Monday, June 24, 2019

São Paulo's Cathedral - Brazil

I believe these are all my cards from São Paulo's Cathedral. The 1st card was sent by José, two are officials and the other two were sent by Márcio, a former penpal.
I've been to São Paulo in 2016 and I had the opportunity to visit this cathedral. 

Mundial Com. de Postais Lda.
The São Paulo Cathedral is a cathedral of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of São Paulo, Brazil. It is the largest cathedral in South America.
The Cathedral is located in the city center of São Paulo, just off of the main square of the city, Praça da Sé.
It is the city’s main cathedral, that can hold up to 8,000 people making it the largest church in São Paulo. The São Paulo Metropolitan Cathedral is 111 meters long by 46 meters wide and has two towers with a height of 92 meters and also a dome that reaches over 30 meters.

Foto: Sérgio O. Rehder
BR-358683, sent by Ana.
The cathedral was designed by German Maximilian Emil Hehl and is neo-gothic structure, with a Renaissance-styled dome,
inspired by the Renaissance dome of the Cathedral of Florence. The construction of the cathedral began in 1913 on the site of the demolished colonial cathedral.
However, due to the world wars, the work proceeded slowly and the inauguration of the new Cathedral happened in 1954, with the unfinished towers, but in time for the celebration of Sao Paulo’s 400th anniversary. The towers were eventually completed in 1967. 

Over 800 tons of rare marble were used to construct the Catedral da Se. All mosaics, sculptures and furniture that make up the church were brought by ship from Italy.

Postais do Brasil
BR-509403, sent by Giuliana.
Along with the usual saints and angels, the interior of the cathedral is decorated with stained glass windows, marble, sculpted Brazilian produce such as coffee branches, exotic fruits, and native animals. The cathedral sits upon a large crypt that has the tombs of all bishops and archbishops of São Paulo.

The crypt is located beneath the main altar and has the tombs of all bishops and archbishops of Sao Paulo and several important figures in Brazil’s history. - in: http://www.brazilmycountry.com/sao-paulo-attractions/sao-paulo-cathedral/

ZA-143532

The Afrikaans Language Monument is a famous South African landmark. It honors the birth and growth of Afrikaans, one of the eleven official languages of South Africa.

Photograph: Gerald Hoberman
ZA-143532, sent by Margaretha.
The Afrikaans language, spoken mainly in South Africa and Namibia, originated as a dialect of Dutch, brought to the Cape area by settlers from the Dutch East India Company in the late 17th century.
Over time, Afrikaans evolved into a distinct language with strong influences from other African languages, like Khoikhoi, Nguni, and Sotho, as well other European languages like French and Portuguese. The monument’s design reflects this progression.
The Afrikaans language became closely intertwined with South Africa’s political history, especially after the Anglo-Boer war of 1899-1902, when there was a strong push to establish English as the language of intellect. As a response against this, organizations were created to promote Afrikaans and the Afrikaner culture. In 1925, it was recognized as an official language with its own African identity, separate from its parent Dutch. However, the language’s most famous word became “apartheid,” meaning “apartness,” after the racial segregation policy in the mid-20th century. Afrikaans itself came to be associated with white supremacy, and was tangled in controversy all through the later half of the century. 
The monument designed by Jan van Wijk is a granite tribute to this tumultuous history. The sculptor won a competition to design the structure, which was opened in 1975, 50 years after the language was given official status. - in: https://www.atlasobscura.com/places/afrikaans-language-monument

Friday, June 21, 2019

French Polynesia

My spanish postcard pal has recently been to the paradise, that's what many travellers call to French Polynesia. 

French Polynesia is an overseas collectivity of the French Republic and its sole overseas country. It is composed of 118 geographically dispersed islands and atolls stretching over an expanse of more than 2,000 kilometres (1,200 mi) in the South Pacific Ocean. Its total land area is 4,167 square kilometres (1,609 sq mi).

© www.joelfournier.com
French Polynesia is divided into five groups of islands: the Society Islands archipelago, composed of the Windward Islands and the Leeward Islands; the Tuamotu Archipelago; the Gambier Islands; the Marquesas Islands; and the Austral Islands. Among its 118 islands and atolls, 67 are inhabited. Tahiti, which is located within the Society Islands, is the most populous island, having close to 69% of the population of French Polynesia as of 2017. Papeete, located on Tahiti, is the capital. - in: wikipedia

Thursday, June 20, 2019

Yellow Crane Tower - China

Officials from China depicting the Yellow Crane Tower in Wuhan. 

CN-2651650, sent by He Jun.
The Yellow Crane Tower is an absolute must-see in Wuhan. Regarded as one of the Four Great Towers of China, the tower stands on the banks of the Yangtze River at the top of Snake Hill. It is incredibly beautiful and its cultural significance led to its being made the symbol of Wuhan city.
The tower that stands today is not the original building; it has a very long and complicated history. It was first built in 223, during the Three Kingdoms Period (220 - 280). 

