Saturday, March 30, 2013

Oban - Scotland

Some time ago Gracinha sent me an envelope with 3 beautiful scotish cards. Today i'm only posting this one, i'm keeping the other 2 for a future post.

© David Lyons
Oban is a resort town within the Argyll and Bute council area of Scotland. It has a total resident population of 8,120. Despite its small size, it is the largest town between Helensburgh and Fort William and during the tourist season the town can play host to up to 25,000 people. Oban occupies a beautiful setting in the Firth of Lorn. The bay is a near perfect horseshoe, protected by the island of Kerrera, and beyond Kerrera the Isle of Mull.
The area around Oban is rich with attractions for tourists, from the dramatic scenery of the coast and mountains to the rich histories of the local castles and ancient religious sites. - in: wikipedia


For a churches lover like me, this is a great card.

GB-393983, sent by Serena.
Salisbury Cathedral, formally known as the Cathedral Church of the Blessed Virgin Mary, is an Anglican cathedral in Salisbury, England, and is considered one of the leading examples of Early English architecture.
The main body was completed in only 38 years, from 1220 to 1258.
The cathedral has the tallest church spire in the United Kingdom (123m/404 ft). Visitors can take the "Tower Tour" where the interior of the hollow spire, with its ancient wood scaffolding, can be viewed. The cathedral also has the largest cloister and the largest cathedral close in Britain (80 acres (320,000 m2)).
The cathedral contains the world's oldest working clock (from AD 1386) and has the best surviving of the four original copies of the Magna Carta (all four original copies are in England).
Although commonly known as Salisbury Cathedral, the official name is the Cathedral of Saint Mary. In 2008, the cathedral celebrated the 750th anniversary of its consecration in 1258. - in: wikipedia

Thursday, March 28, 2013


This is an official from Sweden but the card is showing the Great Hall of the Frederiksborg Castle, situated in Hillerød north of Copenhagen, Denmark.

SE-46785, sent by Miki.
Surrounded by the Castle Lake, a Baroque Garden and romantic landscaped gardens Frederiksborg Castle is an ideal excursion spot, offering cultural experiences as well as scenic walks and boat tours.
 Frederiksborg Castle is the largest Renaissance Castle in Scandinavia. It was built in the first decades of the 17th century by King Christian IV and incorporates the finest Renaissance architecture and craftsmanship.
 Since 1878, Frederiksborg Castle has housed the Museum of National History. A tour through the beautiful rooms of the museum is a tour through 500 years of Danish history, illustrated by portraits, history paintings, furniture and decorative art. Here you encounter people and events that have shaped Danish history from the Middle Ages to the 21st century. - in:
The glorious long Knights Hall was totally damaged by the fire in 1859 - and meticulously reconstructed in 1860-1864. The grand hall is decorated with portraits of the Glücksborg Line of Kings and Queens. On the right - is the trumpeter balcony that was used to salute royalties - when they entered the Knights Hall. The historical tapestries of Karel von Mander that was ordered by King Christian IV was destroyed by the fire. - in:

Wednesday, March 27, 2013


I bought dozens of cards on my trip to Belgium but i think i didn't buy any Manneken Pis cards. But yes, i've seen the statue and took a picture with it.

BE-192205, sent by Lara.
This bronze statuette, created in the 17th century by J. Duquesnoy the elder, embodies the irreverent spirit of Brussels. Also known as "Little Julian", due to confusion with another fountain, het Juliaensborreke, it was one of the many fountains serving the city. From being a public fountain, the little fellow has now become a legendary figure.
He has been given numerous costumes and decorations and his wardrobe now comprises some 800 items, recently restyled in an appealing scenography (see Museum of the City of Brussels). The oldest (known) costume was given to him by the Elector of Bavaria in 1698. Manneken-Pis has, alas, been the victim of several acts of vandalism. It was in 1745 that he was kidnapped for the first time by the English. Two years later, it was the turn of the French to steal him. Hearing of this, Louis XV gave him, by way of reparation for this outrage, a rich costume in gold brocade and decorated him with the cross of Saint-Louis. In 1817, the statuette was stolen again, this time by a reprieved French convict, and was found broken in pieces. The fragments were used to make the statuette which you can see today on the old fountain. - in:
Next month, on Sunday 28 April 2013, from 2 pm to 6 pm, Manneken-Pis honors Portugal, commemorating the Carnation Revolution.

