Sunday, September 30, 2012

The Power Station Museum - Finland

Heidi sent anoher card a few days ago. She and 2 other finnish postcrossers met a polish postcrosser, Mikis, in Helsinki.

 Photo by Eija Hiitunen
The Power Plant Museum sits near Vantaanjoki River, where Helsinki was founded in 1550. The power of this river's rapids was used to create energry from the year 1550 to the early 20th Century. The museum displays the evolution from this old water mill to the most modern power systems. The Power Plant Museum honors the industrial heritage of the area by producing green energy. - in: http://helsinki.cityseekr.com/venue/668194-power-station-museum-helsinki-voimalamuseo-helsingin-kaupunginmuseo

Finnish TN cards

I'm so not done yet with touchnote cards, i still have plenty of cards to show :D These 2 are from Lappeenranta and the Struve Geodetic Station in Korpilahti.

 Photo by Essi Elomaa
Lappeenranta is a city that resides on the shore of the lake Saimaa in South-Eastern Finland, about 30 kilometres (19 mi) from the Russian border.
Lappeenranta is known as a summer city, mostly due to its closeness to the Lake Saimaa. In addition, its inland location means that summers tend to be warmer and winters colder than along the coastal areas.
Lappeenranta, however, does have a healthy winter tourism industry. Various cabins around Lake Saimaa, as well as numerous snowmobile, skiing and sledding tracks draw a fair number of winter visitors. - in: wikipedia
This is Essi's hometown.

Photo by Heidi Manninen
Korpilahti is a former municipality of Finland. It is located in the former province of Western Finland and is part of the Central Finland region. Korpilahti is relatively well known for its beautiful nature, with mountains and about 200 lakes. - in: wikipedia
In Korpilahtu, at the top of Orovivuori, lies the 19 th century Oravivuori triangulation tower, one of Finland’s six points in the Struve chain.

Irish Castles

 Ireland has a vast number of castles dotting the countryside, from romantic ruined castles and castle towers, to the fine stately castles of Irish Chieftains and Irish Castle Hotels. Ireland has castles that are filled with history and character and there even some haunted castles to discover. - in:  http://www.myguideireland.com/castles-in-ireland

Speaking of haunted castles, a lot more tan the scenic beauty of Clifden Castle was captured on film when this picture was taken. On the back of the card it says "No special effects or photo-manipulation have been used to alter this photograph or its negative in the reproduction of this image. This photograph was taken on the 22nd of August 2002".
Clifden Castle was built by John d'Arcy in a Gothic Revival style in the 18th century, about 1750. The house was only lived in for about 90 years before it was abandoned in the 1840's.
The house fell into ruin and was stripped bare of anything that could be sold by the locals in order to feed themselves.

© Liam Blake
Athlone Castle is a Norman Castle that dominates the town centre of Athlone in County Westmeath. It commands the traditional gateway to the West of Ireland. The first real signs of settlement at Athlone grew up in Anglo-Norman times around the castle which was built for King John of England by his Irish justiciar Bishop John De Gray of Norwich. Though not the first castle to be built at Athlone this castle has endured like no other. Looking at it today it still incorporates elements of the castle of 1210 together with various additions and alterations which were made in response to advances in warfare. It has many of the characteristics of a Napoleonic fortification as it was remodeled during that period to defend the crossing point of the Shannon. - in:  http://www.discoverireland.com/ireland-things-to-see-and-do/listings/product/?fid=FI_505

Friday, September 28, 2012

Stratford-Upon-Avon - England

I'm sure that those who like Shakespeare, have already heard of Stratford-Upon-Avon in England! I'm not a theatre kind of person, i've never heard of this place but i really liked to received this card from Kati. This lovely house belonged to Shakespeare 's wife, Anne Hathaway.

Stratford-Upon-Avon is a market town and civil parish in south Warwickshire.
The town is a popular tourist destination owing to its status as birthplace of the playwright and poet William Shakespeare, receiving about three million visitors a year from all over the world. The Royal Shakespeare Company resides in Stratford's Royal Shakespeare Theatre, one of Britain's most important cultural venues.