CN-1553139, sent by Mengxl.
During the Tang Dynasty (618 - 907), many popular poems were written in praise of the Yellow Crane Tower. It was these poems that made the Tower so renowned and induced for people to visit. During the following centuries, it was destroyed and rebuilt several times. 
During the Ming (1368 - 1644) and Qing (1644 - 1911) Dynasties alone the tower was destroyed seven times and rebuilt seven times. In 1884, it was completely destroyed in a fire and was not rebuilt until 1981.
The tower had different architectural features in different dynasties. However the tower which stands today is based on the one designed during the Qing Dynasty. It stands 51.4 meters (about 168 feet) high and has five floors. The appearance of the tower is the same regardless of the direction it is viewed from. - in: http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/m/hubei/travel/2012-01/06/content_14103874.htm

Hongcun Ancient Village - China

Hongcun, the ancient village in Chinese paintings, is a best example of typical Anhui-style architecture. Together with Xidi, Hongcun was listed as World Heritage Site in 2000. The famous Oscar film Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon framed several scenes in this 900 years old village.

CN-2730397, sent by Wesley.
Hongcun Ancient Village can date back to the southern Song Dynasty with a history of 900 years. In 1131, it was home to members of the Wang clan with 13 traditional houses at the beginning. It flourished during the Ming (A.D. 1368 - 1644) and Qing (A.D. 1644 - 1911) dynasties when it became a trade center. Most of the buildings, like South Lake Academy, Lexu Hall, Chengzhi Hall, Sanli Hall, Shuren Hall from this period still exit in this village today.

During the Ming Dynasty, the governor of Hongcun Village invited He Kaida, a famous fengshui master, for three times. He Kaika found that the landform of Hongcun Village was like a lying ox, so it was better to construct the village in the shape of an Ox (Chinese character for cow). Leigang Hill at the west end of the village is the head, two huge trees (poplar and ginkgo) are the horns and the village itself forms the body. The canal system functions as its intestines and the central half-moon Yue Zhao pond is the stomach and the larger South Lake the abdomen. The four bridges spanning the Jiyin stream at the front and rear of the village represent the Ox’s legs.
This well-designed layout is very wise and practical. The street plan, landscape, architecture, decoration and the integration of houses with comprehensive water systems are still of great value and use today. - in: https://www.chinadiscovery.com/anhui/huangshan/hongcun-ancient-village.html


Giant Panda - China

If there is a list of the cutest animals in the world, the giant pandas will certainly be in the top 10. They might be one of the cutest animals but also one of the most endangered animals, there are only about 2000 in the wild.

Sichuan Giant Panda Sanctuaries - Wolong, Mt Siguniang and Jiajin Mountains is principally renowned for its importance for the conservation of the giant panda, recognized as a “National Treasure” in China and as a flagship for global conservation efforts. The property is the largest and most significant remaining contiguous area of panda habitat in China and thus the world. It is also the most important source of giant panda for establishing the captive breeding population of the species. - in: https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/1213

CN-793635, sent by Julie.
This peaceful creature with a distinctive black and white coat is adored by the world and considered a national treasure in China. The bear also has a special significance for WWF. The panda has been WWF's logo since our founding in 1961.
The rarest member of the bear family, pandas live mainly in bamboo forests high in the mountains of western China, where they subsist almost entirely on bamboo. They must eat from 26 to 84 pounds of it every day, a formidable task for which they use their enlarged wrist bones that function as opposable thumbs.
Newborn pandas are about the size of a stick of butter - about 1/900th the size of its mother - but can grow to up to 330 pounds as adults. These bears are excellent tree-climbers despite their bulk. -in: http://worldwildlife.org/species/giant-panda

Since the establishment of the PRC in 1949, there have been three ways through which the Giant Panda has been able to go abroad: gifts to other countries, commercial lending for exhibitions, or technological exchange. In 1982, China stopped sending Giant Pandas to foreign countries as gifts, and later also stopped commercial lending for exhibitions. Currently, the only way to send a Giant Panda abroad is through technological exchange. In general, their period abroad should not exceed ten years; their babies born abroad still belong to China and should be sent back to their motherland when they reach three years old. - in: https://www.macaupanda.org.mo/e/fun/detail.aspx?id=8d991405-06f1-444f-ad06-8ac91d91e811

Tuesday, June 18, 2019

RU-7317671

Russian official card from Ryazan with the Monument to Sergei Yesenin, one of the most popular and well-known Russian poets of the 20th century.

RU-7317671, sent by Galina.
During his brief lifetime, Sergei Yesenin gained recognition as one of the better poetic voices of the revolutionary period in Russia. Born of peasant parents, he received very little formal education, and although he later traveled quite extensively it was the pre-revolution countryside of his youth that served as inspiration for most of his poetry. Yesenin initially supported the Bolshevik revolution, thinking that it would prove beneficial to the peasant class, but he became disenchanted when he saw that it would lead only to the industrialization of Russia. A longing for a return to the simplicity of the peasant lifestyle characterizes his work, as does his innovative use of images drawn from village lore. He is credited with helping to establish the Imaginist movement in Russian literature, which was distantly related to the Imagist movement associated with American poet Ezra Pound. Yesenin led an erratic, unconventional life that was punctuated by bouts of drunkenness and insanity. Before hanging himself in a Leningrad hotel, Yesenin slit his wrists, and, using his own blood, wrote a farewell poem. - in: https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poets/sergei-yesenin