Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Damien's russian cards

I think it was in June that Damien has been to Russia. He sent me once card from there and another one from France and both arrived at the same time. The 1st card is from Veliky Novgorod's Kremlin and the 2nd from St. Petersburg. 

The Novgorod Kremlin, or Detinets, as it was called in Novgorod in old times, is the most ancient out of the preserved Kremlins in Russia (it is first mentioned in the chronicle of 1044). It was founded by Prince Yaroslav.
The Kremlin was an administrative, a social and a religious centre of Novgorod. Veche, elections of a posadnik were held here. From this place, squads of Alexander Nevsky marched out to the battle with the Swedes. Novgorod walls protected the main Cathedral of St.Sophia and the residence of the Archbishop of Novgorod. It was the Kremlin where the chronicles were kept and books were collected and copied.
Today the Kremlin is the cultural and tourist centre. The main expositions of the Novgorod State United Museum are displayed here. Restoration workshops, the library, the philharmonic, college of arts, art and music schools are located in this place. - in:

The world-renowned Mariinsky Theatre, known during Soviet times as the Kirov Opera and Ballet Theatre, reverted to its original name in 1992. The present building, which dates back to 1859, originally housed another theater but was remodeled and taken over by the Mariinsky company. During pre-revolutionary times the theater enjoyed royal patronage and has played host to some of Russia’s most celebrated classical performers; Fiodor Shaliapin sang there, and the dancers Vatslav Nizhinsky, Matilda Kshesinskaya, Anna Pavlova also graced its stage. - in:

Monday, August 24, 2015

RU-3775098 & RU-3774981

Nice cards and stamps from Russia. 

RU-3775098, sent by Tanya.
The most beautiful church of the city, the Church of Elijah the Prophet is the pride and joy of Yaroslavl and the favorite tourist attraction. It was built in 1647 – 1650 and is one of the most complete and best-preserved monuments of Yaroslavl. Built on the site of two churches, the Intercession and Elijah, the church is considered a real masterpiece of ancient Russian art. The main structure of the temple is a massive building on high foundation topped with five heads resting on light drums. The drums are decorated with arches and columns and surrounded by the rows of kokoshniks. But the main thing is, of course, the interior painting, made by famous Kostroma masters. They have no equals in beauty, richness and brightness of colors. - in:

RU-3774981, sent by Nadya.
The church in Neuhausen was built at the end of the XIV century and was re-built in a gothic style with a high tower on the east in the XVI century. Master Isaac of Riga made an altar, a confessional and a baptismal font in 1689-1701. During the battles of 1945 the church was slightly damaged, but later it was renovated as a community club. After the Culture Centre had been built in Guryevsk, the church was partly empty, some additional buildings were used as a shop, different kinds of goods and materials were stored in the hall. By 1988 the church was absolutely abandoned and started to decay. In 1991 the building was transferred to the New Apostolic community, it was fixed up and since 1993 church services have been held there. - in:

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Kamchatka - Russia

Russian officials from the Kamchatka peninsula and its volcanoes. 

RU-3774984, sent by Sasha.
This is one of the most outstanding volcanic regions in the world, with a high density of active volcanoes, a variety of types, and a wide range of related features. The six sites included in the serial designation group together the majority of volcanic features of the Kamchatka peninsula. The interplay of active volcanoes and glaciers forms a dynamic landscape of great beauty. The sites contain great species diversity, including the world's largest known variety of salmonoid fish and exceptional concentrations of sea otter, brown bear and Stellar's sea eagle. - in:

RU-3639949, sent by Katya.
This beautiful card is showing one of the 160 volcanoes on the Kamchatka peninsula. 
The Kamchatka River and the surrounding central side valley are flanked by large volcanic belts containing around 160 volcanoes, 29 of them still active. The peninsula has a high density of volcanoes and associated volcanic phenomena, with 29 active volcanoes being included in the six UNESCO World Heritage List sites in the Volcanoes of Kamchatka group, most of them on the Kamchatka Peninsula. - in: wikipedia

RU-3150747, sent by Julia.
Kamen is a stratovolcano located in the southern part of Kamchatka Peninsula, Russia, flanked by Bezymianny and Kluchevskaya. It is the second highest volcano of Kamchatka. - in: wikipedia

Bran Castle - Romania

Last May Paula, Tjitske, Valérie, Astrid and Dimitris when on a great trip through Romania. They visited some amazing places including the world famous Bran Castle. Paula and Tjitske sent me two great cards from there and I'm also posting a 3rd card, sent by Oana back in 2011.

