Sunday, December 31, 2017

Kudle Beach - India

Last post of 2017. When it comes to cards, this year was better than 2016 and I hope 2018 will be even better, for me and for all my postcards collector friends. 
Aparna is a new friend and this is the 2nd card I got from her. Kudle Beach is a beach she has recently been to. This is one of the many beaches of Gokarna, small temple town on the western coast of India in the state of Karnataka.

The beach is a paradise for those who love peace and quietude while they travel. A complete recluse, this beach offers the most silent and serene atmosphere to enjoy a sunset, a walk along the shore or simply to sit and observe the never-ceasing tides. Many local people prefer this beach for a morning or evening walk or practising yoga, as the Kudle beach is not invaded by large groups of tourists and as a result, has very little crowd and quite noiseless.
The beach is usually deserted, except for the peak months from November to February, when it is populated by foreign travellers and backpackers. They choose the Kudle beach for the solitude and privacy. The sea is calm and safe enough to have a bath or simply for wetting your feet at the shoreline,but it is always better to be careful. Hiding behind a hillock, this mesmerising beach is a safe haven for sea lovers who want to observe and enjoy the vastness in front rather than be a part of a frolicking crowd. - in: https://www.holidify.com/places/gokarna/kudle-beach-sightseeing-1886.html

Historic City of Ahmadabad - India

India adds new sites to the UNESCO WHS list almost every year and 2017 was no exception. The Historic City of Ahmadabad was the site added this year. The card was sent by Shrish.

When it comes to monuments in Ahmadabad, Bhadra fort is one name that indeed deserves a special mention. Constructed in the year 1411 A.D. during the rule of Marathas, it was established by Sultan Ahmad Shah, the founder of Ahmedabad city. - in: http://www.ahmedabad.org.uk/monuments/bhadra-fort.html

The walled city of Ahmadabad, founded by Sultan Ahmad Shah in the 15th century, on the eastern bank of the Sabarmati river, presents a rich architectural heritage from the sultanate period, notably the Bhadra citadel, the walls and gates of the Fort city and numerous mosques and tombs as well as important Hindu and Jain temples of later periods. The urban fabric is made up of densely-packed traditional houses (pols) in gated traditional streets (puras) with characteristic features such as bird feeders, public wells and religious institutions. The city continued to flourish as the capital of the State of Gujarat for six centuries, up to the present. - in: http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/1551

Thursday, December 28, 2017

Sibenik's Cathedral - Croatia

When I finally decide to visit Croatia again, I want to travel along the Adriatic coast and visit a few towns along the way. Sibenik is one of those towns. One of the main sights in Šibenik is the Cathedral of St. James, classified as UNESCO World Heritage Site. 
Sunny and Mirna sent me these cards. 

Photo by A. Carli
Sibenik's Cathedral of St James is the largest and most beautiful building of the transitional Gothic-Renaissance period in Dalmatia. Named a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2000, the Cathedral reflects influences of Northern Italy, Tuscany Dalmatia which combined to solve the considerable technical, structural and artistic challenges in building a vaulted church entirely in stone.  No bricks or timber were used in the church's construction.

The building was begun by local and Venetian builders in 1431 but when, after ten years, their work hadn't progressed very far, the great Dalmatian master-builder, Juraj Dalmatinac (who also designed Pag Town) took over. He devoted most of his life to the cathedral before passing away in 1473. He worked predominantly in the Gothic Flamboyant style but many sculptural works (such as the exterior frieze of 71 sculpted heads) already show Renaissance elements.  He gave the cathedral its basic monumental plan such as the transept, domes, sacristy and baptistery. After his death, the work was taken over by Nikola Firentinac who introduced the elements of the Tuscan Renaissance. The cathedral was finally completed in 1536. - in: https://www.croatiatraveller.com/Heritage_Sites/CathedralSibenik.htm

Zagreb's Cathedral - Croatia

Exactly 11 years ago I was in Zagreb and spent a few nice days there. Can't wait to visit the city again. 
Zagreb was one of Lina's last trips, she sent the 1st card and Nives sent the 2nd 4 years ago.

