Monday, September 28, 2009

New official cards

This week started with these 2 beautiful cards.
TH-27983, sent by Nuch.
Two weeks ago i've received a card from Bangkok with the Grand Palace. This card also shows the Palace plus the Temple of the Emerald Buddha, also splelled Wat Phra Kaew, located on the ground of the Palace. It is the most revered Buddhist shrine in Thailand.
"The construction of the temple started when King Buddha Yodfa Chulaloke (Rama I) moved the capital from Thonburi to Bangkok in 1785. Unlike other temples it does not contain living quarters for monks; rather, it has only the highly decorated holy buildings, statues, and pagodas.
The main building is the central ubosoth, which houses the Emerald Buddha. There are three main doors used to enter the temple, however only the King and Queen are allowed to enter through the center door." - in:

PT-96530, sent by Cátia
No, this isn't a wrong id. This is a portuguese official card but, as you can see, the card is from USA, showing the skyline of Manhattan.
Manhattan is the cultural and commercial heart of NY, and its dramatic skyline symbolizes New York City around the world. It is composed chiefly of Manhattan Island, and is bounded by the Hudson River on the west, New York Bay on the south, the East River on the east, and the Harlem River and Spuyten Duyvil Creek on the northeast and north. Many bridges, tunnels, and ferries link it to the other boroughs and to New Jersey. A large portion of Manhattan's workers commute to the borough every day.
Manhattan began as a town built at the tip of the island. It was called New Amsterdam and served as the capital of the colony of New Netherland during the Dutch domination. In 1664 the English captured New Netherland and renamed it New York. The boundary of New York City was first extended beyond Manhattan Island when some Westchester co. towns were annexed in 1874. In the consolidation of 1898, Manhattan became one of the five boroughs of New York City.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Sint-Niklaas - Belgium

This was the last card i received this week. This is also from a private trade but with Raquel "ferro" from Belgium.
She went to Sint-Niklaas to see a balloon meeting and i told her i would like a card from there. On the card there's the Town Hall and a balloon from a previous meeting.

Sint-Niklaas is a Belgian city and municipality located in the Flemish province of East Flanders.
On the first weekend of September, Sint-Niklaas hosts an international balloon meeting (Vredesfeesten).

Leipzig - Germany

This week i've only received 3 cards :o This one is from a private trade with Detlef.
The card shows the "Völkerschlachtdenkmal - "Monument to the Battle of the Peoples" - is a monument in Leipzig, Germany, to the Battle of Leipzig of 1813, also known as the Battle of the Nations.
It is one of Leipzig's main landmarks and the largest monument in Europe. Paid for mostly by donations and a lottery, but partially by the city of Leipzig, it was completed in 1913 for the 100th anniversary of the battle and cost around 6,000,000 Marks.
There were Germans fighting on both sides, as Napoleon's troops included Germans from the French-occupied left bank of the Rhine as well as from the Confederation of the Rhine due to mandatory conscription. The monument commemorates Napoleon's defeat at Leipzig. This was a crucial step towards the end of hostilities, which was, in essence, a victory for the German people. Additionally, it mourns the dead from all the nations involved, not only the German soldiers.
The structure is 91 metres tall, making it the tallest monument in Europe. It contains over 500 steps to a viewing platform at the top, from which there are spectacular views across the city and its environs. The structure makes extensive use of concrete, although the facings are of granite.
In front of the monument there is an artificial rectangular lake intended to symbolise the blood and tears shed during the wars.
Some view its style as overbearing and pompous, and the statuary which dominates the entire structure is intended to evoke mythic images of Germanic heroism, of the sort propounded by Richard Wagner. If the monument has a nationalist tone, however, then it is in the sense that a nation should be united, rather than split into parts that are forced to fight each other, as Germans were obliged to in that battle.
Hitler exploited the monument to the full, and chose it as a frequent venue for his speeches when in Leipzig.
During the period of communist rule in East Germany, the government of the GDR was unsure whether it should allow the monument to stand, since it represented the staunch nationalism of the period of the German Empire. Eventually, it was decided that the monument should be allowed to remain, since it represented a battle in which Russian and German soldiers had fought together against a common enemy, and was therefore representative of "Russo-German Brotherhood-in-arms"." - in: wikipedia

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Unesco cards from Cyprus

Luís "ludovico", a portuguese postcrosser, went on holidays to Cyprus and sent a bunch of cards to his postcrosser friends. I asked him if he could try to get me an unesco card from there.... well, he sent me not 1 but 3 cards from 2 differents unesco places :)

He sent this 3 of the Painted Churches in the Troodos Region from Portugal.
"The Troodos region is characterized by one of the largest groups of churches and monasteries of the former Byzantine Empire. The complex of 10 monuments included on the World Heritage List, all richly decorated with murals, provides an overview of Byzantine and post-Byzantine painting in Cyprus. They range from small churches whose rural architectural style is in stark contrast to their highly refined decoration, to monasteries such as that of St John Lampadistis." - in:
This 1st card shows the Ayiasmati Church, located near Platanistasa village (about 45 km's west of Nicosia). The church was built by Father Petros Peratis and painted by Philip Goul in 1494 A.D.. It is named in honour of the Holy Cross and contains many excellent paintings.

The Archangelos Church in Pedhoulas was built and painted in 1474 by a local painter Minas.

Luís also sent a written and stamped card from Cyprus, showing the ancient theatre and the lighthouse of Paphos.
"Paphos is a coastal city in the southwest of Cyprus. Paphos is the mythical birthplace of Aphrodite, the Greek goddess of love and beauty and the founding myth is interwoven with the goddess at every level. In Greco-Roman times Paphos was the island's capital and it is famous for the remains of the Roman Governor's palace, where extensive, fine mosaics are a major tourist attraction. The apostle Paul of Tarsus visited the town during the first century. The town of Paphos is included in the official UNESCO list of cultural and natural treasures of the world's heritage." - in: wikipedia

The Odeon is a small 2nd century theatre, as you can see next to Paphos lighthouse. It was badly hit during a 7th century earthquake and was abandoned.T he theater has been partially restored and holds occasional events.

Spanish unesco whs

After a trade with Juan, i've received these 3 unesco cards, 2 of them from new places, Lugo and Las Medulas.

"Lugo is a city in northwestern Spain, in the autonomous community of Galicia. It is the capital of the province of Lugo.
Located on a site above the Minho river and named after the Celtic god Lugus, it is the only city in Europe to be surrounded by completely intact Roman walls, which reach a height of 10 to 15 metres along a 2117 m m circuit ringed with 71 towers. The walk along the top is continuous round the circuit. These 3rd century walls are protected by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site. The bridge over the Minho is essentially of Roman date, though many repairs over the centuries have effaced its Roman character." - in: wikipedia

"Las Médulas, located near the town of Ponferrada in the region of El Bierzo (León province, Castile and León, Spain), used to be the most important gold mine in the Roman Empire. Las Médulas Cultural Landscape is listed by the UNESCO as one of the World Heritage Sites.
The spectacular landscape of Las Médulas resulted from the Ruina Montium, a Roman mining technique described by Pliny the Elder in 77 AD consisted of undermining the mountain with large quantities of water supplied by at least seven long aqueducts tapping the rivers in the nearby mountains. The same aqueducts were used to wash the extensive gold deposits, a precursor of Californian hydraulic mining. The area Hispania Tarraconensis had been invaded in 25 BC by the emperor Augustus, so the mining was initiated some time after the region had been subdued.
To bring the necessary water from the Sierra de La Cabrera mountains to Las Médulas, a system of at least seven parallel aqueducts more than a hundred kilometers long in total were constructed, with some parts still well preserved in precipitous locations, and including some rock-cut inscriptions." - in: wikipedia

The Tower of Hercules, in the city of Coruña, is the newest unesco site in Spain. I've received a card from there not so long ago which can be found some posts below with detailed information about it. I gave the facts and now some myths about this ancient roman lighthouse.
"Through the millennia many mythical stories of its origin have been told. According to a myth that blends Celtic and Greco-Roman elements, the hero Hercules slew the giant tyrant Geryon after three days and three nights of continuous battle. Hercules then—in a Celtic gesture— buried the head of Geryon with his weapons and ordered that a city be built on the site. The lighthouse atop a skull and crossbones representing the buried head of Hercules’ slain enemy appears in the coat-of-arms of the city of Corunna.
Another legend embodied in the 11th-century compilation Lebor Gabala Erren— the "Book of Invasions"— King Breogán, the founding father of the Galician Celtic nation, constructed here a massive tower of such a grand height that his sons could see a distant green shore from its top. The glimpse of that distant green land lured them to sail north to Ireland. A colossal statue of Breogán has been erected near the Tower." - in: wikipedia

Friday, September 18, 2009

Szentendre - Hungary

I wasn't expecting this card but Edit just felt like sending a card to someone because she couldn't request more official addresses. We traded some cards not so long ago and now she surprised me with this beautiful Szentendre card.

"Szentendre is a riverside town in Pest county, Hungary, near the capital city of Budapest. Szentendre is known for its museums (most notably the Open-Air Ethnographic Museum), galleries, and artists. Due to its picturesque appearance and easy rail and river access, it has become a popular destination for tourists staying in Budapest and there are many shops and restaurants catering for these visitors.

Populated for well over a millennium, under the Romans it was called Ulcisia Castra, meaning Wolf Castle. Since the 1500s it was considered the center of the Hungarian Serb community. At one point it had as many as eight Serbian Orthodox church buildings and 3 chapels, and only one each Roman-Catholic and Evangelical. It is still the see of the Buda Diocese of the Serb Orthodox Church. Szentendre and the surrounding villages were also inhabited by Bulgarians ever since the Middle Ages. In the 1700s, after liberation from the Turks, Szentendre enjoyed a rebirth with Mediterranean leanings, as Serbian, Croatian, Slovak, German and Greek newcomers moved in and lived alongside the Magyar inhabitants. According to the 1720 data, 88% of the population of the town were South Slavs (mostly Serbs, but also some South Slavic Catholics). The town to this day is characterised by a south European atmosphere with much baroque architecture, churches of various faiths, narrow sidestreets, and cobblestone roads." - in: wikipedia

Official # 100

One of my postcard goals for 2009 is finally accomplished, my 100th official card was registered in Germany and this week i've received the 100th official card and it was sent from Netherlands.

NL-214165, sent by Linda.
The card doesn't identify this place, only gives a website address. So, apparently, this place is located in one of the holiday villages owned by Landal Greenparks. This is an European network of holiday villages, founded in 1954, with locations in Belgium, the Netherlands, the Czech Republic, Austria, Germany and Switzerland.

Castles RR - Group 18

For the second time i've joined Ninocas' Castle RR. These are the 3 cards i've received which have been sent by Hanna "hanjah", Sylwia "sylwiail" and Silvia "dottisilvia".

Eilean Donan is a small island in Loch Duich in the western Highlands of Scotland. It is connected to the mainland by a footbridge and lies about half a mile from the village of Dornie. The island is dominated by a picturesque medieval castle.
The original castle was built in the early 13th century as a defence against the Vikings. In April 1719 the castle was occupied by Spanish troops attempting to start another Jacobite Rising. The castle was recaptured, and then demolished, by three Royal Navy frigates on 10–13 May 1719. The Spanish troops were defeated a month later at the Battle of Glen Shiel.
The castle was restored in the years between 1919 and 1932 by Lt. Col. John MacRae-Gilstrap. The restoration included the construction of an arched bridge to give easier access to the castle. In 1983 The Conchra Charitable Trust was formed by the Macrae family to care for the Castle. A curious distinction is that it has one of only two left-handed spiral staircases in a castle in Great Britain, as the reigning king at the time of building held a sword with his left hand. One strange feature of the castle today is the grey field gun from the Great War, positioned outside the building by a war memorial and fountain dedicated to the men of the Macrae clan who died in the war. Eilean Donan is the home of the Clan Macrae. In 2001, the island had a population of just one person.

The castle is one of the most photographed monuments in Scotland and a popular venue for weddings and film locations. It has appeared in such films as Highlander (1985), Loch Ness (1996), The World Is Not Enough (1999), Elizabeth: The Golden Age (2007), Made of Honor (2007).

Szymbark is a village in the Iława district, situated on Lake Szymbarskim. There are ruins of a Gothic castle Pomezanian chapter from the second half of XIV century. In 1945 the castle was burned by the Red Army. In recent years was partly reconstructed. There are walls of the 10 towers. Szymbarski Castle is located in a picturesque area and has impressive size.

A few days ago i've received an official card from Italy showing this same fort but in a different perspective.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

St. Paraskeve Church

I won a lottery a few weeks ago hosted by Ana "BraveJ" and this week i've received this huge and beautiful card.

The Church of St. Paraskeve was built in 1938 at the place of the old chapel, above the spring which was considered to be miraculous.
The church of St. Ruzica, above it, was built in 1730, was a gunpowder magazine in the 18th century, and was converted into a military church between 1867 and 1869. Heavily damaged during the First World War, the church was renovated in 1925.

La Chaux-de-Fonds

Chiara sent me a new swiss unesco whs card.
"La Chaux-de-Fonds is the capital city of the district of La Chaux-de-Fonds in the canton of Neuchâtel in Switzerland.

"The watch making cities of La Chaux-de-Fonds and Le Locle have jointly received recognition from UNESCO for their exceptional universal value.
The Site's planning consists of two small cities located close to each other in the mountainous environment of the Swiss Jura. Due to the altitude (1'000 meters up) and the lack of water (porous sandstone underground) the land is ill suited to farming. Planning and buildings reflect the watch making artisans need of rational organization. Rebuilt in the early 19th Century, after extensive fires, both towns owe their survival to the manufacturing and exports of watches, to which, in the 20th Century, was added the minute micromechanical industry.
Along an open-ended scheme of parallel strips on which residential housing and workshops are intermingled, their town planning reflects the needs of the local watch making culture that dates back to the 17th century, which still alive today. Both agglomerations present outstanding examples of mono-industrial manufacturing-towns, which are still well preserved and active. Their urban planning has accommodated the transition from the artisans’ production of a cottage industry to the more concentrated factory production of the late 19th and 20th centuries. Already Karl Marx described La Chaux-de-Fonds as a “huge factory-town” in Das Kapital, where he analyzed the division of labour in the watch making industry of the Jura." - in: wikipedia

4th Brazilian Postcrossing Meeting

The brazilian postcrossers living in São Paulo area had another meeting that took place last month.

This S. João Avenue card was signed by andreaeiko; vbformig; falavigna; paula_lc; lolisa; fernnada; jp33; adryhelo; Sérgio; kazinhabueno; Amanda; adrimanfre and rowoun (?).

Officials of the week

This last week i've received 2 officials cards, 1 from Italy and the other from Finland. Next official will be my 100th official card :)

IT-52774, sent by Lucca.
This a painting from Norcia, birthplace of St. Benedictus and nice mountain area of Umbria, middle Italy.
On the card there's the ancient walls and a medieval well.
FI-628652, sent by "millimolli".
I don't know how this card got here because it doesn't have a stamp :o
Anyway, this a funny Helsinki card with its cathedral built between 1830-1852.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

International Postcrossing Meeting

The International Postcrossing Meeting took place, last weekend, in Helsinki, Finland. I saw some of the pictures and it seems they had a great time.
Valérie was there too and she sent me this card signed by all the participants.

If i'm counting right, 37 postcrossers were there, I hope i'm not forgetting anyone: Ana, Paulo, octabis anjaaustel, aulikki, cicus, dandilion, delenna, duffeli, litka, MaHaKo, dollart, fragility, homine, hantsu, INP, huppu68, helia, lotty, jewel, kotona, liiolii, lady, tuulis, msmoney, monna, wilma, mimmi, maymak, ninon, vergi, pooca, rowan6, synnin, soilian, tarya, susannus.

Official cards

I've received a bunch of cards in the last days and 2 of them were officials. These are from Germany and Italy.

DE-407672, sent by Diana.
"The Sächsische Schweiz (Saxon Switzerland) is a former district in the south of the Free State of Saxony. To the south it bordered the Czech Republic.
The district is named after the landscape - the Saxon Switzerland - as it is the most mountainous region of Saxony. To the west are the Ore Mountains, and to the east the Lausitzer Bergland (Lusatian Mountains). The river Elbe flows through the Elbsandsteingebirge and separates the two mountain ranges. The highest elevation of the district is the 644 meter high Oelsener Höhe in the southwest of the district, the lowest elevation is the valley of the Elbe at the boundary to Dresden which is 109 m above sea level." - in: wikipedia
IT-54878, sent by Ilaria.
This is, i think, my 1st italian official card. It shows the Fort of Bard in Bard, a town in the Aosta Valley, northwestern Italy.
"Fort Bard is a fortified complex built in the 19th century by the House of Savoy on a rocky prominence above the town. After many years of neglect, it has been completely restored. It reopened to tourists in 2006 as the home for the Museum of the Alps. It also has rooms for additional art exhibitions. The main courtyard is used to host musical and theatrical performances in the summer." - in: wikipedia

Le Havre - France

This is one of  the last 8 unesco cards i've received this week. It was sent by "lizza".

"Le Havre is a city in northwestern France situated on the right bank of the mouth of the Seine River as it flows into the Bay of the Seine in the English Channel. It is a commune in the Seine-Maritime department in the Haute-Normandie region.

The city was dubbed the Porte Océane, or Gateway to the Ocean. Architecturally, this image has been revived in the reconstrusted city through the "gateway" that forms the frame at either end of Fochs Avenue, which meets the seafront.
The German-occupied city was devastated in 1944 during the Battle of Normandy in World War II: 5,000 people were killed and 12,000 homes were totally destroyed, mainly by British air attacks. After the war, the centre was rebuilt in modernist style by Auguste Perret. Le Havre was honored with the Legion of Honor award on July 18, 1949. It was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2005." - in: wikipedia

Saturday, September 5, 2009

German unesco cards

I'm getting tired of posting today, so this will be the last post. I'll try to post more tomorrow.
This week i've received 8 new unesco cards and 2 of them were from Germany.

This is the Pilgrimage Church of Wies and the card was sent by Gabriela "zimtschnecke".
"The pilgrimage church of Wies is an oval rococo church, designed in the late 1740s by Dominikus Zimmermann, who spent the last eleven years of his life in a nearby dwelling. It is located in the foothills of the Alps, the Steingaden municipality of the Weilheim-Schongau district, Bavaria-
In 1738 tears were seen on a dilapidated wooden figure of the Scourged Saviour. This miracle resulted in a pilgrimage rush to see the sculpture. In 1740 a small chapel was built to house the statue, but it was soon realized that the building would be too small for the number of pilgrims it attracted, and thus Steingaden Abbey decided to commission a separate shrine. Many people who have prayed in front of the statue of Jesus on the altar have claimed that people have been miraculously cured of their diseases, which has made this church even more of a pilgrimage site.
Construction took place between 1745 and 1754, and the interior was decorated in stuccowork in the tradition of the Wessobrunner School. "Everything was done throughout the church to make the supernatural visible. Sculpture and murals combined to unleash the divine in visible form".
A popular myth claims that the Bavarian state had planned to sell or demolish the rococo masterpiece during Secularization at the beginning of the 19th century, and that only protests from the local farmers saved this jewel of rococo architecture from destruction. Available sources however document that the state commission in charge clearly advocated the continuation of Wies as a pilgrimage site, in spite even of economic objections from the Steingaden abbot.
The Wieskirche was added to the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1983." - in: wikipedia

Simone "hexentrio" sent me this Taunus card.
The Taunus is a low mountain range in Hesse. The Roman Limes was built acroos the Taunus.
The Frontiers of the Roman Empire (Limes Germanicus) was a remarkable line of frontier forts that bounded the Ancient Roman provinces of Germania Superior and Raetia and divided the Roman Empire and the unsubdued Germanic tribes, from the years 83 to 260.
These frontiers were divided into: the Lower (Northern) Germanic Limes; the Upper Germanic Limes (that crossed the Taunus mountain) and Rhaetian Limes.

Antibes - France

Joaquim "kosta28" went on a trip a few weeks ago and he was in France, whe he got home he sent me this beautiful card from Antibes.

Antibes is a resort town in the Alpes-Maritimes department in southeastern France, on the Mediterranean Sea in the Côte d'Azur, located between Cannes and Nice.
On the card there's the Fort Carré, built in the 16th century.
The fort was used in the making of the James Bond movie "Never say never again".

Finnish unesco cards

I only had 1 of the 6 finnish unesco whs but now, thanks to Merja "kotona", i've 5. Only the Stuve Geodetic Arc is missing. We 1st tagged each other on a tag and then we agreed on a private. 

"Kvarken is the narrow region in the Gulf of Bothnia separating the Bothnian Bay (the inner part of the gulf) from the Bothnian Sea. The distance from Swedish mainland to Finnish mainland is around 80 km while the distance between the outmost islands is only 25 km. On the Finnish side of Kvarken, there is a large archipelago. Most of the small islands are inhabited.
The Kvarken region was historically important also, because mail was delivered across Kvarken when the sea was completely frozen from the Swedish to the Finnish coast. This mail route was used frequently during the period of Swedish rule.
In 2006, the Kvarken Archipelago was added as an extension to the World Heritage Site of the High Coast in Sweden, because it is "continuously rising from the sea in a process of rapid glacio-isostatic uplift, whereby the land, previously weighed down under the weight of a glacier, lifts at rates that are among the highest in the world. As a consequence of the advancing shoreline, islands appear and unite, peninsulas expand, lakes evolve from bays and develop into marshes and peat fens. This property is essentially a "type area" for research on isostasy; the phenomenon having been first recognized and studied here."
Most of the World Heritage Site is situated in the Korsholm municipality." - in: wikipedia

Old Rauma is the wooden city centre of the town of Rauma.
The area of Old Rauma is about 0.3m2, with approximately 600 buildings (counting proper houses and samller buildings like sheds) and about 800 people living in the area.
The town of Rauma expanded outside the Old Rauma only in the early 1800's. The oldest buildings date from the 18th century, as two fires of 1640 and 1682 destroyed the town.
Most of the buildings are currently inhabited and owned by private individuals, although along the two main streets and around the town square they are mainly in business use.

Sammallahdenmäki is a Bronze age burial site in Lappi minicipality. It was added on the unesco whs list in 1999. It includes 36 granite burial cairns date back from more than 3000 years, to 1500 to 500 BC. It was located on a hill in a remote area off the road between Tampere and Rauma.
Originally it was near the coast of the Golf of Bothnia, but the land has risen so it is now 15 kms from the sea. It is one of the most important Bronze age sites in Scandinavia.