 Photo by Irene Boston
Anne Hathaway's Cottage is a twelve-roomed farmhouse where the wife of William Shakespeare lived as a child in the village of Shottery, Warwickshire, England, about 1 mile (1.6 km) west of Stratford-upon-Avon. Spacious, and with several bedrooms, it is now set in extensive gardens.
The earliest part of the house was built prior to the 15th century. The cottage was known as Newlands Farm in Shakespeare's day and had more than 90 acres (36 hectares) of land attached to it. As in many houses of the period, it has multiple chimneys to spread the heat evenly throughout the house during winter. The largest chimney was used for cooking. It also has visible timber framing, a trademark of vernacular Tudor style architecture.
After the death of Hathaway's father, the cottage was owned by her brother Bartholomew, and was passed down the Hathaway family until 1846, when financial problems forced them to sell it. However, it was still occupied by them as tenants when it was acquired in 1892 by the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust, which removed later additions and alterations. In 1969 the cottage was badly damaged in a fire, but was restored by the Trust. It is now open to public visitors as a museum. - in: wikipedia

Houses of Parliament - London

For some reason, London isn't on the top of my must visit list :o It may not be on the top but i want to visit it anyway. Paula sent me this touch suggesting London as an option for 2014. Who knows.

The Houses of Parliament, also known as the Palace of Westminster is the seat of Britain's two parliamentary houses, the House of Lords and the House of Commons.

In the middle of the 11th century, King Edward the Confessor had moved his court to the Palace of Westminster, situated on a central site near the river Thames.
In 1265 a parliament was created with two houses: the Lords and the Commons. The House of Lords met at the Palace of Westminster while the House of Commons did not have a permanent location.
After King Henry VIII moved his court to Whitehall Palace in 1530, the House of Lords continued to meet in Westminster. In 1547 the House of Commons also moved here, confirming Westminster as the central seat of government, a position it still holds today.
In 1834 a fire destroyed the Palace of Westminster , leaving only the Jewel Tower, the crypt and cloister of St. Stephens and Westminster Hall intact. After the fire, a competition was organized to create a new building for the two houses of parliament.
A design by Sir Charles Barry and his assistant Augustus Welby Pugin was chosen from 97 entries. They created a large but balanced complex in neo Gothic style and incorporated the buildings that survived the fire. The whole complex was finished in 1870, more than 30 years after construction started. It includes the Clock Tower, Victoria Tower, House of Commons, House of Lords, Westminster Hall and the Lobbies. - in:
http://www.aviewoncities.com/london/housesofparliament.htm

GB-358838 & BE-169699

These are two cards from the UK. The 1st is an official from Scotland and the 2nd is from England but the card has a belgian ID. I like them both.

 © Colin Baxter
 GB-358838, sent by Lynney.
I've already said a few times that i'd love to visited Edinburgh! Right now i'm on a pre-planning travels mood and Edinburgh is one of the options for next year, not the 1st choice though.
The Royal Mile is the name given since the 16th-century to a succession of streets which form the main thoroughfare of the Old Town of the city of Edinburgh in Scotland.
As the name suggests, the Royal Mile is approximately one Scots mile long, and runs between two foci of history in Scotland, from Edinburgh Castle at the top of the Castle Rock down to Holyrood Palace. The streets which make up the Royal Mile are (west to east) Castlehill, Lawnmarket, High Street, Canongate and Abbey Strand. The Royal Mile is Edinburgh Old Town's busiest tourist street, rivalled only by Princes Street in the New Town.
Today, the Royal Mile is an eclectic mix of shops, restaurants, pubs and historical monuments, as well as forming a major focal point for the annual Edinburgh Festival Fringe . It also serves as the heart of Scotland's legal system, being the home of both the High Court of Justiciary and the Court of Session. In January 2012, The City of Edinburgh Council held a summit with residents, traders and other interested organisations to discuss the problems of 'Tartan Tat' taking over the street and how the Royal Mile can be made into a five star visitor attraction. - in: wikipedia
The cards shows the Edinburgh Castle at dusk, John Knox House, Royal Mile & St. Giles' Cathedral, Festival Fringe Office, Conongate Kirk and the Palace of Holyroodhouse.  

