Monday, February 24, 2014

Osijek - Croatia

Besides cards i also like to write letters. Maja from Croatia is one of my newest penpals and like me, she also likes cards as much she likes letters. She wanted to surprise me and while she was waiting for my letter, she decided to send me this card from her hometown.
Osijek is the fourth largest city in Croatia.  It is the largest city and the economic and cultural centre of the eastern Croatian region of Slavonia.

Tisak MORE
Osijek remains a popular domestic tourist destination for its Baroque style, open spaces and ample recreational opportunities. The most important sights in the city include the main square, Trg Ante Starčevića, which can be seen on the card. The church on the left is the Co-cathedral of St. Peter and Paul, a Neo-Gothic structure with the second highest tower in Croatia after the Zagreb Cathedral. The tower measure 90 m (295.28 ft) and can be seen from throughout Osijek. - in: wikipedia
On the right, there's the Hotel Central, the oldest hotel in the city. 

Sunday, February 23, 2014

RS-18247

The last time i received a card from Serbia was in 2011!! I don't have many cards from there and this one is only my 3rd official from this country. 
The cards shows the Cathedral of Saint Sava in Belgrade, the country's capital city. 

Copyright © 2004 IP Studio Strugar
RS-18247, sent by Branko.
On the back of the card: "The most significant of the Serbian Churches, the Church of St. Sava, is located at the St. Sava plateau covering an area of 60.000 sq. m. The plateau decoration includes a 400 sq. m. fountain, pedestrian paths, playgrounds and diverse greenery. With the 2004 project for construction and landscaping of the complex around the church, the City of Belgrade marked the bicentennial of the First Serbian Uprising against the Ottoman rule."

Saturday, February 22, 2014

UA-947357

Anastasiya says Lviv is probably the most beautiful city in Ukraine. I've never been there, i can't agree or disagree, but that's not the 1st time I hear/read this about the city. 
If you get to the city by train you can’t miss the imposing spires of St. Olha and Elizabeth Church, that are visible from Lviv's Central Railway Station. 

Lufa Photos
UA-947357, sent by Anastasiya.
The Church of St. Olha and Elizabeth was originally built as the Roman Catholic Church of St. Elizabeth and today serves as the Greek Catholic Church of Sts. Olha and Elizabeth. 
The church was built by the Latin Archbishop of Lviv Saint Joseph Bilczewski in the years 1903-1911 as a parish church for the city's dynamically developing western suburb. It was designed by Polish architect Teodor Talowski, in the neo-Gothic style. 
In 1939 the church was damaged in a bombing raid but remained open until 1946. After the war, the building was used as warehouse and fell further into ruin, until it was returned to faithful with the collapse of the Soviet Union. In 1991 a Ukrainian Greek Catholic was established and the church was reconsecrated as the Greek Catholic church of Sts. Olha and Elizabeth. - in: wikipedia

Thursday, February 20, 2014

EE-172985

Otepää is a town in Valga County, southern Estonia. It is a popular skiing resort, popularly known as the "winter capital" of Estonia. 

www.eomap.ee
EE-172985, sent by Kaire.
The card shows skiers in Nüpli; the opening cerimony of the Winter Capital and people fishing on the lake Pühajärve. 

Anne Frank's House - Netherlands

If i ever get the change to visit Amsterdam, and i'm sure this will happen sooner or later, Anne Frank's House is one of the city's attractions that i wish to visit. Vitória traveled to Amsterdam a few days ago and she visited the house. She said it was a very emotional visit, i believe so.  

For more than two years Anne Frank and her family lived in the annex of the building at Prinsengracht 263 where Anne’s father, Otto Frank, also had his business. The Van Pels family and Fritz Pfeffer hid there with them. The doorway to the annex was concealed behind a moveable bookcase constructed especially for this purpose. The office personnel knew of the hiding place and helped the eight people by supplying them with food and news of the outside world. On August 4, 1944, the hiding place was betrayed. The people in hiding were deported to various concentration camps. Only Otto Frank survived the war. 

© Anne Frank Stichting / Foto: Hans v. d. Heuvel
Nowadays, the rooms at the Anne Frank House, though empty, still breathe the atmosphere of that period of time. Quotations from the diary, historical documents, photographs, film images, and original objects that belonged to those in hiding and the helpers illustrate the events that took place here. Anne’s original diary and other notebooks are on display in the museum. In the multimedia space, visitors can go on a “virtual journey” through the Anne Frank House, accessing background information about the people in hiding and World War Two. - in: http://www.amsterdam.info/museums/anne_frank_house/

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

NL-2330319

These are beautiful sunsets from the Netherlands but where exactly in the Netherlands? No idea. 

NL-2330319, sent by Jeanine.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

BE-261622

One of the last cards i've got from Belgium was also from Leuven and showing this church. 

© CARDMASTER
BE-261622, sent by Marie-Jeanne.
Standing in the middle of the Grote Markt Sint-Pieterskerk is a prime example of Brabant Gothic. Begun in the 15th C. by van Vorst, continued by Keldermans and de Layens, it was more or less completed by Joost Massys. Original plans envisaged three towers on the west side and a main tower of 165m/541ft. This work was abandoned as the foundations were on sand and previous buildings had collapsed. - in: http://www.planetware.com/leuven/st-peters-church-b-br-piet.htm
During the 19th and 20th centuries different renovation campaigns were undertaken. The church suffered considerable damage during the bombing raids of the Second World War in 1944. Between 1945 and 1963 the Saint Peter's church was partially rebuilt. In 1992 the restoration of the Western facade was completed. Bij 1998 the restoration of the choir was finished. - in: http://www.trabel.com/leuven/leuven-stpeterschurch.htm

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Officials from Germany

I've been getting a lot of officials from Germany, i've already got 10 since the beginning of the year. I'm sure i'll get more next week. 

 DE-2881700, sent by Iris.
Trifels Castle is a medieval castle at an elevation of 500 m (1,600 ft) near the small town of Annweiler, in the Palatinate region of southwestern Germany.
It’s one of the older castles not in ruins and it has some interesting history.  The first record of the castle was in 1081.  King Richard 1 of England (Richard the Lionheart) was imprisoned here for several weeks in 1193.
The castle was destroyed by fire caused by a lightning strike in 1602.  It was used as a refuge during the Thirty Years War until 1635.  After the bubonic plague, or Black Death, in the mid 1600s, the castle was abandoned.
The local population used the stones from the castle for building homes. By 1866, the Trifelsverein (Trifels association) was formed and stopped the theft of stones from the castle.  In 1938, the restoration of the castle began.  The original appearance of the castle was not known.  Rudolf Esterer designed the castle as it is today. The final restoration began in 1954 but wasn’t completed until the mid 1970s due to a lack of funding.  
You can wander around the castle rooms and explore.  It’s fantastic for children to discover the castle.  There are replicas of the Imperial Regalia of the Holy Roman Empire. - in: http://www.allkmc.com/castle-trifels-near-annweiler-germany/31464/

Foto: Walburg Wölk
DE-2881700, sent by sammeltante.
Vondern Castle is located in Oberhausen, North Rhine-Westphalia. It was a fief of the Counts and Dukes of Cleves and was first mentioned in the 13th century

© Mitei - Dresden/Germany 
DE-2883058, sent by Mirko.
The late-Gothic Albrechtsburg Castle rises high above the picturesque Elbe river valley. Built in the 15th century, the Meissen Albrechtsburg is regarded to be Germany’s oldest castle.
The Meissen Albrechtsburg is Germany’s first castle complex that gave up its fortifying character in favor of becoming a representative place of residence. Therefore, it is regarded to be the first German palatial building and a masterpiece of late-Gothic architecture.
The palace building was erected between 1471 and 1524 by order of the Wettin brothers Ernst and Albrecht who jointly ruled over the Duchy of Saxony. As a sign of power and wealth, the new residence was not only to be designed as a representative administration center, but also as a place where two separate courts could be held. The master builder Arnold von Westfalen was commissioned with the building. He created a castle that set European standards in spatial structure, statics, vaulting, and window and staircase design. - in: http://www.albrechtsburg-meissen.de/en/albrechtsburg_castle/

 © Schöning GmbH & Co. KG 
DE-2881724, sent by Anja.
The 1st thing we see on this card is the huge and impressive Köln Cathedral but on the left side, there's another church, the Great St. Martin Church, and this time, i'll write about it. 
The Great Saint Martin Church  is a Romanesque Catholic church in Cologne. Its foundations (circa 960 AD) rest on remnants of a Roman chapel, built on what was then an island in the Rhine. The church was later transformed into a Benedictine monastery. The current buildings, including a soaring crossing tower that is a landmark of Cologne's Old Town, were erected between 1150-1250. 
The church was badly damaged in World War II, with restoration work completed in 1985. - in: wikipedia

 © type art satz & grafik
DE-2881721, sent by Birthe.
Witten is a university city in the Ennepe-Ruhr-Kreis (district) in North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany.
With almost 100,000 inhabitants, Witten is a small town, but one that is particularly attractive to nature lovers. Two thirds of the urban area consist of woodland, meadows and fields. 
Nowadays, it's hard to imagine that Witten was an industrial centre right up until the middle of the 20th century. Shaped for over 100 years by the iron, steal and coal industries, Witten is now a modern business location. The town's status has been promoted not only by the well-known university but also by two research centres which are based nearby. - in: https://www.study-in.de/en/--18211

Friday, February 14, 2014

Venice - Italy

Today is Valentine's Day so i decided to post cards from one of the most romantic cities of the world. In all my researches for the most romantic cities, Venice was always in the top 10. 
I've been there a few years ago but only for a couple of hours, not enough to enjoy the city but enough to buy these and a couple of other cards. 

 © Copyright 2006 by Mazzega Art & Design s. r. l - Venezia * Foto: archivo Mazzega Art & Design
The Canal Grande snakes through the city of Venice in a large S shape, traveling from the Saint Mark Basin on one end to a lagoon near the Santa Lucia rail station on the other. This ancient waterway measures 3,800 meters (2.36 miles) long and ranges from 30 to 90 meters (about 100-300 feet) wide. In most places, the canal is approximately 5 meters (16 feet) deep.
The canal is an ancient waterway, lined with buildings - about 170 in all - that were mostly built from the 13th to the 18th centuries. Most were constructed by wealthy Venetian families.
The majority of the city's traffic cruises up and down the canal, be it private boats, vaporetti (water buses), water taxis or the famous gondolas. Foot traffic gathers around three famous bridges that cross the canal: the Rialto Bridge, the Ponte Degli Scalzi, and the Ponte dell'Accademia. A fourth, modern (and controversial) bridge was recently added not far from the Scalzi bridge: the Calatrava Bridge. - in: http://www.aviewoncities.com/venice/canalgrande.htm

                  © Copyright 2006 by Mazzega Art & Design s. r. l - Venezia * Foto: archivo Mazzega Art & Design
St Mark's Campanile is the bell tower of St Mark's Basilica in Venice, Italy, located in the Piazza San Marco. It is one of the most recognizable symbols of the city.
The tower is 98.6 metres (323 ft) tall, and stands alone in a corner of St Mark's Square, near the front of the basilica. It has a simple form, the bulk of which is a fluted brick square shaft, 12 metres (39 ft) wide on each side and 50 metres (160 ft) tall, above which is a loggia surrounding the belfry, housing five bells. The belfry is topped by a cube, alternate faces of which show the Lion of St. Mark and the female representation of Venice (la Giustizia: Justice). The tower is capped by a pyramidal spire, at the top of which sits a golden weathervane in the form of the archangel Gabriel. The campanile reached its present form in 1514. The current tower was reconstructed in its present form in 1912 after the collapse of 1902. - in: wikipedia

Thursday, February 13, 2014

ES-275339

An official from Lleia, a city in Catalonia, Spain, showing the Gardeny Castle. 

© Larent Sansen / © Jordi Clariana
 
ES-275339, sent by Rosa. 
In the second half of the 12th century, the Order of the Knights Templar built a monastery complex on the strategic plateau of Gardeny (El Segrià - Spain). This hill had previously been used as a base for military operations and had been visited by such brilliant strategists as Julius Caesar, who confronted Afranius and Petreius, two supporters of Pompey, who had established themselves in Ilerda in 49 B.C. During the 17th and 18th centuries, the original medieval complex was extended and turned into a new military fort. The new design corresponded to contemporary defensive needs associated with developments in artillery and saw the introduction of walls flanked by bastions and surrounded by vast spaces, moats and retaining walls. The present form of this monumental complex corresponds to the remains of what was once an impressive fortress. The Castle of Gardeny in Lleida and the castles of Miravet, Monzón, Peñíscola and Tortosa all form part of the Domus Templi, Templar route. This offers a journey through time that takes history-lovers back in time and enables them to discover important aspects of Templar heritage and this legacy of the former Crown of Aragon. - in: http://www.lleidatur.com/Tourism/Visit/Gardeny-castle/260.aspx

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump - Canada

 Here comes another new UNESCO site, Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump, in Canada. The canadian UNESCO sites are not that easy to get, therefore i was more than happy when Kelly accepted to trade with me. That's my 8th site from Canadá, i still need 9 from there. 

©  Published and Distributed  by the POSTCARD FACTORY
Located 18 km north & west of Fort Macleod, Alberta, Canada at a location where the foothills of the Rocky Mountains meet the Great Plains, one of the world's oldest, largest, and best preserved buffalo jumps can be found. Head-Smashed-In - a UNESCO World Heritage Site - has been used continuously by aboriginal peoples of the plains nearly 6,000 years.
Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump is an archaeological site known around the world as a remarkable testimony of the life of the Plains People through the millennia. The Jump bears witness to a method of hunting practiced by native people of the North American plains for nearly 6,000 years.
Due to their excellent understanding of the regional topography and bison behaviour, native people hunted bison by stampeding them over a precipice. They then carved up the carcasses and dragged the pieces to be butchered and processed in the butchering camp set up on the flats beyond the cliffs.

In 1981, the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) designated Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump as a World Heritage Site. - in: http://history.alberta.ca/headsmashedin/

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Amer Fort - India

Amer Fort, also known as Amber Fort, is one of the 6 Hill Forts of Rajasthan, classified in 2013 as World Heritage Site by UNESCO. 
This was a site missing in my collection and i've got it thanks to Nagi. 

Amber (pronounced Amer) is situated about 11 kilometres from Jaipur and was the ancient citadel of the ruling Kachwahas of Amber, before the capital was shifted to the plains, the present day Jaipur.  
The Amber Fort set in picturesque and rugged hills is a fascinating blend of Hindu and Mughal architecture. Constructed by Raja Man Singh I in 1592 and completed by Mirja Raja Jai Singh the fort was made in red sand stone and white marble. The rugged forbidding exterior belies an inner paradise with a beautiful fusion of art and architecture. Amber is the classic and romantic fort-palace with a magnificent aura. The interior wall of the palace depicts expressive painting scenes with carvings, precious stones and mirror settings. In the foreground is the Maota Lake providing a breathtaking vista. Built mainly for the warring enemies as a safe place, the heavily structured walls could defend the residents within the ramparts of the fort.  
All means of survival and luxuries for the royal families and the people who were concerned with the functioning of this small kingdom of the Kachhawas were well provided. The Rajputs who had apparently won a small structure passed on by Meena tribes, later on renovated it into the grand Amber Fort. Holding a history as old as seven centuries, this place vibrates with its legendary past. Although many of the early structures have been literally ruined but at the same time, those dating from 16th century onwards are remarkably well preserved by sincere efforts. - in: http://www.rajasthantourism.gov.in/Destinations/Jaipur/Amber.aspx


Monday, February 10, 2014

NL-2327551

I've also got this card today. It's an ukrainian card sent as an official from the Netherlands. 
These building are the Uspenskyy Cathedral, on the left side, and the Refectory Church, on the right side, both part of the cave monastery of Kiev Pechersk Lavra. 

NL-2327551, sent by Kseniia.
The Uspenskyy Cathedral was built in the XI century. It was blown up in 1941 during World War II and only rebuilt in 1999.
The Refectory Church is a refectory and an adjoining church of Saint Anthony and Theodosius. In the refectory, the Lavra monks had their meals. The building was constructed in 1893-1895 at a time when more than a thousand monks were living within the monastery. 

