Friday, November 30, 2012

Castell de Ciutat - Spain

I've lots of spanish cards but i don't have many castle cards. This one, sent by Zé, is new to my collection.
The castle is located in La Seu d'Urgell.

Photo by M. Duat
La Seu d'Urgell is a town located in the Catalan Pyrenees in Spain. The castle was built in the 16th century and is now an hotel.

Medicine Doll

Sónia is a pharmacist and she loves everything related to her job. She said this card is very special to her. The medicine doll is part of the collection of Pharmacy Museum in Lisbon. I've never heard about this museum but i've just googled it and it seems really interresting, especially the reproduction of old pharmacies.

Design: 2&3D Design & Produção - Museu da farmácia
This medicine doll is originally from Japan. The doll was carved from ivory in the 19th century.
Medicine dalls were used as diagnostic tools. Doctors shouldn't she their females patients bodies, so the ladies described their ills to the doctor by pointing to an area on the doll. This was less embarrassing then pointing to one's own anatomy.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Old People

These cards are so cute.
A few days ago i've decided to creat an old people collection and since then i've been getting a few new cards.
I work in a nursing home and spend my days surrounded by sweet (sometimes not so sweet) old ladies and men. I really like my job and this collection is a little tribute to my elderlies!!

 © Edição Vistal - Photo by N. Kustos
I love this one. This sweet old lady reminds of an old neighbor i had in my village.
This is the future of many postcrossers, including me. I can imagine myself, 40 years from now, still patiently wainting for the postman!

 Algarve Art Collection © Edição Postalis, Lda
This card and the previous one were sent by Miguel.
I already knew the 1st card but i've never seen this one and is adorable too.

 Algarve Art Collection © Edição Postalis, Lda
 This one was sent by Paula and i've never seen it too before.

 Foto-Vista, Lda
Manú also wanted to help me with this new collection and sent this lady from Alentejo.

 © AtlanticPost - Publicidade e Artes Gráficas, Lda
 Apparently this card sent by Zé is from Algarve, but i've the same man and the same donkey on a card from Alentejo. Maybe twins, i don't think so, is more like a photoshop kind of thing.

© Edição Vistal - Photo by W. Müller
And this is a 3rd card sent by Miguel.
Thanks Miguel, Paula, Manú and Zé for the great cards.

Faro's Castle - Portugal

Another portuguese castle, this one located in Faro, in the southern region of Algarve. The card was sent by Tiago.

Forways, Lda
Faro's defensive walls were built by the Moors in the 9th century, likely over previous Roman defensive constructions.
Nowadays what remains of the Castle is only part of the Faro defensive structure at the time.
In 1596 Faro suffers an attack from the English forces, when Portugal was under Spanish domination, and is looted and set on fire. The reconstruction works carried for several years, and already on the 17th century, other reconstruction and conservation works took place for the adaptation of the Castle and city Walls to the use of artillery.
On the 19th century the Castle was leased to a company that converted it in a alcohol factory.
The alterations for the construction of the factory, and also the opening of a street through the Castle adulterated quite a lot the overall aspect of the Monument. - in:
http://www.getportugal.com/en/poi-castelo-de-faro-15533

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

PT RR - Group 73 * Castles

A few days ago arrived the last card of this RR. I've never been to Torres Novas and Mértola but i've been to Monsaraz a few weeks ago.


Torres Novas Castle was erected under the ruling period of D. Sancho I, allegedly upon an older fortress. Under the ruling of D. Fernando, the castle was restored. From 1374 to 1376, eleven towers were built, which were later destroyed by 1755 earthquake, along with castle’s walls. During French invasions, the castle decayed increasingly and it was totally abandoned. Nowadays it presents a polygonal plan, as well as some 14th century towers, including the keep. (National Monument) - in: http://en.lifecooler.com/lifecooleren/torres-novas-castle-castles-and-forts-328241-1.html
The card was sent by Tânea.

 © AtlanticPost - Publicidade e Artes Gráficas, Lda
 I'd like to visit Mértola, it seems to be a very nice place.
This beautiful card was sent by Vitória.
Mertola Castle, a medieval castle that blends Islamic, Roman and Christian influence, dominates the skyline of Mertola, Portugal. All streets here climb to this medieval castle, which stands on the highest part of a rocky outcrop overlooking the confluence of the Guadiiana and the Oeiras rivers. The rivers were a vital trade route through the Middle Ages, sought after and conquered by Phoenicians, then Romans, Visigoths, Moors and finally the Christian states. Today, walking through this charming old section of Mertola, still surrounded by medieval walls, one can see influences from all of these ancient cultures. - in: http://adventuretravel.about.com/od/exoticadventures/ig/Medieval-Mertola--Portugal/

 ©Vítor Vieira
Ninocas sent me this beautiful view of the Monsaraz castle, view that i didn't get to see because of the bad weather, especially the fog. I really wanted to visit this village but it was a disappointing trip. The rain didn't help either. I've to visit the village again.

