Monday, February 25, 2019

Lake Tahoe - USA

From Arizona to the border between California and Nevada to show these two Lake Tahoe cards. The 1st is an official that I got a few days ago and the 2nd was sent last year by Hélène. 

US-5818383, sent by Lisa.
Lake Tahoe is a large freshwater lake in the Sierra Nevada of the United States. Lying at 6,225 ft (1,897 m), it straddles the state line between California and Nevada, west of Carson City. Lake Tahoe is the largest alpine lake in North America. 
The lake was formed about 2 million years ago as part of the Lake Tahoe Basin, with the modern extent being shaped during the ice ages. It is known for the clarity of its water and the panorama of surrounding mountains on all sides.

Photo © Chris Talbot
Lake Tahoe is a major tourist attraction in both Nevada and California. It is home to winter sports, summer outdoor recreation, and scenery enjoyed throughout the year. Snow and ski resorts are a significant part of the area's economy and reputation. - in: wikipedia

Grand Canyon - USA

Grand Canyon offers wonderful views. It is definitely one of the world's most famous natural attractions, visited each year by about five million visitors. Maybe one day I get to visit it too but I've to say that USA are not on the top of my must visit list.

All these view are great but my favorite is definitely the snowy view. Most of these are official cards, except for the 4th one that it was sent by Carol and the last is a RR card sent by Colleen. 

Photo: Chuck Lawsen
US.5817024, sent by Celestyn.
The Grand Canyon is a steep-sided canyon carved by the Colorado River in Arizona, United States. The Grand Canyon is 277 miles (446 km) long, up to 18 miles (29 km) wide and attains a depth of over a mile (6,093 feet or 1,857 meters).

 US-72347, sent by Shain
The canyon and adjacent rim are contained within Grand Canyon National Park, the Kaibab National Forest, Grand Canyon-Parashant National Monument, the Hualapai Indian Reservation, the Havasupai Indian Reservation and the Navajo Nation.

Photographer: 1986 James Blank
US-5820168, sent by Anne.
President Theodore Roosevelt was a major proponent of preservation of the Grand Canyon area, and visited it on numerous occasions to hunt and enjoy the scenery.

Nearly two billion years of Earth's geological history have been exposed as the Colorado River and its tributaries cut their channels through layer after layer of rock while the Colorado Plateau was uplifted. While some aspects about the history of incision of the canyon are debated by geologists, several recent studies support the hypothesis that the Colorado River established its course through the area about 5 to 6 million years ago. 

Photographer: Dennis Flaherty
US-5187985, sent by Dedria
Since that time, the Colorado River has driven the down-cutting of the tributaries and retreat of the cliffs, simultaneously deepening and widening the canyon.

For thousands of years, the area has been continuously inhabited by Native Americans, who built settlements within the canyon and its many caves. The Pueblo people considered the Grand Canyon a holy site, and made pilgrimages to it. The first European known to have viewed the Grand Canyon was García López de Cárdenas from Spain, who arrived in 1540. - in: wikipedia

Oura Cathedral - Japan

The 1st card, in 2019, from a new UNESCO site came a few days ago from Japan. It was sent by Akiko.
Oura Cathedral is one of the twelve Hidden Christian Sites in Nagasaki Region. These religious sites were added to the UNESCO WHS list last year. 
These sites bear unique testimony to a cultural tradition nurtured by hidden Christians in the Nagasaki region who secretly transmitted their faith during the period of prohibition from the 17th to the 19th century. - in: https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/1495

Established 1865, this church is officially known as "Oura Cathedral, The Church of 26 Martyrs." It was built by the French priest Bernard Petitjean of Fier who had been dispatched by the Foreign Missionary Church of Paris to dedicate prayers to the 26 saints martyred on Nishizaka hill. For this reason, the church faces Nishizaka. Representative of Europe in mediaeval times, the church was constructed in the Gothic style and is Japan's oldest existing wooden church. It was designated a National Treasure in 1933. French stained glass was installed in the interior some 100 years ago, but most of this was seriously damaged in the atomic bomb blast. It has since been restored with some pieces of other stained glass from that period. The prayer space collects the beautiful light that infuses the church's interior. Oura Cathedral became famous worldwide as the church that discovered the "hidden followers" who had survived the religious persecution. - in: https://travel.at-nagasaki.jp/en/what-to-see/8/

Saturday, February 23, 2019

CN-2650994

An official from China sent by a 3 months old kitten.  