Ehrenfels Castle - Germany

Back in January, Raquel went on a trip to the Rhine Valley in order to visit a few castles. This one can't be visited but it's location makes it one the most-photographed castles on the Rhine.

© Schoning GmbH & Co. KG
The ruins of Ehrenfels Castle are idyllically situated on a ledge in the midst of the vineyards between Rüdesheim/Rhine and Assmannshausen.
Around 1220, the Archbishop of Mainz had the former private castle, which had presumably been built around the year 1000, transformed into a mighty castle that served to levy very lucrative transit duties.
Due to its strategically important location fierce battles were fought for the castle in the Thirty Years’ War and it was finally burnt down in 1689. Afterwards the customs post was moved to Bingen and the remains of Ehrenfels Castle were left to fall into decay.
At the beginning of the 1990’s the land of Hesse, being the current owner of the ruins of Ehrenfels Castle, made funds for renovation available, saving the castle ruins from a fate of unabated decay. - in:

Monday, March 25, 2013

German officials

These are some of the german officials cards that i received in the last 4 months. I've received 2 or 3 other officials but the cards are from other countries. 

Gerh, Kaifer.
 DE-1817418, sent by Rebecca.
This is a card from Ostwestfalen-Lippe, a region in the German state of North Rhine-Westphalia, and shows the Hermannsdenkmal. This monument commemorates the Cherusci war chief Hermann or Armin (Latin: Arminius) and the Battle of the Teutoburg Forest in which the Germanic tribes under Arminius recorded a decisive victory in 9 AD over three Roman legions under Varus. At the time it was built, the location of the statue was believed to have been very near the actual site of the battle, though it is now known through excavations that the battle actually happened near Kalkriese, a considerable distance to the west and north of the monument.
Construction for the 53.46 m (173.39 ft) tall statue was started in 1841, but not completed until 1875 with the help of substantial funds from the state of Prussia. - in: wikipedia

Hanseatischer Verlag - Lubeck
DE-1837494, sent by Irena.
There are about 20 bridges in the Speicherstadt in Hamburg, this is one of them.

© Schoning GmbH & Co. KG
 DE-1921406, sent by Maria.
My 2nd card from Nuremberg and my 1st Christmas Market card. This one is called Christkindlesmarkt.
Nuremberg is a city in the German state of Bavaria.
Christkindlesmarkt is a Christmas market that is held annually in Nuremberg. It takes place during Advent in the Hauptmarkt, the central square in Nuremberg’s old town, and in adjoining squares and streets. With about two million visitors a year the Nürnberger Christkindlesmarkt is one of the largest Christmas markets in Germany and one of the most famous in the world. Every year the Christmas market begins on the Friday preceding the first Sunday in Advent and ends on December 24, unless that day is a Sunday. - in. wikipedia

Sunday, March 24, 2013


The 1st card was also sent by Manuela and the 2nd is an official but as the 2 cards are from Graz, i decided to post them together.

