Thursday, March 26, 2015

JP-642775 & JP-642768

 Offcials from Japan. Atomic Bomb Dome in Hiroshima and Gifu's Castle.

JP-642775, sent by Kiyoshi.
The A-Bomb Dome is a symbol of peace which most people have at least seen at one time in a picture. The building, which was designed by a Czech architect in 1915, had been used as the Hiroshima Prefectural Industrial Promotion Hall. Hiroshima citizens back then loved so much European modern-style buildings of the time. In 1912, the National Confectionery Exposition was held in this place. From that exposition, Baumkuchen, which represented German cake, was manufactured and sold in Japan for the first time. Since the Hiroshima Prefectural Industrial Promotion Hall was located only around 160 meters from the hypocenter, the building was blown up, and all those inside the building died. However, the building was not destroyed completely because the blast of the atomic bomb, which was vaporized in the air, prevented it from totally collapsing. It was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1996 and has been representing people's prayers for a lasting peace. - in: http://visithiroshima.net/world_heritage/a-bomb_dome.html

JP-642768, sent by Mary. 
First built as a fortress on the top of Mt. Kinka in 1201, Gifu Castle has a history of about 800 years. ODA Nobunaga, a famous general in Sengoku period, occupied the castle and became its master in 1567. At this time, ODA changed the name of this area from “Inokuchi” to “Gifu” and of the castle itself from “Inabayama Castle” to “Gifu Castle”. As ODA expanded his empire and unified the nation with his fresh ideas and unique politics, Gifu Castle became a bustling center of activity.
The ODA family lost the castle after Hidenobu, Nobunaga's grandson, allied his clan with the losing side of the decisive Battle of Sekigahara in 1600 that resulted in over 250 years of Edo Shogunate rule of Japan.
The present three-story and four-floor castle was rebuilt with ferroconcrete construction in 1956 and has been a popular symbol of Gifu City ever since. - in: http://www.gifucvb.or.jp/en/01_sightseeing/01_02.html

CN-1553139 & CN-1553140

On the same day I got these two officials from China, I've also got 2 other offcials from there, making a total of 4 chinese cards on the same day. One of them, CN-1553140, is rather special, it was my received official number 1000!! 

CN-1553139, sent by Mengxl. 
Yellow Crane Tower is a famous and historic tower, standing on Sheshan (Snake Hill), at the bank of Yangtze River in Wuchang District, Wuhan, in Hubei province of central China.
The present Yellow Crane Tower is a modern building that was built in the 1980s after the old Yellow Crane Tower was destroyed to make way for the Changjiang River Bridge that was completed in 1957. The original site was on a hill next to the river. The new building was built on a hill about a kilometer away from the river. The original building was a pagoda made of wood, and the new one is pagoda-style building made of concrete. 
From the top of the tower, you can get a good view of the city. It is about 50 meters high and has 5 stories. There are some telescopes for tourists to use. The Museum of the 1911 Revolution is at the bottom of the hill.
A tower called the Yellow Crane Tower was built about 1,800 years ago. It was a famous building in China. An ancient poem named "The Yellow Crane Tower" was written by Cui Hao, and many Chinese can recite it. - in: http://www.chinahighlights.com/wuhan/attraction/the-yellow-crane-tower.htm

CN-1553140, sent by Françoise.
My official #1000 shows the Great Wall at Jiayuguan.
Jaiyuguan (Jiayu Pass) is the most western end of the Great Wall. Also known as "the First and Greatest Pass under Heaven", Jiayu Pass is the best preserved and most magnificent military building among the passes of the Great Wall.
It is one of the main passes of the Great Wall, along with Juyong Pass and Shanhai Pass. It is located at the narrowest point of the western part of Hexi Corridor, and was a key passageway of the ancient Silk Road. It commands fascinating views of the boundless Gobi Desert and the snow-capped Qilian Mountains.
Covering an area of 34 square kilometers (8 acres), the pass was built with rammed earth and is shaped like a trapezoid. The pass has a good layout with a three-storied gate tower, 4 corner towers and consisting of an inner city wall, outer city wall, trenches, and fortifications with walls around them. The walls are 10 meters (33 feet) tall on average and exceptionally thick.
 The initial construction began in 1372. It got its name for being located on the Jayu Highland between the Wenshu and Heishan mountains at the foot of the Qilian Mountains. Once abandoned, it was rebuilt, reinforced and garrisoned in 1539. In the Qing Dynasty (1636 - 1911) it became an office for checking merchants and travelers. - in: http://www.chinahighlights.com/greatwall/section/jiayuguan-pass.htm

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Mystras - Greece

The Archaeological Site of Mystras was added to the World Heritage List in 1989 and it was added to my collection last week thanks to Elena. Its the 819th site in my UNESCO collection. 

