Thursday, May 30, 2013

Cangas de Onis - Spain

This bridge over the Sella River is one of the best-known symbols of the Principality of Asturias, in northern Spain.
The card was sent by Zé Pombal.

© FISA - Escudo de Oro S. A.
Although this site may have been used in Roman times to cross the Sella River, and this may have been the reason for the foundation of Cangas de Onís, the first capital of the Kingdom of Asturias, in fact the current "Roman Bridge” dates to mediaeval times, possibly to the end of the 13th century.
Its stylised and graceful outline, and the line of the arches take us back to a Romanesque style in transition to Gothic. It has three slightly pointed arches. The central, under which the river flows, is by far the biggest and is cambered. The two on each side are of different sizes.
From the central arch hangs a reproduction of the famous Victory Cross, a work of precious metal dating to the start of the 10th century that is kept in Oviedo Cathedral. - in:
 http://www.spain.info/en/conoce/monumentos/asturias/puente_sobre_el_rio_sella.html

Monday, May 27, 2013

Ourense - Spain

On Mother's Day (1st sunday of May in Portugal) Vitória made one of her mom's dream come true, to visit Santiago de Compostela. It was a lovely present, wasn't it? After Santiago they visited Ourense and Vitória sent me this lovely card of the local cathedral.

© Ediciones Paris S. L.
The cathedral is the most important monument in Ourense. This cathedral (founded 572; rebuilt in the 13th century) is the second oldest in Galicia. It occupies the same site as the Suevian basilica that stood there in earlier times. Romanesque in structure, but with a mixture of Romanesque and Gothic styles, it is rather hidden away but, contains a façade with the Door of Paradise in imitation of the Door of Glory of the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela. Inside, the Capilla del Cristo, or Christ's Chapel (16th century), contains a crucifix venerated throughout Galicia. - in: wikipedia

Santiago de Compostela - Spain

Santiago de Compostela is the spanish city on the top of my must visit list. I'd love to visit it but unfortunately i think this won't happen anytime soon.
This card was sent by Margarida.

Santiago de Compostela  is the capital of the autonomous community of Galicia in northwestern Spain.
The city has its origin in the shrine of Saint James the Great, now the city's cathedral, as destination of the Way of St. James, a leading Catholic pilgrimage route originated in the 9th century. In 1985 the city's Old Town was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Ediciones Arribas
Santiago de Compostela Cathedral  is the reputed burial-place of Saint James the Greater, one of the apostles of Jesus Christ. The building is a Romanesque structure with later Gothic and Baroque additions.
According to legend, the apostle Saint James the Greater brought Christianity to the Celts in the Iberian Peninsula. In 44 AD he was beheaded in Jerusalem. His remains were later brought back to Galicia, Spain. Following Roman persecutions of Spanish Christians, his tomb was abandoned in the 3rd century. Still according to legend, this tomb was rediscovered in 814 AD by the hermit Pelagius, after witnessing strange lights in the night sky. Bishop Theodomirus of Iria recognized this as a miracle and informed king Alfonso II of Asturias and Galicia (791-842). The king ordered the construction of a chapel on the site. Legend has it that the king became the first pilgrim to this shrine. This was followed by a first church in 829 AD and again in 899 AD by a pre-Romanesque church, at the order of king Alfonso III of León, causing the gradual development of a major place of pilgrimage.
Construction of the present cathedral began in 1075 under the reign of Alfonso VI of Castile (1040–1109). Construction was halted several times and, according to the Liber Sancti Iacobi, the last stone was laid in 1122. But by then, the construction of the cathedral was certainly not finished. The cathedral was consecrated in 1128 in the presence of king Alfonso IX of Leon. - in: wikipedia

Chaves' Roman Bridge - Portugal

This is probably, one of the most photographed bridges in Portugal. I've been to Chaves 2 years ago a took quite a few pictures too.
The 1st card, was my very first card showing this lovely bridge. It was sent by Paula 5 years ago and i've posted here back then. A few weeks ago Manú sent me the 2nd card and, as i sometimes do, i'm reposting an old card with a new one.

The Roman Bridge at Chaves, also known as Trajano bridge as a reference to Trajan, is an ancient bridge located in the north of Portugal in the town of the same name.

The bridge which is in relatively good shape unites the two most important parishes in the town. The bridge is 140 meters long, high and has 12 visible arches. Although the bridge spanning the Minho in Ourense is longer and higher, this example of Roman architecture is even today a masterpiece of construction.
Two of the columns of the original bridge, built by the Emperor Trajan, still stand. They are stout cylindrical columns with details of the honors bestowed by the emperor on local governors or generals clearly legible on them. They were also milestones indicating distances to the important settlements of Astorga in Spanish León and Bracara Augusta, Braga, in Portugal.

Photo by Oswaldo Santos
The bridge was built between the end of the first century and the beginning of the second century AD. Little is known about the exact dates of the beginning or conclusion of construction. However, it is known that slaves captured from the peoples inhabiting the region worked on the bridge. This appears to be written on one of the columns placed in the middle of the bridge. These columns were not here originally. One of them mentions the construction of the bridge, referring to the reign of the emperor Trajan; the other was taken from the Roman road leading up to the bridge.
Allowing the river to be crossed at any time of the year, the bridge was an important factor of development for the town, but it was also necessary and useful for the Pax Romana: here there were hot springs visited by a lot of people; in the region there were mines with precious metals, whose product was taken to Rome; across the bridge passed the important Roman road of Braga to Astorga, with a lot of traffic; and lastly here was quartered a numerous detachment of legionnaires of the Roman army.
The bridge has suffered many modifications, for restoration and conservation. The fortified tower that was built at the entrance was long ago demolished and the stone sides were substituted by iron. The span was widened and footpaths put in. The floor, originally covered by large granite blocks, now is covered by paving stones. - in: wikipedia

Friday, May 24, 2013

Vasco da Gama Street, Guarda - Portugal

This is an old card from my city. I didn't recognized immediately the place even if nowadays it doesn't look much different.

The biggest differences are the balconies of the hotel on the corner, they're aren't so colorful now, and the blue house by the end of the street doesn't exist anymore. On the same place of the blue house there's a 5 or 6 story building.
The card was sent by Gracinha.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Sunset in Algarve

This card is another prize from another game in the portuguese community.

Photo by César de Sá
This sunset card in Algarve was sent by José.

A cork postcard

Edite is a new member in the portuguese postcrossing community. I guessed her hangman's game sentence and she sent me this cork postcard of the Belém Tower in Lisbon. This is my 2nd cork postcard.
Portugal is the premier producer of cork in the world and it accounts for about 50% of the world’s total cork production.
It is to be noted that the growth of the cork oak tree is greatly influenced by environmental factors and the Mediterranean type climate of Portugal is conducive to its growth. Well distributed and plenty of rainfall together with presence of extensive sunshine, mild winter weather conditions and suitable soil compositions aid its growth in the country and the life span of cork oak trees extends to around 150 to 200 years. Algarve produces the superior quality in Portugal and certain species are also produced in the Alentejo region as well and it is in the central and southern parts that corks of the best quality are grown.

www.sofoto.pt | Foto: J. C. Pinheira
The Portuguese cork industry is highly developed and the versatility of cork as a substance together its ecological properties and the ability to recycle the material has facilitated its growth. Cork is used in performing multifarious functions like for building and architectural purposes and in floors, in the automobile, military and space industries, in footwear and leather goods, as chemical components in pharmaceutical industries and most importantly as cork stoppers used as closures for wine bottles. In Portugal, which is known for its wines and vineyards, it is doubtless that cork stoppers are extremely useful for domestic purposes. Cork wools are also used in mattresses and cushions.
It has been estimated that a whopping 16% of the total foreign income in Portugal is accumulated from the export of cork. The main importers of Portuguese cork are Germany, UK and USA. - in:  http://www.cork.pt/cork-industry-in-portugal.html

Regaleira Palace - Portugal

Adrienne Garry from New Zealand has been to Portugal a few weeks ago and she met a few portuguese postcrossers in Sintra. José sent me this card of the Regaleira Palace in Sintra, signed by him, Adrienne, Paula, Ninocas and her son, Joaninha and Rita Oliveira.

