Monday, February 25, 2013

NL-1637537

Next week i'll travel to Barcelona! I've been there once but only for a couple of hours and a couple of hours aren't enough to explore such a big and amazing city.
In 2006 i've only visited the Sagrada Familia and the Park Guel, now i want to visit a lot more of Barcelona's attractions and the Casa Batlló is on my must visit list.

NL-1637537, sent by Nynke & Hessel.
Casa Batlló is a building restored by Antoni Gaudí and Josep Maria Jujol, built in 1877, located at 43, Passeig de Gràcia, part of the Illa de la Discòrdia (the "Block of Discord") in the Eixample district of Barcelona.
The local name for the building is Casa dels ossos (House of Bones), as it has a visceral, skeletal organic quality. It was originally designed for a middle-class family and situated in a prosperous district of Barcelona.
The building looks very remarkable — like everything Gaudí designed, only identifiable as Modernisme or Art Nouveau in the broadest sense. The ground floor, in particular, is rather astonishing with tracery, irregular oval windows and flowing sculpted stone work.
It seems that the goal of the designer was to avoid straight lines completely. Much of the façade is decorated with a mosaic made of broken ceramic tiles (trencadís) that starts in shades of golden orange moving into greenish blues. The roof is arched and was likened to the back of a dragon or dinosaur. A common theory about the building is that the rounded feature to the left of centre, terminating at the top in a turret and cross, represents the lance of Saint George (patron saint of Catalonia, Gaudi's home), which has been plunged into the back of the dragon. - in: wikipedia

Sunday, February 24, 2013

National Museum Machado de Castro - Portugal

Museums are not the 1st thing i look for when visiting a place but every now and then, and depending on the kind of museum, i like to explore these cultural places.
The National Museum Machado de Castro is one of the places i still need to visit in Coimbra. The museum is the building on the left side of this card sent by Fernando, and the building on the right is the city's New Cathedral.

Forways, Lda
The National Museum Machado de Castro (Museu Nacional de Machado de Castro) is an art museum in Coimbra, Portugal, named after the renowned Portuguese sculptor Joaquim Machado de Castro. It is one of the most important art museums in Portugal, and is housed in the former Bishop's Palace . During the Middle Ages, this palace was built over the Roman forum of Aeminium (Roman name of Coimbra) and nowadays its remains can be visited on the lower floors of the museum.
The bulk of the museum's collection, currently closed but due to open soon, is made up of items from churches and religious institutions in the area surrounding Coimbra. The collections of sculpture (the most extensive of all the national museums of Portugal), painting, precious metals, ceramics and textiles are especially noteworthy. - in: wikipedia

Lagarteira Fortress - Portugal

This card was also sent by Gracinha and it shows the Lagarteira Fortress in Vila Praia de Âncora, in northern Portugal.

 Forways, Lda
This fortress was built in the 17th century during the reign of King Pedro II to reinforce the Portuguese coast.

Guimarães - Portugal

I've already posted so many cards from Guimarães, that i don't know what else can i say about this lovely city in northern Portugal.
Anyway, these cards were sent by Gracinha and Susana.

 Casa de Recordações
 Guimarães is known as the birthplace of Portugal and the portuguese nationality, because, among other reasons,  the city might have been the birthplace of Afonso I of Portugal, the first Portuguese king. 
D. Afonso (25 June 1109, Guimarães or Viseu – 6 December 1185, Coimbra), achieved the independence of the southern part of the Kingdom of Galicia, the County of Portugal, from Galicia's overlord, the King of León, in 1139, establishing a new kingdom and doubling its area with the Reconquista, an objective that he pursued until his death, in 1185, after forty-six years of wars against the Moors. - in: wikipedia
This statue, now located at the entrance to the Palace of the Dukes of Bragança, was erected 1888 in a different place. It has been at this current location since 1940. The bronze statue symbolizes the conquering king as a hero who fought in defense of the Portuguese kingdom, which he left to conquer Portugal.

 © M. R.
Susana had a lovely baby girl last year and she already started to travel. This is a card from her 1st travel. Symbol of faith and beacon of Guimarães, the Sanctuary of the Penha is a monument of a singular beauty and a worth architectural and religious. 
The Sanctuary of the Penha is a unique example of religious architecture of Marques da Silva. In 1930, the recognized architect, a real “friend of the Penha", was entrusted of the project and the choice of the implantation local. The work of regularization of the land began on 6 August of that year.
Inaugurated in 1947, is a monument of a singular beauty and a worth architectural and religious. An emblematic piece of Guimarães. - in:
http://www.penhaguimaraes.com/eng/santuario.htm

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Megalithic Monuments - Portugal

I've recently visited my 1st megalithic monument and it was an interresting visit. There's one in a village near my city and i might visit it soon with a friend.
These are far from my city but them seem to be very interresting too.

 Photo by Anibal Santos © IBERPONTO
When i visited the Terceira Island, i sent a card to Leninha and she sent me this one to thank me.
This dolmen is located in the parish of Alcobertas, in the municipality of Rio Maior. Is a  funerary megalithic monument, consisting of Chamber and hallway, typical of the late Neolithic period, being one of the largest in the Iberian Peninsula. It was from this dolmen that was born the mother church and, currently, is still used as a side chapel.This church, at the end of the 15th century, is a rare example of Christianization of a megalithic monument that remains to this day.

This week i've received this tumulus sent by Zé Guedes.
The Tumulus of Lamas is a megalithic monument located in the parish of Lamas, municipality of Braga.The monument was built in the Neolithic age (about 3000 BC), with average dimensions, the tumulus covered a dolmen of which there are only three lages preserved "in situ", and the others close to the tumulus. Their discovery also revealed important information about the past of the region.

Pópulo Church, Braga - Portugal

A few months ago Miguel sent me this card of the Pópulo Church in Braga. Last month, during the New Year's Meeting, we visited the church.

Guia Turistico do Norte
Pópulo Church is a neoclassical church located in Braga.
The church started to be built by the end of the 16th century, under the order of Archbishop D. Frei Agostinho de Jesus, to invoke the Virgin Mary that is glorified in Santa Maria del Popolo church in Rome.
Its front suffered some changes in the 18th century to neoclassical style designed by Carlos Amarante, a Portuguese architect. Its interior is decorated with tiles showing a great pictorial value as well as its baroque altar.
Close to the church, and belonging to the same architectural block there is an ancient monastery, which is now part of the Town Hall Services. - in: wikipedia

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Portuguese PC Meetings

The last portuguese Postcrossing meeting were the Christmas meeting in Elvas and the New Year's meeting in Braga and i've been to both of them.
The meeting in Elvas was a great opportunity to visit for the 1st time the newest portuguese UNESCO site.
No many postcrossers attended these meetings, it was only me, Paula, Joaninha, Ninocas and Susana families in Elvas, and me again, Miguel, Vitória and her husband in Braga.

 Photo by João Carpinteiro - PAPYRUS, Edição de postais ilustrados
 The Church of Our Lady of the Assumption, the former Cathedral of Elvas, located in Republic Square, was built in the XVI century to replace an earlier Gothic church. The author of the project in the Manueline style was probably Francisco de Arruda. The opening worship was held in 1537, with the work unfinished. In 1570 the church became the seat of the diocese of Elvas and was consecrated cathedral. But the Diocese of Elvas was abolished in 1881 and the church lost that status.

 Edição Tabacaria da Sé
The Saint Vincent Church is a 16th-century baroque Catholic church in Braga. It was built in 1565 and restored in 1691, on the same site where there was once a Visigoth church of the 7th century (656).

Margarida's cards

Margarida is a postcrosser and she also likes to share her cards in her blog. I've recently traded with her and more cards will go on her way soon.