CZ-400904

Since the year started, today was the best postcard day. I've got 9 cards, 8 of them were officials. 
One of those is this nice castle card from Czech Republic. 
Střekov Castle is a romantic ruin perched atop a cliff 85 km north of Prague and is one of one of the most visited cultural monuments in northern Bohemia.

foto a design: Ing. D. Fiker
CZ-400904, sent by Martina.
The Castle was built in 1316 for John of Luxemburg, father of the Holy Roman Emperor Charles IV, and was constructed to guard the important trade route to Germany. The picturesque property was acquired by the noble Lobkowicz family in 1563 and has remained in private hands since except during the Nazi confiscation and under the Communist regime. Střekov Castle was returned to the Lobkowicz family after a series of restitution laws were passed in the early 1990s and currently welcomes visitors from all around the world.
Today, Střekov Castle contains an historical exhibition that includes reproductions of guns and knights' armor, drawings and pictures of the property, as well as a scale wooden model of the Castle complex. Periodic temporary exhibits are also organized each year. - in: http://www.lobkowicz.cz/en/Strekov-Castle-39.htm

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

NL-2287427

This is the leaning tower of St Walfridus church in Bedum, a town in the northeastern Netherlands. 

Foto: P. v.d. Wal Bedum
NL-2287427, sent by Martha.
The church was founded ca. 1050 and was completed in the 12th century. Of this romanesque church only the tower remains.
The 36-metre tower has been calculated as now leaning at a greater angle than the leaning tower of Pisa. If both towers were the same height, Bedum's would have a greater displacement by 6 cm. 

Sunday, February 2, 2014

DE-2819158

German official of the Hambach Castle, known as the birthplace of modern-day Germany.

 © Werbeverlag R.
DE-2819158, sent by Yvonne.
From 1797 to 1815 the Palatinate belonged to France and aligned itself with the values of the French Revolution – liberty, equality, fraternity. The July revolution in Paris in 1830 further fuelled the desire for liberty in the Palatinate, which culminated in the Hambach Festival. Leading liberals and 30,000 citizens from all walks of life gathered together and demanded more civil rights, religious tolerance and above all national unity. They also demanded freedom of assembly, freedom of expression and a free press. The Hambach Festival went down in history as the birth of German democracy. It was also the first time that the black, red and gold tricolour was flown as the symbol of German unity.
The original flag from 1832 is now on show at the local history museum in Neustadt. Today, Hambach Castle is a partially restored ruin, whose walls and towers are reminders of almost 1,000 years of history. - in: http://www.germany.travel/en/leisure-and-recreation/palaces-parks-gardens/hambach-castle.html

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Toulouse - France

All i've been thinking about un the last weeks are my next holidays. The holiday meeting at work will be next week and i'm not sure if i can go on holidays when i want and that's driving me crazy. 
Anyway, while i'm still dreaming about my next possible holidays, i've the best memories and cards, from my last holidays in France. Toulouse, the capital of the Midi-Pyrénées region, was my city for almost an entire week. 
Here are some of the city's landmarks. 

Photo: Philippe Poux
The huge pedestrianized open space in the heart of Toulouse called Place du Capitole is the main city square.
The square is flanked by grand municipal buildings, including the long Neo-Classical facade of the city hall, or Capitole, built in the 1750s.
Along with administrative functions, the pink brick Capitole building also houses the Théâtre du Capitole opera house. There are 19th century paintings of the city’s famous citizens to browse in the Salle des Illustres.
On the square’s western side is a series of roofed arcades. Look up as you stroll to see the history of Toulouse represented on the ceiling panels, from prehistoric times through to today’s aeronautics industry. - in: http://www.viator.com/Toulouse-attractions/Place-du-Capitole/d812-a2264

 Editions D'art Larrey cdl
Listed as a Unesco World Heritage site as a major stop on the way of St. James, the basilica was built from the 11th to the 14th century. It is one of the largest Romanesque churches in Europe. It is characterized by a portly architecture and a rich sculpted decor. The relic's treasure of this main pilgrimage church is shown along the saint bodies' ambulatory trail and the two level crypt. - in: http://www.toulouse-visit.com/Interested-in/Discovery/Trips-and-tours/Discovery-itineraries/Must-see

Photo: Philippe Poux
Saint-Étienne is a disconcerting church because its building was spread over 5 centuries, from the 13th Century to the 16th Century, during which the architectural concepts went through significant transformations. Entrance to the cathedral is via the nave called Raymondine, of a southern gothic style with its wide ...
single nave. The second part of the building, made up of a vast choir, was built in a Northern gothic style in order to rival other great cathedrals. The cathedral contains some interesting ornamental elements: stained glass windows, tapestries, paintings, a large rose window, a magnificent large organ suspended 17 metres up and 17 chapels. - in: http://www.toulouse-visit.com/offre/fiche/patrimoine-culturel/la-cathedrale-saint-etienne/PCUMID031FS000A2