Thursday, September 29, 2016

Helsinki International Meeting

Look at this beautiful card, it was designed for the international meeting that took place in Helsinki last month. The postmark is also very special, created especially for that meeting. Great, isn't it?
Kati sent me the card and it was signed by many, many postcrossers. 

Evening scenery of Uspenski Orthodox Cathedral Church in Katajanokka district of the Old Town in Helsinki. 

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Stockholm - Sweden

Last month my penpal Gemma went on holidays to Sweden. She visited many places and of course, she has also been to the swedish capital.
This is a view of Strandvägen, one of the most pleasant boulevards in the city.

www.paperbox.se
Strandvägen is a boulevard created that was created in the second half of the nineteenth century in Stockholm's Östermalm district. The boulevard, which looks out over the water, is lined with grand, almost palatial buildings that were designed by some of the top architects of that time.
Strandvägen ('beach road') has a length of 1200 meters (0.75 mi) and runs east from Nybroplan to the Djurgården Bridge. - in: http://www.aviewoncities.com/stockholm/strandvagen.htm

Craggaunowen Castle - Ireland

Back to the castles, this one from Ireland.
The card was sent by Aerling. 

Photo: P. O'Toole, John Hinde Studios
Craggaunowen is a 16th-century restored castle and an archaeological open-air museum in County Clare, Ireland.
On the back of the card: It contains part of the Hunt Collection of medieval art objects. In the grounds of the castle is a reconstructed Crannóg - a Bronze Age lake dwelling and a ring fort - a reconstruction of a farmer's house of the 4th century. Archaeological data from many sources were used in the construction of these exhibits. 

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Giant's Causeway - Northern Ireland

The Giant's Causeway is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Northern Ireland. It was classified as UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1986, and a national nature reserve declared by the Department of the Environment for Northern Ireland in 1987.
Heidi visited this site last June and sent me a card with a matching stamp. The 2nd card was sent 6 years ago by Morag. 

 © Art Ward
 The Giant’s Causeway and Causeway Coast is a spectacular area of global geological importance on the sea coast at the edge of the Antrim plateau in Northern Ireland. The most characteristic and unique feature of the site is the exposure of some 40,000 large, regularly shaped polygonal columns of basalt in perfect horizontal sections, forming a pavement. This dramatic sight has inspired legends of giants striding over the sea to Scotland. Celebrated in the arts and in science, it has been a visitor attraction for at least 300 years and has come to be regarded as a symbol for Northern Ireland.

The property’s accessible array of curious geological exposures and polygonal columnar formations formed around 60 million years ago make it a ‘classic locality’ for the study of basaltic volcanism. The features of the Giant’s Causeway and Causeway Coast site and in particular the strata exposed in the cliff faces, have been key to shaping the understanding of the sequences of activity in the Earth’s geological history. - in: http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/369

Sunday, September 11, 2016

Westminster Abbey - UK

Four different cards for the very same abbey, the world famous Westminster Abbey.  
The 1st of these 4 cards is an american official card, the 2nd was sent a few weeks ago by Lurdes and the last 2 cards were bought by me. 

 Jarrold Publishing, Norwich
 US-3230274, sent by Manfred.
Westminster Abbey, located near the Houses of Parliament, is more a historical site than a religious site. Since 1066 every royal coronation, with the exception of Edward V and Edward VIII, has taken place in this church.
On the back of the card: the choir; the west front; window in the Royal Air Force Chapel; angels in the Henry VII Chapel; the south face of the abbey; the grave of the Unknown Warrior.  

 © J. Salmon LTD
The abbey also serves as the burial ground for numerous politicians, sovereigns and artists. The abbey is stuffed with tombs, statues and monuments. Many coffins even stand upright due to the lack of space. In total approximately 3300 people are buried in the church and cloisters. Some of the most famous are Charles Darwin, Sir Isaac Newton and David Livingstone.

A church stood here already in the eight century but the history of the current abbey starts in 1050, when King Edward The Confessor decided to build a monastery. Only a small part of this Norman monastery, consecrated in 1065, survived. 

Most of the present building dates from 1245 to 1272 when Henry III decided to rebuild the abbey in the Gothic style. The building was later significantly expanded: the Chapel of Henry VII was added between 1503 and 1512, while the two West Front Towers date from 1745. The youngest part of the abbey is the North entrance, completed in the nineteenth century. - in: http://www.aviewoncities.com/london/westminsterabbey.htm

Anglesey - Wales

Not so long ago, Laerke went on holidays to Anglesey island, a place I've never heard about before.
These are some of the bays on the island, Bull Bay, Trearddur Bay, Red Wharf Bay, Cemaes Bay and Benllech Bay. 

© J. Salmon LTD
Anglesey or Ynys Môn  is an island off the north-west coast of Wales. With an area of 276 square miles (715 km2), Anglesey is by far the largest island of Wales and the fifth-largest island surrounding Great Britain (and the largest outside Scotland). Anglesey is also the largest island in the Irish Sea by area, and the second most populous island in the Irish Sea (after the Isle of Man). The population at the 2011 census was 69,751. Two bridges span the Menai Strait, connecting the island to the mainland: the Menai Suspension Bridge, designed by Thomas Telford in 1826, and the Britannia Bridge.
Almost three-quarters of Anglesey's inhabitants are Welsh speakers and Ynys Môn, the Welsh name for the island, is used for the UK Parliament and National Assembly constituencies. - in: wikipedia

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Chepstow Castle - Wales

Castles, all kind of castles, from all over the world are welcome and highly appreciated in my collection.
This one is from Wales and it was sent by Jason.

© J. Salmon LTD
Chepstow Castle is the oldest surviving post-Roman stone fortification in Britain. Located above cliffs on the River Wye, construction began in 1067 under the instruction of the Norman Lord William fitzOsbern. Originally known as Striguil, it was the southernmost of a chain of castles built in the Welsh Marches, and with its attached lordship took the name of the adjoining market town in about the 14th century.
In the 12th century the castle was used in the conquest of Gwent, the first independent Welsh kingdom to be conquered by the Normans. It was subsequently held by two of the most powerful Anglo-Norman magnates of medieval England, William Marshal and Richard de Clare. However, by the 16th century its military importance had waned and parts of its structure were converted into domestic ranges. Although re-garrisoned during and after the English Civil War, by the 1700s it had fallen into decay. With the later growth of tourism, the castle became a popular visitor destination. - in: wikipedia

Antwerpen's Cathedral - Belgium

Antwerpen's Cathedral is one of the most impressive cathedrals I've ever seen. 
I've been to this belgium city almost 5 years ago and Raquel has been there last month for another Postcrossing meeting. She sent me the 1st of these cards, the 2nd is an official and the 3rd was bought by me. 

Built between 1352 and 1521 as one of the world's tallest buildings, Antwerp's majestic cathedral still dominates the city's skyline. Inside are magnificent canvases painted by Rubens.
The Onze Lieve Vrouwe Kathedraal (Cathedral of our Lady) is a masterpiece of lace work in stone.

© Belgium Heritage
Begun in 1352, it is one of the finest gothic buildings in Europe. The church, which became a cathedral in 1559 replaced a Romanesque church built in the twelfth century. The last vestiges of that church were demolished in 1481. 
The overall design of the Antwerp Cathedral is attributed to Jean Appelmans, also known as Jean Amel de Boulogne, although the construction was most likely headed by De Waghemakere. A nineteenth-century monument at the base of the southern spire commemorates the architect. 
The choir and nave were built first between 1352 and 1411. The west front was built later, between 1422 and 1474.

 © Verlag & Design Simon Sauer
BE-163211, sent by Hildegarde.
The last part, the tower, was finished in 1518. Of the two planned towers, only the northern was finished. The octagonal portion of the tower, constructed between 1501 and 1507 was designed by Herman de Waghemakere. Inside the tower is a carillon with forty-seven bells. The actual spire was built by Domien de Waghemakere, Antoon Keldermans II, and Rombout Keldermans between 1508 and 1518. 

 The cathedral was the tallest structure in the Low Countries for several centuries. Even now, the 123 meter (405ft) tall spire reigns over the city. Partly due to height restrictions in Antwerp, it is still the tallest building in the city. As an example of the aspirations of Antwerp in its golden age, Emperor Charles V laid the first stone of a significant extension, three times the size of the current one, which would make it the largest building on earth. Water damage resulting from a severe fire in the nave in 1533, which destroyed the ceiling and the Gothic furniture, prevented the construction of this megalomaniac project. - in: http://www.aviewoncities.com/antwerp/cathedral.htm

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Belvedere Palace - Austria

Damien travels a lot and the last card I got from him was sent by Vienna. I've other cards from there but this is the 1sy one with the Belvedere Palace.

Prince Eugene of Savoy (1663-1736), an accomplished general and art connoisseur, built the Belvedere garden palace as his summer residence.  Today, the Belvedere is located in Vienna’s fourth district, but at the time of its construction, the location was still outside of the city gates. The Belvedere is one of the most important Baroque buildings in Austria. It actually consists of two palaces (Upper and Lower Belvedere) and a stunning baroque garden in between. From the upper Belvedere, you can enjoy stunning views of Vienna’s first district, which give the palace its name. Over the centuries, the palace complex has been home to many important personalities in Austria’s history. Today it houses Austrian art from the Middle Ages to the present day.

The Upper Belvedere features the world's largest Klimt collection, with the golden paintings "The Kiss" and "Judith" as the highlights. Masterpieces by Schiele and Kokoschka, as well as works of French Impressionism and the Vienna Biedermeier era round out the exhibition. Prince Eugene’s apartments and staterooms are located at the Lower Belvedere. 
The Belvedere was Prince Eugene’s summer home, but during the cold season, he chose to reside at his Winter Palace in town. In October 2013, which marked Prince Eugene’s 350th birthday, the state rooms in his winter residence have been assigned a new use and were officially opened as fourth exhibition venue of the Belvedere. The beautiful Baroque interiors now showcase the collections of the Belvedere as well as contemporary works of national and international artists. And last but not least, the iconic 21er Haus just steps away from the Upper Belvedere shows Austrian contemporary art. - in: http://www.austria.info/us/austria/1000-years-of-imperial-history/the-belvedere-vienna

Sunday, September 4, 2016

DE-5360495 & DE-5193807

I didn't get any official cards in these last weeks, to me more precise, the last official that I got arrived in July. I haven't sent many offcials either, right now I've 3 cards travelling.

DE-5360495, sent by Marcel.
Neuss is a city in North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany. It is located on the west bank of the Rhine opposing Düsseldorf. Neuss is the largest city within the Rhein-Kreis Neuss district. It is primarily known for its historic Roman sites, as well as the annual Neusser Bürger-Schützenfest. In 1984 Neuss celebrated 2000 years since its foundation. It therefore holds the title of "Germany's oldest city" alongside the city of Trier. - in: wikipedia

© Schöning GmbH & Co. KG
DE-5193807, sent by Antje.
The Edersee is an 11.8 km² reservoir in Waldeck-Frankenberg, Hesse, Germany with 199.3 million m³ of storage space. It has the 2nd largest area, and the 3rd largest volume, of all reservoirs in Germany. It is located on the Fulda Tributary of Eder behind the 48m high Edersee Dam. - in: wikipedia

Wiesbaden - Germany

Some time again Claus resent me (twice) cards that got lost in the mail. One of the card was a UNESCO site from Saudi Arabia and the other one is this one from Wiesbaden, a city in central western Germany and the capital of the federal state of Hesse. 
 Wiesbaden is one of the oldest spa towns in Europe and is on the UNESCO Tentative list as one of the Great Spas of Europe.

© Schöning GmbH & Co. KG
Lined with magnificent neoclassical buildings that were rebuilt after WWII, the state capital of Hesse, 40km west of Frankfurt across the Rhine from Mainz, is one of Europe's oldest spa towns, with 14 hot springs still flowing today.
Wiesbaden's name translates as 'meadow baths', reflecting both its thermal baths and its beautiful expanses of parkland. The city lies at the eastern edge of the Rheingau wine-growing region, which stretches along the right (northern) bank of the Rhine west to the Rüdesheim area of the Romantic Rhine. - in: http://www.lonelyplanet.com/germany/hesse/wiesbaden/introduction

Saturday, September 3, 2016

Mainz Cathedral - Germany

Another beautiful german cathedral, this one in Mainz. 
The card was sent by Anja. 

© Schöning GmbH & Co. KG
In the center of Mainz stands Mainzer Dom, the spectacular six-towered catholic Cathedral of St. Martin and St. Stephen, ranking along with the cathedrals of Speyer and Worms as one of the supreme achievements of Romanesque religious architecture on the Upper Rhine. While the cathedral was started in 975 AD, most of the building dates from the 11th to the 13th centuries. Highlights include the many tombs and monuments of once powerful princes and archbishops, as well as many centuries-old religious artworks. - in: http://www.planetware.com/tourist-attractions-/mainz-d-rh-mai.htm

Trier's Cathedral - Germany

Last May Raquel has been to Trier to attend a Postcrossing meeting. Raquel is probably one of the postcrossers who sent me more postcards from PC meetings. I already had postcards from Trier but not with the cathedral. 
The High Cathedral of Saint Peter is the largest church structure in Trier. In 1986 it was listed as part of the Roman Monuments, Cathedral of St. Peter and Church of Our Lady in Trier UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Foto: RV-Archiv S.
Trier Cathedral, the oldest bishop’s church in Germany, stands today in Trier’s center above a former palace from the era of the Roman Emperor Constantine the Great. The palace complex was supplanted in the 4th century by the largest Christian church complex from ancient times. It consisted of four basilicas joined by a large baptistry; the complex covered an area extending to the present Main Market. Tours under the building of the Cathedral Information show the remains of the first Early Christian assembly room north of the Alps from the late 3rd century and the remains of the first basilica.
Today's Cathedral still contains a Roman central section with the original walls rising up to a height of 26 m (86 ft). The huge fragment of a granite column next to the entrance to the Cathedral is another indication of the Roman origin of the building. After destructions in the 5th and 9th centuries, the remaining nucleus was enlarged by Romanesque additions - today, the Cathedral, with its three crypts, its cloister, Cathedral Treasury, and Holy Robe Chapel, displays architecture and artwork from more than 1650 years. - in: http://www.trier-info.de/english/cathedral-info

Semperoper, Dresden - Germany

This magnificent building is Semperoper, an opera house in the historic old city of Dresden. 
The card was in my favs wall and it was sent by Ina. 

Foto: Helmut Brück
The original building opened its doors in 1841, constructed to a design by Gottfried Semper which combined a late Classical style with Renaissance elements. Following a devastating fire in 1869, the citizens of Dresden immediately set about rebuilding their beloved opera house. This was completed in 1878, also to a design by Semper. In 1945, during the final months of World War II, the Semperoper was once again razed to the ground. After a second reconstruction was successfully completed in 1985, the reopening of one of Europe’s most beautiful opera houses was celebrated with a performance of Carl Maria von Weber’s »Freischütz«. The 25th anniversary of this third opera house was on 13 February 2010.
The dazzling interiors were painstakingly reconstructed by local craftsmen and artists according to original plans, whilst the stage machinery and technical fittings in the auditorium are state-of-the-art. A modern annex was added to house the administrative offices and rehearsal rooms. Internationally renowned for its brilliant acoustics and incomparable performances, audiences from around the world continue to flock here to enjoy a unique evening in the Semperoper Dresden. - in: https://www.semperoper.de/en/your-visit/history-of-the-semperoper.html#28832-1