Monday, December 27, 2010

St. Michael's Golden-Domed Monastery - Kiev

Another of my favorites, a view of the St. Michael's Golden-Domed Monastery in Kiev, Ukraine.
The card was sent from Russia by Katya "katzk".


"St. Michael's Golden-Domed Monastery is a functioning monastery in Kiev, Ukraine. The monastery is located on the Western side of the Dnieper River on the edge of a bluff northeast of the St. Sophia Cathedral. The site is located in the historic and administrative Uppertown and overlooks the city's historical commercial and merchant quarter, the Podil neighbourhood.
Originally built in the Middle Ages by Sviatopolk II Iziaslavych, the monastery comprises the Cathedral itself, the refectory of St. John the Divine, built in 1713, the Economic Gates, constructed in 1760 and the monastery's bell tower, which was added circa 1716–1719. The exterior of the structure was rebuilt in the Ukrainian Baroque style in the 18th century while the interior remained in its original Byzantine style. The cathedral was demolished by the Soviet authorities in the 1930s, but was recently reconstructed after Ukraine gained its independence." - in: wikipedia

Middelburg - Netherlands

I had, still have, a card of Middelburg's Town Hall in my favorites album. Linda "calinnero" said she had a card with the same building and i told her she could tagged me. The card arrived today but the other continues in my album because i want that card with that view even if i already have this card with a different view.
Middelburg is a city in the south-western Netherlands.

Middelburg's Town Hall, built between 1452 and 1458, is one of the most beautiful Gothic buildings in the Netherlands.
It was completely destroyed in the 1940 bombing, but after the war it was rebuilt in the original style. On the façade of 1512-13, most of which survived the bombing, are figures of 25 counts and countesses of Zeeland and Holland, under canopies surmounted by fabulous animals.
The windows and doors are closed by red and white shutters - a common practice in the Middle Ages, when windows were not glazed.

Falaj at Salalah - Oman

The other card sent by José is this of with a falah at Salalah, Dhofar in Oman.
"Falaj (pl. aflaaj) means a system for the distribution of water and is commonly used to describe the irrigation channel system downstream of the water's source.

Some aflaaj in Oman were built more than 1,500 years ago, whilst others were built at the beginning of the 20th century. The genius of the Omani builders is evident in the way they tunnelled into the ground to a depth of dozens of metres in order to gain access to the groundwater.
There are now over 4,000 aflaaj scattered throughout the Sultanate, with the highest concentration in Sohar.
When the falaj waters reach the population, the inhabitants draw off their needs and the rest is distributed to agricultural plots according to an exact system of apportioning the hours of the day under the supervision of an elected member of the community. A proportion of the agricultural harvest is allocated as a contribution towards the upkeep of the aflaaj and irrigation ditches.
Since the 1970's the government has taken steps to maintain this precious heritage by restoring aflaaj, and making them more efficient by digging support wells and ensuring an optimum use of water by introducing modern irrigation systems." - in:
http://www.omanet.om/english/tourism/eco/falaj.asp?cat=tour&subcat=ecoo1
In July 2006, five representative examples of this irrigation system were inscribed as a World Heritage Site.

Jumeirah Mosque - Dubai

José "zepombal" also sent me cards to wish me happy holidays and he sent 2 cards, 1 from Dubai and the other from Oman.
This one from Dubai with the Jumeirah Mosque was in my favorites album and i was supposed to received some time ago through a favorites tag but the card never reached me. The card was still in my album, till last thursday, when i've received José's envelope.

"The Jumeirah Mosque is a dominant landmark of Dubai city. Built in the medieval Fatimid tradition, this stone structure is a tribute to modern Islamic architecture. While strolling through the Mosque at sunset, you will be washed in shadows by this elegant formation.
The Jumeirah Mosque is built in the medieval Fatimid traditional combined with modern building materials. Considered to be one of the most attractive mosques in Dubai, the Sheikh Mohammed Centre for Cultural Understanding organizes visits to the Mosque for non-Muslims, aimed at promoting cultural understanding and first-hand experience as an insight to the Islamic religion.
No prior booking is needed. You will have to assemble at the rear of the mosque (Jumeirah Mosque) at 10.00am on Thursday (every week). Ladies need to be covered - long skirts/trousers, long sleeves, hat/scarf for the head. Gentlemen need to wear trousers - Tshirt or shirt and not a vest. You need to take off your shoes before entering the mosque. Information about Islam is put up at the rear of the mosque. From mid-september onwards, the tour is conducted twice a week on Sunday and Thursday. The tour lasts approx. for an hour and a half and the good news is photography is allowed!" - in: http://www.dubaicity.com/what_to_see_in_dubai/jumeirah-mosque.htm