Rufino & Rufino, Lda
The Regaleira Palace and Estate, also known as also known as the "Palace of Monteiro the Millionaire”, was built in the beginning of the 20th century, born from the imagination of its millionaire owner António Augusto Carvalho Monteiro and the Italian architect Luigi Manini.
From dream to reality was born Regaleira Estate, a combination of several artistic and architectonical styles, from Gothic to Manueline, with a Renaissance touch. The result was an unique creation, filled with magical nooks and details that disclose the union between national History and esoteric and mythic interest, inevitably associated to the mountain range of Sintra.
From the luxuriant gardens to the numerous buildings, such as the Milhões Palace, the Santíssima Trindade Chapel, or the turrets and the small palaces, the Regaleira Estate provides an entrance in an alternative dimension that one could never guess just by looking at its main gate… - in:
http://guides.getportugal.com/lisbon/see/4919/11/regaleira-palace-and-estate

Monday, May 20, 2013

Ameira do Tejo Castle - Portugal

Amieira do Tejo is a parish also in Alentejo. I've been there on my last holidays and visited the castle. It was my 1st time there. The castle was nice but the best surprise was inside the tourism office, which is in front of the castle. The office sells a few cards. Some are not that great but the cards with this image are almost free, only 0.10€ each!!!

Photo by Manuel Ribeiro
In 1232, owing to a regal charter issued by King Sancho II, the dominion of the Knights Hospitaler expanded their influence into the south; The construction of the castle in Amieira only developed a century after the Hospitalers had taken possession of the territory.
Its construction was the responsibility of Álvaro Gonçalves Pereira, son of the Archbishop of Braga Gonçalo Pereira, prior of the Order of the Hospital. The castle of Amieira was constructed as part of the settlement's place in the new function of the Order: to assist the travelling pilgrims.
The fortress suffered various modifications over the centuries. During the reigns of King John II and King Manuel, there were remodelling to adapt the structure to the new military requirements. Simultaneously, it served as a prison, due to its excellent construction. Losing its military function, due to the change in the lines of defence over time, the castle fell in importance. In the 18th century, a great part of the historical structure was abandoned, and part of the fortress was adapted for civil residences. By this time, the prison tower was partially recuperated, but its military functionally was completed abandoned.
In the 19th century, the central courtyard was converted into a local cemetery, which continued to be used in this form until the 1940s. It has been listed as a National monument since 10 November 1922. - in: wikipedia

Montemor-o-Novo Castle - Portugal

This is one of the many castle in the Alentejo region. I've to Alentejo a few times in the last years but i didn't visit Montemor-o-Novo yet.

REUNIARTE
I've already posted a few cards of this castle, there's no need to add more information about it.
The card was sent by Vera.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Deserta Grande - Madeira

From a portuguese archipelago to the other one. The Deserta Grande Island is the main island of the Desertas Islands, a small chain of islands in the archipelago of Madeira, located to the southeast of the island of Madeira. The island is a nature reserve.

Photo by H. Costa Neves
The card sent by Manú, shows the Nature Reserve wardens station located on Fajã da Doca and supports all the conservation work on the reserve.
Fajã means piece of fertile land consequence of a landslide and this one formed in 1984. It is now a natural harbour and the official anchorage of the reserve.

Joana's Peak - Terceira Island

I need peace and quiet; Azores are the perfect spot to take a rest. I'd love to visit these islands but this won't happen any time soon.
This very greenish card was sent by Lurdes.

Photo by Luís Godinho
Joana's Peak in located on the Feteira parish- The peak is a basaltic scoria volcanic cone, which is about 500 metres in diameter. The highest part of the cone reaches the 331 metres above sea level.

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Canadian Officials and NL-1697781

Still in North America, now i've officials from Canada and 1 from the Netherlands but showing one of Canada's most famous lakes.

 Photo by Eero Sorila
CA-321048, sent by Richard.
The Capilano Suspension Bridge is a simple suspension bridge crossing the Capilano River in the District of North Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. The current bridge is 140 metres (460 ft) long and 70 metres (230 ft) above the river. It is part of a private facility, with an admission fee, and draws over 800,000 visitors a year.
The bridge was originally built in 1889 by George Grant Mackay, a Scottish civil engineer and park commissioner for Vancouver. It was originally made of hemp ropes with a deck of cedar planks, and was replaced with a wire cable bridge in 1903. In 1910 Edward Mahon purchased the Capilano Suspension Bridge. "Mac" MacEachran purchased the Bridge from Mahon in 1935 and invited local natives to place their totem poles in the park, adding a native theme. In 1945, he sold the bridge to Henri Aubeneau.
The bridge was completely rebuilt in 1956. - in: wikipedia

 
© Published and Distributed exclusively by The Postcard Factory
CA-326603, sent by Rose
 The Forks is a historic site, meeting place and green space in Downtown Winnipeg located at the confluence ofthe Red River and Assiniboine River.
The Forks’ unique history is apparent in its bustling market. Originally two adjacent stables for competing rail companies circa early 1900, the horse stalls were joined together by a courtyard and bridges to create The Forks Market, Winnipeg’s incomparable shopping experience.
The Forks Market offers a multitude of shops to browse for a wide variety of specialty items and souvenirs. Downstairs, The Market features an irresistible fresh food emporium with everything from gourmet cheeses to meats organic baked goods and wine. Upstairs, in the Market Loft, shoppers will find items ranging from cigars and aromatherapy products to crafts and artworks from 300 local and Canadian artisans.
A constantly changing array of artisans and vendors also sell their wares at day tables inside The Forks Market and outside on The Plaza. - in: http://www.theforks.com/attractions/at-the-forks/the-forks-market

Photo by Tim Van Horn
 CA-332861, sent by Tara.
Ice fishing hut on Lake Scugog.
Lake Scugog, minutes from Toronto, is a man-made lake, the old river bed is remnant in the many buoys that mark the main channels. The lake is shallow and the waters are murky and very weedy. The dark waters are a perfect home for the elusive walleye.
In winter, lake Scugog becomes an ice fishing shanty town, with many areas targeted for both walleye and jumbo perch. Small pixie spoons and live minnows are both quite effective this time of year. The deeper areas of the lake in 15-17ft of water are your best bet for some ice fishing action. - in: http://www.thefishinguide.com/scugog.shtml

NL-1697781, sent by Sari.
The card doesn't identify the image but this is definitely Moraine Lake.

Friday, May 17, 2013

US-2078239, US-2136363 & US-2196319

 More officials from the US, this time from Pennsylvania (again), Texas and NY.

Photo © Dan Amerson
US-2078239, sent by Don.
Pittsburgh is the seat of Allegheny County and with a population of 307,484 is the second-largest city in the U.S. Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. With a metropolitan CSA population of 2,661,369 it is the largest in both the Ohio Valley and Appalachia and the 22nd-largest in the U.S. Pittsburgh is known as both "the Steel City" for its more than 300 related businesses and "the City of Bridges" for its world record 446 bridges.  
The card shows Downtown Pittsburgh, colloquially referred to as the Golden Triangle and officially the Central Business District, the urban downtown center of Pittsburgh. It is located at the confluence of the Allegheny River and the Monongahela River whose joining forms the Ohio River. The "triangle" is bounded by the two rivers. The area features offices for major corporations such as PNC Bank, U.S. Steel, PPG, Bank of New York Mellon, Heinz, Federated Investors and Alcoa. - in: wikipedia

Photo by LoneStarMike
US-2136363, sent by Dee Dee.
Austin  is the fourth-largest city and the capital of the U.S. state of Texas and the seat of Travis County. Located in Central Texas on the eastern edge of the American Southwest, Austin is the 13th most populous city in the United States of America and the fourth most populous city in the state of Texas.  Austin is also the third largest state capital in the United States after Phoenix and Indianapolis.
Austin is known as a "clean air city" for the city's stringent no-smoking ordinances that apply to all public places and buildings, and all restaurants. - in: wikipedia

Photo by © Stephen Wilkes - Courtesy Peter Fetterman Gallery
US-2196319, sent by Liz.
The building form most closely associated with New York City is the skyscraper, which has controversially shifted many commercial and residential districts from low-rise to high-rise. Surrounded mostly by water, the city has amassed one of the largest and most varied collection of skyscrapers in the world. - in: wikipedia

American official cards

These are american officials, sent from different states of the US, Alaska, Pennsylvania, Washington and Minnessota.  

