Sunday, September 29, 2013

Finnish Cities


 Photo: Esko Pärssinen
This Helsinki card is beautiful but Heidi sent it not because of the image but because of the stamp on its back. This is one of the 4 Postcrossing stamps that entered in circulation in Finland a few weeks ago. 

Photo: Esko Pärssinen
I thought this card was also sent by Heidi but it was probably sent by Erja Maarit and signed by a few other postcrossers in the Hämeenlina Meet Up. 
The card is from Tampere, in southern Finland.

Pembroke Castle - Wales

 Pembroke Castle card sent by Bryony.

© Judges Hastings www.judges.co.uk
Pembroke Castle is a medieval castle in Pembroke, West Wales. 
In 1093 Roger of Montgomery built the first castle at the site when he fortified the promontory during the Norman invasion of Wales. A century later this castle was given to William Marshal by Richard I. Marshall, who would become one of the most powerful men in 12th-Century Britain, rebuilt Pembroke in stone creating most of the structure that remains today. - in: wikipedia

Friday, September 27, 2013

BR-279642

Not so long ago i've received 2 cards of Oxford's University, now i've got this official from the city. 
The ID of the card is brazilian, sent by a brazilian girl living in this city. 

© J. Salmon LTD
BR-279642, sent by Denise.
Oxford is a city in central southern England. 
The city is known worldwide as a university town and home of the University of Oxford, the oldest university in the country and in the English-speaking world.
Buildings in Oxford demonstrate examples of every English architectural period since the arrival of the Saxons, including the iconic, mid-18th-century Radcliffe Camera. Oxford is known as the "city of dreaming spires", a term coined by poet Matthew Arnold in reference to the harmonious architecture of Oxford's university buildings. - in: wikipedia

Dutch Official Cards

I always get a lot of dutch official cards and these are all very nice! 

 NL-2011187, sent by Will.
Amsterdam is one of the most bicycle-friendly large cities in the world. In Amsterdam over 60% of trips are made by bike in the inner city and 38% of trips are made by bike overall in the greater city area. The city is one of the most important centres of bicycle culture worldwide.
Typical for Amsterdam is a wide net of traffic-calmed streets and world-class facilities for cyclists such as bike paths and bike racks, and several guarded bike storage garages (Fietsenstalling) which can be used for a nominal fee. In 2006, there were about 1,000,000 bicycles in Amsterdam.
Bicycles are used by all socio-economic groups because of their convenience, Amsterdam's small size, the 400 km of bike paths, the flat terrain, and the arguable inconvenience of driving an automobile. Each bike path (Fietspad) is coloured brown, in order to differentiate it from a footpath.
Bicycle theft in Amsterdam is widespread; in 2005, about 54,000 bicycles were stolen.
Every year between 12,000 and 15,000 bicycles are retrieved from the canals. - in: wikipedia

Photo: Renco Vellinga 
NL-2011263, sent by Jet.
This is the Brandaris, the lighthouse of Terschelling, an island in the northern Netherlands, one of the West Frisian Islands.
The first Brandaris was built in 1323, but it was destroyed in 1570. The current tower was built in 1594 and is listed as a Rijksmonument (National Heritage Site), and is rated with a very high historical value. 

 www.natuurlijkefoto.nl
NL-2040625, sent by Ine.
The Muiderslot is a castle in the Netherlands, located at the mouth of the river Vecht, some 15 kilometers southeast of Amsterdam. 
The imposing Muiderslot gives you a taste of real Dutch history. It is part of the Defence Line of Amsterdam and included on the UNESCO World Heritage List.
The Muiderslot was built around 1285 by Count Floris V, an ally of the French Court and later of the British King Edward. While hunting with falcons one day in 1296, Floris was captured by his nobles and imprisoned in his own castle. In their flight from the advancing hordes, he was brutally murdered in the vicinity of Muiderberg.
The tour through the Golden Age with the impressive Knight’s Hall, towers and dungeon, the film in the Castle Chapel and, last but not least, the Armoury with its stunning armour collection is a fantastic experience for young and old alike. For children an interactive quest is available that will take them through a large portion of the castle.
The beautiful herb and vegetable gardens still retain the atmosphere of the Dutch Renaissance. A walk along the ramparts offers fantastic views of the water-rich environments and the Pampus island fortress. - in: http://www.muiderslot.nl/english

© Uitgeverij van der Meulen lov Sneek
NL-2061781, sent by Dj Marx
Yesterday arrived this card with some fauna and flora of the Veluwe National Park.
 The Park's different landscapes are home to a wide diversity of plant and animal species. 
There are both coniferous and deciduous forests on the Veluwe, and some 500 different plant species can be found. The region is also home to many different species of animals, such as wild boars, several species of deer, several species of snakes (including the common viper), Pine Martens, foxes, and badgers. Furthermore, the bird raven was successfully reintroduced, and the exotic Reeves's muntjac and mouflon can sometimes be seen. In all, the Veluwe is among the best places in the Netherlands to see wildlife. - in: wikipedia

Zagreb's Cathedral - Croatia

Another great and beautiful cathedral. I've visited Zagreb's Cathedral a few years ago! 
The card was sent by Nives.

The Zagreb Cathedral on Kaptol is a Roman Catholic institution and the tallest building in Croatia. It is dedicated to the Assumption of Mary and to kings Saint Stephen and Saint Ladislaus. The cathedral is typically Gothic, as is its sacristy, which is of great architectural value. Its spires can be seen from many locations in the city. 

www.atlasax.net
Construction on the cathedral started in 1093, but the building was destroyed by the Tatars in 1242. At the end of the 15th century, the Ottoman Empire invaded Bosnia and Croatia, triggering the construction of fortification walls around the cathedral, some of which are still intact. In the 17th century, a fortified renaissance watchtower was erected on the south side, and was used as a military observation point, because of the Ottoman threat.
The cathedral was severely damaged in the 1880 Zagreb earthquake. The main nave collapsed and the tower was damaged beyond repair. The restoration of the cathedral in the Neo-Gothic style was led by Hermann Bollé, bringing the cathedral to its present form. As part of that restoration, two spires 108 m (354 ft) high were raised on the western side, both of which are now in the process of being restored as part of an extensive general restoration of the cathedral.
The cathedral is depicted on the reverse of the Croatian 1000 kuna banknote issued in 1993.
When facing the portal, the building is 46 meters wide and 108 meters high. - in: wikipedia

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Noto's Cathedral - Italy

Silvano's last card is this one with Noto's beautiful cathedral. Noto is one Late Baroque Towns of the Val di Noto, classified as UNESCO WHS!

Ediz. Italia Sebastiano
Noto Cathedral's construction began in the early 18th century  in the style of the Sicilian Baroque and was completed in 1776. It is dedicated to Saint Nicholas of Myra.
The cathedral collapsed in 1996 as a result of unremedied structural weakening caused by an earthquake in 1990, to which injudicious building alterations in the 1950s may have contributed. It has since been rebuilt, and was reopened in 2007.

Siracusa - Italy

I'm back!! After a great week in France, here i am again with my received cards. By the way, while i was travelling i've received 13 cards!! And in my backpack i brought more than.... 200 french cards. I know, that's too much but they were so beautiful.

These are not french but they're also beautiful. Like the previous one, these Syracuse were also sent by Silvano. 
Syracuse is a historic city located in the southeast corner of the island of Sicily. The city is notable for its rich Greek history, culture, amphitheatres, architecture, and as the birthplace of the preeminent mathematician and engineer Archimedes.This 2,700-year-old city played a key role in ancient times, when it was one of the major powers of the Mediterranean world. 
In the modern day, the city is listed by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site. - in: wikipedia

 Ediz. Italia Sebastiano - Siracusa
The Greek Theatre, whose cavea is one of the largest ever built by the ancient Greeks: it has 67 rows, divided into nine sections with eight aisles. Only traces of the scene and the orchestra remain. The edifice (still used today) was modified by the Romans, who adapted it to their different style of spectacles, including also circus games. Near the theatre are the latomìe, stone quarries, also used as prisons in ancient times. - in: wikipedia