Praia da Vitória - Azores

Lurdes, from Azores, sent me this Praia da Vitória card to wish me a Merry Christmas.


Praia da Vitória is a city on the northern coast of the Terceira island in the Azores archipelago.
On the card there's the Francisco Ornelas Câmara Square.

Fiona

This cute little dog is Fiona, i mean, was, she's not among us anymore. For a few months she was a princess in Helena's "leninha" house after beeing rescued by her from an animal shelter. Helena adopted her last Easter and she died at the begining of this month.


As a sign of how much Fiona meant to this family, Helena ordered these cards, with Fiona's picture, to a printing company.
How the back of the card is also printed this Ghandi quote: "The greatness of a nation can be judged by the way its animals are treated."

Sunday, December 26, 2010

DE-778398

I know, i'm a bit late but i really wanted to wish you all a Merry Christmas. I've spent my Christmas working but it was great :)
This is a view from Hamburg with the Christmas Market.


DE-778398, sent by Stephanie "mausbaer47".
The beautiful building on the card is Hamburg's city hall. It is the seat of the government of Hamburg. Constructed from 1886 to 1897, the city hall still houses its original governmental functions with the office of the First Mayor of Hamburg and the meeting rooms for Hamburg's parliament and senate (the city's executive).

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

US-928275

Humm, pumpkins in sand dunes, that's odd. Apparently this pumpkin family traveled to New Mexico to visit the White Sands National Monument. On the back of the card, papa pumpkin explains how the sands are formed.


US-928275, sent by Belinda.
Dear diary,
Last evening the white sands dunes were so beautiful. The moon was just s sliver in the deep blue sky. Papa told us, "tomorrow we will cross Lake Lucero and see huge crystals of gypsum sticking up from ground. From these crystals the white sand is formed". I ask him how the crystals got into the lake bed. He said, "the snow and the rain wash the gypsum from the San Andreas Mountains where it collects in the Tularosa Basin. When the snow and rain water dry up the gypsum crystallizes. The wind and dust break the crystals apart to form these beautiful dunes". I cannot wait to see this strange dry lake. Papa is so full of knowledge.
Sarah

FI-964437

Rönnskär lighthouse in Finland.

FI-964437, sent by Kirsi.
Rönnskär lighthouse is Finland's second oldest lighthouse and it's located in Kirkkonummi. It was built in in the year of 1800 but it's not anymore in use.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

2nd Portuguese Christmas Meeting - Santarém

Last year the Christmas meeting was in my city and this year it was in Santarém. Like all our meetings, we had lots of fun, bought and signed cards.

This card of the S. Martinho street in Santarém was sent by me!!

And this Ferragudo card was chosen by me and sent by Zé "pilotOne". Besides me and Zé, the other postcrossers at the meeting were: Susana "susanaportugal", Joana "joaninha", Teresa "caracolinho", Helena "leninha", Miguel "leugim" and his sister Margarida "miajeanne", and Luís "ludovico".

Friday, December 17, 2010

1st International Meeting - Bielefeld

If you're a postcrosser you probably heard about the Bielefeld meeting and probably received a card or even more than 1 card signed by the all 45 particpants. 45 postcrossers in a meeting must be a record. Heidi "dollart" and Tjistke send these cards.