Photo © M. Niemar
US-2124932, sent by Jesse.
Mount McKinley or Denali is the highest mountain peak in the United States and in North America, with a summit elevation of 20,320 feet (6,194 m) above sea level. At some 18,000 feet (5,486 m), the base to peak rise is considered the largest of any mountain situated entirely above sea level. Measured by topographic prominence, it is the third most prominent peak after Mount Everest and Aconcagua. Located in the Alaska Range in the interior of US state of Alaska, it is the centerpiece of Denali National Park and Preserve. - in: wikipedia

  Photo © Thomas E. Walczak
US-2185668, sent by Julie.
On the back of the card: "The Logan Mills Covered Bridge, in Clinton County, Pennsylvania, spans the Fishing Creek in Loganton. Seen here in winter, the bridge was originally built in 1866, then rebuilt in 1979, and still allows traffic. Locals and tourists enjoy the charm and character of this lovely historic structure."

Photo by Laurel Mercury
US-2174496, sent by Brandy.
Located at the San Juan Islands, the Lime Kiln light, a name derived from the lime kilns built nearby in the 1860s, was first established in 1914. It was the last major light established in Washington. The lighthouse was updated five years later with a 38-foot octagonal concrete tower rising from the fog signal building. A fourth-order Fresnel lens was first exhibited from the new tower on June 30, 1919. The Coast Guard automated the Lime Kiln Lighthouse in August 1962, using photoelectric cells to turn the light on at dusk and off during daylight hours. In 1998, the drum lens was replaced with a modern optic, flashing a white light once every 10 seconds. Sitting on the rocky shoreline at a height of 55 feet, the beacon is visible for 17 miles. - in: wikipedia

US-2204964, sent by Sandra.
Split Rock Lighthouse is a lighthouse located southwest of Silver Bay, Minnesota, USA on the North Shore of Lake Superior. The structure was designed by lighthouse engineer Ralph Russell Tinkham and was completed in 1910 by the United States Lighthouse Service at a cost of $75,000, including the buildings and the land. It was built in response to the loss of ships during the famous Mataafa Storm of 1905, in which 29 ships were lost on Lake Superior. One of these shipwrecks, the Madeira, is located just north of the lighthouse. The light was first lit on July 31, 1910. - in: wikipedia

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

DE-1971526 & NL-1811846

These are officials from Germany and the Netherlands but the cards are both from California in the USA.

Photography © 1995 Carol Simowitz
 DE-1971526, sent by Sabine.
This card shows the Cliff House Restaurant on the western side of San Francisco, California. Cliff House is one of the most iconic restaurants in San Francisco.
Cliff House has had five major incarnations since its beginnings in 1858.

© by artcolor - photo by Roland Gerth
NL-1811846, sent by Irma.
An image of one of the many lakes in California.

Mexican Unesco cards

I'm so glad i got these cards. Both are new Unesco WHS from Mexico. The Mexico Unesco list is so big that every single card from there is very appreciated.
Historic Centre of Oaxaca and Archaeological Site of Monte Albán was inscribed in 1987 and the Archaeological Zone of Paquimé, Casas Grandes in 1998.

 Photo by A & P Giberstein
Monte Albán is a large pre-Columbian archaeological site in the Santa Cruz Xoxocotlán Municipality in the southern Mexican state of Oaxaca.
Monte Albán is an outstanding example of a pre-Columbian ceremonial centre in the middle zone of present-day Mexico, which was subjected to influences from the north - first from Teotihuacan, later the Aztecs - and from the south, the Maya. With its pelota court, magnificent temples, tombs and bas-reliefs with hieroglyphic inscriptions, Monte Albán bears unique testimony to the successive civilizations occupying the region during the pre-Classic and Classic periods. For more than a millennium, it exerted considerable influence on the whole cultural area. Latter-day Oaxaca is a perfect example of a 16th-century colonial town. Its monumental heritage is one of the richest and most coherent in the area that was known as New Spain. - in: http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/415

© Published and distributed by Tarjetas Sonora
Casas Grandes is the contemporary name given to a pre-Columbian archaeological zone and its central site, located in northwestern Mexico in the modern-day Mexican state of Chihuahua. It is one of the largest and most complex sites in the region. Developed as multi-storied dwellings about 1350, the community was abandoned approximately 1450. Regarded as one of the most significant archaeological zones in the northwestern region, Casas Grandes is located in a wide, fertile valley on the Casas Grandes or San Miguel River, 35 miles (56 km) south of Janos and 150 miles (240 km) northwest of the state capital, the city of Chihuahua. The settlement relied on irrigation to support its agriculture. - in: wikipédia