© Verlag F. Hruby
Graz is the capital of Styria (Steiermark) and is the second-largest city in Austria, with a population of about 285,000. Some 40,000 of this population is made up of students, as Graz is home to no less than six universities (three "standard" universities, two dedicated to applied sciences, and one dedicated to music and arts), and is associated with names as illustrious as Johannes Kepler, Erwin Schrödinger and Nikola Tesla.
Due to its importance as a strategic position, Graz was often assaulted by Ottoman Turks in the 16th century.
During WWII, Graz was part of Nazi Germany (along with rest of Austria). At the end of the war, Graz was surrendered to Soviet troops largely intact; the historic old town was not seriously hit during Allied bombing raids on the city. - in: wikitravel

© Verlag F. Hruby
 AT-133970, sent by Anita.
The old town was added to the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1999 due to the harmonious co-existence of typical buildings from different epochs and in different architectural styles. Situated in a cultural borderland between Central Europe, Italy and the Balkan States, Graz absorbed various influences from the neighbouring regions and thus received its exceptional townscape. Today the old town consists of over 1000 buildings, their age ranging from Gothic to Contemporary. - in: wikipedia


Usually i don't get cards from Austria that often but in less than a month i've got 2 officials and other 2 cards from private trades.

Landschaften fur Leidenschaften
AT-133521, sent  by Tina.
This is a card from the Kalkalpen National Park, my 1st austrian national park card. It is located in Upper Austria.
The Kalkalpen National Park features the largest forest region in Central Europe and the largest karst well in the country, called Pießling Ursprung in Roßleithen, a true paradise for nature lovers. A colourful mosaic consisting of pristine forests, promising viewpoints from mountain tops, hidden gorges and untouched mountain streams. If you want to get away from the hectic and noise of the city and are on the look for unique fauna and flora, then come to the Kalkalpen National Park for some exploring adventure. There are guided tours all year round – listen to the courtship of the black grouse and admire the blossoming of the orchids during spring, observe chamoix in alpine meadow and cave tours in summer or be enchanted by the autumn colours during the time of the deer mating season. - in:

Vienna Secession - Austria

The Vienna Secession was formed in 1897 by a group of Austrian artists who had resigned from the Association of Austrian Artists, housed in the Vienna Künstlerhaus. This movement included painters, sculptors, and architects. The first president of the Secession was Gustav Klimt, and Rudolf von Alt was made honorary president.

Kollektion Wien, Copyright Carl Anders Nilsson
The Secession building is an exhibition hall built in 1897 by Joseph Maria Olbrich as an architectural manifesto for the Vienna Secession, located in Vienna, Austria. Secession refers to the seceding of a group of rebel artists from the long-established fine art institution. - in: wikipedia
This card was sent by Manuela.

Saturday, March 23, 2013


The previous cards were from northern Italy and this one is from the south even it it was sent from Germany. Pia, the sender spent her last summer holidays in this italian city.

DE-1853905, sent by Pia.
Lecce is a historic city of 95,200 inhabitants in southern Italy, the capital of the province of Lecce, the second province in the region by population, as well as one of the most important cities of Puglia.
Because of the rich Baroque architectural monuments found in the city, Lecce is commonly nicknamed "The Florence of the South". - in: wikipedia
The churches on the card are such a few of the 52 that one can visit in the city.

Alberto's italian cards

I don't remember how long ago i've traded with Alberto but it was a few months ago. It was about time to show his card here.

 Photo by Giuseppe Vada
Saluzzo is a town in the province of Cuneo, Piedmont region, in the north of Italy. The city of Saluzzo is built on a hill overlooking a vast, well-cultivated plain.
The mountain in the background is Monte Viso.

 Studio Bandiera
Turin is a city and major business and cultural centre in northern Italy, capital of the Piedmont region.
The city has a rich culture and history, and is known for its numerous art galleries, restaurants, churches, palaces, opera houses, piazzas, parks, gardens, theatres, libraries, museums and other venues. Turin is well known for its baroque, rococo, neo-classical, and Art Nouveau architecture.
Turin is well known as the home of the Shroud of Turin, the football teams Juventus F.C. and Torino F.C., the headquarters of automobile manufacturers FIAT, Lancia and Alfa Romeo.
The tower on the card is the Mole Antonelliana, a major landmark building in the city. It is named for the architect who built it, Alessandro Antonelli. A mole is a building of monumental proportions. Construction began in 1863, soon after Italian unification, and was completed in 1889, after the architect's death. Originally conceived of as a synagogue, it now houses the Museo Nazionale del Cinema, and is the tallest museum in the world.
The Mole appears on the reverse of the two cent Italian euro coins. - in: wikipedia

aRos Comunicazione
The Palazzina di caccia of Stupinigi (Italian: "The hunting residence of Stupinigi") is one of the Residences of the Royal House of Savoy in northern Italy, part of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites list. Built as a royal hunting lodge in the early 18th century, it is located in Stupinigi, a suburb of the town of Nichelino, 10 km (6 mi) southwest of Turin.
The palace was designed by the architect Filippo Juvarra to be used as a palazzina di caccia ("hunting lodge") for Vittorio Amedeo II, King of Sardinia. Works started in 1729.
 The final building has a total of 137 rooms and 17 galleries, and covers 31,050 square meters. The original purpose of the hunting lodge is symbolized by the bronze stag perched at the apex of the stepped roof of its central dome, and the hounds' heads that decorate the vases on the roofline. The building has a saltire plan: four angled wings project from the oval-shaped main hall.
The extensions resulted in separate pavilions linked by long angled galleries and a long octagonal forecourt enclosed by wings, extended forwards in two further entrance courts.
Stupinigi was the preferred building to be used for celebrations and dynastic weddings by members of the House of Savoy. Here, in 1773, Maria Teresa, Princess of Savoy, married Charles Philippe, Count of Artois, brother of Louis XVI and the future Charles X of France.
Today the Palace of Stupinigi houses the Museo di Arte e Ammobiliamento, a museum of the arts and furnishings. - in: wikipedia

Friday, March 22, 2013

Portugal x Switzerland RR - Group 19

Yes, more swiss cards. It was supposed to have 3 cards in this post but the 3r never arrived and i believe it wasn't even sent, if you know what i mean, but of course, i might be mistaken.  

 This 1st card was sent by Grace.
Müstair is a village in the Val Müstair municipality in the district of Inn in the Swiss canton of Graubünden. The main tourist attraction in the area is the Benedictine Convent of Saint John, which is a World Heritage Site.

Guarda is my city's name and also a city's name in Switzerland. I only found out about this when Caroline gave me a card of the swiss Guarda 2 years ago. For this RR she sent me a 2nd card from there.
Guarda is a municipality in Inn District in the Swiss canton of Graubünden.
In 1975 the Swiss Heritage Society awarded Guarda the Wakker Prize for the preservation of its architectural heritage. The award notes that it is one of the best preserved and characteristic villages of the Unterengadin. It notes that the municipality struggled with a harsh landscape and the demands of tourism as well as the migration of young people from the village into the cities of Switzerland. - in: wikipedia

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Swiss Castles

I'm back from holidays, which were great by the way. I've been to beautiful places, took hundreds of pictures and bought way too many cards.
When i'm travelling i'm always curious about the cards i'm receiving, so of the 1st things i do when i get home, is to check my received cards. This time i've received a lot and one of them was one of these cards, both sent by Oscar. He already sent the Sargans Castle back in January and now he sent the beautiful Vufflens Castle.

© - Photo by Roland Gerth
 Sargans Castle, a proud witness of local Sargans history, embodies two hundred years of county rule and more than three centuries of varied rule by local officials. At the end of the 19th century, the municipality of Sargans bought the dilapidated building and, by way of numerous renovations, saved it from final decay.
Today the old county castle houses one of the most significant local museums in Europe. In 1983, as the top Swiss museum it received the European prize of "Museum of the Year" and was recorded as being one of the 37 worldwide museums most worth a visit in 1987.
The impressive view, the historically housed restaurant, the secluded castle courtyard, and the wonderful wine cellar with its ancient wine press make an excursion to the former local seat of power an unforgettable experience. - in:

