Monday, March 30, 2015

AU-405427

Mountain ash and tree ferns in Sherbrooke Forrest, Dandenong Ranges National Park, Victoria. 

© Steve Parish Publishing PTY LTD
AU-405427, sent by Carolyn.
Sherbrooke Forest lies at an altitude of 300 m within the Dandenong Ranges, 40 km east of Melbourne, in Victoria, Australia, close to the suburb of Belgrave. The vegetation is classified as wet sclerophyll forest with the dominant tree species the Mountain Ash, Eucalyptus regnans, the tallest flowering plant in the world. From the mid 19th century until 1930 it was logged. In 1958 it was gazetted as a park, and in 1987 it was merged with Doongalla Reserve and Ferntree Gully National Park to form the 32.15 km² Dandenong Ranges National Park.
Sherbrooke Forest is famous for its population of Superb Lyrebirds and was an early, and still important, site for the study and conservation of this species. - in: wikipedia

Namhansanseong - South Korea

Namhansanseong was one of the new sites added last year to the WHS list and this card was the last surprise sent by Claus. He really made my day. Thank you so much!!! 

Namhansanseong was designed as an emergency capital for the Joseon dynasty (1392–1910), in a mountainous site 25 km south-east of Seoul. Built and defended by Buddhist monk-soldiers, it could accommodate 4,000 people and fulfilled important administrative and military functions. Its earliest remains date from the 7th century, but it was rebuilt several times, notably in the early 17th century in anticipation of an attack from the Sino-Manchu Qing dynasty. The city embodies a synthesis of the defensive military engineering concepts of the period, based on Chinese and Japanese influences, and changes in the art of fortification following the introduction from the West of weapons using gunpowder. A city that has always been inhabited, and which was the provincial capital over a long period, it contains evidence of a variety of military, civil and religious buildings and has become a symbol of Korean sovereignty. - in: http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/1439

Thursday, March 26, 2015

JP-642768

First built as a fortress on the top of Mt. Kinka in 1201, Gifu Castle has a history of about 800 years.

JP-642768, sent by Mary. 
ODA Nobunaga, a famous general in Sengoku period, occupied the castle and became its master in 1567. At this time, ODA changed the name of this area from “Inokuchi” to “Gifu” and of the castle itself from “Inabayama Castle” to “Gifu Castle”. As ODA expanded his empire and unified the nation with his fresh ideas and unique politics, Gifu Castle became a bustling center of activity.
The ODA family lost the castle after Hidenobu, Nobunaga's grandson, allied his clan with the losing side of the decisive Battle of Sekigahara in 1600 that resulted in over 250 years of Edo Shogunate rule of Japan.
The present three-story and four-floor castle was rebuilt with ferroconcrete construction in 1956 and has been a popular symbol of Gifu City ever since. - in: http://www.gifucvb.or.jp/en/01_sightseeing/01_02.html

CN-1553139 & CN-1553140

On the same day I got these two officials from China, I've also got 2 other offcials from there, making a total of 4 chinese cards on the same day. One of them, CN-1553140, is rather special, it was my received official number 1000!! 

CN-1553139, sent by Mengxl. 
Yellow Crane Tower is a famous and historic tower, standing on Sheshan (Snake Hill), at the bank of Yangtze River in Wuchang District, Wuhan, in Hubei province of central China.
The present Yellow Crane Tower is a modern building that was built in the 1980s after the old Yellow Crane Tower was destroyed to make way for the Changjiang River Bridge that was completed in 1957. The original site was on a hill next to the river. The new building was built on a hill about a kilometer away from the river. The original building was a pagoda made of wood, and the new one is pagoda-style building made of concrete. 
From the top of the tower, you can get a good view of the city. It is about 50 meters high and has 5 stories. There are some telescopes for tourists to use. The Museum of the 1911 Revolution is at the bottom of the hill.
A tower called the Yellow Crane Tower was built about 1,800 years ago. It was a famous building in China. An ancient poem named "The Yellow Crane Tower" was written by Cui Hao, and many Chinese can recite it. - in: http://www.chinahighlights.com/wuhan/attraction/the-yellow-crane-tower.htm

CN-1553140, sent by Françoise.
My official #1000 shows the Great Wall at Jiayuguan.
Jaiyuguan (Jiayu Pass) is the most western end of the Great Wall. Also known as "the First and Greatest Pass under Heaven", Jiayu Pass is the best preserved and most magnificent military building among the passes of the Great Wall.
It is one of the main passes of the Great Wall, along with Juyong Pass and Shanhai Pass. It is located at the narrowest point of the western part of Hexi Corridor, and was a key passageway of the ancient Silk Road. It commands fascinating views of the boundless Gobi Desert and the snow-capped Qilian Mountains.
Covering an area of 34 square kilometers (8 acres), the pass was built with rammed earth and is shaped like a trapezoid. The pass has a good layout with a three-storied gate tower, 4 corner towers and consisting of an inner city wall, outer city wall, trenches, and fortifications with walls around them. The walls are 10 meters (33 feet) tall on average and exceptionally thick.
 The initial construction began in 1372. It got its name for being located on the Jayu Highland between the Wenshu and Heishan mountains at the foot of the Qilian Mountains. Once abandoned, it was rebuilt, reinforced and garrisoned in 1539. In the Qing Dynasty (1636 - 1911) it became an office for checking merchants and travelers. - in: http://www.chinahighlights.com/greatwall/section/jiayuguan-pass.htm

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Mystras - Greece

The Archaeological Site of Mystras was added to the World Heritage List in 1989 and it was added to my collection last week thanks to Elena. Its the 819th site in my UNESCO collection. 

Mystras, the 'Wonder of the Morea', was built as an amphitheatre around the fortress erected in 1249 by William of Villehardouin. Reconquered by the Byzantines, then occupied by the Turks and the Venetians, the city was abandoned in 1832, leaving only the breathtaking medieval ruins, standing in a beautiful landscape. The complex of the ruins of Mystras offers the image of a city with a brilliant destiny that was deserted by men and threatened by the return of encroaching vegetation, which is splitting the walls and covering the slopes, thus destroying here and there fragile traces of history. - in: http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/511

Budapest - Hungary

It was in January that Ara visited Budapest. She said it's a beautiful city and I believe her, it's one of the cities on my must visit list. 

© Photo Huber Pál Kolozs
The card shows the Parliament Building and the Fisherman's Bastion.

Monday, March 23, 2015

PL-49009 & PL-1021687

Officials from my beautiful Poland, both from the Castle Square in Warsaw, one received in 2009 and the other just a few weeks ago. 

PL-49009, sent by Anna
Warsaw's Castle Square (Polish: plac Zamkowy w Warszawie) is a historic square in front of the Royal Castle – the former official residence of Polish monarchs – located in Warsaw, Poland. It is a popular meeting place for tourists and locals. The Square (in a more or less triangular shape) features the landmark Sigismund's Column to the south-west, and is surrounded by historic townhouses. 
Sigismund's Column, erected in 1644, is one of Warsaw's most famous landmarks and one of the oldest secular monuments in northern Europe. The column and statue commemorate King Sigismund III Vasa, who in 1596 had moved Poland's capital from Kraków to Warsaw. - in: wikipedia

© Foto: Adam Sachocki
PL-1021687, sent by Ania.
Built in the 15th century, this castle served as residence of Mazovian princes. Once the capital was moved to Warsaw from Kraków, the castle served as seat of the king and the government. The castle has been renovated repeatedly and destroyed completely during World War II. It was rebuilt between 1971-1988 using castle remains and rubble. Today, the segment with the clock tower opens the way to the Old Town. Museum attractions include two original Rembrandt paintings as well as works by Bernardo Bellotto, aka Canaletto, court painter to Polish King Stanisław August Poniatowski. Canaletto’s paintings were vital during Warsaw’s post-war reconstruction. - in: http://www.warsawtour.pl/en/warsaw-for-everyone/old-town-and-surroundings-2946.html

Friday, March 20, 2015

LT-425959

Netherlands is already in the past and now its time to think about the next destination. Lithunia is on the top of the list for my trip in september. If I really can travel there, these are two of the churches I'll see in Vilnius. St. Anne's Church (on the left) and Bernardine's Church (on the right). 