Zagreb Cathedral of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary is a Zagreb landmark. As a matter of fact, it is the most monumental sacral building in Neo-Gothic style southeast of the Alps.
The cathedral is typically Gothic, as is its sacristy, which is of great architectural value. Its spires can be seen from many locations in the city. 

Tisak MORE
Construction on the cathedral started in 1093, but the building was destroyed by the Tatars in 1242. At the end of the 15th century, the Ottoman Empire invaded Bosnia and Croatia, triggering the construction of fortification walls around the cathedral, some of which are still intact. In the 17th century, a fortified renaissance watchtower was erected on the south side, and was used as a military observation point, because of the Ottoman threat.

www.atlasax.net
The cathedral was severely damaged in the 1880 Zagreb earthquake. The main nave collapsed and the tower was damaged beyond repair. The restoration of the cathedral in the Neo-Gothic style was led by Hermann Bollé, bringing the cathedral to its present form. As part of that restoration, two spires 108 m (354 ft) high were raised on the western side, both of which are now in the process of being restored as part of an extensive general restoration of the cathedral.
The cathedral is depicted on the reverse of the Croatian 1000 kuna banknote issued in 1993.
When facing the portal, the building is 46 meters wide and 108 meters high. - in: wikipedia

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

SK-123808

In 11 years of Postcrossing this is only my 3rd official card from Slovakia. 

Foto: Blazej Babik
SK-123808, sent by Peter.
Images on the card: High Tatras, a mountain range along the border of  Slovakia and Poland; Bratislava with the castle; St. Elizabeth Cathedral in Kosice and St. Emmeram's Church in Nitra's castle. 

Favs from Ukraine

New castles, palaces, forts and fortresses are always welcome in my collection. Mukachevo Castle and Khotyn Fortress are both located in Ukraine and the cards were sent by Olena and Julija. 

Mukachevo castle is a valuable military-architectural monument of Ukraine. The castle was erected at the crossroads of ancient trade and military routes that led from Poddunaysky land to Kievan Rus, and from salt mines of Semigradiye to the Czech Republic, Moravia and Poland.
The purpose of building the castle was to protect and control the trade routes. The exact date of construction is unknown.
Improvement and reconstruction of the castle dates back to the reign of Podolsky Prince Fyodor Koryatovich. During the years of his reign in Mukachevo (1396-1414), he managed to turn a small castle into a strong fortification, and made it his residence.
After the death of Fyodor Koryatovich, the castle belonged to numerous owners.
In 1633, the castle was bought by Transylvanian Prince Dierd I Rakoczi. With the help of two French engineers, reconstruction of the old castle began. A lot of improvements were added during all 78 years of the dynasty of Rakoczi.
For centuries, the walls of the castle were under sieges of numerous conquerors. But only a few of them could capture it. The fortress survived several sieges. One of them and the most memorable lasted almost two and a half years - from the summer of 1685 until the winter of 1688.
In July 24, 1711, after the defeat of Ferenc II Rakoczi, the castle again passed into the treasury of the Austrian Emperor. In the 18th century, the castle lost its military significance and, in 1789, it was turned into a prison for political prisoners.
In May 2, 1848, insurgent people seized the castle and freed the prisoners. In 1897, the prison was abolished. The castle was abandoned for a long time. In 1922-1926, it was partially renovated and was used as military barracks.
In Soviet times, Mukachevo castle became a museum.
Today, it is one of the main sights in Zakarpattia region of Ukraine. - in: http://ukrainetrek.com/mukachevo-city/castle_palanok

The Khotyn Fortress is a fortification complex located on the right bank of the Dniester River in Khotyn, Chernivtsi Oblast (province) of western Ukraine. It is situated on a territory of the historical northern Bessarabia region which was split in 1940 between Ukraine and Moldova. The fortress is also located in a close proximity to another famous defensive structure, the Old Kam'yanets Castle of Kamianets-Podilskyi.
Construction on the current Khotyn fortress was started in 1325, while major improvements were made in the 1380s and in the 1460s.
The fortress is a large tourist attraction for the area and Ukraine. In 2007, the fortress was named one of the Seven Wonders of Ukraine. It is also a National Ukrainian Architectural Preserve as of 2000. - in: wikipedia

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Church of the Savior on Spilled Blood - St. Petersburg

St. Petersburg is one of those cities that I really, really want to visit. I can imagine myself taking hundreds of pictures of all those beautiful buildings, churches and palaces. The Church of the Savior on Spilled Blood is the monument I want to see the most. To see it on a snowy day would be wonderful. 
All these gorgeous cards were sent by Angela, Mia, Alena and Ara. 

