two are officials and the other was sent by me during the meeting. 

© Schöning GmbH & Co. KG
DE-7910655, sent by Magdalene. 
Cologne is the largest city of Germany's most populous federal state of North Rhine-Westphalia. It is the fourth most populous city in Germany after Berlin, Hamburg, and Munich.
The 2000-year long history has had a strong influence on the cathedral city and made it what it is today - a vital and dynamic metropolis with a unique atmosphere.
Cologne is one of the oldest large German cities and its name dates back to Roman times. The Romans founded the Ubii village on the Rhine in 50 AD and named it "Colonia".

Until the Middle Ages, Cologne was one of the most important trade centres in Europe. 
During the Second World War around 90 percent of the inner city was destroyed. By the end of the War, only around 40,000 people were still living in the city area. After initial thoughts of giving up the old area, work began in 1947 to rebuild the Old Town. Post-war architecture still characterises the face of Cologne today.

DE-534528, sent by Stefan.
The Rhine metropolis is now the fourth largest German city and one of the most prominent travel destinations in Germany and Europe. - in:

Saturday, February 9, 2019

Two portuguese churches

These postcards have nothing to do with each other but they kind of look good together. One is from São Brás de Alportel, in the south of Portugal and the other is from Côja, in the center of the country. Tiago sent me the São Brás card  during a mini-meeting in Tavira with Paulo & Ana and Gracinha sent the one from Côja to wish me a Merry Christmas. 

fotografia: André Nunes
The Main Church of São Brás de Alportel was built in the early 16th century. It underwent several later remodels, some due to the damages caused by the earthquake of 1755.

There's not much information about this religious temple. It was built in the 18th century and rebuilt in the nineteenth century.

Setúbal Cathedral - Portugal

I've been to Setubal 2 or 3 times but I've never seen the Cathedral of the city. 
My 1st postcard of this cathedral was sent by Américo in 2008 and a few days ago Gracinha sent me another to one. 

The Our Lady of Grace Cathedral also called Setúbal Cathedral (...) is located in the heart of the primitive medieval town of Setúbal, around which the most important medieval district of the city as well as the religious and administrative center developed.

Founded in the thirteenth century, the current building is a reconstruction of the High Renaissance with a Mannerist facade. Inside are frescoed columns and tiles of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. - in: wikipedia

Thursday, February 7, 2019

Winner of the Month - January 19

I've started my postal year winning postcards. It was the third time I was chosen as the winner of the month  and I received postcards from Brazil and Portugal.

Salvador is one of the places I'd love to visit in Brazil. Luzia has been there last December on a work trip.
No other place reflects the soul of Bahia as well as Pelourinho. Considered a World Heritage Site by UNESCO, the neighborhood in the Upper Town, has more than 800 mansions of the XVII and XVIII centuries. Alleys, slopes and squares connect churches, museums, restaurants, shops and a shuttle of people from Salvador, Brazil and the world.

  Foto: Nadir Motta
Also from Brazil, a card from Piracicaba sent by Silvana.
Piracicaba is a city located in the interior of the state of São Paulo. The city was founded in 1767, along the banks of the Piracicaba River, a river that was vital to the region.

fotografia: Oswaldo Santos
This was the first time Isabel sent me a postcard, my 1st from São Martinho do Porto.
The bay of S. Martinho do Porto is the last vestige of an old gulf that until the XVI century extended to Alfeizerão and only connected to ocean by an opening about 250 meters wide.
On Marginal Avenue, the cosmopolitan center of the village, there are plenty of terraces, shops, bars and restaurants almost all specialized on the flavors of the sea.

Direitos de edição Find Ferreira do Alentejo
 Inês Barbosa also sent me a postcard from a place I didn't had any cards from. 
Ferreira do Alentejo is a village in the district of Beja. The Misericórdia Church dates from the 16th century and is classified as a Property of Public Interest.

The Trays Festival is a festival held every four years in Tomar. The next festival will be held from June 29 to July 8, 2019. Rui suggested that it might be a good idea to have a Postcrossing meeting during the festival. As much as I enjoy meetings, festivals and all kinf of parties are not my cup of tea. I really deslike crowds. 

photo by pmartike
Inês Brito wished me a good year and good readings. When 2019 started I was reading "D. Maria I" by Isabel Stilwell, then read "The Home for Unwanted Girls" by Joanna Goodman and then "The Last Christmas in Paris: A Novel of World War I" by Hazel Gaynor and Heather Webb. 2 days ago I bought and I started to read "Homegoing" by Yaa Gyasi.

Friday, February 1, 2019

PT RR - Group 122 * Surprise December

Is not that I don't like Christmas cards but for the December surprise group of this RR, I decided that I didn't to receive them. Laura, Rui, Ana Rita and Paula respected that and sent me these cards. 

I must confess that I didn't get what this tower was when I first saw this card. In fact, this tower is made of several cork stools on top of each others. These stools, called "tropeços", currently produced in Gaspalha, parish of Álvaro, are one of the examples of the typical craftsmanship in Oleiros municipality. 

Fotos: Antº Macedo; David de Abreu; Carlos Reveles; Izhar Perlman; Sergi Zelman; Sérgio Duarte; Vera Sanches * @ 2017 - Ed. 19 de Abril: 157
I work at weekends, holidays and holy days, I have days off during the week, I often have no idea if it's Monday or Wednesday, a calendar might help me. 

Nunes de Almeida Editores
I like to travel by train and every year I say that I'll finally travel on the Douro Historical Train but that didn't happen so far.  
The Douro Historical Train operates annually between June and October.
Travelling on the Douro Historical Train is like travelling back in time. In a route along the Douro River, the steam locomotive and the five historical carriages run the distance between Régua and Tua, on a unique trip to the past through the beautiful landscape, which is classified by UNESCO as World Heritage. - in:

The Postcrossing logo is a registered trademark
Paula went to Norway to attend the Northern Lights Meeting. Such a unique meeting had to have, obviously, a postcard and stamp to match the event.
It is no wonder that both the postcard and the stamp are dedicated to the northern lights. Tromsø, where the meeting was held, is one of the best places in the world to see this natural phenomenon.
Tromsø is located in the middle of the Northern Lights Oval, which is the area with the highest probability of seeing the lights. This means that there will always be good chances of Northern Lights, regardless of the sun’s cycles.
This natural phenomenon can be observed from September to April, depending on the weather conditions and solar activity. If the sky is clear, you might be able to see the Northern Lights right above the city, but to increase your chances we recommend going on a tour away from the bright lights of the city centre. - in: