Friday, September 30, 2011

Holy Cross Cathedral - Belarus

This is a card from Polotsk in Belarus with the Holy Cross Cathedral, part of the Savior and St. Euphorosyne Convent.

The card was sent by Tanya.

The church was built between 1893 - 1897.


My last official card arrived more than 2 weeks ago. I should be receiving more next week. This one is from Murmansk in Russia.

RU-535172, sent by Maria.
Murmansk is a city and the administrative center of Murmansk Oblast, Russia. It serves as a seaport and is located in the extreme northwest part of Russia, on the Kola Bay, 12 kilometers (7.5 mi) from the Barents Sea on the northern shore of the Kola Peninsula, not far from Russia's borders with Norway and Finland. Despite its rapidly declining population, Murmansk remains the largest city north of the Arctic Circle. - in: wikipedia
The card shows the Kirov Culture and Techonology Palace.

Belfast - Nothern Ireland

This is my 1st card from Nothern Ireland. Rita visited Belfast more than one year ago but i've just received this card now because she forgot to send it and found it a few days ago.

Belfast is the capital of and largest city in Northern Ireland. It is the 15th largest city in the United Kingdom and the second largest on the island of Ireland.
Historically, Belfast has been a centre for the Irish linen industry (earning the nickname "Linenopolis"), tobacco production, rope-making and shipbuilding: the city's main shipbuilders, Harland and Wolff, which built the ill-fated RMS Titanic, propelled Belfast on to the global stage in the early 20th century as the largest and most productive shipyard in the world. Belfast played a key role in the Industrial Revolution, establishing its place as a global industrial centre until the latter half of the 20th century.
Today, Belfast remains a centre for industry, as well as the arts, higher education and business, a legal centre, and is the economic engine of Northern Ireland. The city suffered greatly during the period of disruption, conflict, and destruction called the Troubles, but latterly has undergone a sustained period of calm, free from the intense political violence of former years, and substantial economic and commercial growth. Belfast city centre has undergone considerable expansion and regeneration in recent years, notably around Victoria Square.

Belfast is currently experiencing a successful tourist boom, being one of the most visited cities in the UK, and the second most visited on the island of Ireland. In 2008, 7.1 million tourists visited the city. - in: wikipedia

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Kronborg Castle - Denmark

Heidi didn't only send me the Luxembourg card, she also sent this card from Denmark. She participated in a postcrossing meeting last weekend in Copenhagen. The meeting and saturday and friday she visited the Kronborg Castle.

This card was signed by her, MissMaple (NL), Lotty (BE), Dorthe (DK),gogge1 (DK), Christa (DK), levisia (FI), IreneK (FI), Giorgis (CH), Mikis (Pl) and Gforp (DK).

Kronborg is a star fortress situated near the town of Helsingør (immortalized as Elsinore in Shakespeare's Hamlet) on the extreme northeastern tip of Zealand at the narrowest point of the Øresund, the sound between Denmark and Sweden. In this part, the sound is only 4 km wide, hence the strategic importance of maintaining a sea fortress at this location commanding one of the few outlets of the Baltic Sea. The castle has for centuries been one of the most important Renaissance castles in Northern Europe and was added to UNESCO's World Heritage Sites list on November 30, 2000. - in: wikipedia

Luxembourg City

While i was in Belgium i went to Luxembourg on a day trip. It was a 3 or 4 hours train trip and it was really worth it. The city is really beautiful, especially the downtown and the casamates are great.

I was there 1 week ago and a few days before Heidi "dollart" was there too. When i got home i had her and my card waiting for me.

My card shows the Stierchen Bridge crossing the Alzette river. This is a medieval bridge built in the 14th century.

Heidi sent me this card of the Grand Ducal Palace with a picture of the Royal Family.
It is the official residence of the Grand Duke of Luxembourg, and where he performs most of his duties as head of state of the Grand Duchy. As the official residence of the Grand Duke, the palace is used by him in the exercise of his official functions. He and the Grand Duchess, together with their staff, have their offices at the palace, and the state rooms on the first floor are used for a variety of meetings and audiences. in: wikipedia
The members of the Royal Family are the Grand Duke Henri married to Maria Teresa Mestre. Their children are: Hereditary Grand Duke Guillaume, Prince Félix, Prince Louis, Prince Sébastien and the Princess Alexandra.

Stoclet House - Belgoum

Like i mentioned in the previous post, i've visited a few unesco sites these holidays, 8 of them were in Belgium. The city of Brussels has 3 classified places, the Grand Place, the Stoclet House and Major Town Houses of the Architect Victor Horta. Of course i've been to the Grand Place and i've visited the Victor Horta Museum, which is really great! I didn't get to visit the Stoclet House but looking at the postcard, it doesn't seem that interresting.

When banker and art collector Adolphe Stoclet commissioned this house from one of the leading architects of the Vienna Secession movement, Josef Hoffmann, in 1905, he imposed neither aesthetic nor financial restrictions on the project. The house and garden were completed in 1911 and their austere geometry marked a turning point in Art Nouveau, foreshadowing Art Deco and the Modern Movement in architecture. Stoclet House is one of the most accomplished and homogenous buildings of the Vienna Secession, and features works by Koloman Moser and Gustav Klimt, embodying the aspiration of creating a ‘total work of art' (Gesamtkunstwerk). Bearing testimony to artistic renewal in European architecture, the house retains a high level of integrity, both externally and internally as it retains most of its original fixtures and furnishings. - in:
The mansion is still occupied by the Stoclet family. It is therefore not open to visitors. The palace was designated as a world heritage site by UNESCO in June 2009.

Doñana National Park - Spain

I'm really into Unesco places, these holidays i've been to 11 different places. Three of them were in Spain.

I've never been to the Doñana National Park but, thanks to Joana "joaninha", i've got the lovely card from there. I only need three more cards from Spain.

This park is a World Heritage Site since 1994.

Doñana National Park in Andalusia occupies the right bank of the Guadalquivir river at its estuary on the Atlantic Ocean. It is notable for the great diversity of its biotopes, especially lagoons, marshlands, fixed and mobile dunes, scrub woodland and maquis. It is home to five threatened bird species. It is one of the largest heronries in the Mediterranean region and is the wintering site for more than 500,000 water fowl each year. - in:

Castelo de Vide - Portugal

Vitória really enjoys to send cards everytime she travels. Just before the card from Azores, she had already sent this one from Castelo de Vide, her hometown. 

Castelo de Vide is a charming Alentejo village, located in a hill in the São Mamede Mountain range, in a place blessed by nature. The pituresque white houses come up and down the hill, with the Castle at the top, where centuries of history have left its legacy. There are several highlights in this beautiful town, like the gorgeous high Castle providing wonderful panoramas all around, but also other spots like the Jewish old quarter, one of the most important and well preserved examples of the Jewish presence in Portugal, dating back from the 13th century, and housing as well one of the biggest gothic civil architectural sets. In the magnificent D. Pedro V Square is located the lovely São João Baptista Church, the Hospital, the Matriz Church and the Town Hall, surrounded by some elegant manor houses. In front of Castelo de Vide is located the hill where the lovely Nossa Senhora da Penha Chapel is situated, providing a wonderful landscape over the village and the surrounding natural panorama. - in:

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Mini Meeting in Azores

Just 2 days before the mini meeting in Porto, Vitória "blicas blocas" and Lurdes had an even smaller meeting on the Terceira Island, Azores. Both sent me a card from there.

The card shows an Império which is a small structure, with a distinct architectural style where the faithful conduct their rituals. The architecture of the Impérios vary from island to island; from simple tile-roofed buildings (such as in Santa Maria) to grande chapels with ornate facades and crowned with an imperial crown (in Terceira). It is used as a place to store the reliqueries, penants, symbols; to cook and/or distribute the offerings; and to perform some of the religious services associated with the event. The appearance of permanent impérios began in the last half of the 19th century, probably resulting from money remitted from emigrants in the Brazilian and/or Californian diaspora. Until this point, the cult would realize their services in treatros, structures constructed principally for the events, that were later torn down. The Azorean diaspora, particularly those from New England and Canada, in addition to small strucutres, would construct larger enclosed salons owing to the conditions in these environme. - in: wikipedia

And now a view of Angra do Heroísmo and Mt. Brazil.
Angra do Heroísmo is the historical capital of the Azores; it is also the archipelago's oldest city, dating back to 1450, classified as a World Heritage site by UNESCO in 1983. Some claim that Angra was founded by Álvaro Martins, who sailed with Didrik Pining on his expedition to the New World, and with Bartolomeu Dias on his voyage around the Cape of Good Hope. Others contend that Angra was founded in 1450 or 1451 by Jácome de Bruges, a Fleming in the service of Prince Henry the Navigator, who recruited farmers, fishermen, and merchants in the Low Countries to colonize the Azores. - in: wikipedia

Mini Meeting in Porto - Portugal

I'm back from my wonderful holidays. After almost 2 weeks travelling i've tons of cards to count, organize, scan, upload.... I'd like a few more free days but i'll start working next thursday.

While i was out i've received a few cards, including 3 that i've sent to myself. The 1st one is this from Porto at the beginning of the month. I went there to meet 2 portuguese postcrosser friends, Joana "joaninha" and Miguel "leugim" and we had a great mini meeting.

We walked a bit around the city, visited a museum and a few of Porto monuments. One of those monuments was the S. Francisco Church, the city's most important Gothic temple. It's construction began in the fourteenth century. The extensive 17th and 18th baroque decoration is a profusion of gilt wood carvings in the vault pillars and columns: cherubs, plants, and animals dripping with gold -- note the "Tree of Jesse," dating from 1718.

The little that is not covered in pure gold (it is said that there is 400kg of it here) such as the wide-ribbed Gothic arches, is made of marble.

There is a museum housed in the catacombs below consisting of artifacts from the former monastery.

Beneath the flags of the cellar are thousands of human bones, stored to await Judgment Day.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Karina's Meeting - Portugal

I've received 2 or 3 cards from this meeting with Karina "kazinhabueno" but a few days ago i've received another one, a great one. That's us in the pictures. This is so cool.

The pictures were taken by José "PilotOne" and the card was made and sent by Luís "ludovico". This isn't an handmade card, that's a real card.
Left picture: Karina "kazinhabueno", Vitória "blicas blocas", Ninocas, Susana "susanaportugal", José "PilotOne", Joana "joaninha", Rita "rita_simões", me, Luís "ludovico" and Duarte.

Right picture: Paulo (Leninha's husband), Joana, Rita and her boyfriend Enrico, Karina and her husband Diego, Leninha and her son Francisco, Carole "loable", Ângela (Luís wife), Luís and José.

Valérie's Meeting - Netherlands

Three weeks ago Valérie was in the Netherlands and she meet a few postcrossers, including Laura, a GTKY friend.

She also met Jetske, Tjitske, Astrid, Saskia, Cindy and Leonie.

I had a meeting last weekend with 2 portuguese postcrossers and next weekend i'll have another meeting, but this time in Belgium :D Only 5 days left...

PT x Other Countries RR - Group 7

I love to get cards from Italy, that's why i joined the group 7 - Portugal x Italy - on this RR. I've received 3 great cards.