CN-2650994, sent by Dragon Li.
 Sacred Heart Cathedral in Guangzhou, also known as the Cathedral of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, or Shishi Catholic Church, is regarded as the ‘Notre Dame of East Asian’. Located at Yide Road near the Haizhu Square in the city center, this 130-year-old Roman Catholic cathedral is a holy and peaceful site in the bustling urban area. The cathedral was designed by two French architects, and completed by Chinese craftsmen within 25 years from 1863 to 1888. With a gross area of 3,300 square yards (2,754 square meters), it is the biggest in Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Guangzhou and one of the grandest double steeples Gothic architectures in China. Featuring all of the walls and pillars made of granite, the Sacred Heart Cathedral is nicknamed the ‘Stone House’ (Shishi in Chinese) by the locals. It is the largest granite Catholic structure in Southeast Asia, and one of only four all-granite Gothic churches in the world. - in: https://www.travelchinaguide.com/attraction/guangdong/guangzhou/sacred-heart-cathedral.htm

Lake Baikal - Russia

Lake Baikal is a lake in Eastern Siberia, Russia. It is the biggest and deepest freshwater lake in the world, and a UNESCO World Heritage site since 1996. 
These cards were sent by Christa, Adelina and Natalia. 

Lake Baikal is the largest freshwater lake by volume in the world, containing 22–23% of the world's fresh surface water. With 23,615.39 km3 (5,670 cu mi) of fresh water, it contains more water than the North American Great Lakes combined.

RU-7088090, sent by Adelina
With a maximum depth of 1,642 m (5,387 ft), Baikal is the world's deepest lake. It is considered among the world's clearest lakes and is considered the world's oldest lake – at 25–30 million years. It is the seventh-largest lake in the world by surface area.

Baikal is home to thousands of species of plants and animals, many of which exist nowhere else in the world.  It is also home to Buryat tribes who reside on the eastern side of Lake Baikal, raising goats, camels, cattle, sheep, and horses, where the temperature varies from a winter minimum of −19 °C (−2 °F) to a summer maximum of 14 °C (57 °F). - in: wikipedia

Thursday, February 21, 2019

RU-7090589

A russian official card depicting Cape Meganom Lighthouse, located on the southeast coast of Crimea. 

RU-7090589, sent by Julia.
The lighthouse was built in 1895 and is still active. It was damaged during World War II and repaired after the war.  
It is well known as the site of an astronomical observatory.

Monday, February 18, 2019

BY-2416849

An official from Molodechno, a city in the Minsk Voblast of Belarus.

BY-2416849, sent by Yaroslav.
The Culture and Rest Park seems to be a beautiful place for a relaxed walk. There are 2 artificial ponds with fountains. In the bigger pond you can rent a boat or a catamaran. 

Gediminas Castle - Lithuania

I bought a few cards in Vilnius but I haven't seen any Gediminas Castle cards. Thanks to Evelina and Auksé, now I've these two. Ačiū!

Photo: Antanas Varanka
LT-653288, sent by Auksé. 
It is said that Gediminas Castle was built when the Duke of Lithuania Gediminas had a prophetic dream. This small but powerful castle withstood numerous Crusader attacks. Now Vilnius is unthinkable without it, and the tower of the castle became a symbol of not only the capital city, but also of Lithuania. And it is not surprising that this red-brick building overlooking the magnificent panorama of the capital city of Lithuania is a must in the list of many tourists coming to our country.

Photo: Laimonas Ciunys
Gediminas Castle was built and to date is one of the most beautiful Old Town embellishments. It is clearly visible from every place. Like Vilnius, the castle was first mentioned in 1323. By the way, during the reign of Gediminas, the Castle was not only a political centre of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, but also part of the defensive complex. On 1 January 1919, after the restoration of the state of Lithuania, the flag of Lithuania was officially raised for the first time on the Gediminas Castle Tower. - in: http://www.lithuania.travel/en-gb/attractions/gediminas-castle/17125

Riga - Latvia

How beautiful, magical and wonderful is this breathtaking snowy winter view of Riga??! I just love it and this view is one of the reasons why I want to visit Riga again. 
To enjoy this view you can take a lift to the top of the St. Peter's Church tower. The church’s position in the centre of Old Town gives you a close-up view of some of the beautiful architecture and colourful facades from above, as well as a view across the river to other parts of the city. - in: https://londoncitycalling.com/2017/03/14/the-4-best-vantage-points-in-riga/