"As an economic und cultural centre of Eastern Westphalia and with its population of 330,000, Bielefeld is one of the twenty major cities in Germany. Bielefeld's excellent infrastructure and its central location puts it within easy reach of all parts of Europe." - in:
http://www.bielefeld.de/en/index.html

The participants came from 13 different countries: from Germany: Nordbaer; Anjaaustel; Goyesca; Xtlera; Nordia e Nordia2; Dogma7911; Nephrotranz; Willi; Violanie59; Zimtschnecke; Mausbaer47; Abuarrak; Nearlyperfect; Weltenbummler; Midnatsol; Midnatsol2; Bidi e Isagv . Netherlands: MissMaple; Tjitske; Jetske; Dandilion; Diashaliz; Astrid197 e MarianneJS. Belgium: Lotty. France: Thaddee_Calisson. Austria: Oldieoma. Finland: Dollart e Erjamaarit. Denmark: Gforp. Switzerland: Masito; Jamie1972; Zasa e Giorgis. Russia: Synnin e Bidi2. UK: Duplevista e Mojiwa. Romania: ADolphin and from Slovenia the portuguese Paulo and Ana.

Meteora - Greece

I really wanted a Meteora card, not only because the place looks so amazing but also for beeing a missing a Unesco whs missing on my list. Anja sent me this card but i've other views on my favorites, 1 card is just not enough to do this place justice!
On the card there's the Holy Monastery of Rousanou/St. Barbara - This was founded in the middle of 16th century AD and decorated in 1560.


"Spectacularly perched atop rocky pinnacles in Thessaly, the Meteora monasteries are among the most striking sights in Greece. The name Meteora (Μετεωρα) is Greek for "suspended in the air," which perfectly describes these six remarkable Greek Orthodox monasteries. The sandstone peaks were first inhabited by Byzantine hermits in the 11th century, who clambered up the rocks to be alone with God. The present monasteries were built in the 14th and 15th centuries during a time of instability and revival of the hermit ideal; the first was Great Meteoron (c.1340) and there were 24 monasteries by 1500. They flourished until the 17th century but only six survive today; four of these still host monastic communities." - in: http://www.sacred-destinations.com/greece/meteora

Amalienborg Palace - Denmark

Like the Predjama Castle card, this one was also one of my favorites. It was sent by Genek "Gforp" from Denmark.
What i like on this card: the snow, the street lamps and the guards. Really beautiful.
"Amalienborg Palace is the winter home of the Danish royal family, and is located in Copenhagen, Denmark. It consists of four identical classicizing palace façades with rococo interiors around an octagonal courtyard (Amalienborg Slotsplads); in the center of the square is a monumental equaestrian statue of Amalienborg's founder, King Frederick V.
Amalienborg was originally built for four noble families; however, when Christiansborg Palace burnt down on 26 February 1794, the royal family bought the palaces and moved in. Over the years various kings and their families have resided in the four different palaces.

"Kongevagt - The King’s Guard – is exercised when the Queen is in residence – and will be accompanied by the Band of the Royal Danish Life Guards. The guards will departure from Rosenborg Castle at 11:30 and end at Amalienborg palace at 12:00, where changing of the guards takes place. After the parade and shift, the Guards leaves the drum and the Regents Flag on the drill ground in the daytime at Christians VII’s Palace beside the colonnade." - in: http://www.copenhagenet.dk/CPH-Amalienborg.htm

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Tournai Cathedral - Belgium

This Tournai Cathedral card was also sent by Gilles and is another unesco site for my collection.

"Our Lady of Flanders' Cathedral of Tournai is one of the most important architectural monuments in Belgium. It has been classified both as a Wallonia's's major heritage and as a World Heritage Site.

There was a diocese centered at Tournai from the late sixth century and this structure of local blue-gray stone occupies rising ground near the south bank of the Scheldt, which divides the city of Tournai into two roughly equal parts. Begun in the 12th century on even older foundations, the building combines the work of three design periods with striking effect, the heavy and severe character of the Romanesque nave contrasting remarkably with the Transitional work of the transept and the fully developed Gothic of the choir. The transept is the most distinctive part of the building, with its cluster of five bell towers and apsidal (semicircular) ends.
The Cathedral was damaged by a severe tornado on 24th August 1999 assessment of the damage revealed underlying structural problems and the Cathedral has been undergoing extensive repairs and archaeological assessments since. The Brunin Tower was stabilised in 2003.
In recognition of the Tournai cathedral's cultural value, Unesco designated the building a World Heritage Site in the year 2000." - in: wikipedia

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Petit Piton - St. Lucia

Another new country, St. Lucia and another Unesco site, Pitons Management Area.
Saint Lucia is an island coungtry in the eastern Caribbean Sea on the boundary with the Atlantic Ocean.