Vilar de Mouros - Portugal

I like brigdes, especially old bridges built centuries ago. Manú read that on my profil and sent me the 1st card of Vilar de Mouros bridge.

Guia Turístico do Norte
Vilar de Mouros is located in northern Portugal and is best known for its summer music festival.
I'm not into music festivals, i'd rather go there to see this bridge and other local monuments.

This 2nd card was bought 1 or 2 years ago when i visited Braga.
This is a gothic bridge built in the 14th / 15th centuries.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Amarante - Portugal

Amarante is a city in northern Portugal. I've only been there once many years ago.
This card sent by Óscar & Daniela shows the São Gonçalo Bridge, Church and Convent.

© Forways
Built in 1790, the town’s impressive bridge was the scene of heroic resistance in 1809 by the people of Amarante, who fought off French Marshall Soult’s advance for 14 days before his army advanced and burnt down their houses.
Dating back to 1540, the exotic honey-gold granite façade of the church and former monastery of São Gonçalo houses a lovely interior of painted columns and a dramatic high altar, under which exists a little golden chapel where Saint Gonçalo himself lies buried. Born in Amarante at the end of the 12th century, Saint Gonçalo is mostly revered for his many healing miracles. The church also features a magnificent two-storey Renaissance cloister. - in:
http://www.portugaltravelguide.com/en/amarante.htm
Part of the monastery now houses the town's museum dedicated to the life and work of locally-born Cubist artist Amadeo de Souza-Cardoso (1887-1918), one of Portugal’s leading 20th-century artists.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Castelo Rodrigo - Portugal

This is the last touchnote card i've received. I've sent it to myself and used one of my pictures of Castelo Rodrigo, a village located in my district. This village is probably one of the most well kept Historical Villages of Portugal from XII century.

Photo by Marta Cairrão
The card shows the Main Church of the village, dedicated to Our Lady of Rocamador.
It was founded in 1192 by the Hospitaller Friars to serve as support to the pilgrims on the way to Santiago de Compostela.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Costa Nova - Portugal

Last month Miguel was on holidays and he went to Costa Nova, located on the west coast of Portugal. The beach of Costa Nova is one of the best portuguese beaches to practise water sports, such as windsurf, kitesurf and similar sports.  But this place is best known for its typical houses.

Photo by A. Pinto
These colorful houses were originally built by local fishermen and were used as barns. Now they're mostly used, during the summer months, as beach huts.

Lisbon CowParade

I've said recently that i love cows. I don't know if Paula read that or if someone told her but i've received this card from her yesterday.
These are just a few of the 101 cows that invaded Lisbon back in 2006. The cows were part of the CowParade, an international public art exhibit that has been featured in major world cities.
 Fiberglass sculptures of cows are decorated by local artists, and distributed over the city centre, in public places such as train stations, important avenues, and parks. They often feature artwork and designs specific to local culture, as well as city life and other relevant themes. After the exhibition in the city, which lasts many months, the cows are auctioned off and the proceeds donated to charity.

Design & photo by Susi
There are a few variations of shape, but the three most common shapes of cow were created by Pascal Knapp, a Swiss-born sculptor who was commissioned to create the cows specifically for the CowParade series of events. Pascal Knapp owns the copyrights to the standing, lying and grazing cow shapes used in the CowParade events.
The concept of "cow parade" has its origins in Zürich, Switzerland, in 1998[1] by artistic director Walter Knapp, it is based on an idea which was realised in the same city for the first time in 1986: Lions as the symbol of Zurich were painted and then on display throughout the city. - in: wikipedia

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Mafra Palace - Portugal

Last month the portuguese postal service issued a new stamp series, Palaces of Portugal, featuring six portuguese palaces. The Mafra Palace is one of them and Vitória went the stamp presentation. She sent a palace card with it's matching stamp.

The words "massive," "monumental," "gigantic," "colossal," and "vast" fail to describe the scale of Mafra's Baroque royal palace. The grandiose monument was built in 1717 to celebrate the birth of a daughter to King João V and includes a convent and a basilica.