The Church of the Savior on Spilled Blood is one of the main Russian Orthodox cathedrals of St. Petersburg.
The church is also variously known as the Church of Our Savior on Blood and the Church of the Resurrection of Jesus Christ, its official name. The "blood" of the common name refers to that of Tsar Alexander II, who was killed on that site on March 13, 1881, as well as that of the crucified Jesus.

Construction began in 1883 under Alexander III, as a memorial to his father. Work progressed slowly and was finally completed during the reign of Nicholas II in 1907.
Funding was provided by the Royal family with the support of many private investors. The church's construction ran well over budget, having been estimated at 3.6 million roubles but ending up costing over 4.6 million.
In the aftermath of the Revolution, the church was ransacked and looted, badly damaging its interior. The Soviet government closed the church in the early 1930s.
During World War II, the church was used as a warehouse for vegetables, leading to the sardonic name of "Savior on Potatoes." It suffered significant damage during the Siege of Leningrad and after the war, it was used as a warehouse for a nearby opera theatre.

In July 1970, management of the church passed to Saint Isaac's Cathedral (then used as a highly profitable museum) and proceeds from the cathedral were ploughed back into restoring the church.
It was reopened in August 1997, after 27 years of restoration, but has not been resanctified and does not function as a full-time place of worship. The church is now one of the main tourist attractions of St. Petersburg.

The church is prominently situated along the Griboedov Canal. The section of street where the assassination took place was enclosed within the walls of the church, and part of the canal filled to allow the street to pass around the building.
Architecturally, the church is out of place in St. Petersburg. The city's architecture is predominantly Baroque and Neoclassical, but the Savior on Blood is more in line with medieval Russian architecture. It intentionally resembles the famous St. Basil's Cathedral in Moscow.

The interior was designed by some of the most celebrated Russian artists of the day - including Viktor Vasnetsov, Mikhail Nesterov and Mikhail Vrubel - but the church's chief architect, Alfred Alexandrovich Parland, was relatively little-known. An elaborate shrine was constructed on the exact place of Alexander's death, garnished with topaz, lazurite and other semi-precious stones.
The church contains over 7,500 square meters of mosaics - according to its restorers, more than any other church in the world. The intricately detailed mosaics depict biblical scenes and figures, with fine patterned borders setting off each picture. - in: http://www.sacred-destinations.com/russia/st-petersburg-church-of-savior-on-blood

Monday, December 25, 2017

Fiskars - Finland

This postcard is one of the only two cards I got last week. Two postcards in a week :( that's bad, especially on Xmas week. I really, really hope to find something in the mailbox tomorrow.
Anna-Maria sent this card to wish me happy holidays and it was also signed by four other postcrossers who attended a meet-up in Jarvenpää. 

Only an hour’s drive from Helsinki, the retired ironworks town of Fiskars has, over the years, slowly come back to life. Communities of artisans, designers and artists now live and work here. For visitors, the area boasts charming museums, cafes, bed and breakfasts and even a hotel built in the 1800s. The ironworks hosts an annual summer art exhibition that has quickly become one of the country’s most anticipated and a tradition for many art lovers, attracting nearly 100 artists each year. - in: http://www.visitfinland.com/article/fiskars-and-billnas/

Jedburgh Abbey - Scotland

When I've been to Scotland went on a tour to the Scottish Borders and visited Melrose Abbey, one of the major 4 major abbeys of the Borders. This card depicts another one of these 4 abbeys, Jedburgh Abbey. 
It was with this card that Miguel sent me his Xmas wishes for this year.
Merry Christmas to all of you by the way. 