© Age Gallery Card Collection 2014
Surrounded by an aura of mystery and legend and perched high atop a 200-foot-high rock, Bran Castle owes its fame to its imposing towers and turrets as well as to the myth created around Bram Stocker's Dracula.  
Built on the site of a Teutonic Knights stronghold dating from 1212, the castle was first documented in an act issued by Louis I of Hungary on November 19, 1377, giving the Saxons of Kronstadt (Brasov) the privilege to build the Citadel.

 © Age Gallery Card Collection 2014
Although Stoker never visited Transylvania, the Irish author relied on research and his vivid imagination to create the dark and intimidating stomping ground of Count Dracula, leading to persistent myths that it was once the home of Vlad Tepes, ruler of Walachia. While the association with Dracula is sketchy at best, the castle continues to hold a strong attraction for all fans of the Count.
From 1920 to 1957 Bran served as royal residence, a gift of the people of Brasov to Queen Marie of Romania. The castle is now a museum open to tourists, displaying art and furniture collected by Queen Marie.

Narrow winding stairways lead through some 60 timbered rooms, many connected by underground passages, which house collections of furniture, weapons and armor dating from the 14th to the 19th centuries. The castle overlooks the picturesque village of Bran, which offers an open-air Ethnographic Museum consisting of old local-style village houses complete with furniture, household objects and costumes. - in:

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Zagreb - Croatia

Last June Ana and Agata went together to a music festival in Zagreb. When they weren't enjoying the music, they had time to write cards. Thanks girls. 

Some views of the croatian capital: St. Catherine Church; Nikola Šubić Zrinski Square, popularly referred to as Zrinjevac; Maksimir Park; Stone gate; St. Mark's Church; Croatian National Theatre; King Tomislav Square and Ban Jelačić Square. 

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Kluže Fortress - Slovenia

Kluže Fortress stands at the top of a narrow canyon near the town of Bovec in northwestern Slovenia.
It was erected as a control post at the crossing of the Koritnica river.
The card was sent by "karmi.

Foto © J. Skok, M. Simic
The time of origin of the older fortress at this site is not known, but a wooden building stood there already in the second half of the 15th century to defend the Friuli Plain and the Venetian Republic against the Turks.
In the year 1509 the Austrians built new walls. The fortress was probably renewed and expanded after the earthquake of 1511.
Rebuilding in the second half of the 17th century turned it into a more pleasant residence.
In 1797 the French army burnt down and destroyed the medieval fortress.
The new, present fortress was built on the same pass over the river in the years 1881-1882.
After World War II the fortress lost its strategic importance and therefore fell into disrepair.
Since 1987 it has been continuously renovated.
Inside there is a smaller tourist office, a presentation of the history of the fortress and its surroundings, a local painting gallery and a wedding hall. - in:

Friday, August 14, 2015

Ljubljana Castle - Slovenia

More cards from Slovenia, both from the beautiful capital city, Ljubjiana and its castles. Like the previous ones, these were also sent by  "karni" and "lionheart2010". 

Foto: © Marko Pintaric
Perched on top of Castle Hill (Grajska planota) and dominating the city skyline to the south, Ljubljana’s magnificent castle stands on the site of several former defensive buildings in a hilly area of land stretching away to the south of the old town. The current ensemble of buildings originates from necessary 16th-century reconstruction work following the earthquake of 1511, with several later additions. Not unlike Kraków's Wawel Castle in Poland, Ljubljana Castle has served as both a royal residence and a military barracks over the centuries.

Underneath the tower and located down a small flight of stairs tucked away through a doorway in the corner of the courtyard is the diminutive St George’s Chapel (Kapela sv Jurija). The Chapel is one of the oldest parts of the Castle. By the order of Cesar's document from 1489 it was dedicated to St. George, the patron saint of Ljubljana. It was renovated in Baroque style and in 1747 decorated with the coats-of-arms of over 60 rulers, including Herman and Ulrich of Celje, Henrik of Gorizia County, and Krištof Rauber, a bishop of Ljubljana.
A beautifully presented permanent Exhibition on Slovene History is now also open for visitors - see more info under Museums & Galleries.
The castle also has a small art gallery featuring temporary exhibitions, a café, restaurant and souvenir shop. It’s also a popular place for local weddings, and during the summer puts on concerts and, in July, hosts a popular outdoor cinema. To reach it, several small paths lead up from the old town, or take the funicular next to the Puppet Theatre and open market. - in: