Thursday, August 27, 2009

Spain & Portugal

I need to make updates while i still have time, next week i'll start another course and i won't have time to post so often.
Today i've received these 2 cards, the 1st one from Spain and the other from Portugal.

"Olite castle-palace was the former residence of the Kings of Navarre until the union of the kingdom with Castile in the 13th century. Declared a National Monument since 1925. During the 13th-14th centuries underwent alterations, but the most important development came during the times of King Carlos III the Noble." - in:
The card was sent by Sónia "soniasadin".

Graça "gracinha" sent me another card after the 7 she sent me last week. This time is a card from Góis with its Misericórdia Church. The church started to be built in 1596 with the help of the local inhabitants.


One of the officials received this week, my 1st card from Manchester.

GB-91160, sent by James.
Manchester is a city and metropolitan borough of Greater Manchester, situated in the south-central part of North West England.

On the card there's the Bridgewater Canal, Piccadilly Gardens, Castlefield, Manchester Cathedral and the Central Library.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Ruins of St. Paul's - Macau

The gtky girls really help me with my unesco collection. This one was sent by Relie.

Relie sent me this Ruins of St. Paul's card from her 1 day trip to Macau. These ruins are the remains of a 17th century portuguese cathedral. It was built between 1582-1602 by the Jesuits and it was the biggest catholic church in Asia at the time. It was destroyed by a fire during a thyphoon in 1835.
The Ruins of St. Pauls are one of Macau's most famous landmarks. In 2005 were added to the World Heritage Sites list.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Sagres - Portugal

I had this card in my favorites album, Raquel "kel" saw it and send it to me. I really like this card, it's an amazing view.

This piece of land is the Sagres Point, a windswept shelf-like promontory located in southwest Algarve.
This place has always been important for saylors because it offers a shelter for ships before attempting the dangerous voyage around Cape St. Vicente. Given the dangerous of beeing blown onto the coastal rocks, captains perferred to wait in the lee of the point until favourable winds allowed them to continue.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Urnes Stave Church - Norway

Some of my gtky friends are travelling. A few days ago i've received a norwegian card from Ula and last thursday i've received more cards from Norway but this time sent by Valerie. This one shown Urnes Stave Church, a UNESCO site.

The Urnes Stave Church is an whs since 1979, located at the Ornes farm, near Lustrafjorden. "The church was built around 1130 or shortly thereafter, and still stands in its original location. The church is believed to be the oldest of its kind. It provides a link between Christian architecture and the architecture and artforms of the Viking Age with typical animal-ornamentation, the so called "Urnes-style" of animal-art. Archaeological investigations have discovered the remains of one, or possibly two, churches on the site prior to the current building. The excavations uncovered holes in the ground from earth-bound posts which had belonged to an early post church, a type of church with walls supported by short sills inserted between free-standing posts. It is not known if this church had a raised roof above the central space of the nave like the present church. The earliest possible dating of this church is the early eleventh century. In the 17th century the nave of the church, which is a raised central room surrounded by an aisle, was extended southwards. Other elements were also added to the church, including a baptismal font (1640), a wooden canopy above the altar (1665) and a pulpit (1693–1695). The altarpiece, which depicts Christ on the cross with the Virgin Mary and John the Baptist, dates from 1699. Windows were added to the church in the 18th century." - in: wikipedia

Friday, August 21, 2009

1st Non Postcrossing Meeting

Last sunday in Sintra, took place another postcrossing meeting, well, a non postcrosing meeting. Last meeting in Leiria it was decided to have official national meetings once a year and all the other meetings would be non postcrossing meetings :P

The postcrossers in this meeting were: Ana "ninocas" and her family; Rita Simões and her boyfriend; Susana "susanaportugal" and her boyfriend; Diana "patzow"; Luís "ludovico", Joana "joana122"; Carla and Cristina "kryx87" who made and sent me the card :P

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Butrint - Albania

I'm getting unesco cards from some hard-to-get places latelly.... Montenegro, Bosnia, Turkemenistan and now Albania. This is not only a new unesco card but also a new country :D Thanks to "willempie" for offering the card on the "you choose unesco tag".

