Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Ayutthaya - Thailand

Like Sukhothai, Ayutthaya is also a World Heritage Site.
Ayutthaya was a Siamese kingdom that existed from 1350 to 1767.

Photo by Jatuporn Rutnin

Wat Mahathat is perhaps the most striking of all of the temples in Ayutthaya and is located the very heart of the city. The temple was built in the early days of Ayutthaya in the late 14th century by King Borommaracha I. The temple was destroyed by the Burmese who also vandalised many of the Buddha images in Ayutthaya by lopping off the heads.

On this card novices pay respect to Buddha's head overgrown by a fig tree in Wat Mahatat.

Nobody knows for certain how the Buddha head became entwined in the roots of the tree. One theory suggests that the tree simply grew around the Buddha head during the period when the temple lay abandoned and overgrown. Another theory is that a thief moved the Buddha head away from the main temple to hide it. This may have happened in the early 1900s when it is known that one of the remaining areas of the temple collapsed and consequently led to treasure hunters digging in the area. After moving the stone Buddha head away from the ruined main temple, it is possible the thief never returned for his treasure or couldn’t move it any further beyond the walls that surround the temple. Instead, the stone Buddha head was abandoned by the wall not far from the entrance of Wat Mahathat where it can be seen today nestled in the tree roots which have grown around it. - in: http://www.thaizer.com/tourist-attractions/buddha-head-in-tree-roots-wat-mahathat-ayutthaya/

Sukhothai - Thailand

As i said in the previous post, Emerich sent me 5 cards from Thailand. He has very beautiful cards from there to offer and it was difficult to chose the cards but i decided to get these 5. These 2 in the post are from Sukhothai, an early kingdom in the area around the city Sukhothai, in north central Thailand. The Kingdom existed from 1238 till 1438. The Historic Town of Sukhothai is a World Heritage Site since 1991.


Photo by Jatuporn Rutnin

Wat Mahathat is the spiritual focus of the city and the king. (The grassy area across the street is the site of the royal palace.) Founded by the first king, the royal temple was given its large central chedi by King Lö Thai in 1345. It was regularly expanded by successive rulers before being abandoned in the 16th century. Picturesquely surrounded by a lotus pond, Wat Mahathat now consists of ten viharns, one bot, eight mondops, one large chedi and 200 small chedis.

The central chedi was built in 1345 to house two relics of the Buddha brought from Sri Lanka by the monk Sisatta. The chedi's lotus-bud shape became the hallmark of Sukhothai architecture, imitated throughout the kingdom. Surrounded by eight smaller spires, it stands on a square platform decorated with stucco reliefs of 111 monks in prayer. The remaining chedis each contain the ashes of a nobleman. The most impressive among the other structures are the ruined viharns, with pillars leading the eye to serene Buddhas seated at the back. - in: http://www.sacred-destinations.com/thailand/old-sukhothai


With lotus in hands, a monk pays respect to Phra Atchana Buddha Image in Wat Sri Chum. This enormous Buddha image is the largest in Sukhothai. Made of brick and stucco, the seated Buddha measures more than 36 ft (11m) wide and almost 49 ft (15m) high. Draped over one leg is the Buddha's giant right hand, with elegantly tapered fingers and gold nail polish.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Phimai - Thailand

Today i've received another envelope from Emerich. This time we swaped 20 cards and 5 of them are from Thailand.

This 1st one is from Phimai, an historical park which protects one of the most important Khmer temples of Thailand.

Photo by Jatuporn Rutnin

The temple marks one end of the Ancient Khmer Highway from Angkor. As the enclosed area of 1020x580m is comparable with that of Angkor Wat, Phimai must have been an important city in the Khmer empire. Most buildings are from the late 11th to the late 12th century, built in the Baphuon, Bayon and Angkor Wat style. However, even though the Khmer at that time were Hindu, the temple was built as a Buddhist temple, as Buddhism in the Khorat area dated back to the 7th century. Inscriptions name the site Vimayapura (which means city of Vimaya), which developed into the Thai name Phimai. - in: wikipedia

This place is on the Tentative Unesco List.

Unesco Sites from Vietnam

Johnson went a few days ago to Vietnam and he was able to visit all the Unesco sites of the country. I was still missing 3 of them and he sent me these 2, Central Sector of the Imperial Citadel of Thang Long - Hanoi and Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park.

Photo by Bùi Trung Hà

The Thang Long Imperial Citadel was built in the 11th century by the Ly Viet Dynasty, marking the independence of the Dai Viet. It was constructed on the remains of a Chinese fortress dating from the 7th century, on drained land reclaimed from the Red River Delta in Hanoi. It was the centre of regional political power for almost 13 centuries without interruption. The Imperial Citadel buildings and the remains in the 18 Hoang Dieu Archaeological Site reflect a unique South-East Asian culture specific to the lower Red River Valley, at the crossroads between influences coming from China in the north and the ancient Kingdom of Champa in the south. - in: http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/1328
The Flag Tower of Hanoi one of the symbols of the city and part of the Hanoi Citadel. Built in 1812, the tower, unlike many other structures in Hanoi, was not destroyed during the French administration (1896-1897), being used as a military post.

In 2010 the citadel was inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List. Phong Nha - Ke Bang is a national park in north-central Vietnam, about 500 km south of the nation's capital, Hanoi.
Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park is situated in a limestone zone of 2,000 km2 in Vietnamese territory and borders another limestone zone of 2,000 km2 of Hin Namno in Laotian territory. The park was created to protect one of the world's two largest karst regions with 300 caves and grottoes and also protects the ecosystem of limestone forest of the Annamite Range region in north central coast of Vietnam.
Phong Nha-Ke Bang area is noted for its cave and grotto systems as it is composed of 300 caves and grottos with a total length of about 70 km, of which only 20 have been surveyed by Vietnamese and British scientists; 17 of these are in located in the Phong Nha area and three in the Ke Bang area. After April 2009, total length of caves and grottoes are 126 km. Before discovery of Son Doong Cave, Phong Nha held several world cave records, as it has the longest underground river, as well as the largest caverns and passageways.
The park derives it name from Phong Nha cave, the most beautiful of all, containing many fascinating rock formations, and Ke Bang forest.
The plateau on which the park is situated is probably one of the finest and most distinctive examples of a complex karst landform in Southeast Asia.
This national park was listed in UNESCO's World Heritage Sites in 2003 for its geological values. - in: wikipedia

JP-220783

An official from Gunma prefecture in Japan.

JP-220783, sent by "kinta".

Gunma Prefecture is located in the northwest corner of the Kantō region on Honshu island.

Many places in Gunma are famous for their hot spring resorts. The postcard shows the Shirane Spa.

Monday, December 26, 2011

Hvar - Croatia

Exactly 5 years ago i was on my way to Zagreb, Croatia. It was a long bus trip but it was really worth it.

This is not a card from Zagreb. The cathedral on the card is the St Stephen's Cathedral and bell tower at the eastern end of the Pjaca (square). The card it was sent by Natasa "smile4u".

Hvar is a city and port on the island of Hvar, part of Split-Dalmatia County, Croatia.
The town is located in a small bay on the south coast of the island of Hvar, towards the western end. The surrounding land is karst hillside, rising steeply from the Adriatic Sea.
The Cathedral of Sv. Stjepan (St. Stephen) and the Bishop's Palace mark the eastern end of the Pjaca. This was the site of an earlier church and medieval Benedictine monastery, which became a Cathedral when the Bishopric of Hvar was moved from Stari Grad in the 13th century. The present Cathedral was built in stages during the 16th and 17th centuries, while the interior was not completed until the 18th century. It has a Renaissance-baroque style, and a façade with three-cornered gable and a Renaissance Bell Tower in Romanesque style from the 16th century. - in:
wikipedia

From Slovenia

The say after Christmas brought me 0 cards. No cards or any other mail in my mailbox today. No mail in the box but today i've been busy with my collection. I've been organizing my portuguese cards and now is time to make some updates and i'll start with these 2 cards from Slovenia, sent by Leonardo "lionheart".