Foto: © Antanas Varanka
LT-425959, sent by Ieva. 
Church of Francis from Assisi or Bernardine church is located in Vilnius old-town on the bank of Vilnelė river. Church of Francis from Assisi together with St. Anne’s church makes up a very impressive gothic architecture ensemble.
Once forming part of the city’s original defensive walls and constructed on the site of an earlier wooden church dating from the middle of the 15th century at the behest of an order of Bernadine monks, the current vast Gothic church with Baroque and Renaissance additions dates from the early part of the 16th century onwards. - in: http://www.inyourpocket.com/lithuania/vilnius/sightseeing/churches/Bernardine-Church-and-Monastery_12589v
St. Anne's Church, built between 1495-1500, is a Roman Catholic church in Vilnius' Old Town. It is a prominent example of both Flamboyant Gothic and Brick Gothic styles.

Eurasian Linx - Belarus

These cards are so beautiful, I really like them. I've received the 2nd card in 2013 and the 1st arrived a couple of weeks ago. 

The Eurasian lynx (Lynx lynx) is the biggest of the lynxes. It is native to European and Siberian forests. While its conservation status has been classified as "Least Concern", populations of Eurasian lynx have been reduced or extirpated from western Europe, where it is now being reintroduced.

The Eurasian Lynx is the third largest predator in Europe after the brown bear and the grey wolf. Out of the four lynx species, the Eurasian Lynx is the largest in size. It is a strict carnivore, consuming about one or two kilograms of meat every day. The Eurasian Lynx is one of the widest-ranging, and is found in forests of western Europe, Russia, and Central Asia. - in: wikipedia

Uglich - Russia

Uglich Kremlin is on UNESCO Tentative List and that's why this card on in my favorites wall. The card was sent by Svetalana and it shows the 
Palace of Tsarevich Dmitry and the Resurrection Cathedral of the Resurrection Monastery. 

Uglich is a historical town in Yaroslavl oblast of Russia situated on the Volga river. The town was founded in 937 as a border fortress of Moscovy Principality.
The end of XVI century was memorized as a favorable time for Uglich when it became to be the town where major events in Russian history took place. When Prince Dmitry died, the dynasty of Ryurik was replaced by the dynasty of Romanovs whose members of the family originated from Uglich.
Uglich is one of the most precious towns of the Golden Ring as it has numerous buildings of ancient architecture. Uglich has preserved both historical and cultural traditions of Russia. - in: http://www.taritravel.com/programms/1303218969/1303302572.htm

Both the Palace of Tsarevich Dmitry and the Resurrection Cathedral are located within the territory of the Kremlin.
The palace of Tsarevich Dmitry, Ivan the Terrible's son, is the oldest building in Uglich. The palace dated back to 1480.  It is one of the few medieval Russian palaces that survived. Dmitri lived here from 1584 until 1591. It's an interesting brick building with simple but beautiful decorations. In the past the palace was a part of the ensemble of prince's residence, today the palace is a small museum. - in: http://www.intourist.com/Obj.aspx?id=569920&idr=2&ref=&currency=USD
The Resurrection Monastery is one of the most impressive sights in Uglich. Dating back to 1647, the Monastery is comprised of an enormous cathedral, refectory, belfry, and a summer church, all standing in a single row. - in: http://www.rivercruiseadvisor.com/city-guide/russia-city-guides/uglich-russia/

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Veliky Novgorod - Russia

This is the St. Peter and Paul Church in Kozhevniki, Veliky Novgorod. The card was sent by Tatiana. 

This is a marvellous church which is distinctive for the mature and complete architectural design. It is a fine example of the architecture of the early 15th century.
The church is made of large limestone blocks while its fine decorative elements are made of brick. The building is not plastered, which makes it look like Russian churches used to do centuries ago. Its trefoil arches made of aspen boards and the red colour of unplastered facades provides an amazing colour effect, and thus, the church perfectly harmonizes with the landscape. - in: http://visitnovgorod.com/sights/church_sts_peter_paul_kozhevniki.html

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

RU-3337233


After almost a week travelling in the Netherlands, I'm back. I've already requested a few official cards, sent thank you messages, scanned almost the cards I got in the Netherlands and now is time for some updates. Lets start with russian cards. 

RU-3337233, sent by Nat.
This St. Petersburg card is showing the Admiralty Building, the yellow building in the middle with a gilded sprire, St. Isaac's Cathedral dome in the back and one of Peter and Paul Cathedral's domes in the front.

Saturday, March 7, 2015

US-3230274

Exactly one your ago I was packing and preparing the last details for my trip to London. Exactly one year after London I'm about to travel again and already preparing another trip!! I want to visit my 20th country this year but is possible that I get to visit even 2 more ;) 

Photographers Paul Ratcliffe and John Foster ©
GB-629355, sent by Linda.
Buckingham Palace is the Queen's official London residence and is used to receive and entertain guests on state, ceremonial and official occasions for the Royal Family. The palace was originally built in 1705 for the Duke of Buckingham. - in: http://www.tourist-information-uk.com/buckingham-palace.htm
On the back of the card: HM Queen Elizabeth II and HRH Prince Philip the Duke of Edinburgh at their London home Buckingham Palace with their family, guarded by the Household Division. The Royal Air Force aerobatic team "The Red Arrows" celebrate their 50th anniversary in 2014. The Glass Coach is pictured leaving the Royal Mews. 

Friday, March 6, 2015

DE-3834634

An official from Lüneburg, an attractive and historic town on the River Ilmenau, surrounded by the Lüneburg Heath in the North German state of Lower Saxony. 
Lüneburg is also called the "Salt Town", a reminder of the days when it was the centre of a major salt industry.

© Schöning GmbH & Co. KG
DE-3834634, sent by Daniela.
Lüneburg dates back more than 1,000 years and is without a doubt one of the prettiest towns in northern Germany. Having survived the Second World War unscathed, it has retained its charming medieval character. Lüneburg is also a university town. Its large student population adds to the lively atmosphere and it is thought to have the highest concentration of pubs in the whole of Germany. The town centre is a lovely place to shop. The beautiful and historical gabled houses accommodate all kinds of specialist stores where you can browse to your heart's content. - in: http://www.germany.travel/en/towns-cities-culture/towns-cities/lueneburg.html
On the card there's the Stintmarkt, the fish market, known as the longest pub mile in Lüneburg. In the summer, the many pubs and restaurants of this area transform into large terraces and beer gardens. The fish market is also where visitors can board boats to ride on the Ilmenau river.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

DE-3972687

An austrian card sent as official from Germany. It shows the Steinhof Church in Vienna. 

© Popp-Hackner photography
DE-3972687, sent by Eberhard.
Otto Wagner designed this church, which was built between 1904 and 1907, on the grounds of the Lower Austrian State Asylum, now the Psychatric Hospital of the City of Vienna. 
 The copper-covered dome of this prime example of Viennese Art Nouveau architecture is visible from quite a distance, as the church stands high on the crest of the hill.
The interior design was adjusted to the requirements of the handicapped parishioners attending services here. The glass mosaics in the windows were designed by Kolo Moser. The inside of the church can be seen only once a week in a guided tour. - in: http://www.wien.info/en/sightseeing/sights/from-g-to-k/church-steinhof

St. Peter's Basilica - Vatican

Last month Zé and his wife went on a short trip to Italy. They spent Valentine's Day in Rome, attended a mass celebrated by Pope Francis at the Vatican and even went to see Venice's famous Carnival.  