 Ediz. Italia Sebastiano
The "Duomo", Syracuse Cathedral, is the perfect fusion of pagan of and Christian worship. Rebuilt in 1700 after the earthquake of 1693, the façade, with its elegant hints of baroque, steals attention from the rest of the piazza. 
The beautiful blending of architectural styles spanning centuries is evident in both the internal and external aspects of the Cathedral. The Doric columns, visible on the left nave of the cathedral, date from the days when a Temple of Athena stood on the site. In the Seventh Century, when the first Christian church was built there, the columns were incorporated into its structure, linking the worship of the past, with the present. - in: http://www.italyguides.it/us/sicily_italy/syracuse/duomo_square/duomo_square.htm

Ediz. Italia Sebastiano
Completed only in 1994, the Shrine of Our Lady of Tears in Syracuse is a work of contemporary architecture began in 1966, although not without arousing heated controversy for its impressive size (90 meters / 295 ft wide and almost as high), which for better or worse creates a visual reference point of primary importance in the city’s skyline.
Circular in shape, the shrine was built to accommodate the increasing number of pilgrims drawn to a small plaster image of the Madonna, from which, in 1953 in an impoverished house of Syracusan faithful, tears miraculously were said to emanate.  
The shape of the dizzying dome is meant to recall both a tear that falls and a tented pavilion serving as a sign of welcome to pilgrims. 
Inside the building, the dome stands on a sleek structure of reinforced concrete pillars, open in all directions by lines of windows that create an elegant and luminous radial pattern.  
The space consists of a place of worship, the shrine itself, and a second underground area, the crypt.  
The sixteen chapels built around the base of the shrine house several well-preserved ancient and contemporary works of art, while the crypt’s eight chapels house modern mosaics and the remains of a Greek-Roman and Byzantine tomb, discovered during the excavation of the foundation. - in: http://www.algila.it/en/madonna_delle_lacrime.htm 

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Sicily - Italy

Last week Giuseppe from Italy, asked me if i'd like to trade with him. I never say no to italian cards and this one is just 1 of the 5 cards he sent me. 
On the card there's a map of Sicily and images of Noto, Tindar, Palermo, Monreale, Taormina, Segesta, Ragusa, Villa Romana del Casale, Cefalu, Trapani, Agrigento and Siracusa!

Stampa O. G. B. Officina Grafica Bolognese - Ediz. Italia Sebastiano
Mainland, Sicilia is the largest island in the Mediterranean and the southernmost region  of Italy. Famous for its blue skies and mild winter climate Sicilia is also home to Mount Etna, Europe's largest active volcano. This fertile paradise was settled by Siculi, Phonecians, Greeks, Carthaginians, Romans, Moors, Normans, Spaniards and Bourbons among others, and the remnants of these astounding cultures cover the entire island, from the temples of Agrigento to the priceless mosaics of Piazza Armerina and the ancient capital of Siracusa. Smaller islands, such as the Aeolian, Aegadean and Pelagian chains as well as Pantelleria, just 90 miles off of the African coast, are also part of Sicilia, offering superb beaches. - in: http://www.italiantourism.com/sicilia.html

Saturday, September 14, 2013

IT-239027

Another italian castle. Rovereto's castle is located in a strategic position on a rocky spur, on the right bank of the river Leno, in northern Italy. 

© Foto Paolo Calzà © Viadellaterra Editore
IT-239027, sent by Silvano.
Rovereto Castle features the massive structure of a military fortress. The core of the building dates back to the 13th and 14th centuries and was erected by the Castelbarco family as a fortress guarding their feudal power in the Val Lagarina. In the 15th century the castle became the property of the Venetians, who changed its look: the polygon-shaped ground plan and four large corner bastions turned the castle into one of the best examples of Late-Medieval Alpine fortress. Later on, Rovereto fell to the Austrian Empire, as a consequence of which, having lost its strategic importance, the fortress was abandoned and suffered heavily from fire and devastation.
The castle has been refurbished and it currently houses the Italian Historical War Museum, which displays artillery pieces, a railway carriage perforated by a grenade and a horse-drawn carriage used by the Emperor Francis Joseph. There are also a number of rooms dedicated to war heroes and places. - in: http://www.visittrentino.it/en/cosa_fare/da_vedere/dettagli/dett/castello-di-rovereto

IT-226938

Last year, Laura from Italy asked me if we could make a trade and i said yes. A few days ago i've received another card from her, this time an official, pretty much like the 1st card she sent. Both are from her hometown, Rapallo, and show a promenade along the sea and the castle. 

© Printed by Grafiche Milan cards - Settimo Milanese
IT-226938, sent by Laura.
Rapallo is a municipality in the province of Genoa, in Liguria, northern Italy.

Casa delle Cartoline
The Castello sul Mare (Castle-on-the-Sea), erected in 1551 to counter the frequent pirate attacks. It includes a small chapel dedicated to St. Cajetan, built in 1688. - in: wikipedia


Streets of Vienna & Innsbruck

On the streets of Vienna and Innsbruck! Cards sent by Manuela and Heidi. 

 Kollektion Wien, Copyright Carl Anders Nilsson
A view of the Canovagasse Street with the Hotel Imperial, the Musikverein - Viennese Music Association and St. Charles's Church.

Farhaufnahme und Verlag Viktor Holy und Sohn, Innsbruck
The Historic Centre of Vienna is already on the UNESCO WHS but Innsbruck is still on the Tentative List. 
This card shows the Golden Roof, a three-story balcony on the central plaza at the heart of the city's Old Town. It was constructed for Emperor Maximilian I in 1500 to serve as a royal box where he could sit in state and enjoy tournaments in the square below. Completed at the dawn of the 16th century, the Golden Roof was built in honor of Maximilian's second marriage, to Bianca Maria Sforza of Milan. Not wishing to alienate the allies gained by his first marriage, to Maria of Burgundy, he had an image of himself between the two women painted on his balcony.
The roof was decorated with 2,657 fire-gilded copper tiles. The reliefs on the balcony show coats of arms, symbols, and other figures in his life.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Melk Abbey - Austria

Kati went to Austria and had a meeting with three austrian postcrossers. This great card signed by them arrived today. 

Melk Abbey is a Benedictine abbey in Austria, and among the world's most famous monastic sites. It is located above the town of Melk on a rocky outcrop overlooking the Danube river in Lower Austria, adjoining the Wachau valley.
Melk Abbey was originally a palace. In the 11th century, Leopold II of Babenberg presented the palace at Melk to Benedictine monks, who turned it into a fortified abbey. Its influence and reputation as a center of learning and culture spread throughout Austria.
Melk Abbey was damaged during the Reformation and the 1683 Turkish invasion. Reconstruction of the abbey began in 1702 in full Baroque style and was completed in 1736. The abbey church was damaged by fire in 1947, but is now almost completely restored.
The monastic community of Melk is over 900 years old and black-robed Benedictine monks still stroll amidst the marble sculptures and frescoed walls. It is now also a prestigious coed monastery school with more than 700 students.

AT-151074

New day, new posts, new cards and the next posts will be dedicated to austrian cards. 

AT-151074, sent by Monika.
I'm starting with a nice view from Kaisertal, mountain valley in the Tyrol, western Austria. 
In the centre of the valley one can find St. Anthony's Chapel.  

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

German Officials & IT-234801

After so many swiss card, now i've this bunch of german cards. 

 © Global Guides .net * Photo by Bernardus Marinus Steenbeek - Gtafic design by Olivier Durand

DE-2348702, sent by Bine.
An interresting card from Berlin showing the Berliner Dom.
The Berliner Dom is a baroque Cathedral built between 1894 and 1905. It is located on an island in the river Spree, also known as the Museum Island. The current building is the third church built at this location.