Riga was a major centre of the Hanseatic League, deriving its prosperity in the 13th–15th centuries from the trade with central and eastern Europe. The urban fabric of its medieval centre reflects this prosperity, though most of the earliest buildings were destroyed by fire or war. Riga became an important economic centre in the 19th century, when the suburbs surrounding the medieval town were laid out, first with imposing wooden buildings in neoclassical style and then in Jugendstil . It is generally recognized that Riga has the finest collection of art nouveau buildings in Europe. - in: https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/852

Sunday, February 17, 2019

Riga Dome Cathedral - Latvia

I've been to Riga in September, 2015. It was a short visit though but I really liked the city's historical center. I know I'll visit the city again.

LV-239410, sent by Zigrida.
The foundation stone of Riga Dome Cathedral was laid on July 25, 1211. The last large-scale restoration took place in the late 19th century when the cathedral acquired its present appearance. Today, Riga Dome Cathedral holds services and provide for rich cultural life — various concerts of popular artists take place here.
Riga Dome Cathedral has been one of the major venues for concerts in Riga for hundreds of years. Also today, official services and concerts feature various musical performances.

Photo: Indrikis Stürmanis 
Riga Dome Cathedral was the central cathedral in the Baltics until Livonia fell to the Grand Duchy of Lithuania in 1561. It has Romanesque, early Gothic, Baroque, and Art Nouveau features and is considered the largest Medieval church in Latvia and the Baltic States.
On July 25, 1211 during a ceremony, Bishop Albert laid the foundation stone. According to art historians, the building was initially envisaged as a basilica but later the design was changed and a hall church was built instead.

Photo: Indrikis Stürmanis
LV-160715, sent by Velga.
At the beginning of the 15th century, the cathedral was enlarged by building the western cross-nave and side chapels and elevating the side walls of the central nave thus making the church into a basilica. Riga Dome Cathedral tower was the highest spire in Riga at that time. The cathedral kept its appearance up to 1547, when on a Sunday before Pentecost, a great fire broke out in the inner city and the Gothic spire of the cathedral burned down. A new tower with a pyramidal spire and two galleries were built by 1595. The Cathedral cockerel dating back to that time can still be seen in the inner courtyard of the cathedral.

LV- 82579, sent by Svetlana.
From 1881 to 1914, Riga Cathedral Building Section of Riga Society of Researchers of History and Ancient Times carried out major reconstruction and renovation for its present-day appearance. - in: http://www.liveriga.com/en/1158-riga-dome-cathedral

Helsinki's Cathedral - Finland

This is that time of the year when all I think about is to go on holidays. Finland has been on my list for quite some years now and this year, once again, I hope I can make it there. Fingers crossed. 
If I can finally travel to Helsinki, I won't need to buy any cards of the Uspenski Cathedral. Besides these ones, I've 2 or 3 more. All these cards are officials, except for the 2nd one that it was sent by Heidi.

FI-297468 sent by "peramuru".
The impressive green-domed Lutheran Cathedral (Tuomiokirkko in Finnish) dominates Senate Square and the skyline of Helsinki.

 Helsinki is famed for its architects, but it was a German, Carl Ludvig Engel, who laid out Senate Square and designed the Lutheran Cathedral. 

FI-3392622, sent by Kaisa. 
The Tuomiokirkko was built to replace a smaller church on the site dating from 1727. Construction of the Lutheran Cathedral was overseen by Engel from 1830 until his death in 1840, when it was taken over by Ernst Lohrmann.

FI-2199913, sent by Anna.
The cathedral was built as a tribute to the Grand Duke, Nicholas I, the Tsar of Russia, and was called St. Nicholas' Church until the independence of Finland in 1917. In 1959, it became a cathedral of the Evangelical Lutheran denomination.

Photographed and Published by Janne harala Tmi, Lahti
FI-1661784, sent by Arja.
Extensive renovations, both to the cathedral and to its crypt, brought the Lutheran Cathedral back to its original beauty in 1998. One of Helsinki's most popular tourist attractions, it receives more than 350,000 visitors each year. - in: http://www.sacred-destinations.com/finland/helsinki-lutheran-cathedral