© Allan Wright
Jedburgh Abbey is one of the 4 major abbeys of the Borders that were built in the 12th century. The abbey was built by King David I of Scotland for Augustinian monks. With Jedburgh, David was also aiming to show to his English neighbours that he could match any grand building in England. Unfortunately, the proximity to the English Border meant that the abbey was badly damaged and rebuilt several times during the Wars of Independence.
The abbey stands in the centre of Jedburgh and it dominates the town. Although in ruins, the remains of the building are sufficiently intact to still present an impressive profile. - in: https://www.secret-scotland.com/Attractions/jedburgh-abbey.html

GB-946955

The Changing of the Guard is a famous attraction in London. I've been to London, been to the Buckingham Palace but didn't stay long enough to see it. 

GB-946955, sent by Karen.
Changing the Guard, also known as Guard Mounting, takes place outside Buckingham Palace from 10.45am and lasts around 45 minutes, with the actual handover taking place at 11am. The Buckingham Palace Old Guard forms up in the palace’s forecourt from 10.30am and is joined by the St James’s Palace Old Guard at around 10.45am. The New Guard then arrives from Wellington Barracks and takes over the responsibilities of the Old Guard in a formal ceremony accompanied by music.
The guard that looks after Buckingham Palace is called The Queen's Guard and is made up of soldiers on active duty from the Household Division’s Foot Guards. The guards are dressed in traditional red tunics and bearskin hats.
The ceremony is free to watch and currently takes place every Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday, weather permitting. - in: https://www.visitlondon.com/things-to-do/event/8725947-changing-the-guard#PmJFUDdrvZpXdsMZ.97

Friday, December 22, 2017

Texel Lighthouse - Netherlands

Two cards from Texel, the largest and most populated island of the West Frisian Islands in the Wadden Sea, Netherlands. 
Both cards show the local lighthouse.

© Van Leers - Holland - www.vanleers.nel * © Fotografie: Salko de Wolf - Texel
NL-3954273, sent by Coby. 
Texel Island lighthouse has been built in 1864 after some civilians of Texel attended on the dangers of the waters between Texel and the island of Vlieland (72 ships had wrecked between 1848 and 1860). The tower itself is 37 metres high.

© Salko de Wolf
 NL-1358867, sent by Liesbeth.
During the uprising of the Georgians - they barricaded themselves in the tower - the lighthouse was heavily damaged and had to be ‘rebuilt’. In 1950 it was lighted again. - in: http://www.virtualtourist.com/travel/Europe/Netherlands/Provincie_Noord_Holland/Texel-457098/Off_the_Beaten_Path-Texel-TG-C-1.html

DE-6664310

Last card from Germany, for now. 
The card depicts the Gellen-Hiddensee lighthouse on Hiddensee island. 

Foto: Klaus Ender
DE-6664310, sent by Edeltraut.
The Gellen-Hiddensee is a 12.30 metre-high sector light beacon. 
The white steel tower with a red gallery and conical roof stands on a base of natural stone. It was built in 1904, tested in 1905 and fully operational in 1907. 

Bielefeld meeting - Germany

The 8th International Postcrossing Meeting in Bielefeld took place in the last days of October. I believe that Leonie has been to many of these meetings and once again, she sent me a card from there. 

© Schöning GmbH & Co. KG
The signatures on the card are too many to count.
Thanks Leonie.

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Görlitz - Germany

Two nice cards from Görlitz, the easternmost town in Germany, located on the Lusatian Neisse River in the Federal State of Saxony.
The 1st card was sent by Emerich and the 2nd is an official. 

Görlitz is a town in the German federal state of Saxony, the largest town of the former Province of Lower Silesia that lies west of the Oder-Neisse line and hence remains in Germany today. Thus it is both the most Silesian town, in terms of character, and the largest in Germany today. The town combines Lusatian and Silesian traditions as well as German and Sorbian culture. It has around 55,000 inhabitants.
Görlitz has a rich architectural heritage. - in: wikipedia

DE-839419, sent by Rafal.
The Church of St. Peter and Paul is located on a hill above the Neisse River. It is a good example of a medieval Romanesque church, from 1230; and the church built after that, between 1423 and 1497 in Gothic style. The neo-Gothic towers were built in the late 1800's and can be seen from anywhere in Görlitz. Many tourists like to view this church from poland, across the Neisse River.