"Inhabited since prehistoric times, Butrint has been the sity of a Greek colony, a Roman city and a bishopric. Following a period of prosperity under the Byzantine administration, then a brief occupation by the Venetians, the city was abandoned in the Middle Ages after marshes formed in the area. The present archaeological site is a repository of ruins representing each period in the city development." - in:

Bragança Castle

I almost forgot to show this cards of the Bragança Castle, also sent by Graça "gracinha".

"A previous Bragança fortification might have been built during the reign of the first king of Portugal, D. Afonso Henriques, when this region used to belong to his brother in law Fernão Mendes.
This defensive structure was improved during the reign of king D. Sancho I (1185 to 1211).
In 1409, during the reign of king D. João I, the defensive structures of the Castle are improved, and the big Donjon is built. The tower would suffer some alterations after 1640, during the Restoration War, with adaptation for the installation of artillery pieces.

Bragança was also stage for the French invasions, nevertheless its munitions and armoury was able to stop the Napoleonic troops.
Classified as National Monument, the Castle has been receiving improvement and conservation works over the years.
The Castle defensive walls involves the historical nucleus of the town, with an area of about 3 hectares. The “cidadela” is marked by the Donjon, with 17 meters on the side and 34 meters high.
On the north side of the walls is located the famous Princesa Tower, which is linked to an ancient legend…

The legend says that, when Bragança was still named as Benquerença, there lived a beautiful Princess (Princesa) with her uncle.
A noble, yet poor, knight was in love with the princess, leaving to assemble a fortune in order to ask the hand of the Princess, and asking her to wait for his return.
For many years the Princess refused all her pretenders, nevertheless her uncle promised her to a friend of his, forcing her to commit, which she peremptory refused.
The uncle decided to do something and one night, disguised as a ghost, he got into the Princess bedroom, pretending to be the ghost of the young man and told her that if she would not accept to get married with her pretender he would be a condemned soul. Yet, even though it was night time, a sun light entered through the second door and revealed her the deceitful uncle.
These doors from that day on got to be known as the “treason door” and the “sun door”." - in


I've got these 3 official cards this week, all in the same day.

US-475082, sent by Mandy.
This card is from Chicago with the Wrigley Building and Tribute Tower, skycrapers from the 20's.

CA-71375, sent by Anna.
Edmonton skyline. Edmonton is the capital of the province of Alberta.

CZ-32252, sent by Milan.
"Karlštejn Castle is a large Gothic castle founded 1348 AD by Charles IV, Holy Roman Emperor-elect and King of Bohemia. The castle served as a place for safekeeping the Imperial Regalia as well as the Bohemian coronation jewels, holy relics and other royal treasures. Located about 30 km southwest of Prague above the village named Karlštejn, it is one of the most famous and most frequently visited castles in the Czech Republic." - in: wikipedia

Miranda & Montalegre castles

Last week Graça "gracinha" announced that she was about to go on a trip and i told her i would like to have Bragança and Montalegre castle cards. She said ok and the cards arrived yesterday but she didn't send 2 cards, she sent 6 :o and i've received another one today :P

I wasn't counting on a Mirando do Douro card, so it was a surprise.
As you can see, this used to be a castle, now is just ruins.

Montalegre is a town located in the north of Portugal.
Montalegre Castle seems to be in perfect conditions even that its construction have started in 1270. The castle was built mainly to protect the Kingdom of Portugal border that for centuries was threatened by Castile.

Montalegre Castle is classified as a national and it houses a museum inside.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Hercules Tower - Spain

Another unesco card. This is the newest unesco site in Spain. The Hercules Tower ís a World Heritage Site since last June.
The card was sent by Alba "belessita".

"The Tower of Hercules is an ancient Roman lighthouse on a peninsula about 2.4 kilometers (1.5 miles) from the centre of A Coruña, Galicia, in north-western Spain. The name Corunna is said to be derived from the ancient columna, meaning column. The structure is 55 metres (180 ft) tall and overlooks the North Atlantic coast of Spain. It is almost 1900 years old, was rehabilitated in 1791, and is the oldest Roman lighthouse still used as a lighthouse." - in: wikipedia

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Taizé II

Not so long ago i made a post about Taizé. I'm making another one because Cristina "kryx87" went there again and sent me a card from there.
One of my grandma's passed way 3 weeks ago and Cristina sent me this card to cheer me up a bit.
Taizé is a special for both of us, we met each other in a Taizé meeting, so a card from there was great in not so happy days.

Kunya-Urgench - Turkemenistan

Well, i don't really know what to say about this card. It was, probably, one of the best surprise cards of the year. If you didn't notice yet, this is a card from Turkemenistan, an unesco card from Turkemenistan :P
This amazing card was a RAS sent by Claus "elbe" on behalf of Wendy "wendzefx". I just felt like jumping when i realize where this card was from. Thanks a lot Claus and Wendy.
The card shows the Mausoleum of Tyurabek Khanym in Kunya-Urgench, north-eastern Turkemenistan. This site in on the World Heritage List since 2005.
"Tyurabek-khanym was a real historic figure, a Mongolian princess, the favorite daughter of the governor of Golden Horde - Uzbek-khan and the spouse of his deputy in Khoresm Kutlug Timur . Tyurabek - khanym was the patroness of women. Eventually she was canonized and declared a saint . The n ame of Tyurabek-khanym was always surrunded by numerous romantic legends. According to one of them Tyurabek-khanym promised to master Gulgardan , who was in love with her, to marry him if he constructed her a building the finest on the earth. Gulgardan worked hard : the mausoleum he built, which later become a tomb of Sufi kings and her own, was flabbergasting; it still amazes with its accuracy of lines, wealth of interior decorations and beauty of multi-color ornaments. But the proud beauty did not fulfill her promise and preferred the governor of Khoresm Kutlug Timur . The deceived master could not cope with his dissapointment and threw himself from the top of the mausoleum.

The Mausoleum of Tyurabek-khanym indeed became the most magnificent structure in the entire country. Amazing in its beauty and grace , it is the structure with the richest interior and exterior finish , with surprisingly open and light hexagonal hall with the area of about a hundred square meters, decorated with carved mosaic. It was c rowned with a huge dome. It was, probably the most perfect dome in the entire Central Asian Turan . The dome is tied on the top according to the tradition of that time.
The inner part of the dome is covered by a fine mosaic panel with the ornament consisting of stars and flowers. The panel is a masterpiece of Oriental art which is equal to none in all medieval architecture. Long time ago a bove the building on a high drum with twelve apertures there was a dark blue glazed tabernacle . Unfortunately, it cannot be seen now : the structure was heavily damaged. But the tomb of Tyurabek-khanym has always been the center of mass pilgrimage." - in:

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Unesco from Netherlands

I'm getting closer to the 300 unesco whs. This week you've received these from the Netherlands tahnks to Lisan "menasil".

"Schokland is a former island in the Dutch Zuiderzee. Schokland lost its status as an island when the Noordoostpolder was reclaimed from the sea in 1942. The remains are still visible as a slightly elevated part in the polder and by the still partly intact retaining wall of the waterfront of 'Middelbuurt'.
As a result from the increasing sea-level Schokland transformed from an attractive settlement area in the Middle Ages to a place under continuous threat by floods in the 19th century. By that time the Schoklanders had retreated to the three most elevated parts, Emmeloord, Molenbuurt, and Middelbuurt. A major flood in 1825 brought massive destruction, and in 1859 the government decided to end permanent settlement on Schokland. The former municipality of Schokland was joined to Kampen on the mainland.
Today Schokland is a popular archeological site and host to the Schokland Museum, it was also the first UNESCO World Heritage Site in The Netherlands." - in: wikipedia

