Monday, August 31, 2015

Officials from Taiwan

Its been awhile since I got offcials from Taiwan but in the last days arrived these 4. The last 3 have sequencial ID numbers!! 

© www.jjp.com.tw
TW-1658461, sent by Victoria.
 This is the oldest and most impressive temple in Taiwan dedicated to Guandi (GuanGong), a Han-dynasty general deified as the God of War and the patron of warriors and those who live by a code of honour.
The temple's overall structure was established in 1690, although much splendid artwork and many historically valuable objects have been added over the years. The long, deep-rose-coloured walls of this temple have always been one of its highlights. Other interesting features include the beggar seats around the doorframe that the poor used to beg alms from every visitor, and the high threshold at the entrance (originally designed to keep women out!). - in: http://www.lonelyplanet.com/taiwan/southern-taiwan/tainan-city/sights/religious/official-god-war-temple

Published by Rainbowarts
TW-1684607, sent by Jack.
On the back of the card: The gateway to the East-West Cross-Island Highway, in Hualien. After passing through the vermilion archway, you'll be greeted by the breathtaking splendor of Taroko Gorge. 

Photography by Chen Ping-Yuan
TW-1684608, sent by Gina.
The previous card shows the gateway to the Taroko National Park and this snowy view is from that same park.
Taroko National Park is one of the nine national parks in Taiwan and was named after the Taroko Gorge, the landmark gorge of the park. The park spans Taichung Municipality, Nantou County, and Hualien County.
The park was originally established as the Tsugitaka-Taroko National Park by the Governor-General of Taiwan on 12 December 1937 when Taiwan was part of the Empire of Japan. After the Empire of Japan's defeat in World War II, the Republic of China assumed control of Taiwan. The ROC government subsequently abolished the park on 15 August 1945. It was not until 28 November 1986 that the park was reestablished. - in: wikipedia

Photography: kovis.idv.tw/wp
TW-1684609, sent by Howard.
Howard sent me this beautiful sunrise at the Estuary of the Hualien river. 
The Hualien River Estuary is one of the important sites on Taiwan’s east coast for migrating and over-wintering birds. 
The natural landscape includes the convergence of the Hualien River and the Pacific Ocean, and the river beach wetlands. 

Tangya Tusi - China

Tusi Sites were listed as World Heritage Site this year, making it the 48th World Heritage Site in China. The card is now one of the newest in my UNESCO collection and it was sent by Luo Fei.

Located in the mountainous areas of south-west China, this property encompasses remains of several tribal domains whose chiefs were appointed by the central government as ‘Tusi’, hereditary rulers from the 13th to the early 20thcentury. The Tusi system arose from the ethnic minorities’ dynastic systems of government dating back to the 3rd century BCE. Its purpose was to unify national administration, while allowing ethnic minorities to retain their customs and way of life. The sites of Laosicheng, Tangya and Hailongtun Fortress that make up the site bear exceptional testimony to this form of governance, which derived from the Chinese civilization of the Yuan and Ming periods. - in: http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/1474

The Tangya Tusi city in Xianfeng County in central China's Hubei Province was even bigger than the Forbidden City in Beijing. The chieftain there ruled for 460 years. Statues, a cemetery and an ornately decorated memorial archway still stand there. - in: http://english.cri.cn/12514/2015/07/06/2001s886181.htm

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Yangzhou - China

Yangzhou is without a doubt a top tourist city in China, with fascinating beauty. With a long history of over two thousand years, the city has accumulated numerous culture assets. It also possesses rich tourist resources such as endless water scenes, tastefully landscaped gardens as well as a varied architecture, in both magnificent and simple delicate styles. - in: http://www.travelchinaguide.com/cityguides/jiangsu/yangzhou/
One of the city's attrations is Slender West Lake, also known as Thin West Lake. 
This card was sent by Chenzhen.

Yangzhou is one of China's historic cities dating back to the fifth century BC. Slender West Lake is a man-made lake where beautiful views and historic points coexist. It lies in the southwest of Yangzhou. The lake is a state-level scenic resort and gets its name because its outline is long and narrow like a slender, gentle girl.
The scenic resort is a fine example of a traditional Chinese lakeside garden. Walking along the lake, one can see many elegant styles of architectures. Some line along the shore of the lake, and others are actually built over the lake. They all possess different kinds of beauty. Numerous poems have been left by famous poets about the beautiful lake adding to its cultural importance. - in: http://www.travelchinaguide.com/attraction/jiangsu/yangzhou/shouxi_lake.htm

RU-3928000

This card is an official from Russia, it was sent from there but the beautiful landscape on the card is located in Kyrgyzstan!! The 5281 meters high Karakol peak is part of the Tien Shan mountain range.

Photo by Daniil Korzhonov
RU-3928000, sent by Anna.
Tien Shan lies to the north and west of the Taklamakan Desert and directly north of the Tarim Basin in the border region of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, China and Uzbekistan.
Tien Shan is one of the highest mountain kingdoms in the world. This mountainous area, a large part of which is located in Kyrgyzstan, is one of the most inaccessible areas in the world. They're, without doubt, the least visited mountain ranges in the world, yet one which offer some of the most magnificent landscapes, picturesque rural scenes, exhilarating trekking and genuine hospitality to be found anywhere on the planet.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Damien's russian cards

I think it was in June that Damien has been to Russia. He sent me once card from there and another one from France and both arrived at the same time. The 1st card is from Veliky Novgorod's Kremlin and the 2nd from St. Petersburg. 

The Novgorod Kremlin, or Detinets, as it was called in Novgorod in old times, is the most ancient out of the preserved Kremlins in Russia (it is first mentioned in the chronicle of 1044). It was founded by Prince Yaroslav.
The Kremlin was an administrative, a social and a religious centre of Novgorod. Veche, elections of a posadnik were held here. From this place, squads of Alexander Nevsky marched out to the battle with the Swedes. Novgorod walls protected the main Cathedral of St.Sophia and the residence of the Archbishop of Novgorod. It was the Kremlin where the chronicles were kept and books were collected and copied.
Today the Kremlin is the cultural and tourist centre. The main expositions of the Novgorod State United Museum are displayed here. Restoration workshops, the library, the philharmonic, college of arts, art and music schools are located in this place. - in: http://visitnovgorod.com/sights/kremlin.html

The world-renowned Mariinsky Theatre, known during Soviet times as the Kirov Opera and Ballet Theatre, reverted to its original name in 1992. The present building, which dates back to 1859, originally housed another theater but was remodeled and taken over by the Mariinsky company. During pre-revolutionary times the theater enjoyed royal patronage and has played host to some of Russia’s most celebrated classical performers; Fiodor Shaliapin sang there, and the dancers Vatslav Nizhinsky, Matilda Kshesinskaya, Anna Pavlova also graced its stage. - in: http://www.saint-petersburg.com/virtual-tour/mariinsky-theater/

Monday, August 24, 2015

RU-3775098 & RU-3774981

Nice cards and stamps from Russia. 

RU-3775098, sent by Tanya.
The most beautiful church of the city, the Church of Elijah the Prophet is the pride and joy of Yaroslavl and the favorite tourist attraction. It was built in 1647 – 1650 and is one of the most complete and best-preserved monuments of Yaroslavl. Built on the site of two churches, the Intercession and Elijah, the church is considered a real masterpiece of ancient Russian art. The main structure of the temple is a massive building on high foundation topped with five heads resting on light drums. The drums are decorated with arches and columns and surrounded by the rows of kokoshniks. But the main thing is, of course, the interior painting, made by famous Kostroma masters. They have no equals in beauty, richness and brightness of colors. - in: http://www.advantour.com/russia/yaroslavl/elijah-theprophet-church.htm

RU-3774981, sent by Nadya.
The church in Neuhausen was built at the end of the XIV century and was re-built in a gothic style with a high tower on the east in the XVI century. Master Isaac of Riga made an altar, a confessional and a baptismal font in 1689-1701. During the battles of 1945 the church was slightly damaged, but later it was renovated as a community club. After the Culture Centre had been built in Guryevsk, the church was partly empty, some additional buildings were used as a shop, different kinds of goods and materials were stored in the hall. By 1988 the church was absolutely abandoned and started to decay. In 1991 the building was transferred to the New Apostolic community, it was fixed up and since 1993 church services have been held there. - in: http://visit-kaliningrad.ru/en/attractions/432/6835/

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Kamchatka - Russia

Russian officials from the Kamchatka peninsula and its volcanoes. 

RU-3774984, sent by Sasha.
This is one of the most outstanding volcanic regions in the world, with a high density of active volcanoes, a variety of types, and a wide range of related features. The six sites included in the serial designation group together the majority of volcanic features of the Kamchatka peninsula. The interplay of active volcanoes and glaciers forms a dynamic landscape of great beauty. The sites contain great species diversity, including the world's largest known variety of salmonoid fish and exceptional concentrations of sea otter, brown bear and Stellar's sea eagle. - in: http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/765

RU-3150747, sent by Julia.
Kamen is a stratovolcano located in the southern part of Kamchatka Peninsula, Russia, flanked by Bezymianny and Kluchevskaya. It is the second highest volcano of Kamchatka. - in: wikipedia

Bran Castle - Romania

Last May Paula, Tjitske, Valérie, Astrid and Dimitris when on a great trip through Romania. They visited some amazing places including the world famous Bran Castle. Paula and Tjitske sent me two great cards from there and I'm also posting a 3rd card, sent by Oana back in 2011.

© Age Gallery Card Collection 2014
Surrounded by an aura of mystery and legend and perched high atop a 200-foot-high rock, Bran Castle owes its fame to its imposing towers and turrets as well as to the myth created around Bram Stocker's Dracula.  
Built on the site of a Teutonic Knights stronghold dating from 1212, the castle was first documented in an act issued by Louis I of Hungary on November 19, 1377, giving the Saxons of Kronstadt (Brasov) the privilege to build the Citadel.

 © Age Gallery Card Collection 2014
Although Stoker never visited Transylvania, the Irish author relied on research and his vivid imagination to create the dark and intimidating stomping ground of Count Dracula, leading to persistent myths that it was once the home of Vlad Tepes, ruler of Walachia. While the association with Dracula is sketchy at best, the castle continues to hold a strong attraction for all fans of the Count.
From 1920 to 1957 Bran served as royal residence, a gift of the people of Brasov to Queen Marie of Romania. The castle is now a museum open to tourists, displaying art and furniture collected by Queen Marie.

Narrow winding stairways lead through some 60 timbered rooms, many connected by underground passages, which house collections of furniture, weapons and armor dating from the 14th to the 19th centuries. The castle overlooks the picturesque village of Bran, which offers an open-air Ethnographic Museum consisting of old local-style village houses complete with furniture, household objects and costumes. - in: http://romaniatourism.com/castles-fortresses.html#bran

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Zagreb - Croatia

Last June Ana and Agata went together to a music festival in Zagreb. When they weren't enjoying the music, they had time to write cards. Thanks girls. 

Some views of the croatian capital: St. Catherine Church; Nikola Šubić Zrinski Square, popularly referred to as Zrinjevac; Maksimir Park; Stone gate; St. Mark's Church; Croatian National Theatre; King Tomislav Square and Ban Jelačić Square. 

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Kluže Fortress - Slovenia

Kluže Fortress stands at the top of a narrow canyon near the town of Bovec in northwestern Slovenia.
It was erected as a control post at the crossing of the Koritnica river.
The card was sent by "karmi.

Foto © J. Skok, M. Simic
The time of origin of the older fortress at this site is not known, but a wooden building stood there already in the second half of the 15th century to defend the Friuli Plain and the Venetian Republic against the Turks.
In the year 1509 the Austrians built new walls. The fortress was probably renewed and expanded after the earthquake of 1511.
Rebuilding in the second half of the 17th century turned it into a more pleasant residence.
In 1797 the French army burnt down and destroyed the medieval fortress.
The new, present fortress was built on the same pass over the river in the years 1881-1882.
After World War II the fortress lost its strategic importance and therefore fell into disrepair.
Since 1987 it has been continuously renovated.
Inside there is a smaller tourist office, a presentation of the history of the fortress and its surroundings, a local painting gallery and a wedding hall. - in: http://www.slovenia.info/?utrdba_arhitekturne=6226

Friday, August 14, 2015

Ljubljana Castle - Slovenia

More cards from Slovenia, both from the beautiful capital city, Ljubjiana and its castles. Like the previous ones, these were also sent by  "karni" and "lionheart2010". 

Foto: © Marko Pintaric
Perched on top of Castle Hill (Grajska planota) and dominating the city skyline to the south, Ljubljana’s magnificent castle stands on the site of several former defensive buildings in a hilly area of land stretching away to the south of the old town. The current ensemble of buildings originates from necessary 16th-century reconstruction work following the earthquake of 1511, with several later additions. Not unlike Kraków's Wawel Castle in Poland, Ljubljana Castle has served as both a royal residence and a military barracks over the centuries.

Underneath the tower and located down a small flight of stairs tucked away through a doorway in the corner of the courtyard is the diminutive St George’s Chapel (Kapela sv Jurija). The Chapel is one of the oldest parts of the Castle. By the order of Cesar's document from 1489 it was dedicated to St. George, the patron saint of Ljubljana. It was renovated in Baroque style and in 1747 decorated with the coats-of-arms of over 60 rulers, including Herman and Ulrich of Celje, Henrik of Gorizia County, and Krištof Rauber, a bishop of Ljubljana.
A beautifully presented permanent Exhibition on Slovene History is now also open for visitors - see more info under Museums & Galleries.
The castle also has a small art gallery featuring temporary exhibitions, a café, restaurant and souvenir shop. It’s also a popular place for local weddings, and during the summer puts on concerts and, in July, hosts a popular outdoor cinema. To reach it, several small paths lead up from the old town, or take the funicular next to the Puppet Theatre and open market. - in: http://www.inyourpocket.com/ljubljana/Ljubljana-Castle_37954v

Predjama Castle - Slovenia

I can imagine myself taking lots of pictures of this castle. Castles are always great, but a castle in a cave must be just amazing. Thanks "karmi" and "lionheart2010" for these beautiful cards.

Foto: © Arne Hodalic
"Just 10 kilometres from Postojna Cave stands one of the most picturesque wonders of human history: Predjama Castle. For more than 700 years it has perched proudly on its 123-metre cliff: powerful, defiant and impregnable – the perfect hideout for the bold, headstrong and rebellious knight Erazem of Predjama, a “robber baron” who is the subject of a romantic and beautiful legend. This legend is recalled today by Erazem’s Tunnel, along which the bravest visitors may still ascend.

A view of the renovated castle rooms and their furnishings gives the visitor an idea of how people once lived and worked in the castle – and how well the castle has been preserved. Among the most interesting sights are the living quarters, the chapel and the dungeon. The fascinating objects on view include weapons, oil paintings and a Pietà dating from 1420. From the castle building a passage leads to a refuge in a hollow, where an observation post on the rocky cliff offers a wonderful view over the surrounding countryside. Here you can also see a well and the entrance to the legendary Erazem’s Tunnel." - in: http://www.slovenia.info/?grad=654&lng=2

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Polish wooden churches

Have I ever mentioned that I love wooden churches?! They're usually so architecturally beautiful and unique. 
Thanks Natalia "shena" for both cards, they're great. 

The Greek Catholic Parish Church of the Protection of the Mother of God in Owczary was built in 1653. The church was renovated repeatedly, and underwent a complete overhaul in the 1980s. At that time they restored the shingles on the walls and tented roofs, and the conservation work as a whole was awarded the Europa Nostra international prize. The interior is covered by polychrome decoration from 1938. The complete church fittings consist of an 18th century baroque iconostasis with a rare icon of Christ in the Tomb, two baroque side altars – the north one with an icon of Madonna with Child (C19th), and the south one with an icon of St. Nicholas (C18th). - in: http://www.drewniana.malopolska.pl/?page=obiekty&id=141&l=en

 fot. © A. Szczerbicki
The wooden Greek Catholic church of St. Demetrius in Piatkowa was built in 1732. It is one of the most valuable wooden churches of the region and a perfect example of the church barroque architecture. The not do not funcion nowadays and its furnishings do not survived. 

Saturday, August 8, 2015

PL-1088172

A polish official card from the beautiful city of Krakow. 

© Fine Cards * Fot. Tadeusz Cukier
PL-1088172, sent by Agnieszka.
Krakow is the second largest and one of the oldest cities in Poland.
In 1978, UNESCO approved the first ever sites for its new World Heritage List, including the entire Old Town in inscribing Cracow's Historic Centre.
Cited as one of Europe's most beautiful cities, its extensive cultural heritage across the epochs of Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque architecture includes the Wawel Cathedral and the Royal Castle on the banks of the Vistula river, the St. Mary's Basilica and the largest medieval market square in Europe, the Rynek Główny. - in: wikipedia

BY-1667744 & BY-1667735

Paintings are not my kind of card but these two are actually nice. 

BY-1667744, sent by Sophie.
This a painting of the Church of Sts Simon and Helena in Minsk. 

BY-1667735, sent by Olga.
The Belarus map with some interresting monuments of the country: St. Barbara Church in Viciebsk; Town Hall of Mahiliou; Palace and Park Ensemble in Homiel; Kosava Castle; Mir Castle and Complex of the Radzivils in Niasviz.