Paulo Renato da Silva
The extravagant king wanted the palace and basilica to compete in magnificence and grandeur with Spain's Escorial and St. Peter's in Rome, and at the time it seemed that such a huge project would never be completed. At one point there were 45,000 men working on it, and several artists came from abroad, with 7,000 soldiers overseeing the workforce. They ended up creating 5,200 doorways, 2,500 windows, 880 halls and rooms, 154 staircases, 29 courtyards, and two bell towers boasting the world's largest collection of bells (57 in each) that can be heard for 24km (15 miles) when they're played on Sunday.
In 1720 the French ambassador reported to his king that all the money in Iberia would be insufficient to pay for it, but the gold that flowed in from the rich mines of Brazil made it possible in 1735.
The extravagant rooms of the royal apartments are furnished with exceptional pieces of 18th century furniture and paintings. One of the most eye-catching rooms has chandeliers made out of antlers and upholstery of animal skin.
Most magnificent of all is the library, one of the finest in Europe, decorated with precious marble and exotic wood. It contains 35,000 volumes, including the precious first editions of Camões' Os Lusiadas, a trilingual Bible from 1514, and the earliest edition of Homer in Greek.
The royal basilica is also particularly remarkable for the quality of its pink and gray marbles, and has one of the world's largest domes (although dwarfed by the scale of the rest of the building). It also contains eleven chapels and includes six splendid Baroque organs and fine sculptures in the atrium. - in:
http://www.golisbon.com/portugal/cities/mafra.html

Cristo-Rei Statue - Portugal

This is an usual view of the Cristo Rei (Christ the King) statue in Almada. I've never seen the card before and i really liked it. It was an "hangman" prize sent by Leninha.

On the south bank of the Tagus River is the Statue of Cristo-Rei (Christ the King) which stands guarding religious Lisbon. The Cristo-Rei statue has many of the characteristics of the Christ the Redeemer statue found in Rio de Janeiro and this monument inspired the construction of the Portuguese version. Lisbon's statue is many times smaller than Brazil's but as it stands atop a 75m tower it can be clearly seen from the city. For tourists who cross the river this vantage point provides impressive panoramic views of Lisbon and is a worthy excursion for visitors who have longer stays in the capital.

 Photo by Anabela Luís
The Cristo-Rei statue is traditionally thought by the Portuguese as being constructed to thank God for keeping Portugal out of the Second World War but the true original inspiration for Cristo-Rei came before the war when Cardinal Patriarch of Lisbon visited to Rio de Janeiro in 1934. The common believe for the reason for the construction arose because it took until after the war, in the late 40s, to allocate the funds to start construction.
 Construction started in 1950 but it took nine years to complete and was finally inaugurated on 17 May 1959. The statue of Christ the King is 28 meters tall and is perched upon a concrete tower which stands at 75 meters. The height is extenuated because of the hills on the south side of the Rio Tejo which add another 133 meters to the total height of the monument, below the column is the Chapel of Nossa Senhora da Paz. The monument falls under the Diocese of Setubal but the monuments construction was funded by the Catholic Church of Lisbon.The Cristo-Rei statue is recognised as place of pilgrimage within Portugal. - in: http://www.lisbonweekendguild.com/lisbon-sights/Cristo_Rei_Lisbon.html

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Elvas - Portugal

Elvas is one of the options for this year's postcrossing Christmas meeting. I've never been there and i'd like to go. It would be a great opportunity to visit the newest portuguese Unesco site.
Vitória and Gracinha have been there last summer and they sent me these cards.

Photo by João Carpinteiro
A funny thing about this card is that when i've received it, Vitória was with me!
The Elvas castle was built in the 13th century. It has hexagonal towers and holds the distinction of being our country’s first National Monument, since 1906.

EDIG
On this card sent by Gracinha there's the Amoreira Aqueduct, a fountain and the statue of King D. Sancho II, the 3rd portuguese king (1211-1223).

Estói Palace - Portugal

 I didn't know about this palace before postcrossing. I've seen the 1st card on Ninoca's cards and added it to my favorites. Now we've a postcrosser from Algarve, Tiago, in the portuguese community and he sent me these two cards.

© Edição Vistal - Photo by P. Mariano
Estói Palace construction finished in the beginning of the 20th century, ordered by the Viscount of Estói, under the direction of the architect Domingos da Silva Meira.