"Beemster is a municipality in the Netherlands, in the province of North Holland. Also, the Beemster is the first so-called polder in the Netherlands that was reclaimed from a lake, the water being extracted out of the lake by windmills. The Beemster Polder was dried during the period 1609 through 1612. It has preserved intact its well-ordered landscape of fields, roads, canals, dykes and settlements, laid out in accordance with classical and Renaissance planning principles. A grid of canals parallels the grid of roads in the Beemster. The grids are offset: the larger feeder canals are offset by approximately one kilometer from the larger roads." - in: wikipedia

Friday, August 14, 2009

Ironbrige - UK

New unesco cards sent from UK sent by "ichabodhides"
"The Ironbridge Gorge is a deep gorge formed by the river Severn in Shropshire, England.
Originally called the Severn Gorge, the gorge takes its name from its famous iron bridge, the 1st iron bridge of its kind in the world, and a monument to the industry that began there. The bridge was built in 1779 to link the industrial town of Broseley with the smaller town of Madeley and the growing industrial centre of Coalbrookdale.
There are 2 reasons why the site was so useful to the early industrialists. The raw materials, coal, iron ore, limestone and clay, for the manufacture of iron, tiles and porcelain are exposed or easily mined in the gorge. The deep and wide river allowed easy transport of the products to the sea." - in: wikipedia

Brasília - Brazil

I've received these 4 brazilian cards today, sent by Mauro, showing 4 different construction in Brasília, Brazil's capital city.
As the national capital, Brasília is the seat of the 3 branches of the brazilian government. The city is a world reference for urban planning.
The city was planned and developed in 1956 with Lúcio Costa as the principal urban planner and Oscar Niemeyer as the principal architect.
Brasília is a World Heritage Site since 1987.

This 1st card shows the Supreme Federal Court. It is the highest court of law of Brazil as its rulings cannot be appealed.

The Justice Palace is one of Oscar Niemeyr's buildings in the city and it was built in 1963.

The National Congress consists of the Senate (left semisphere) and the Chamber of Deputies (right semisphere). Since the 60's, the national Congress has its seat in Brasília. As many buildings in the city, it was designed by Oscar Niemeyer following the style of modern Brasília architecture.

The Juscelino Kubitschek Bridge, also known as JK Bridge, was named after a former brazilian president. It was designed by the architect Alexandre Chan and the engineer Mário Vila Verde. Chan won the Gustav Lindenthal Medal for this project at the 2003 International Bridge Conference at Pittsburg due to "... outstanding achievement demonstrating harmony with the environment, aesthetic merit and sucessful community participation".

GTKY friends cards

Cards from 3 of the GTKY girls, Ula, Katy and Kriszti.

Ula has been travelling a lot and one of her trips was to Norway and she sent me this Oslo card.
Oslo is the capital and largest city in Norway. Was founded in 1048 by King Harald III of Norway. The city was largely destroyed by a fire in 1624 and later rebuilt as Christiania by the Danish-Norwegian King Christian IV. Oslo, then an alternative name, became official in 1925.

Katy from Estonia and Kriszti from Hungary had a postcrossing mini-meeting in Haapsalu, a seaside resort town in Estonia, and sent cards from there to the other GTKY friends.
The Haapsalu Castle is a castle with a cathedral founded in the 13th century. It is said that when there is a full moon in August, an image of a maiden, the White Lady, appears on the inner wall of the chapel.

Pingyao - China

This is just one of the great unesco cards i've received these last days.
"irexe" from China, sent me this Pingyao card.

Pingyao is an exceptionally well preserved exemple of a traditional Han chinese city, founded in the 14th century. It's urban fabric shows the evolution of architectural styles and town planning in Imperial China over 5 centuries. Of special interrest are the imposing buildings associeted with banking, for which Pingyao was the major centre for the whole of China in the 19th and early 2oth centuries.