Fagus Factory - Germany

Fagus Factory was inscribed on the World Heritage Site list in 2011 and these postcards were sent that same year by Anja and Joanna.

Fagus Factory in Alfeld is a 10-building complex - began around 1910 to the design of Walter Gropius, which is a landmark in the development of modern architecture and industrial design. Serving all stages of manufacture, storage and dispatch of lasts used by the shoe industry, the complex, which is still operational today, is situated in Alfeld an der Leine in Lower Saxony. 

With its groundbreaking vast expanses of glass panels and functionalist aesthetics, the complex foreshadowed the work of the Bauhaus school and is a landmark in the development of architecture in Europe and North America. - inhttp://whc.unesco.org/en/list/1368

Wartburg Castle - Germany

The 2nd favorite Ina sent me is this snowy view of Wartburg Castle. To send the card she even used a matching stamp with the castle. 
The other card was sent by Sabine 9 years ago. 
 
Nestlers Top Cards
Large, imposing and steeped in history: high above the town of Eisenach sits Wartburg Castle, a UNESCO World Heritage site since 1999. One of the best-preserved medieval German fortresses and almost 1,000 years old, it is possibly Germany's most famous castle, and certainly one of its most important.

With its impressive ceremonial hall, the surviving 12th century Palas – a perfect example of late-Romanesque architecture – still bears traces of the Wartburg's former glory. To enter this extensive site today is to experience an entire era of German history. Courtly art from the Middle Ages, St. Elisabeth's life and work, the German student fraternities' festival, the contest of the minnesingers and Wagner's romantic opera Tannhäuser – all these are an integral part of the Wartburg. As is Martin Luther, who in 1521-22, posing as 'Squire George', sought and found refuge here. He used his enforced confinement to steel himself for future theological conflicts and to write his German translation of the New Testament. - in: http://www.germany.travel/en/towns-cities-culture/unesco-world-heritage/wartburg-castle.html

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Aachen Cathedral - Germany

A couple of weeks ago I put the 1st of these Aachen cathedral card on my favorites. Ina, who sent that card, asked me if we could swap cards and I said yes. I sent her two of her favs and she sent me two of my favs.  
I already had others cards of the cathedral but her card is so much prettier than the others. 

© Schöning GmbH & Co. KG
Aachen Cathedral was the very first site to be granted UNESCO World Heritage status in Germany, and with good reason: built in around 790 to 800, the cathedral is of world importance in terms of the history of art and architecture, and is one of the great examples of church architecture. The final resting place of Charlemagne, it was also where German emperors were crowned for 600 years.

Charlemagne's ambition was to create a new Rome when he made Aachen the centre of his empire in around 800. The imperial palace's chapel – the oldest part of the cathedral today – was to be the religious centre. The mighty octagonal domed building is now thought to have been built in a mere ten years or so. A unifying architectural masterpiece, it brought together forms from the eastern and western parts of the Holy Roman Empire. Charlemagne was buried in the Palatine chapel following his death in 814. His sarcophagus can be found in the Gothic chancel, near to the still-intact imperial throne.

DE-992417, sent by Vanessa.
 Containing exquisite relics from late antiquity and medieval times, the cathedral treasury in the cloister is one of the finest in Europe. It also features artefacts such as the silver and gold bust of Charlemagne and the Cross of Lothair dating from around 1000, which is still shown to faithful followers as a liturgical object on major religious holidays. Since the Middle Ages, the cathedral along with its relics has become increasingly important as a pilgrimage site. However, it was the imperial coronations that kept Aachen at the centre of world politics over the centuries. More than 30 German kings were crowned here between 936 and 1531 – in a building that could hardly be more solemn and majestic, and that makes every visit to the former imperial city of Aachen a memorable one. - in: http://www.germany.travel/en/towns-cities-culture/unesco-world-heritage/aachen-cathedral.html