"The 2,909-ha site near the town of Soufriere includes the Pitons, two volcanic spires rising side by side from the sea (770 m and 743 m high respectively), linked by the Piton Mitan ridge. The volcanic complex includes a geothermal field with sulphurous fumeroles and hot springs. Coral reefs cover almost 60% of the site’s marine area. A survey has revealed 168 species of finfish, 60 species of cnidaria, including corals, eight molluscs, 14 sponges, 11 echinoderms, 15 arthropods and eight annelid worms. The dominant terrestrial vegetation is tropical moist forest grading to subtropical wet forest, with small areas of dry forest and wet elfin woodland on the summits. At least 148 plant species have been recorded on Gros Piton, 97 on Petit Piton and the intervening ridge, among them eight rare tree species. The Gros Piton is home to some 27 bird species (five of them endemic), three indigenous rodents, one opossum, three bats, eight reptiles and three amphibians." - in: www.whc.unesco.org/en/list/1161

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Unesco cards from.... Syria

Just a few days ago i didn't have any cards from Syria but last week received 2 different cards, from 2 different postcrossers in less than 24 hours. Both are unesco. The 1st is a result of a trade with Doris "swissmiss" but the card is a RAS sent by Gilles, together with another RAS and other card.
The sites are Ancient City of Damascus and Site of Palmyra.
"Founded in the 3rd millennium B.C., Damascus is one of the oldest cities in the Middle East. In the Middle Ages, it was the centre of a flourishing craft industry, specializing in swords and lace. The city has some 125 monuments from different periods of its history – one of the most spectacular is the 8th-century Great Mosque of the Umayyads, built on the site of an Assyrian sanctuary." - in: www.whc.unesco.org/en/list/20

"An oasis in the Syrian desert, north-east of Damascus, Palmyra contains the monumental ruins of a great city that was one of the most important cultural centres of the ancient world. From the 1st to the 2nd century, the art and architecture of Palmyra, standing at the crossroads of several civilizations, married Graeco-Roman techniques with local traditions and Persian influences." - in: www.whc.unesco.org/en/list/23

Italian Unesco cards

My italian unesco wishlist is getting shorter. Thanks to Luca "diaboluke", i've got these 3 cards, Aeolian Islands, Historic Centre of the City of Pienza and Villa Romana del Casale.

Lipari is the largest of the Aeolian Islands.
"The Aeolian Islands provide an outstanding record of volcanic island-building and destruction, and ongoing volcanic phenomena. Studied since at least the 18th century, the islands have provided the science of vulcanology with examples of two types of eruption (Vulcanian and Strombolian) and thus have featured prominently in the education of geologists for more than 200 years. The site continues to enrich the field of vulcanology." - in: www.unesco.org/en/list/908

"It was in this Tuscan town that Renaissance town-planning concepts were first put into practice after Pope Pius II decided, in 1459, to transform the look of his birthplace. He chose the architect Bernardo Rossellino, who applied the principles of his mentor, Leon Battista Alberti. This new vision of urban space was realized in the superb square known as Piazza Pio II and the buildings around it: the Piccolomini Palace, the Borgia Palace and the cathedral with its pure Renaissance exterior and an interior in the late Gothic style of south German churches." - in: www.whc.unesco.org/en/list/789

"Roman exploitation of the countryside is symbolized by the Villa Romana del Casale (in Sicily), the centre of the large estate upon which the rural economy of the Western Empire was based. The villa is one of the most luxurious of its kind. It is especially noteworthy for the richness and quality of the mosaics which decorate almost every room; they are the finest mosaics in situ anywhere in the Roman world." - in: www.whc.unesco.org/en/list/832

Gough Islands

This is the last card sent by Emerich, an hard-to-get unesco from UK, Gough Island, an Unesco World Heritage Site since 1995.