Servizio Fotografico de L'Osservatore Romano
Saint Peter's Basilica, the world's largest church, is the center of Christianity. The imposing structure was built over a span of more than one hundred years by the greatest Italian architects of the era.
The church is built on Vatican Hill, across the Tiber river from the historic center of Rome. The location is highly symbolic: this was the site where Saint Peter, the chief apostle, died a martyr and where he was buried in 64 AD. St. Peter is considered the first pope, so it made perfect sense for the papacy to build the principal shrine of the Catholic church here. - in: http://www.aviewoncities.com/rome/sanpietro.htm

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Snowy Crans-Montana - Switzerland

 I didn't post much last month and this month I won't post much either because I'll go on holidays next week.  Snowy Crans-Montana won't be my destination but visiting a place with this much of snow would be great. Not this time though. 
These cards were sent by Óscar. 

© Photo Edition Darbellay CH-Martigny
The Plaine Morte is a glacier located at an elevation of 2,750 m (9,020 ft), in the canton of Bern in Switzerland. The ice field, which covers 10 square kilometres (3.9 sq mi), is located below the mountain of Wildstrubel in the Bernese Alps.
The area of Plaine Morte is easily accessible from Crans-Montana by cable car and the practice of cross-country skiing is possible throughout the year. The summit of the Pointe de la Plaine Morte offers impressive views of the Valais Alps. - in: wikipedia

© Photo Edition Darbellay CH-Martigny
Etang Grenon or Lac Grenon is a lake at Montana in the canton of Valais, Switzerland. Located at an elevation of 1497 m, its surface area is 3.5 ha. - in: wikipedia

Monday, March 2, 2015

The Seine & Notre-Dame Cathedral - France

When I get a card similar to other cards that I already have, I mean, cards from the same place but with a different view, I like to post them together. I think is kind of interresting to see how different a place can be in different seasons, from different view points or different hours of the day. 
All these cards were sent as officials and all show the Notre Dame Cathedral seen from the Seine. 

FR-487942, sent by Patricia.
The Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris  is a Gothic cathedral on the eastern half of the Île de la Cité in the fourth arrondissement of Paris, France.
Notre Dame Cathedral is widely considered one of the finest examples of French Gothic architecture in the world. It was restored and saved from destruction by Eugène Viollet-le-Duc, one of France's most famous architects. The name Notre Dame means "Our Lady" in French, and is frequently used in the names of Catholic church buildings in Francophone countries.

Photo: Nicholas Keil
FR-360277, sent by Chris.
The Notre Dame Cathedral was one of the first Gothic cathedrals, and its construction spanned the Gothic period. Its sculptures and stained glass show the heavy influence of naturalism, unlike that of earlier Romanesque architecture.

 Foto: Karel A. DE GENDRE
FR-288619, sent by Cyrille. 
The Notre Dame Cathedral Paris was among the first buildings in the world to use the flying buttress (arched exterior supports). The building was not originally designed to include the flying buttresses around the choir and nave. 

FR-51330, sent by Alexandra.
 After the construction began and the thinner walls (popularized in the Gothic style) grew ever higher, stress fractures began to occur as the walls pushed outward. In response, the cathedral's architects built supports around the outside walls, and later additions continued the pattern.

DE-3953090, sent by Lisa.
The cathedral suffered desecration during the radical phase of the French Revolution in the 1790s, when much of its religious imagery was damaged or destroyed. During the 19th century, an extensive restoration project was completed, returning the cathedral to its previous state. - in: http://www.notredamecathedralparis.com/