 Photo by Mark Staples
BE-169699, sent by Jo.
Jo has been recently to Ipswich to attend a Postcrossing Meeting and he bought this card there, showing the Tide Mill in Woodbridge.
Woodbridge is a town in Suffolk, East Anglia, England.
Woodbridge Tide Mill in Woodbridge is a rare example of a tide mill whose water wheel still turns.
The mill has been preserved and is open to the public, its machinery reflects the skills and achievements of the early Industrial Revolution. The mill is a three-storey building constructed from wood. Externally it is clad in white Suffolk boarding and has a Gambrel roof. The reservoir constructed for demonstration purposes is roughly half an acre in extent, the original 7-acre (28,000 m2) one is now a marina.
The first recording of a tide mill on this site was in 1170; it is unknown how many mills have stood here. The mill, which was operated by the local Augustinian priory in the Middle Ages, was acquired by Henry VIII at the Dissolution of the Monasteries in 1536.
By the outbreak of World War II the mill was one of the few still operating. In 1957 it closed as the last commercially operating tide mill in Britain. In 1968 the derelict mill was purchased by Mrs Jean Gardner and a restoration programme was launched. It was opened to the public five years later in 1973. - in: wikipedia

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

DK-23307

Lovely, isn't it? It was one of my favorites from Denmark!!

 Photo by Skovfoged Bjorn Dossing
DK-23307, sent by Rita.
Denmark is home to a few animals that are unique to Denmark. These include the marine jaw worm wolf spider, and roe deer. The roe deer is smaller than most species of deer and is adapted to the colder climate of Denmark. The roe deer is most active in the early evening hours and lives in the wooded areas of Denmark. This species of deer was made famous by the original version of "Bambi". In the original version of this story, Bambi was a roe deer. - in: http://www.listofcountriesoftheworld.com/da-animals.html

NL-1358867, NL-1437510 & NL-1441117

These are the last officials i've received from the Netherlands.

 © Salko de Wolf
 NL-1358867, sent by Liesbeth.
This is the Texel Island lighthouse. The lighthouse has been built in 1864 after some civilians of Texel attended on the dangers of the waters between Texel and the island of Vlieland (72 ships had wrecked between 1848 and 1860). The tower itself is 37 metres high.
During the uprising of the Georgians - they barricaded themselves in the tower - the lighthouse was heavily damaged and had to be ‘rebuilt’. In 1950 it was lighted again. - in:
http://www.virtualtourist.com/travel/Europe/Netherlands/Provincie_Noord_Holland/Texel-457098/Off_the_Beaten_Path-Texel-TG-C-1.html

 NL-1437510, sent by Jacqueline.
A windmill in Wolvega, a town in Friesland.
De Gooyer windmill was built in 1916. It's purpose was water pumping.  

NL-1441117, sent by Jeannette.
Houten  is a town in the province of Utrecht.

Utrecht - Netherlands

Utrecht city and municipality is the capital and most populous city of the Dutch province of Utrecht and the fourth largest city of the Netherlands.
Until the Dutch Golden Age Utrecht was the city of most importance of the Netherlands until Amsterdam became its cultural and most populous centre.
Astrid sent this card a few weeks ago and a printed picture of the Postcrossing International Meeting in Lisbon, last June. Both, card and picture, are great.

© HAMAR
The card shows the Dom Tower, the tallest church tower in the Netherlands, at 112.5 metres (368 feet) in height, the Gothic-style tower is the symbol of the city. The tower was part of the Cathedral of Saint Martin, Utrecht, also known as Dom Church, and was built between 1321 and 1382, to a design by John of Hainaut. The cathedral was never fully completed due to lack of money. Since the unfinished nave collapsed in 1674 the Dom tower became a free standing tower.
The tower stands at the spot where the city of Utrecht originated almost 2,000 years ago. - in: wikipedia

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Nieuwe-Tonge - Netherlands

I've heard so much about this town and i finally get to see how it looks like. Laura, lives there, and she usually says its a boring place. It may be boring but, at least in spring, it looks pretty with all these tulip fields.

Nieuwe-Tonge is a town in the Dutch province of South Holland. In 2001, the town had 1965 inhabitants.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Fertö/Neusiedlersee Cultural Landscape

Thanks to Natalie "roverandom" i've got these cards from the joint Unesco site between Austria and Hungary, Fertö/Neusiedlersee Cultural Landscape.