 On this watercolor there's 2 of Lisbon attactions, the cathedrak and tram 28.  
Electrico 28 (tram 28) is the vintage yellow tram that plies various routes in Lisbon. It goes through all over the city center, crossing many touristic attractions, while navigating along winding and very narrow streets to town up at sea level.
The tram is a hop-on, hop-off service and there are more than 30 stops you can choose from. The starting point, however, is downtown in Praca Martim Moniz and the end is uptown in Campo de Ourique (Prazeres).
Because Tram 28 is reasonably cheap and very popular, a lot of people ride it. So it’s better if you can wait for a time when there are fewer people on board, so you can truly relax and enjoy the sceneries. - in:  http://www.top10portugal.com/tram-28-lisbon

 Photo by Oswaldo Santos
 Barra Light, is an active lighthouse in Aveiro, Portugal. At a height of 203 feet (62 m) it is the nineteenth tallest "traditional lighthouse" in the world, as well as the tallest in Portugal. The lighthouse is located on the south side of the entrance to the Aveiro lagoon, in Barra, the seaside neighborhood of Aveiro. The location is on a barrier beach, exposed to Atlantic Ocean storms.
The lighthouse was built between 1885 and 1893. - in: wikipedia

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Costa da Caparica - Portugal

Costa da Caparica is located along the western coast of the district of Setúbal. Its coastal extent represents the largest contiguous beach in Portugal, with an expanse of approximately 30 kilometres.
It's beaches are very popular, attracting hundreds of local visitors and tourists every summer.  

© ATLANTICPOST
The beach and sea are an important part of Costa da Caparica's economy. On the card there's a typical fishing boat.

Friday, February 15, 2013

Bulls & Cows

More cards from the Azores but these, sent by Manú (the two 1st cards; the 3rd was bought by me), are from the Terceira Island. When travelling around the island, you'll see lots of bulls and cows.

Photo by Luís Godinho
Bullfight, especially  tourada à corda ("bullfight by rope") is very traditional to this island. These bulls will, probably, be used in one of those bullfights.
The tourada à corda ("bullfight by rope") is peculiar to the Azores, and is composed of events with four adult bulls of the breed brava da ilha Terceira along a designated road or street around 500 metres in length. The bull is controlled by a rope around its neck, held by six people (pastores) that direct the bull and prevent its leaving the field of play. The bull is led along the course of the road, and taunted and teased by players, but with no intent to kill the animal; the animal's horns are capped with balls or leather to diminish the risk to the players. After each fight (lide) the animals are returned to pasture to be used again later, but only after a rest period of at least eight days. - in: wikipedia

© Ver Açor, Lda.
These are the cerrados, low walls of dry stone masonry, which divide the great plain of Terceira Island. The best place to see and admire the plain, is Serra do Cume.

This is how the view from Serra do Cume looks like. No wonder the locals also call it pachtwork quilt.
I bet every bull and cow would love to live here!!

Landscape of the Pico Island Vineyard Culture - Portugal

Landscape of the Pico Island Vineyard Culture is a portuguese UNESCO site in the Azores archipelago. The date of Inscription on the WHS list was 2004. Back in 2008, Zé "Pombal" sent me my 1st card from there (the 2nd in this post) and last December, Lurdes sent me another one.

Photo by Jorge de Barros
The 987-ha site on the volcanic island of Pico, the second largest in the Azores archipelago, consists of a remarkable pattern of spaced-out, long linear walls running inland from, and parallel to, the rocky shore. The walls were built to protect the thousands of small, contiguous, rectangular plots (currais) from wind and seawater.

Evidence of this viniculture, whose origins date back to the 15th century, is manifest in the extraordinary assembly of the fields, in houses and early 19th-century manor houses, in wine-cellars, churches and ports. The extraordinarily beautiful man-made landscape of the site is the best remaining area of a once much more widespread practice. - in: http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/1117

CA-296329

 This official from Canada was a wonderful surprise in my mailbox.  Beeing a UNESCO cards collector, i just love when i get new cards when i least expect. Gros Morne National Park was added to the World Heritage Site list in 1987.

Produced and distributed by M & B Postcards
CA-296329, sent by Glenn.
Situated on the west coast of the island of Newfoundland, the park provides a rare example of the process of continental drift, where deep ocean crust and the rocks of the earth's mantle lie exposed. More recent glacial action has resulted in some spectacular scenery, with coastal lowland, alpine plateau, fjords, glacial valleys, sheer cliffs, waterfalls and many pristine lakes. - in: http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/419

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

US-1972989, US-2005402 & US-2028328

American official cards from New York, Vermont and Ohio states.

