Monday, June 29, 2015

Poitiers - France

Poitiers is the capital of the Vienne department and also of the Poitou-Charentes region, in west-central France.  The centre of town is picturesque and its streets include predominant historical architecture, especially religious architecture and especially from the Romanesque period. 
On this card sent by Damien is possible to see a detail of the west facade of Notre-Dame-la-Grande.

Cliché: Pierre Morisan
The Église Notre-Dame-la-Grande in Poitiers is a magnificent Romanesque-Byzantine church from the 11th and 12th centuries.
The west front of Notre-Dame-la-Grande (c.1150), covered in carvings of saints and biblical scenes, is one of the finest Romanesque facades in France.

Sunday, June 28, 2015

ES-357075

A card from Catalonia in Spain, with terraces of volcanic origin in Sant Pau, a village located in the center of the Garrotxa Volcanic Zone Natural Park. 

Foto: E. Salabert
ES-357075, sent by Dany.
The Garrotxa Volcanic Zone Natural Park is a natural park area covering a Holocene volcanic field (also known as the Olot volcanic field) in Catalonia, northeastern Spain. The volcanos, of which there are about forty within the park, are no longer active, with the last eruption (Croscat) occurring about 11,000 years ago. However, the region is still seismically active. - in: wikipedia

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Ronda - Spain

I've posted once two cards of Ronda's bridge and now I'm posting this card sent by Ara with a panoramic view of the city with it's walls. 

Fotografia: A. Murillo
Ronda's extensive walls, were begun by its Moorish rulers in the 13th century, renovated in the 16th by the Christians. The earlier walls were built to keep out, and parts are still being rebuilt in the 21st century. Originally, this feat of medieval engineering wrapped the entire city, and must have made it one of the most securely defended settlements of its time. Even today, with the outer walls fallen (especially to the south, near the Arab baths), only two paths, two gates and one bridge offer routes out of the fortress city. The southerly battlements are large enough to host outdoor summer concerts, and the most impressive section, the westerly puerta del Almocábar, was only reconstructed in its original form in the late 20th century. The Hispanicized name is taken from the Arabic al-Maqabir, cemetery, the function originally served by what today is a leafy square. - in: http://www.andalucia.com/ronda/walls.htm

Friday, June 26, 2015

Belmonte castle - Spain

Not far for my city is located a town called Belmonte and it also has a castle, a bit older that this one in Spain. 
The card was sent by Paulo. 

Built in the 15th-century by the powerful Marquis of Villena, Belmonte is one of the best preserved medieval castles in Spain. It is located in the province of Cuenca, birthplace for some of the oldest Castilian lineages, ninety miles from Madrid.This castle has been the scenery of great historical moments such as battles to conquer the Castilian crown, Royal Lodge to the Catholic Monarchs, Ferdinand and Isabella, or the birth of the renaissance poet Fray Luis de Leon.  It has also been the setting of the film “El Cid“ with Charlton Heston and Sofia Loren as main characters.
The Interiors are dominated by outstanding stucco works of Gothic and Moorish style and a Neo-Gothic courtyard built during the 19th century restoration accomplished by its former owner, The Empress Eugenie, who passed it on to his nephew the Duke of Peñaranda de Duero. - in: http://www.greatness.es/portfolio/castle-of-belmonte/

Spring Meeting - Portugal

The last portuguese Postcrossing meeting took place in the 1st weekend of June in Fundão area. The meeting was called Spring Meeting but it should had been summer meeting because it was too hot.
The postcrossers there were, me; Ninocas, her husband Ricardo and son Duarte; Sofia, her kids Mafalda and Lucas, also postcrossers, her husband Milton and nephew Miguel; Zé Pombal, his wife Teresa, his daughter Lena and her boyfriend João, the newest postcrossers in the meeting; João and Eva; Paula; Edite; Zé Guedes and his wife Isabel, and Vanesa. I think I didn't forget anyone. 

EDIG
This is St. Francisco Chapel in Fundão, built in 1574. 

Mailboxes and cherries may not have much in common but when a Postcrossing meeting takes place in the portuguese capital of cherries, is not so strange that Sofia wanted to creat this card with a picture taken by her nephew Miguel. 