Lake Neusiedl, also known as Neusiedlersee in German or Fertö in Hungary, is the second biggest steppe lake in central Europe. It covers an area of 315 square kilometers, of which 240 square kilometers are located in Austria while the remaining 75 square kilometers are in Hungary.

Photos by Pellinger Attila
 Fertö/Neusiedler Lake was inscribed as a World Heritage Site in 2001. This is because the site is an outstanding example of a traditional human settlement and land use representative of a culture. The site has seen human habitation that goes back to the Neolithic period. It was densely populated as early as the 7th century BC. In 454 AD the King of the Ostrogoths, Theodoric the Great, was born near Neusiedler Lake.


© Verlag Fasch
Lake Neusiedl is an important wildlife sanctuary for migratory birds. It has also become increasing popular as a sports recreation destination offering sailing and windsurfing. This attracts visitors in nearby Austria and Hungary. There is an annual freestyle swimming competition held at the lake where participants swim from Mörbisch to Illmitz. - in: http://www.the-world-heritage-sites.com/ferto-neusiedlersee_austria-hungary.htm

Siena - Italy

Siena is one of the cities on my must visit list. It's historic centre, a Unesco World Heritage Site, the cuisine, art, museums and the Palio, a horse race held twice a year, make Siena one of Italy's most visited tourist attractions.
The card, showing the city's cathedral and the Palazzo Pubblico, the town hall, was sent by Tjitske.

© Turbanti Fabio s.n.c.

Siena is a city in Tuscany.
The Siena Cathedral (Duomo), begun in the 12th century, is one of the great examples of Italian Romanesque-Gothic architecture. Its main façade was completed in 1380. It is unusual for a cathedral in that its axis runs north-south. This is because it was originally intended to be the largest cathedral in the world, with a north-south transept and an east-west nave, as is usual. After the completion of the transept and the building of the east wall (which still exists and may be climbed by the public via an internal staircase) the money ran out and the rest of the cathedral was abandoned.
The shell-shaped Piazza del Campo, the town square, which houses the Palazzo Pubblico and the Torre del Mangia, is another architectural treasure, and is famous for hosting the Palio horse race. The Palazzo Pubblico, itself a great work of architecture, houses yet another important art museum. - in: wikipedia

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Bari Castle - Italy

Back to the touchnote cards, now i've a card from Bari, Italy, sent by Joaninha. She visited Bari last May went she went on a cruise on the Mediterranean.
She knows i like castles so she sent me this card of the Castello Svevo, using one of the pictures she took.

Photo by Joana Santos
The Castello Svevo (Swabian Castle) is a castle in the Apulian city of Bari. Built around 1132 by Norman King Roger II, it is currently used for exhibitions.
Probably built in 1132 by Norman King Roger II, it was destroyed in 1156 by king William I of Sicily and rebuilt and reinforced in 1233 by the Holy Roman emperor Fredrick II. During the Angevin domination, it went through several transformation, and after being acquired by Duke Ferdinand of Aragon, was donated to the Sforza family and passed to Bona Sforza, Queen of Poland. After Bona's death, it was returned under the King of Naples and transformed into a prison and barracks.
The castle is surrounded by a moat on all sides, except the northern section, which was bordering the sea and can be accessed from the bridge and the gate on the southern side. It is mainly composed of the Aragon walls and the main Swabian tower, and is currently used for exhibitions. - in: wikipedia

Margravial Opera House - Bayreuth

The Margravial Opera House in Bayreuth, Germany, is the newest german Unesco site, it was added to the Unesco list this year. With this card, also sent by Anke, i've all the Unesco sites... again.