Photo by Matjaz Krivic

Škofja Loka, a thousand-year-old city at the confluence of the Poljanska Sora and Selška Sora rivers, was the center of the Loka dominion owned for 830 years by the Bishops of Freising, who placed an indelible stamp on the city.
The old city core boasts numerous points of interest from the past, and the Loka Castle, built before 1202, reigns above the city.
Škofja Loka is considered the most beautifully preserved medieval city in Slovenia.
Its rich cultural heritage intertwines with unspoiled nature, earning the city the name “Gallery in Nature,” while the picturesque and colourful house facades fostered yet another: “Motley Loka.” - in:
http://www.slovenia.info/?_ctg_kraji=2747&lng=2

Photo by Janez Skak

Typical house in the Zadnja Trenta Valley with Bavski Grintavec in the background.

Friday, December 23, 2011

LV-52641

This is my last post before Christmas. This isn't my favorite time of the year but i hope you all have a wonderful Christmas, enjoy every moment with peace and happiness.

Back to the official cards. This one is from Latvia, my 2nd from there. It shows the flag and coat of arms of Latvia and the Freedom Monument in Riga.

LV-52641, sent by Oksana.

The Freedom Monument is a memorial located in Riga, honoring soldiers killed during the Latvian War of Independence (1918–1920). It is considered an important symbol of the freedom, independence, and sovereignty of Latvia. Unveiled in 1935, the 42-metre (138 ft) high monument of granite, travertine, and copper often serves as the focal point of public gatherings and official ceremonies in Riga.

The sculptures and bas-reliefs of the monument, arranged in thirteen groups, depict Latvian culture and history. The core of the monument is composed of tetragonal shapes on top of each other, decreasing in size towards the top, completed by a 19-metre (62 ft) high travertine column bearing the copper figure of Liberty lifting three gilded stars. The concept for the monument first emerged in the early 1920s when the Latvian Prime Minister, Zigfrīds Anna Meierovics, ordered rules to be drawn up for a contest for designs of a "memorial column". After several contests the monument was finally built at the beginning of the 1930s according to the scheme "Shine like a star!" submitted by Latvian sculptor Kārlis Zāle. Construction works were financed by private donations.

Following Soviet occupation of Latvia in 1940 Latvia was annexed by the Soviet Union and the Freedom Monument was considered for demolition, but no such move was carried out. Soviet sculptor Vera Mukhina (who was born in Riga) is sometimes credited for rescuing the monument, because she considered it to be of the high artistic value. Soviet propaganda attempted to alter the symbolic meaning of the monument to better fit with Communist ideology, but it remained a symbol of national independence to the general public. Indeed, on June 14, 1987 about 5,000 people gathered at the monument to commemorate the victims of the Soviet regime and to lay flowers. This rally renewed the national independence movement, which culminated three years later in the re-establishment of Latvian sovereignty after the fall of the Soviet regime. - in: wikipedia

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Saltaire - England

Saltaire is a Victorian model village within the City of Bradford Metropolitan District, West Yorkshire, England. It was founded in 1851 by Sir Titus Salt, a leading industrialist in the Yorkshire woollen industry.
In December 2001, Saltaire was designated a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.
This is the 1st card i've seen from this site missing in my list. It was sent by Eileen "gran".

© Heritage cards & Souvenirs Ltd


Saltaire, West Yorkshire, is a complete and well-preserved industrial village of the second half of the 19th century. Its textile mills, public buildings and workers' housing are built in a harmonious style of high architectural standards and the urban plan survives intact, giving a vivid impression of Victorian philanthropic paternalism. - in: http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/1028

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

DE-1164926

This beautiful official card was sent by a forum member, Norbert also known in the postcrossing world as "Nordbaer". I've once received an official card from his cat and now, i've got a card from him.