© 2012 USPS
US-1972989, sent by Mike.
Niagara Falls is the collective name for three waterfalls that straddle the international border between the Canadian province of Ontario and the U.S. state of New York. From largest to smallest, the three waterfalls are the Horseshoe Falls, the American Falls and the Bridal Veil Falls.
The American Falls is one of three waterfalls that together are known as Niagara Falls. Unlike the much larger Horseshoe Falls, of which two-thirds of the falls is located in Ontario, Canada, and one-third in New York State, United States, the American Falls is completely within the U.S. state of New York. - in: wikipédia

Photo © John Knox - Pub. by Vermont Illustrating LLC
US-2005402, sent by Molly.
I've to say that i loved this card. Is probably one of my favorites from the US.
The card shows a Methodist church in Newbury, Vermont, built in 1829.

Photos by John & Sam Penrod © Penrod/Hiawatha
US-2028328, sent by Logan.
Top (left to right): Vermilion, Fairport Harbor West, Port Clinton, Ashtabula, Huron Harbor.
Center (left to right): Toledo Harbor, Marblehead, Old Fairport Harbor.
Bottom (left to right): Cleveland, Conneaut, Lorain, South Bass Island.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Redwood National & State Parks

A Redwood N. P. sent from Portugal by Zé Guedes.

© Impact Photographics
On the back of the card: "Man eater? No, these loggers climbed into this undercut to emphasize the enormity of the trunk of this giant California Redwood. These men are each over 6 feet tall. The diameter of the tree is 13 1/2 feet".

Monday, February 11, 2013

Pitons - St. Lucia

And this is the last Caribbean postcard sent by dear Déa. These are the Pitons, two twin peaks and a major attraction in St. Lucia.
St Lucians are really proud of those pitons and you can also see that in the names given to things or places. Some of those things are piton shandy, piton malt, piton bear, and piton falls just to name a few.

Kimagic Photo & Design
The St Lucia Pitons is better known in St. Lucia as Petit piton and Gros Piton. Those majestic twin picks are truly one of a kind and can only be found on the island of St Lucia. Petit piton is located in Soufriere soaring at a height of (750m) from the sea while Gros Piton is located in Choiseul reaching a height of (797m).
The uniqueness of those majestic twin peaks can be made certain in the fact that it has been awarded World Heritage Site status. This awarded was presented to The Pitons Management Area on June 30, 2004. - in: http://www.st-lucia-vacation-guide.com/st-lucia-pitons.html

Emerald Pool - Dominica

This is my 2nd card from Dominica and as the 1st one, this is also from the Morne Trois Pitons National Park, which was designated a National Park in July 1975 and inscribed on the World Heritage List in 1997.

Kimagic Photo & Design
Emerald Pool is in the extreme north of the park, in the centre of the island. The pool is likely Morne Trois Pitons most photogenic region. If you don't like people ruinning your pictures, avoid the pool on cruise ship days.
It's been featured in several movies and has also been used as a place to be married at.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

St. Kitts & Nevis

The Federation of Saint Kitts and Nevis located in the Leeward Islands, is a federal two-island state in the West Indies. It is the smallest sovereign state in the Americas, in both area and population.
The capital city and headquarters of government for the federated state is Basseterre on the larger island of Saint Kitts. The smaller island of Nevis lies about 2 miles (3 km) southeast of Saint Kitts, across a shallow channel called "The Narrows".