Matteo "angelus86" sent be this great card from Genova with the Rolli Palaces at the Garibaldi Street. This street, in the old city, was inscribed on the World Heritage List in 2006. This district was designed in the mid-16th century to accommodate Mannerist palaces of the city's most eminent families, including Palazzo Rosso (now a museum), Palazzo Bianco, Palazzo Grimaldi and Palazzo Reale. Palazzo Bianco and Palazzo Rosso are also known as Musei di Strada Nuova. The famous art college is also located on this street. - in: wikipedia

Lambert "micio" also sent be a Unesco card. It shows the Piazza della Cisterna in San Gimignano.
The Piazza della Cisterna is the most beautiful and famous piazza in all of San Gimignano. It is enclosed by a wall of nobility houses and medieval towers. It marks the junction between the two most important roads: the Francigena and the road leading from Pisa to Siena. It was the heart of San Gimignano, forming, along with the Piazza Duomo, the cornerstone of the medieval city. While Piazza Duomo was the religious and political centre, the Piazza della Cisterna was the place dedicated to popular culture, with a marketplace and a site for holding public performances, festivals, and tournaments. - in:

In just a few days, Dennis "mediolanum_card" sent me 2 cards from Milan, the other one was an official.
The official shown the Duomo and this one also shows the Duomo but also the Sforzesco Castle, Vittorio Emanuele Gallery, one of the navigli (water canal), La Scala Opera House and the Peace Arch at the Sempione Square.

Créac'h Lighthouse - France

The next 2 weeks i wont have time to make any updates because i'll be travelling. I've a little pile of cards on my bedside table, waiting for the spotlight.

It's already midnight, i'd better start and i'll start with a favorite from France. Créac'h Lighthouse at the Ouessant Island, Bretagne.

The lighthouses are an essential part of Ouessant life. The island is a rocky promontory in the ocean, with cliffs and sandbanks all around it. The area used to be sadly famous for its many shipwrecks, and furniture in the houses used to be built from wood retrieved from the ships that hit the rocks. Today, the Breton coast is studded with powerful lighthouses guiding the ships, including supertankers, through the English Channel into the North Sea.

The Creac'h lighthouse marks, with the one of Land's End in Great Britain, the entry to the Channel. The Creac'h is one of the most powerful lighthouses existing today, whose signal (two white flashes every ten seconds) can be seen at 61 km. There is also a powerful fog-horn, which used to be operated by horses, but which today is, of course, automatic. There used to be a strange device, an underwater bell, too. - in:
The card was sent by Michelle.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

King's College - Cambridge

Almost 2 am and i'm not sleepy! Counting sheeps doesn't work maybe some updates can help.

This card from Cambridge, in England, was another card in my favorites. It was sent by Catherine "audiopinapple" and it shows King's College Chapel and the Gibbs' Building.

King's College is a constituent college of the University of Cambridge, England. The college's full name is "The King's College of our Lady and Saint Nicholas in Cambridge", but it is usually referred to simply as "King's" within the University.

The college was founded in 1441 by King Henry VI, soon after its sister college in Eton. However, the King's plans for the college were disrupted by the civil war and resultant scarcity of funds, and his eventual deposition. Little progress was made on the project until in 1508 King Henry VII began to take an interest in the college, most likely as a political move to legitimise his new position. The building of the college's chapel, begun in 1446, was finally finished in 1544 during the reign of King Henry VIII.
King's College Chapel is regarded as one of the greatest examples of late Gothic English architecture. It has the world's largest fan-vault, and the chapel's stained-glass windows and wooden chancel screen are considered some of the finest from their era. The building is seen as emblematic of Cambridge. The chapel's choir, composed of male students at King's and choristers from the nearby King's College School, is one of the most accomplished and renowned in the world. Every year on Christmas Eve the Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols (a service created by a Dean of King's especially for the college) is broadcast from the chapel to millions of listeners worldwide. - in:

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Ukrainian Unesco WHS

Las week i've received these Unesco cards from Ukraine, both new in my collection, Struve Geodetic Arc and the Residence of Bukovinian and Dalmatian Metropolitans. Oksana tagged me on a favorites tag and she asked if she could send me missing unesco cards. Of course i said yes :D and the cards are great!!

The Struve Geodetic Arc is currently a joint venture between scientists of various countries who work together in the name of science and stretches from Hammerfest (Norway) to the Ukrainian Black Sea. Ukraine has four station points of the arc located at Stara Nekrasivka in the Odessa Oblast, Felschtin, Katerinowka and in Baranowka. -

The most southernmost station of the Struve Geodetic Arc is located in Ukraine, in Staro-Nekrasivka.

This building is the Chernivtsi University, a former residence of Bukovinian and Dalmatian Metropolitans. It represents a masterful synergy of architectural styles built by Czech architect Josef Hlavka from 1864 to 1882. The property, an outstanding example of 19th-century historicist architecture, also includes a seminary and monastery and is dominated by the domed, cruciform Seminary Church with a garden and park. The complex expresses architectural and cultural influences from the Byzantine period onward and embodies the powerful presence of the Orthodox Church during Habsburg rule, reflecting the Austro-Hungarian Empire policy of religious tolerance.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Unesco cards RR - Group 82 (Christa)

The last cards of this group were sent by Christa. She sent Unesco sites from Denmark and new sites from Uzbekistan and Egipt.

The Bolo-hauz Mosque is one of the severak mosques in the historic center of Bukhara.
Bukhara, which is situated on the Silk Route, is more than 2,000 years old. It is the most complete example of a medieval city in Central Asia, with an urban fabric that has remained largely intact. Monuments of particular interest include the famous tomb of Ismail Samani, a masterpiece of 10th-century Muslim architecture, and a large number of 17th-century madrasas. - in:

St. Catherine's Monastery is an Orthodox monastery on the Sinai peninsula at the foot of Mount Sinai in Egypt. One of the oldest Christian monasteries in the world, St. Catherine's incorporates the burning bush seen by Moses and contains many valuable icons. Above the monastery is Mount Sinai, where Moses received the Ten Commandments from God. Because God spoke to Moses in these places, this area is sacred to three world religions: Christianity, Islam and Judaism.
In 2002, the area centering on St. Catherine's Monastery was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO because of Mt. Sinai's importance in three major world religions (Judaism, Christianity and Islam), the natural environment of the area and St. Catherine's historic architecture and art. - in:

5 Unesco cards RR - Group 82 (Joanna)

Joanna sent me cards from 5 different countries and the card from the US is from a new Unesco site :D Carlsbad Caverns. The other cards are from Bergen, Norway; Wachau, Austria; Pannonhalma Abbey in Hungary and Lake Louise in the Canadian Rocky Mountains.

Bergen, on the south-western coast of Norway, is the 2nd largest city in the country. Bergen's old quayside, Bryggen is on Unesco's WHS list since 1979.

Bryggen is a series of Hanseatic commercial buildings lining the eastern side of the fjord coming into Bergen. The area of the present Bryggen constitutes Bergen's oldest part. Around 1360 a Kontor of the Hanseatic League was established there, and as the town developed into an important trading centre, the wharfs were improved. The buildings of Bryggen were gradually taken over by the Hanseatic merchants. The warehouses were filled with goods, particularly fish from northern Norway, and cereal from Europe.
Throughout history, Bergen has experienced many fires, since, traditionally, most houses were made from wood. This was also the case for Bryggen, and as of today, around a quarter dates back to the time after 1702, when the older wharfside warehouses and administrative buildings burned down. The rest predominantly consists of younger structures, although there are some stone cellars that date back to the 15th century. - in: wikipedia

The Wachau is an Austrian valley with a landscape of high visibility formed by the Danube river. The Wachau was inscribed as "Wachau Cultural Landscape" in the Unesco's WHS list in 2000.On the card there's the Göttweig Abbey, the Steiner Tower in Kreams, the Göttweig Abbey again, Dürnstein and the Aggstein ruins.

The Benedictine Pannonhalma Archabbey is the most notable landmark in Pannonhalma and one of the oldest historical monuments in Hungary. It was founded as the first Hungarian Benedictine monastery in 996 by Prince Géza. (...)
In 1996, "the Millenary Benedictine Abbey of Pannonhalma and its Natural Environment" was elected among the World Heritage sites. - in:

Lake Louise is a lake in Alberta, Canada. The glacial lake is located in Banff National Park, 5 km (3.1 mi) from the hamlet of Lake Louise and the Trans-Canada Highway.