"Gough Island, also known historically as Gonçalo Álvares or Diego Alvarez, is a volcanic island in the South Atlantic Ocean. It is a dependency of Tristan da Cunha and part of the British overseas territory of Saint Helana, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha. It is uninhabited except for the personnel of a weather station (usually six people) which the South African National Antarctic Programme has maintained continually on the island since 1956. It is one of the most remote places with a constant human presence.

The first recorded discovery of Gough Island was in 1505 or 1506 by the Portuguese seaman Gonçalo Álvares.
Charles Gough rediscovered the island in 1731, thinking it was a new find. It has since been named for him.
Gough and Inaccessible Island are a protected wildlife reserve, which has been designated a World Heritage Site by Unesco. It has been described as one of the least disrupted ecosystems of its kind and one of the best shelters for nesting seabirds in the Atlantic." - in: wikipedia

Friday, December 10, 2010

Brimstone Hill Fortress National Park - St. Kitts & Nevis

St. Kitts & Nevis is another new country. I have to admit that i had no idea where this country was located. St. Kitts & Nevis is a two-island nation in the Carribean.
This card is also from a new Unesco World Heritage Site, Brimstone Hill Fortress National Park, the only heritage site in the country.
"Brimstone Hill Fortress National Park is an outstanding, well-preserved example of 17th- and 18th-century military architecture in a Caribbean context. Designed by the British and built by African slave labour, the fortress is testimony to European colonial expansion, the African slave trade and the emergence of new societies in the Caribbean." - in: www.whc.unesco.org/en/list/910

Bagan - Myanmar

Myanmar is 1 of the 3 new countries i've received this week, so far.... i'm still waiting for a 4th one ;)

"Bagan formerly Pagan, is an ancient city in the Mandalay Division of Burma. Formally titled Arimaddanapura or Arimaddana (the City of the Enemy Crusher) and also known as Tambadipa (the Land of Copper) or Tassadessa (the Parched Land), it was the ancient capital of several ancient kingdoms in Burma. It is located in the dry central plains of the country (...). Although an application was submitted, UNESCO does not designate Bagan as a World Heritage Site. The main reason given is that the military junta (SPDC) has haphazardly restored ancient stupas, temples and buildings, ignoring original architectural styles and using modern materials which bear little or no resemblance to the original designs." - in: wikipedia

Polish cards

Emerich had so many polish cards, it was really hard to choose but i think i made i nice selection.

"Poznań Town Hall or Ratusz is a building in the city of Poznan in western Poland, located in the Old Market Square (Stary Rynek) in the centre of the Old Town neighbourhood. It served as the city's administrative building until 1939, and now houses a museum. The town hall was originally built in the late 13th century following the founding of the medieval city in 1253; it was rebuilt in roughly its present-day form, in mannerist style, with an ornate loggia, by Giovanni Battista di Quadro in 1550–1560. The display of mechanical fighting goats, played out daily at noon above the clock on the front wall of the building, is one of the city's main tourist attractions." - in: wikipedia

"St. Mary's Basilica is a Brick Gothic church re-built in the 14th century (originally built in the early 13th century), adjacent to the Main Market Aquere in Kraków, Poland. Standing 80 m (262 ft) tall, it is particularly famous for its wooden altarpiece carved by Veit Stoss.
On every hour, a trumpet signal—called the Hejnal mariacki—is played from the top of the taller of St. Mary's two towers. The plaintive tune breaks off in mid-stream, to commemorate the famous 13th century trumpeter, who was shot in the throat while sounding the alarm before the Mongol attack on the city. The noon-time hejnał is heard across Poland and abroad broadcast live by the Polish national Radio 1 Station.
St. Mary's Basilica also served as an architectural model for many of the churches that were built by the Polish diaspora abroad, particularly those like St. Michael's and St. John Cantius in Chicago, designed in the so-called Polish Cathedral style." - in: wikipedia

Gubin is a town in southwestern Poland.
The card shows the town all and a church that were burnt out when the central part of the city was seriously damaged at the end of World War II. While the town hall has since been restored, the parish church is today a stabilised ruin.

Jelenia Góra is a city in Lower Silesia, south-estern Poland. The name of the city means "deer mountain" in polish, czech and german.