© ATLANTICPOST
Sittuated in the village of Estói, nearby Faro, it has around four hectares length, with French-inspired gardens, decorated with statues and trees.
The Palace, in Rococo Style is decorated with panels of glazed tiles and wide glass windows. - in:
http://www.getportugal.com/en/poi-palacio-de-estoi-15529

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Terceira Island - Portugal

Exactly 1 month ago i was in my hotel room in Angra do Heroísmo on the Terceira Island. I'm really glad that i decided to spend part of my holidays there and i highly recommend a visit to this island.

Photo by © Maurício Abreu
 The delightful capital of the lovely Terceira Island, Angra do Heroísmo, is classified since 1983 as World Heritage by UNESCO, filled with beauty, history, monuments, cosmopolitism and a very own ambiance.
Situated on the south coast of the Terceira Island, by a small and beautiful bay, Angra do Heroismo has much to show and tell. This was the first town in the Azores Archipelago, in 1534, and was already by then a very important and influent place, a big port of commerce and trading and a mandatory port of call in the transcontinental crossings, in the search for the “new world”.
Angra opposed heroically to the Spanish domain and was headquarters of the government between 1580 and 1583, and with the surrender of the Spanish troops in 1641 was named by the king as a “forever loyal town”. The toponym “Heroismo” (“Heroism”) comes from the liberal fights of the 19th century, where Angra stayed firm defending the freedom ideals.
Angra’s beautiful and typical streets are the reflex of years of history, influence of the several inhabitats which came from several mainland regions, and of traders and business man that worked in its important Trading and Commerce Maritime Port. Angra’s wealth is also visible on its monuments, like the many Manor houses and small Palaces that can be seen throughout the region, such as the Bettencounrt or the Capitães Generais Palaces or the Madre de Deus Solar, among many others. - in: http://www.getportugal.com/en/poi-angra-do-heroismo-18594
 
 Photo by Afonso Alves
Visiting this island was the opportunity to meet a new postcrosser, Lurdes. She and her husband were my guides and they shown me all the island. I even slept at their house one night. They were really great.
One of the places we visited was São Bartolomeu village. On this card there's the village império, built in 1875.  

© Grafipost - Editores e Artes Gráficas
Is commonly said that in the Azores there's 1 cow for every two inhabitants. And that's probably true because they're everywhere. I love cows, i think they're cute and adorable. After sharing my love for cows with Lurdes,  she sent me this card with two cute little cows.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Azores islands

The Archipelago of the Azores is composed of nine volcanic islands. These 2 cards are from 2 of the island, S. Miguel and S. Jorge.

 Photo by Joana Santos
Joaninha has already been to S. Miguel more than once and she says this is one of her favorite places in the world. The Sete Cidades Lake is one of the most famous places in the Azores Archipelago, and once one there you’ll know why.
This is the biggest fresh-water lake in the Azores, situated in the volcanic craters that form the Island, constituted by two lagoons (the Green Lagoon and the Blue Lagoon) that form a wonderful scenery of great natural beauty, one of the symbolic images of the Archipelago, classified as Protected Landscape. - in:
http://www.getportugal.com/en/poi-lagoa-das-sete-cidades-18513

 © Grafipost - Editores e Artes Gráficas Lda
São Jorge is an island in the central Azorean archipelago. São Jorge is a relatively long thin island with tall cliffs, and where the population (approximately 10,500 habitants) is concentrated on various deltas along the north and south coasts (its east to west length is 53 km and its north to south width is 8 km and its area is 237.59 km²). - in: wikipedia
This is a card from Urzelina, a village on the island. The card was sent by Lurdes.

Manitoulin Island - Canada

This Manitoulin Island card was sent and signed by Marie and Ola, a polish postcrosser on holidays in Canada!!

© Published and Distributed by the Postcard Factory
Manitoulin Island is a Canadian lake island in Lake Huron, in the province of Ontario. It is the largest lake island in the world.
The island has an area of 2,766 km2 (1,068 sq mi), making it the 172nd largest island in the world, and Canada's 31st largest island. 
 Manitoulin Island itself has 108 freshwater lakes, some of which have their own islands; in turn several of these "islands within islands" have their own ponds. Lake Manitou (about 104 km2 - 40.5 sq. mi.) is the largest lake in a freshwater island in the world, and Treasure Island in Lake Mindemoya is the largest island in a lake on an island in a lake in the world. Nameless Lake is the island's only no-motor lake. - in: wikipedia