Lake Louise is named after the Princess Louise Caroline Alberta (1848–1939), the fourth daughter of Queen Victoria and the wife of the Marquess of Lorne, who was the Governor General of Canada from 1878 to 1883.

The emerald colour of the water comes from rock flour carried into the lake by melt-water from the glaciers that overlook the lake. The lake has a surface of 0.8 km2 (0.31 sq mi) and is drained through the 3 km long Louise Creek into the Bow River.

Fairmont's Chateau Lake Louise, one of Canada's grand railway hotels, is located on Lake Louise's eastern shore. It is a luxury resort hotel built in the early decades of the 20th century by the Canadian Pacific Railway. - in: wikipedia

Carlsbad Caverns' karst landscape, in the state of New Mexico, comprises over 80 recognized caves. They are outstanding not only for their size but also for the profusion, diversity and beauty of their mineral formations.
Carlsbad Caverns includes a large cave chamber, the Big Room, a natural limestone chamber which is almost 4,000 feet (1,220 m) long, 625 feet (191 m) wide, and 350 feet (110 m) high at the highest point. It is the third largest chamber in North America and the seventh largest in the world.

5 Unesco cards RR - Group 82 (Simona)

I haven't joined any RR in the last months but a few weeks ago Violet invited me to join her Unesco RR. I thought it could be a nice opportunity to get new and different cards, so i joined group 82.

Simona "lunanai" from Slovenia sent me cards from her country (not in this post), Germany, Mexico and China.

Regensburg is a city in Bavaria, Germany, located at the confluence of the Danube and Regen rivers. One of the main sights of the city is the medieval Stone Bridge, built betweeen 1135–1146. The knights of the 2nd and 3rd crusade used it to cross the Danube on their way to the Holy Land.
The large medieval centre of the city is a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2006.

A view of the Kukulcan Pyramid at Chichen Itza during the Sprin Equinox.

The ruins of Chichen Itza archeological site and Dzibilchaltún are the two best places to appreciate the equinox. This is an archaeo-astronomical phenomenon, where Earth is illuminated by the sun the same way in the northern hemisphere and in the south.

On the evening of 21 March and 22 September during the spring and fall equinoxes, respectively, there is a solar projection consisting of seven triangles of light, inverted, as a result of the shadow of the nine platforms of the pyramid, at sunset, simulating the image of a snake down through the banisters of the stairs of the north staircase of the Kukulcan Pyramid or El Castillo at Chichen Itza.
This phenomenon of light simulates a snake descending majestically through the banisters of the stairs of the Kukulcan Pyramid at Chichen Itza. The first shadows of the pyramid begins to draw isosceles triangles that make up the body of the feathered serpent that seems to move slowly downward until the head of the snake reaches bottom of the balustrade.

When the last of the triangle reaches the base of the balustrade, all spectators stand up and raise their hands to absorb the positive energy that emanates from this phenomenon. - in:

Summer Palace in Beijing.

Vall de Boí - Spain

This was the 1st card i picked from Luis trade albuns because it is from an Unesco place, an hard to get one. Vall de Boí was designated a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 2000.

The Vall de Boí is a narrow, steep-sided valley and a small municipality in the province of Lleida, in the autonomous community of Catalonia, northern Spain. The valley is best known for its nine Early Romanesque churches, making it the site of the densest concentration of Romanesque architecture in Europe. - in: wikipedia

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Trujillo - Spain

A card from Trujillo in Extremadura, sent by Luis.
Trujillo is a Spanish city located in the province of Cáceres, in the Extremadura region. It was the birthplace of Francisco Pizarro and his brothers, conquerors of Peru, as well as of Francisco de Orellana.

The card shows the Juan Pizarro de Orellana, a cousin of Fransisco Pizarro. This 16th century palace is quite special in the history of Trujillo and the New World because it once served as the Casa de Contratación, or House of Contracts. It was in this place that the people who wished to travel to the Americas and continue the colonization and conquest signed the contract to do so. Therefore this palace played a very significant role in the expansion of the empire into the New World.