 © Schöning GmbH & Co. KG
DE-2229784, sent by Holger. 
This a nice view of the Historic Market Place in Hildesheim. 
From left to right, the buildings on the card are Bakers' Guild Hall, Butchers' Guild Hall, Old Tavern,  Rococo House, Weavers' Guild Hall and Market Fountain in the foreground.
The present market place of Hildesheim was laid out at the beginning of the 13th century. Several impressive half-timbered houses were built in the Market Place. The Butchers' Guild Hall was the tallest and the most famous of them.
During World War II, Hildesheim suffered severe bomb damage. On 22 March 1945 the half-timbered houses of the market place were destroyed by incendiary bombs. In the 1950s the houses which had been completely destroyed were replaced by concrete buildings with flat roofs. The Butchers' Guild Hall was replaced by a hotel which was built from 1962-64.
At the beginning of the 1980s, the hotel in the Market Place went bankrupt. On this occasion, the City Council decided to tear down the concrete buildings and to reconstruct the historic Market Place of Hildesheim in the original style.
The reconstruction was started in the Western part of the Market Place in 1983. Many inhabitants of Hildesheim donated money for the project and provided old photos and drawings. In some cases, old construction plans were preserved. The first houses, rebuilt in the original style, were inaugurated on 23 March 1986.Afterwards, the Eastern part of the Market place was rebuilt and the Market Fountain dating from 1542 was restored. A large public garage was built under the Market place as well. The Butchers' Guild Hall and the smaller adjoining Bakers' Guild Hall were the last buildings to be reconstructed. They were inaugurated in December 1989. - in: wikipedia

 © Herst. u. Verlag Schöning  & Co. + Gebr Schmidt
DE-2373397, sent by Nico. 
St. Marienthal Abbey, is a Cistercian nunnery in Saxon Upper Lusatia, located to the south of Ostritz. The abbey is the oldest nunnery of the Cistercian Order in Germany to have maintained unbroken occupation of its house since its foundation.
The abbey was founded in 1234. 
During World War II the buildings were used as a military hospital. In 1945 the retreating German forces wanted to blow up the abbey to hinder the advance of the Russians, but the nuns refused to leave, and the building was spared. - in: wikipedia

DE-2265704, sent by Daniela. 
Neuwerk is a Wadden Sea island on the German North Sea coast. 
During low tide the island can be reached on foot or by horse carriages from Cuxhaven, at other times by ship.
The smaller islands Scharhörn and Nigehörn are bird sanctuaries, closed to the public. All three islands and the Wadden Sea around them form the Hamburg Wadden Sea National Park. - in: wikipedia

 © Schöning GmbH & Co. KG
DE-2392895, sent by Daja.
The lake-dwelling museum of Unteruhldingen is situated on the Lake Constance in the South-East of Germany, on the northern shore of an international lake that borders Switzerland in the South and Austria in the East. It shows 20 Neolithic and Bronze Age houses (4000 – 850 BC), includes an archaeological research institute and a museum building on shore for temporary and regular exhibitions. - in: http://www.pfahlbauten.com/infos/press-media-articles.html

IT-234801, sent by Lea.
The ID of official is italian but the card is german, showing the Kappl Pilgrimage Church, a few kms from Waldsassen, in the Upper Palatinate, Bavaria. This is a round baroque church built between 1685 - 1689. 

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

CH-161269

One last card from Switzerland and from a place i know. Hauptbahnhof is Zürich Central Station and i used it a few times when i went to a Postcrossing Meeting in this swiss city. 
In the front of the entrance there's Alfred Escher Memorial. Alfred Escher was a swiss politician, business leader and railways pioneer. 

© published by Exposa Verlag GMBH Switzerland / photography by Christian Heeb
CH-161269, sent by Ulrike.
Zürich Hauptbahnhof is the largest railway station in Switzerland. Zürich is a major railway hub, with services to and from across Switzerland and neighbouring European countries such as Germany, Italy, Austria and France. Constructed as the terminus of the Spanisch Brötli Bahn, the first railway built completely within Switzerland, it is one of the oldest railway stations in Switzerland. Serving up to 2,915 trains per day, Zürich HB is one of the busiest railway stations in the world.
The first Zürich railway station was built by Gustav Albert Wegmann, on what were then the north-western outskirts of the city. It was the terminus of the Spanisch-Brötli-Bahn, opened on 9 August 1847. Within five years there was a continuous railway line across north-western Switzerland to Lausanne via Solothurn.
In 1871, the original station building gave way to a new building at the same site. The new structure was designed by architect Jakob Friedrich Wanner to meet Zürich's increased transport needs. Its main entrance is a triumphal arch facing the end of the then newly-built Bahnhofstrasse. In front of the arch stands a monument to the railway pioneer Alfred Escher. The magnificent sandstone neo-Renaissance building features richly decorated lobbies and atriums, restaurants and halls. - in: wikipedia