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Romanesque Route - Portugal

These 2 cards sent by Paulo show 2 of the 58 monuments that make up the Romanesque Route in the north of Portugal. The Romanesque Route is in fact divided into three routes that connect to each other by road, following the river valleys: The Sousa Valley Route, with 19 monuments; The Tâmega Valley Route, with 25 monuments; and the Douro Valley route, with 14 monuments.
The route includes monasteries, churches and memorials, bridges, castles and towers that have in common the characteristic Romanesque architecture of this region.

www.rotadoromanico.com
The Romanesque features in the Church of Salvador of Ribas, in Celorico de Basto, were dated as being from the second half of the 13th century or even  from the 14th.

www.rotadoromanico.com
The Church of the Savior of Ferverça, also in Celorico de Basto, has undergone many changes to the centuries long and only retains today, from the Romanesque period, the headboard.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Constância - Portugal

Today my mailbox was empty and yesterday I've only received this card sent by Ninocas, from Constância, a portuguese town in Santarém district. 

The Misericórdia (Mercy) Church is a small Mannerist church built in the 17th century. The interior of the temple is completely covered with tiles panels.
Between 1811 and 1822 was the main church of Constância, as the seat of the parish, the temple of Saint Julian, was destroyed during the Napoleonic wars. Between 1941 and 1960 this temple was closed to worship because of flood damages.

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Porto Covo - Portugal

Another beautiful portuguese cards, this one sent by my penpal Vera. Last month she visited a few towns in this part of the Alentejo region. 

FORWAYS, LDA
Located in the privileged Sudoeste Alentejano and Costa Vicentina Natural Park, the peaceful fishermen village of Porto Covo has been able throughout the years to preserve its entire traditional ambiance that offers such beauty and charm.
Even though it has been every time more famous and called for, presenting nowadays a wide offer of commerce and accommodation, Porto Covo streets dazzle its visitors with its charming white houses.
With the ocean as scenery, Porto Covo delights us with its beautiful landscapes, with gorgeous beaches and the typical Alentejo’s region plain fields. - in: http://www.getportugal.com/en/poi-porto-covo-15141

Three Brothers Beach - Portugal

Summer starts today and this heat invites to go to the beach. In Algarve, southern Portugal, there's plenty of beautiful beaches to choose from. Three Brothers Beach in Alvor is one of them. 
This beautiful card was sent by Margarida who visited and fell in love with this beach last May. 

© Edição Vistal * Foto: N. Kustos
Praia dos Três Irmãos occupies the eastern end of the sandy expanse that flanks Alvor village. Praia dos Três Irmãos literally means “Beach of the Three Brothers” and is so named because of the three tall rock formations that rise from the ground and tower over the sands beneath.
Praia dos Três Irmãos offers plenty of shelter thanks to the interesting rock formations and cliff that hugs the edge of the cove and is extremely picturesque, perfect for lying on a sunbed and simply admiring the beauty of your surroundings. - in: http://www.ezportugal.com/alvor-portugal/things-to-do-alvor/beach-alvor-portugal

Friday, June 19, 2015

Europe Only Quality Travelling Envelope * Group CH5

These are the 3 cards I picked from this travelling envelope, dedicated to churches. The cards are from Austria and Germany. 

Foto: COSY
Salzburg Cathedral is the 17th-century Baroque cathedral of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Salzburg in the city of Salzburg, Austria, dedicated to Saint Rupert and Saint Vergilius. Founded by Saint Rupert in 774 on the remnants of a Roman town, the cathedral was rebuilt in 1181 after a fire. In the seventeenth century, the cathedral was completely rebuilt in the Baroque style under Prince-Bishop Wolf Dietrich Raitenau to its present appearance.
 Salzburg Cathedral still contains the baptismal font in which composer Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart was baptized. - in: wikipedia

 I didn't find much about this church. I only know it is located in Zickhusen, in the state of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, in northern Germany. It's a constrution from 1827. 

I didn't find much information about this church either. It's St. George Church in Nonn.

Thursday, June 18, 2015

US-3417625

When I first saw this card I didn't imagine it would be from USA but it really is. Castello di Amorosa is an authentically-built 13th century tuscan castle and winery near Calistoga, California.  

US-3417624, sent by Emma.
First opening its doors to the public in April 2007, the castle is the pet project of 4th generation vintner, Dario Sattui, who also owns and operates the V. Sattui Winery named after his great-grandfather who originally established a winery in San Francisco in 1885 after emigrating from Italy to California.
The castle interiors, which include 107 rooms on 8 levels above and below ground, cover approximately 121,000 square feet (11,200 m2). Key details and building techniques are architecturally faithful to the 12th and 13th century time period. - in: wikipédia

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Central Park, NY - USA

I love the autumn colors of this card. The card is great and the stamps are great too, all United Nations stamps with United Nations postmarks. Thanks "wayness". 
On the back of the card: Central Park covers 843 acres in the center of Manhattan and features many beautiful bridges, lakes and ponds. 

www.manhattanpostcards.com
Central Park is an urban manmade park initially opened in 1857. Next year the landscapers and architects, Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux, won a design competition to improve and expand the park. Construction began the same year, continued during the American Civil War further south, and was completed in 1873.
Central Park not only is the 1st public park built in America, but it is also the most visited urban park in the US, with over 25 million visitors per year and one of the most filmed locations in the world. 
There's plenty to see and do in Central Park. Sport facilities can be found all over the park but most of the interresting sights are found in the lower half of the park. You'll come across with historical buildings, statues, 50 fountains, 36 bridges and arches, monuments and of course plenty of nature. 

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Grand Teton National Park - USA

Grand Teton National Park is a United States National Park in northwestern Wyoming. At approximately 310,000 acres (480 sq mi; 130,000 ha; 1,300 km2), the park includes the major peaks of the 40-mile-long (64 km) Teton Range as well as most of the northern sections of the valley known as Jackson Hole. - in: wikipedia

 Photographer: Jonathan Mortensen
US-3335299, sent by Lori.
On the back of the card: Geologic forces shaped this landscape. About nine million years ago, the Teton Range began to rise and the floor of Jackson Hole started to subside. A series of deep cracks called fault zones separated the mountain block of the earth crust from the valley block. With each episode of ancient earthquakes, the mountain block would rise and the valley block would sink. Occasional earthquakes remind us that mountain building continues. 

Grand Teton National Park is named for Grand Teton, the tallest mountain in the Teton Range. The naming of the mountains is attributed to early 19th-century French-speaking trappers—les trois tétons (the three teats) was later anglicized and shortened to Tetons.
Grand Teton National Park is an almost pristine ecosystem and the same species of flora and fauna that have existed since prehistoric times can still be found there. More than 1,000 species of vascular plants, dozens of species of mammals, 300 species of birds, more than a dozen fish species and a few species of reptiles and amphibians exist. Due to various changes in the ecosystem, some of them human-induced, efforts have been made to provide enhanced protection to some species of native fish and the increasingly threatened whitebark pine. - in: wikipedia
Card sent by Heidi. 

San Cristóbal de Las Casas - Mexico

This is probably the most colorful church I've ever seen and it looks great!! The Cathedral of San Cristóbal Martir is the most representative monument of San Cristóbal de Las Casas, in the mexican state of Chiapas. 
The card was sent by Nan. 

The construction of the cathedral began in 1528. The original building underwent some changes and was rebuilt in the 17th century. Its facade dating from the 18th century in baroque style, decorated with plant motifs made of mortar. 
The interior contains interesting pieces of art such as the pulpit, from the 16th century, the altar of the Kings, two beautiful altarpieces of Solomonic Baroque style and beautiful paintings with religious themes.

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Luis Barragán House - Mexico

This month the UNESCO I'll add new sites to the World Heritage List. I'm looking forward to know which sites will be added this year and hoping to have some of them. 
Luis Barragán House was added in 2004 and I got this card last April. It was a nice surprise from Óscar. 

www.casabarragan.org
Built in 1948, the House and Studio of architect Luis Barragán in the suburbs of Mexico City represents an outstanding example of the architect’s creative work in the post-Second World War period. The concrete building, totalling 1,161 m2, consists of a ground floor and two upper storeys, as well as a small private garden. Barragán’s work integrated modern and traditional artistic and vernacular currents and elements into a new synthesis, which has been greatly influential, especially in the contemporary design of gardens, plazas and landscapes. - in: http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/1136

Yojoa Lake & Bay Islands - Honduras

The last 2 cards sent by Wilmer. 

Foto: Juan Bendeck
Lake Yojoa is the largest lake in Honduras with a surface area of 79 square kilometers (30.50 mi²) and an average depth of 15 meters (50 ft). At an altitude of 700 meters (2,300 ft), it lies in a depression formed by volcanoes. The Lake Yojoa volcanic field consists of Pleistocene to Holocene scoria cones, craters, and lava flows.
Lake Yojoa is a popular fishing destination and the surrounding area has a rich biodiversity, almost 400 species of birds and 800 plant species have been identified in the region. - in: wikipedia

Spectacular diving and snorkeling draws visitors from around the world to the three Bay Islands (Islas de la Bahía) – Roatán, Utila and Guanaja – between 25 and 50km off the north coast of Honduras. Their reefs are part of the second-largest barrier reef in the world, and teem with fish, coral, sponges, rays, sea turtles and even whale sharks. - in: http://www.lonelyplanet.com/honduras/bay-islands

Friday, June 12, 2015

Comayagua - Honduras

This is another card sent by Wilmer. 
Comayagua is a city in Honduras, some 50 miles (80 km) northwest of Tegucigalpa. 
The city is noted for its wealth of Spanish Colonial architecture. The central square has a cathedral with the oldest clock in the Americas.

Foto: Juan Bendeck
The Cathedral of Comayagua, built in the 18th century. The clock was built 914 years ago and most impressive of all, is still working. This clock, built by the Arabs in the year 1100, followed the road of the Spanish explorers, crossing the Atlantic Ocean to finally stop in Comayagua almost 400 years ago.

Copan - Honduras

The Maya Site of Copán is my 1st  and only UNESCO WHS from Honduras. It was classified in 1980. In 2013 Stefanie sent me my 1st card from this site and now, 2 weeks ago, Wilmer sent me 4 cards and 1 one them is from this site. 

Foto: Juan Bendeck
Copán is an archaeological site of the Maya civilization located in the Copán Department of western Honduras, not far from the border with Guatemala. It was the capital city of a major Classic period kingdom from the 5th to 9th centuries AD. 
The Copán site is known for a series of portrait stelae, most of which were placed along processional ways in the central plaza of the city and the adjoining acropolis, a large complex of overlapping step-pyramids, plazas, and palaces. 

Fotos: Juan Bendeck
The Copán buildings suffered significantly from forces of nature in the centuries between the site's abandonment and the rediscovery of the ruins. After the abandonment of the city the Copán River gradually changed course, with a meander destroying the eastern portion of the acropolis and apparently washing away various subsidiary architectural groups. - in: wikipedia

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Caxinguelê - Brazil

Caxinguelê is a brazilian word for this squirrel. Depending on the region, it can have different names. 
This is the last brazilian card for now and the last of the 8 cards Sílvia sent me. 

Rudolpho Machado Fotografia
The Brazilian squirrel (or Guianan squirrel) (Sciurus aestuans) is a tree squirrel in the genus Sciurus endemic to South America. It is found in North-eastern Argentina, Brazil, Guyana, French Guiana, Suriname and Venezuela.
It is a dark brown squirrel that feeds mainly on fruits and nuts, but can also prey on eggs and the young of birds. - in: wikipedia

Presidente Prudente - Brazil

When I was about to run out of brazilian cards to post here, I get a new one. Anthony found out that there's a city in Portugal called as his surname, Almeida and he was looking for cards for there. I'm Almeida too, the city is located in my district and I've recently got a few cards from there. I've sent him a card with Almeida's Fortress and he sent me this one with the Matarazzo Cultural Center in Presidente Prudente, a city in São Paulo state. 

www.paulomiguelfotografia.com
The old space previously used for processing cotton in its golden phase of production, was carefully analyzed and architecturally appropriate environments to receive several functions simultaneously and for different audiences. It has libraries, exhibition halls, craft workshops, art academies, rooms for teaching and performing music, and ample space, reserved for digital inclusion, provided with computers and their instructors. - in: http://en.wikivoyage.org/wiki/Presidente_Prudente

Monday, June 8, 2015

Reis Magos Fort - Brazil

Lets continue with one more card from Brazil. This one is from Brazil and it was sent by Luzia.

Foto: Edson C. Delgado
Natal was named after the Portuguese word for Christmas, as it was established on December 25, 1599. 
Natal starts its history with the construction of Reis Magos Fortress (The Magi Fortress) by the Portuguese in 1598. In 1633 the fortress was taken by the Dutch and the city is renamed New Amsterdam, name that remained up to 1654, when the Portuguese got it back. - in: http://hep.if.usp.br/WIN13/second-bulletin.html

Sunday, June 7, 2015

Salvador da Bahía - Brazil

More brazilian cards, all from Salvador da Bahía and sent by Sílvia and Déa.

 Pau Brasilis - Photo by Christian Fehr
St. Anthony Lighthouse, better known as Barra Lighthouse is considered the oldest lighthouse in the Americas. Its construction was completed in 1698. It is part of the architectural ensemble of the military complex of  St. Anthony Fort, which also houses the Nautical Museum.
It opened to the public in May 2011.

Pau Brasilis - Photo by Christian Fehr
The Bonfim Church may not be the prettiest churche in Salvador but it is certainly the most famous. It was built between 1746 and 1754 in neoclassical style with a rococo façade, following the model of Portuguese churches of the 18th and 19th centuries, with beautiful frescoes and tiles. The purpose of the construction of the church was sheltering the image of Our Lord Bonfim, brought from Lisbon in 1745.
Inn the churchyard hundreds of colorful ribbons are tied to the wrought-iron railings. The Bonfim ribbons were created in the early 19th century and have the measure of the right arm's length to the chest of Our Lord Bonfim image. Initially the ribbon was worn on the neck as a necklace, which hung medals and prayer cards. Nowadays is used  on the wrist.

Pau Brasilis - Photo by Christian Fehr
Considered the second biggest popular manifestation and the main religious event in Bahia, Bonfim’s Festival takes place on the second Thursday after Epiphany, celebrated on January 6th. “Baianas” wearing typical outfits start the ritual, carrying vases with water and perfume to wash the stairway and the parvis of the church.
The cortege leaves Nossa Senhora da Conceição da Praia Church towards Bonfim, an eight-kilometer walk. Thousands of people participate in the celebration, all dressed in white to honor Oxalá, a deity that represents Our Lord of Bonfim in Candomblé (African religion). While the “baianas” wash the stairway with water and perfume,  believers sing the hymn of Our Lord of Bonfim.
The celebration started in 1754, when the image of the Crucified Lord – brought by the Portuguese captain Teodósio Rodrigues in 1745 – was transferred from Penha Church, in Itapagipe, to its own church, at the Colina Sagrada (Sacred Hill). - in: http://bahia.com.br/en/viverbahia/festivals/bonfims-festival/

Monday, June 1, 2015

São Miguel das Missões - Brazil

 Look how beautiful these cards are!! Back in 2012 I didn't have any cards from this brazilian UNESCO site but than Jussely surprised me with my 1st card from there, the bottom one in this post. A few days ago, I've got a 2nd card, this one, also a surprise, but sent by Déa. Both cards are great.
São Miguel das Missões, together with other Jesuit Missions of the Guaranisin Argentina, is an Unesco World Heritage Site since 1983.

Photo by Paulo Rogério Magro
São Miguel das Missões (Portuguese for St. Michael of the Missions) is a Unesco World Heritage site located in the small town of São Miguel das Missões in the northwestern region of Rio Grande do Sul. It was one of the many Spanish Jesuit Reductions in Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and Bolivia. 

Photo by Paulo Rogério Magro
Jesuit missionaries founded the mission in the 18th century in part to catechise the Guaraní Indian population and to protect the natives from the Portuguese slave traders known as the Bandeirantes.
The mission was built between 1735 to around 1745. - in: wikipedia