 © Kimagic Photo & Design
A Spanish expedition under Christopher Columbus discovered and claimed the island for Spain in 1493. The island alternated repeatedly between English and French control during the 17th and 18th centuries, as one power took the whole island, only to have it switch hands due to treaties or further military action. Parts of the island were heavily fortified, as exemplified by UNESCO World Heritage Site at Brimstone Hill.
The card shows the Brimstone Hill Fortress, which was added to the UNESCO WHS list in 1999. It was designed by British military engineers and built and maintained by African slaves. It is one of the best preserved historical fortifications in the Americas. - in: wikipedia

© Kimagic Photo & Design
Nevis was first sighted by Columbus in 1493.
 Its area is 93 km² and capital is Charlestown. Nevis is conical in shape with a volcanic peak known as Nevis Peak at its center.
Nevis Peak (985 m /3,232 ft) is the dormant remnant of one of these ancient stratovolcanoes. The last activity took place about 100,000 years ago, but active fumaroles and hot springs are still found on the island, the most recent formed in 1953. - in: wikipedia

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Anguilla

Anguilla is also a British overseas territory in the Caribbean.
It was colonized by English settlers from Saint Kitts in 1650, and administered by Great Britain until the early 19th century, when the island - against the wishes of the inhabitants - was incorporated into a single UK dependency along with Saint Kitts and Nevis. Several attempts at separation failed. In 1971, two years after a revolt, Anguilla was finally allowed to secede; this arrangement was formally recognized in 1980 with Anguilla becoming a separate UK dependency.

 © Kimagic Photo & Design
Anguilla has everything you might expect from a Caribbean island, with gorgeous bays, some of the best white sand beaches in the world, palm trees and the turquoise ocean all around. That lovely setting is of course what draws most travellers here, and it allows for perfect lazy days of sunbathing and swimming. There are some stunning coral reefs just outside the coast, which make it a fine destination for scuba diving or snorkelling. - in: http://wikitravel.org/en/Anguilla

British Virgin Islands

Back in December, Déa sent me a wonderful envelope full with caribbean cards. These two are my 1st from the British Virgin Islands. 
 The British Virgin Islands (BVI), is a British overseas territory located in the Caribbean to the east of Puerto Rico. It consist of the main islands of Tortola, Virgin Gorda, Anegada, and Jost Van Dyke, along with over fifty other smaller islands and cays. These cards are from Tortola and Virgin Gorda.

© Kimagic Photo & Design
 Tortola is the largest and most populated of the BVI.
The card shows Long Bay Beach, a mile-long stretch of white sand beach fringed with palms and sea grapes, perfect for a tranquil sunset walk.  The eastern portion is lined with a resort and guest houses, while the western end offers peaceful solitude and ideal swimming. - in: http://www.bvitourism.com/wtd/long-bay-beach

© Kimagic Photo & Design
Virgin Gorda is the third-largest (after Tortola and Anegada) and second most populous of the British Virgin Islands.  
The most notable ruin on Virgin Gorda is the old Copper Mine, a National Park containing the ruins of an abandoned 19th-century copper mine.
Copper was first discovered on Virgin Gorda. Local legends also suggest the shafts were originally dug by Spanish adventurers to mine silver in the late fifteenth century, but no documentary evidence can be found to support this theory, and no firm evidence of Spanish occupation of the islands prior to the Dutch settlement exists, much less the size of settlement which would be needed to sink shafts.
After the islands came under British control, the Copper Mine was constructed in 1837 and its first shaft was sunk in 1838. In two separate periods over the next 24 years, 36 Cornish miners extracted ore from this site with the aid of some 140 British Virgin Islands workmen. The ore which was extracted was sent first by road to Spanish Town (the largest settlement and harbour on Virgin Gorda) along coppermine road (originally built by the miners), and then by ship to Wales and; on the return trip the ships would carry provisions, wood for construction, wages for the workers, and coal with which to power their steam engine.
The mine was finally abandoned in 1862 and was never reopened. Parts of the original stack, the engine house, and the main building are all that remain. Several of the Cornish miners started families with native women and there are descendants living in the Virgin Islands to this day. - in: wikipedia

Friday, February 8, 2013

Montes Claros - Brazil

Denis is a postcrosser from Brazil and owner of a postcard blog Postais & Selos. He contacted me and we swapped one card. His card arrived this week.

Photos by Sérgio Mourão
Montes Claros is a city located in northern Minas Gerais state, in Brazil. The card shows the municipal market of the city.