Photo by Klaus Ender-Bergen auf Rügen


DE-1164926, sent by Norbert.

This is my 2nd card from the Hiddensee island and like the other card, this one also shows a lighthouse, the Dornbusch Lighthouse.

It was built in 1888, itt's tower was originally round. In 1927, the Lighthouse was strengthened by building the present 12-sided outer wall.

FR-177292

A few days ago i've received this personalize official card from France!! This is so cool :D

Collection Popcarte ©

FR-177291, sent by Agathe.

My name written with clouds in the sky of Paris.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

3rd Portuguese Christmas Meeting

This year our Christmas meeting was in Coimbra. It's always a pleasure to visit Coimbra but this time the weather almost ruined the day. It rained a lot and is not good to buy cards when is rainning :(

Anyway, it was nice to see some of my friends again.

Forways, Lda


I've sent this card on December 1oth and it only arrived today :o, 10 days later!!

It was signed by me, Cristina "kryx87", Paula "geminiscp", Ana "ninocas" and her son Duarte, Leninha and her son Francisco, Flora, Susana "sunana_portugal and her boyfriend Diogo, and Miguel "leugim".

Hangman

These are the last cards i've received after guessing two hangman sentences. The 1st card was sent by Leninha and the 2nd by Zé "pilotone".

Louca Paixão, Lda

A Lisbon watercolor with a few well known landmarks of the city, the 25th April Bridge, Christ Redeemer Statue and a yellow tram.

© António Cunha


This is the interior of a mill in the Luz Museum. Luz was a village, submerged beneath the waters of the Alqueva reservoir. A new village was built to replace the old settlement and the Luz Museum was created as a space in the new village for preserving the memory of a community and interpreting the unique process of the relocation of the village.

PT RR - Group 68 * I wish

More cards from an "I wish" group of the portuguese RR. My wishes are always the same, Unesco, castles and churches. This time i've received a Unesco Intangible Heritage and 2 castle cards.

© 2005 - Ed. 19 de Abril

Fado, urban popular song of Portugal was a few weeks ago on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity. This card was sent by Gracinha.
In popular belief, fado is a form of music characterized by mournful tunes and lyrics, often about the sea or the life of the poor. However, in reality fado is simply a form of song which can be about anything, but must follow a certain structure. The music is usually linked to the Portuguese word saudade which symbolizes the feeling of loss (a permanent, irreparable loss and its consequent life lasting damage). Amália Rodrigues, Carlos do Carmo, Mariza, Mafalda Arnauth, and Cristina Branco are amongst the most famous individuals associated with the genre. - in: wikipedia

Âncora


Leninha sent me this card with the gate and tower of the Castelo de Vide castle, built in the beginning of the 14th century.

Photo by Liam Blake


Brian aka fisherman, from Ireland, joined the RR and he even wrote in portuguese ;) He sent me this beautiful castle near Dublin.
Malahide Castle is one of those medieval palaces that are lost in mystery and legends. It is located near the Irish village of Malahide, 14 km from Dublin in the north of Ireland.
Malahide Castle is one of the oldest historic forts in Ireland. From 1185 to 1975 the palace was a private mansion and home of the Talbot family. This is one of the longest periods in the history of all Ireland, in which a family keeps for such a long period ownership of this castle.
The oldest part of the Malahide Castle dates from the 12th century.

Their family mansion has been so for 791 years, the only exception is for the period from 1649 to 1660, when Oliver Cromwell granted the palace to Miles Corbett, after the invasion in Ireland. After the death of Cromwell it was returned to the Malahide Talbots.

Today Malahide Castle visitors can see works of art that are part of the National Gallery collection. The palace is fully furnished with beautiful antique furniture dating from different periods. - in: http://travelinos.com/castles/n22-13409-Malahide_Castle

Sunday, December 18, 2011

PT RR - Group 61 * I wish

Another day, another update. Like in the previous post, these are cards from the RR in the forum's portuguese community. Two of the card are from Lisbon, Portugal, sent by Rita and Gracinha and the 3rd is from Londrina in Brazil, sent by Karina.