Mystras, the 'Wonder of the Morea', was built as an amphitheatre around the fortress erected in 1249 by William of Villehardouin. Reconquered by the Byzantines, then occupied by the Turks and the Venetians, the city was abandoned in 1832, leaving only the breathtaking medieval ruins, standing in a beautiful landscape. The complex of the ruins of Mystras offers the image of a city with a brilliant destiny that was deserted by men and threatened by the return of encroaching vegetation, which is splitting the walls and covering the slopes, thus destroying here and there fragile traces of history. - in: http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/511

Budapest - Hungary

It was in January that Ara visited Budapest. She said it's a beautiful city and I believe her, it's one of the cities on my must visit list. 

© Photo Huber Pál Kolozs
The card shows the Parliament Building and the Fisherman's Bastion.

Monday, March 23, 2015

PL-49009 & PL-1021687

Officials from my beautiful Poland, both from the Castle Square in Warsaw, one received in 2009 and the other just a few weeks ago. 

PL-49009, sent by Anna
Warsaw's Castle Square (Polish: plac Zamkowy w Warszawie) is a historic square in front of the Royal Castle – the former official residence of Polish monarchs – located in Warsaw, Poland. It is a popular meeting place for tourists and locals. The Square (in a more or less triangular shape) features the landmark Sigismund's Column to the south-west, and is surrounded by historic townhouses. 
Sigismund's Column, erected in 1644, is one of Warsaw's most famous landmarks and one of the oldest secular monuments in northern Europe. The column and statue commemorate King Sigismund III Vasa, who in 1596 had moved Poland's capital from Kraków to Warsaw. - in: wikipedia

© Foto: Adam Sachocki
PL-1021687, sent by Ania.
Built in the 15th century, this castle served as residence of Mazovian princes. Once the capital was moved to Warsaw from Kraków, the castle served as seat of the king and the government. The castle has been renovated repeatedly and destroyed completely during World War II. It was rebuilt between 1971-1988 using castle remains and rubble. Today, the segment with the clock tower opens the way to the Old Town. Museum attractions include two original Rembrandt paintings as well as works by Bernardo Bellotto, aka Canaletto, court painter to Polish King Stanisław August Poniatowski. Canaletto’s paintings were vital during Warsaw’s post-war reconstruction. - in: http://www.warsawtour.pl/en/warsaw-for-everyone/old-town-and-surroundings-2946.html

Friday, March 20, 2015

LT-425959

Netherlands is already in the past and now its time to think about the next destination. Lithunia is on the top of the list for my trip in september. If I really can travel there, these are two of the churches I'll see in Vilnius. St. Anne's Church (on the left) and Bernardine's Church (on the right). 

Foto: © Antanas Varanka
LT-425959, sent by Ieva. 
Church of Francis from Assisi or Bernardine church is located in Vilnius old-town on the bank of Vilnelė river. Church of Francis from Assisi together with St. Anne’s church makes up a very impressive gothic architecture ensemble.
Once forming part of the city’s original defensive walls and constructed on the site of an earlier wooden church dating from the middle of the 15th century at the behest of an order of Bernadine monks, the current vast Gothic church with Baroque and Renaissance additions dates from the early part of the 16th century onwards. - in: http://www.inyourpocket.com/lithuania/vilnius/sightseeing/churches/Bernardine-Church-and-Monastery_12589v
St. Anne's Church, built between 1495-1500, is a Roman Catholic church in Vilnius' Old Town. It is a prominent example of both Flamboyant Gothic and Brick Gothic styles.

Eurasian Linx - Belarus

These cards are so beautiful, I really like them. I've received the 2nd card in 2013 and the 1st arrived a couple of weeks ago. 

The Eurasian lynx (Lynx lynx) is the biggest of the lynxes. It is native to European and Siberian forests. While its conservation status has been classified as "Least Concern", populations of Eurasian lynx have been reduced or extirpated from western Europe, where it is now being reintroduced.

The Eurasian Lynx is the third largest predator in Europe after the brown bear and the grey wolf. Out of the four lynx species, the Eurasian Lynx is the largest in size. It is a strict carnivore, consuming about one or two kilograms of meat every day. The Eurasian Lynx is one of the widest-ranging, and is found in forests of western Europe, Russia, and Central Asia. - in: wikipedia