"The romantic ruins of a fairy-tale-like castle are situated on so called Eagles' Nests Trail. Between Czestochowa and Krakow there are several castles and ruins, but Ogrodzieniec belongs to the most picturesque - not only on the trail, but in whole Poland. It was built in 14th century and rebuild in 16th. An italian architect turned the gothic castle into a renaissance residence, at the time almost as splendid as Wawel in Kraków, the King's castle.
Since the last owners family abondoned it in the beginning of the 19th century, the castle left and become a picturesque ruin." - in: http://www.polishculture.co.uk/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=120&Itemid=46

Helfenburk castle - Czech Republic

Recently i accepted a trade with Emerich from Czech Republic. He wanted some of my cards, 20 to be precise and i thought it was a big trade but said yes because he had some interresting cards to trade which arrived this week. I couldn't find all the cards he wanted, just 13 of them i think and in return he sent me cards from Czech Republic, Poland, Myanmar, St. Kitts and Nevis and Gough Island.
This one is from his country, Czech Republic.

"Helfenburk castle is situated 7 km west of the small town Bavorov. Very well preserved remains of the castle tower on the rock 680 m a.s.l. and it offers nice views of the country.
The construction was agreed by King Charles IV in 1355 and a monumetal castle arose here. In the second half of the 15th century an extensive settlement round the castle was founded. The castle's owners often changed and several times it became property of the founders - the Rožmberks. They were the last occupants of Helfenburk. After finishing their new Renaissance residence - Kratochvíle chateau - at the end of the 16th century, the castle was abandoned. None of its later possesors lived there.
The castle had the semicircular layout. Its dominant feature - a round tower with nice views of the country - has been preserved up till the present day. The remains of the second round tower, palaces and walls with a moat have been preserved too." - in: http://www.jiznicechy.org/en/index.php?path=hrad/helfen.htm

Ciudad Rodrigo - Spain

In the portuguese community we have this game called "where would i be if i was on the postcard". It's very simple, we just have to guess the name of the place shown the postcard. Joana "joaninha" posted an image of this card and my answer was the correct answer. It wasn't too hard for me because this spanish city is not too far from my city and i've been there a few times.


Ciudad Rodrigo is a small city in the province of Salamanca, in western Spain. The card shows the Town Hall in the Caudillo Square.

US-919518

I haven't received any official cards this week and i've at least 4 to received. There's still tomorrow.
This official from the United States arrived last week and it shows the Forksville Covered Bridge in Pennsylvania.


US-919518, sent by Dan.
"The Forksville Covered Bridge is a Burr arch truss covered bridge over Loyalsock Creek in the borough of Forksville, Sullivan County, in the U.S. state of Pennsylvania. It was built in 1850 and is 152 feet 11 inches (46.61 m) in length. The bridge was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1980. The Forksville bridge is named for the borough it is in, which is named for its location at the confluence or "forks" of the Little Loyalsock and Loyalsock Creeks.
The bridge was restored in 1970 and 2004 and is still in use (...). It is one of three remaining covered bridges in Sullivan County (...)." - in: wikipedia

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

AU-110188

A big australian card.


AU-110188, sent by Barbara.
On the back of the card: Australia is a land of wild contrasts and natural enigmas.
Clockwise from top left: Flinders Ranges, South Australia; Koala; Heron Island, Queensland.

DE-771817

After the RAS and Unesco card, now is time for the officials.
This is a card from the Ammergauer Alps in Bavaria, Germany.


DE-771817, sent by Ariene.
"The Ammergauer Alps are located between Germany's highest mountain, the Zugspitze and the famous castle Neuschwanstein, in the heart of the Bavarian Alps. They stand for an unspoiled mountainous region with a rich cultural heritage and an environmentally development of tourism. The most beautiful time is the autumn season, when the color of the leaves turn red and golden(...).
The Ammergauer Alps, also called Ammergebirge is a mountain range that partly belongs to Germany, Free State of Bavaria and to Austria, federal state Tirol." - in: http://www.live-like-a-german.com/germany_related_articles/show/Holidays-in-the-Ammergauer-Alps-magical-variety