Oberfränkischer Ansichtskartenverlag Bouillon
A masterpiece of Baroque theatre architecture, built between 1745 and 1750, the Opera House is the only entirely preserved example of its type where an audience of 500 can experience Baroque court opera culture and acoustics authentically, as its auditorium retains its original materials, i.e. wood and canvas. Commissioned by Margravine Wilhelmine, wife of Frederick, Margrave of Brandenburg–Beyreuth, it was designed by the renowned theatre architect Giuseppe Galli Bibiena. As a court opera house in a public space, it foreshadowed the large public theatres of the 19th century. The highly decorated theatre’s tiered loge structure of wood with illusionistic painted canvas represents the ephemeral ceremonial architectural tradition that was employed in pageants and celebrations for princely self-representation. - in: http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/1379

Unesco WHS from Germany

A few weeks ago, Anke from Germany, was offering cards from the new german Unesco site, Bayreuth. I've contacted her hoping to get a card from there. She said yes and we traded 3 cards instead of 1.

Wismar has been included in the UNESCO list of World Heritage Sites since 2002, together with Stralsund. I already had cards from Stralsund but this is my 1st from Wismar (i think).
Wismar is a small port and Hanseatic League town in northern Germany on the Baltic Sea, in the state of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern. Is a representative example of Hanseatic League city brick construction as well as the German brick churches.
The modest Heiligen Geist Kirche, is a 16th-century building so different from the other churches in the city that it comes as a surprise. Buttressed red brick on the outside, it was built as a hospital or almshouse church. Behind a door at the rear of the nave are rooms originally serving as homes for the elderly poor of the parish. Inside the church, instead of the high vaulted ceiling of the other churches, there is a white interior with a low flat ceiling of outstanding 17th century painted panels of old testament stories. At the ends of the pews are finely carved medieval panels and on a window sill look for a carved medieval Virgin Mary and the three Magi. Behind the church, off Neustadt Strasse, there is a quiet medieval garden. - in: http://suite101.com/article/discovering-northeast-germany---great-brick-churches-of-wismar-a389288

Atelier Schumann
Chalk cliffs in Jasmund National Park are famous landmarks and belong to the most popular tourist attractions of the Rugen Island in Northern Germany.
Since 1990 that wild fascinating coast on the Baltic Sea with rugged white chalk cliffs (up to 161m high) and undisturbed beech woods on top has been protected in Jasmund National Park. - in: http://www.germanplaces.com/germany/chalk-cliffs-jasmund-national-park.html

Thursday, September 20, 2012

German official cards

Lots and great german cards!!

 © 2011 KV&H Verlag GmbH, D-82008 Unterhaching © Getty Images/Heinz Wohner
 DE-1504995, sent by Marita.
A lovely sunset or sunrise in a non identified place. The german sentence on the front of the card means: I wish you, wherever you are, an anchorage to your soul.

© Schoning GmbH & Co. KG
 DE-1527117, sent by Melanie.
Some of Berlin's most recognizable landmarks: Berlin Cathedral; Nikolaiviertel quarter; Brandenburg Gate; Unter den Linden, a boulevard in the Mitte district and the Reichtag building.

  © Schoning GmbH & Co. KG
DE-1548311, sent by Petra.
Schleswig is a town in the northeastern part of Schleswig-Holstein. It takes its name from the Schlei, an inlet of the Baltic sea at the end of which it sits.
The card shows the Schleswig Cathedral as seen from the Schlei. Officially the Cathedral of St. Peter, is the main church of Schleswig. It is now a church of the North Elbian Evangelical Lutheran Church, seating of one of its bishops, and ranks among the most important architectural monuments of Schleswig-Holstein.
The tower of this building dominates the skyline of the town. The church itself dates from an original Romanesque building, although the main portion takes the form of a Gothic hall style church. The tower was added in the 19th century, and refurbished in the 1950s after damage. Inside a few works of art are worth seeing, including the 13th century frescoe The Saviour of the Rainbow. You can also see a triumphal arch above the choir. The Bordesholm altar is one of the best examples of woodcarving in Europe. The tomb of King Frederick I from the 1550s can be found in the northern part of the cathedral. - in: http://www.agermanyattraction.com/germany-attractions-qt/schleswig-cathedral.htm

  © Citysights GmbH
 DE-1563221, sent by Stefan.
This cathedral i know very well. I've been there and have a few cards of it. Besides the cathedral, the card also shows the Musical Dome.