Photo by Gustav A. Wittich

The Carmo Convent is an historical building in Lisbon, Portugal. The mediaeval convent was ruined in the 1755 Lisbon Earthquake, and the ruins of its Gothic church (the Carmo Church or Igreja do Carmo) are the main trace of the great earthquake still visible in the city.

The Carmo Convent is located in the Chiado neighbourhood, on a hill overlooking the Rossio square and facing the Lisbon Castle hill. It is located in front of a quiet square (Carmo Square), very close to the Santa Justa Lift.

Nowadays the ruined Carmo Church is used as an archaeological museum (the Museu Arqueológico do Carmo or Carmo Archaeological Museum). - in: wikipedia

"Catimar"


The Estrela Basilica is a basilica in Lisbon, Portugal, built by order of Queen Mary I of Portugal, as a fulfilled promise for giving birth to a son (José, Prince of Brazil). Construction started in 1779 and the basilica was finished in 1790, after the death of José caused by smallpox in 1788. - in: wikipedia

Photo by Daniel Martinon
Londrina is a city located in the northern region of the state of Paraná, Brazil.
This is Londrina's Metropolitan Cathedral.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

PT RR - Group 58 * Churches

Let's continue the updates and now i've 1 card from Portugal and 2 from Brazil.


Photo by Dias dos Reis

I've been a few times in Aveiro but never found any decent cards of the cathedral. Vitória sent me this one.

The Church of Saint Dominic, now Sé Catedral de Aveiro, was founded in 1423 and was remodelled in the 16th and 17th centuries. The works executed in 1719 greatly altered its façade. It features examples of several religious architectural styles, namely mannerist (side chapels), baroque (high choir, vaults and cross) and modernist (transept and master chapel). - in: http://www.portugalvirtual.pt/_tourism/costadeprata/aveiro/ukcity.html

Photo by Sérgio Ricardo de Freitas


Luciano sent me this card with the Church of Saint Francis of Assisi in Pampulha district of Belo Horizonte, in the state of Minas Gerais, southeastern Brazil. It was designed by the Brazilian architect Oscar Niemeyer in the organic modern style. It is the first listed modern architectural monument in Brazil and consists of four undulating concrete parabolas with outdoor mosaics.
Despite its completion in 1943 and Kubitschek's call for its consecration, it was not consecrated until 1959. - in:
wikipedia

Photo by Sérgio Mourão


Also from the state of Minas Gerais, Gisely sent by this card with the Our Lady of Conception in Carrancas, built in 1720.

Belver Castle - Portugal

This beautiful castle card was also a birthday present and it was sent by Susana. It was one of the portuguese castles missing in my list.

Photo by Antero L. Santos

This beautiful well-preserved castle with a view over the Tejo river was erected by D. Afonso Pais in 1194 and rebuilt by D. Nuno Álvares Pereira in 1390. It still preserves the wall curtains, partly covered with remains of battlements. The entrance door dates back to the 15th century with a rounded arch. S. Brás Chapel, located inside the castle, has a worth highlighting Renaissance altarpiece. - in: http://en.lifecooler.com/lifecooleren/belver-castle-castles-and-forts-325667-1.html

Vila Praia de Âncora - Portugal

Vila Praia de Âncora is a city in nothern Portugal. I believe this is the 1st time i'm posting cards from the place. The 1st card was sent by Miguel as a birthday present and the 2nd was bought by me a few months ago.

Forways, LDA

This city is quite influenced by the presence of seamen and their fishing boats and all the whirl that surrounds a typical fishing day.

Forways, LDA

One of the landmarks of the city is the Lagarteira Fort also known as Âncora Fort.

The fort was build in the 17th century to defend the coast from pirates attacks during the Portuguese restoration war.