 © Fotoverlag HUBER
DE-1568674, sent by Alexandra.
I love this card!!
Castle Solitude in Stuttgart was built as a hunting lodge between 1764 and 1769 under Duke Karl Eugen of Württemberg. It is not a true castle, but rather a rococo palace. The castle is located on a high plain between the towns of Leonberg, Gerlingen and Stuttgart.
Schloss Solitude was originally designed to act as a refugium, a place of quiet, reflection and solitude (thus the name). Construction of the castle was plagued by political and financial difficulties. Karl Eugen had taken Württemberg into the Seven Years' War on the losing side against Prussia. The building exceeded the budget allocated by the duchy of Württemberg. In the long run, the castle was prohibitively expensive to keep just as a temporary residence. In 1770 it housed a high school founded by Duke Eugen. In 1775, the Karlsschule academy moved to Castle Solitude. It served as an academy of arts, a military academy, and later a general university for children of the elite. Eventually, maintenance costs led to its closure as a school after the Duke's death late in the 18th century. Between 1972 and 1983, the Federal Republic of Germany restored the castle.
Since 1990, the annexed buildings (Officen-building and Kavaliers-building) have housed the 'Castle Solitude' academy. - in: wikipedia

6th Swiss Postcrossing Meeting

Last saturday took place in Lugano, the 6th Swiss Postcrossing Meeting. The cards travelled fast, i've received 2 last tuesday, sent by Grace "azzuri" and Andy "masito".
The postcrossers attending this meeting were 8: "azzurri", "masito", "s_unn_y", "carolisha", "giorgis", "elvirasimone",  "schneggisabrina" and Albrecht!! 


 Ticino is the southernmost canton of Switzerland. Named after the Ticino river, it is the only canton in which Italian is the sole official language. Ticino borders the Canton of Uri to the north, Valais to the west (through the Novena Pass), Graubünden to the northeast, Italy's regions of Piedmont and Lombardy to the south and it surrounds the small Italian exclave of Campione d'Italia. Together with areas of the canton of Graubünden (Grigioni) it makes up the so-called Italian Switzerland. - in: wikipedia
 © Photoglog Zurich - Photo by steineggerpix.com
 Lugano  is a city in the south of Switzerland, in the Italian-speaking canton of Ticino, which borders Italy. It is the 9th largest city of Switzerland by population and the largest Italian-speaking city outside of Italy.
The city lies on Lake Lugano, and its warm summers and the fact that in recent years it has attracted an ever growing number of celebrities, entertainers and successful athletes have given it the nickname of the "Monte Carlo of Switzerland". - in: wikipedia

Just a few days before the meeting, Andy, sent me this TN card showing a day view of Lugano.
Lugano is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Switzerland. The city is home to a number of historic buildings and museums, whilst the surrounding area has many natural sights.
Both Lake Lugano and the surrounding mountains provide a wide variety of outdoor activities. The area surrounding Lugano is home to over 300 kilometres (190 mi) of mountain bike trails, the largest net of trails in Switzerland. - in: wikipedia

Balzers - Liechtenstein

Another card with one of my own pictures, this one taken in Balzers, a village in southern Liechtenstein. I didn't really visited Balzers, the picture was taken inside a bus on my way back to Switzerland.

Photo by Marta Cairrão
Gutenberg Castle bears no connection to the Gutenberg of printing press fame. It was built in the 13th century. The Gutenberg hill has played a central role in local cultural history ever since the Bronze Age, if not before. After many years of being in private ownership the Liechtenstein government acquired the castle in 1979. During summer cultural events are staged in the inner courtyard each summer. - in: http://www.myswitzerland.com/en/infra_anlagendetail.cfm?rkey=2773&instance=142925&art=Castle%20or%20large%20fortress

Belgium & bikes

Exactly 1 year ago i was in Gent, Belgium, where i took the pictures of these TN cards. The 1nd was taken in Gent and the 2nd in Brugges.  I trully loved this trip to Belgium, i didn't expect to discover such a beautiful country and i didn't expect to see so many bikes. Belgium is one of the top 10 countries with most bicycles per capita.

 Photo by Marta Cairrão
Belgium has some of the best networks for cycling in the world, offering paved, accessible, well-signed and maintained routes throughout the country. Yes, throughout the country! Cycling is one of the few true Belgian national values, though of course, even in this regard there are some regional differences to get to know.

 
Photo by Marta Cairrão
Immediately upon entering Belgium, cyclists are recognized and protected by well-defined bicycle lanes. On roundabouts, the cyclist has his own lane marked on the perimeter of the motor vehicle lanes, and dedicated cyclist traffic lights tell him when it is safe to cross exiting spur roads. The realization that, yes, a road engineer has specifically planned for your presence and thought about your safety as a cyclist, is reassuring. Even though larger vehicles are there, you feel that you are legitimately recognized and have your space on the road.
All cycling routes are signposted in both directions and are all identified by a name and number. On the Flemish side, the entire region is now covered by a network of routes navigated by junction number. It is a much more flexible system than route numbers. - in: http://www.worldbiking.info/wordpress/2011/03/top-5-reasons-to-cycle-belgium/

Friday, September 14, 2012

Bourges Cathedral - France

Another french cathedral, Bourges Cathedral, a missing Unesco site!! The card was sent by Ulla "mirabelle".

The Cathédrale St-Étienne in Bourges, near the Loire Valley, is a magnificent early Gothic cathedral on par with its more famous neighbors to the north. It is based on the Notre-Dame in Paris but with improvements in design, which can be seen especially in the astonishing height of the aisles. For its unique feats of architecture, impressive sculptures and glorious 13th-century stained glass windows, Bourges Cathedral has been designated a World Heritage Site.

M. G. Editions
This has been a site of Christian worship since the 3rd century, when the Roman city of Avaricum sheltered the first Christian community in Gaul. Successive monumental crypts were built here in the 3rd, 4th and 9th centuries.
The first cathedral of Bourges was a Romanesque edifice, built in the 11th century by Archbishop Gozlin, the brother of Robert II of France. A century later, this was determined to be too small; rebuilding in the brand-new Gothic style began in 1195. Funding was provided in large part by a donation from Henri de Sully, Bishop of Bourges (and brother of the Bishop of Paris).
Construction began in 1195. The lower church was built about 1200, followed by the choir above it in 1214. Glazing of the windows in the ambulatory was underway between about 1215 and 1225. The nave was finished by about 1230, then work slowed down considerably.
The west facade was constructed throughout the latter half of the 13th century. In 1313, great cracks began to appear in the southern tower, which had to be supported by extensive buttressing. The structural problems are such that it has never been able to carry bells and is dubbed a "deaf tower."
The new Cathedral of Bourges was finally dedicated on May 13, 1324, but the north tower was still incomplete. This was finished by the end of the 15th century, but then came crashing down in 1505. The north tower was rebuilt in 1542 in a Gothic style harmonious with the much older facade, although some Renaissance elements crept in. It is known as the Tour de Beurre (Butter Tower), since it was funded by offering donors an exemption from fasting during Lent. - in: http://www.sacred-destinations.com/france/bourges-cathedral

Thursday, September 13, 2012

FR-230241

Castles, lots of castles on the same card. These are some of castles in the Cathar Country,  which is considered one of the most beautiful and unspoilt areas of France. Cathar Country embraces much of the Languedoc, a former province of France, now continued in the modern-day régions of Languedoc-Roussillon and Midi-Pyrénées in the south of France.
The castles on the card are: Lastours, Quéribus, Montségur, Puilaurens and Peyrepertuse.

 Photos by C. Nègre
FR-230241, sent by Barbara.
Cathar castles (in French Châteaux cathares) is a modern term used by the tourism industry (following the example of Pays Cathare – Cathar Country) to designate a series of fortresses built by the French king on the southern border of his lands at the end of the Albigensian Crusade. Some of these sites, before the royal period, were fortified villages capable of sheltering Cathars and which were destroyed during the building of citadels.
In 1659, Louis XIV and the Philip IV of Spain signed the Treaty of the Pyrenees, sealed with the marriage of the Infanta Marie Therese to the French King. The treaty modified the frontiers, giving Roussillon to France and moving the frontier south to the crest of the Pyrenees, the present Franco-Spanish border. The fortresses thus lost their importance. Some maintained a garrison for a while, a few until the French Revolution, but they slowly fell into decay, often becoming sherpherds' shelters or bandits hideouts. - in: wikipedia