© - Photo by Roland Gerth
With its majestic donjon of a height of 60m, the castle of Vufflens is visible from far away. Vufflens-le-Château and its vineyards are situated 3 km north from Morges.
The castle of Vufflens, built in the 15th century, represents the most outstanding example of a small group of Vaud castles dating from the Late Middle Ages, above all characteristic because they were built of bricks.
This impressive building with its 60 metres donjon is a private property and unfortunately not open to visitors. But one can very well admire it from the outside.
An agreeable promenade of 30 minutes through the vineyards between Vufflens-le-Château and Denens offers a splendid view on this magnificent castle, Lake Geneva and Mont-Blanc. - in:

Monday, March 4, 2013

Crans-Montana - Switzerland

With this swiss card, i officially declare this blog closed for holidays :D Bye, bye, see you in 10 days!!!

© Photo Edition Darbellay
Oscar has been living in Crans-Montana for the last couple of months. He sent me this card back in december.
Crans-Montana is a ski resort in southwestern Switzerland, in the heart of the Swiss Alps in the canton of Valais.
Crans-Montana is famous in alpine ski racing for the 1987 World Championships and is often on the World Cup schedule, usually for women's speed events. - in: wikipedia

Sunday, March 3, 2013


An official from Switzerland.

Photo: Annemarie Oerer ©
CH-136225, sent by Sabrina.
The card is nice but i'd rather have cards from identified places, which is not the case.

Manuela's french cards

A bit of France sent by Manuela.

Editions RENE
Charente is a department in southwestern France, in the Poitou-Charentes region, named after the Charente River, the most important river in the department.
The card is showing the underground St. Jean Church/monolithic church in Aubeterre-sur-Dronne; La Rochefoucauld castle; vineyards and Villebois-Lavalette castle.

Photos © Yann Tierny
A bit north, in the interior of the Pas-de-Calais département,  there's the former province of Artois. The cards shows some of it's principal cities. The Bollaert stadium in Lens; Bruay-La-Buissiere Town Hall; Béthune's belfry, a ski resort in Noeux-Les-Mines and the Heroes Square in Arras.
Photo Edition "FRANCE REGARD"
Arnac-Pompadour is a commune in the Corrèze department in central France.
The city is famous for its chateau and its stud farm, the Pompadour National Anglo-Arab Stud, headquarters of the French National Stud and France's principal production centre of Anglo-Arabian horses. - in: wikipedia

Photos by Henri Marcou
Lisle is a small village located south west of France, located in the department of Dordogne of the french region Aquitaine.

Libéria Fort - France

The Libéria Fort, located in Villefranche-de-Conflent in the Pyrénées-Orientales department, is one of fortified buildings built by Vauban and added in 2008 to the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites. The Fortifications of Vauban consists of 12 groups of fortified buildings and this is my 3rd card representing this site. The other show the citadel of Besançon and Tour Vauban or Tour dorée (lit. "Golden Tower") in Camaret-sur-Mer.
This card was sent by Fabienne.

© Objectif Sud - Messages du Sud * Foto: C. Levillain
The fort built by Vauban following the division of Catalonia between the France and Spain by the Treaty of the Pyrenees, from 1681. The fort is connected to the village of Villefranche by an underground staircase. It thus dominates the village from a height of 150 metres approximately.
As a result of the murder scandal known as the ‘affaire des poisons’ (poison affair) which rocked France during the 17th century, several infamous lady poisoners were chained up in the ’prison des dames’ of the chateau Fort Liberia.
Following the trial of the *Marquise de Brinvilliers, who had conspired to poison her father and brothers in order to inherit their estates, there was paranoia amongst the nobility, due also to a number of other mysterious deaths. Louis XIV himself become alarmed and had his servants taste all his food before eating. There followed a period of hysterical pursuit of murder suspects, during which a number of prominent people were implicated and sentenced for poisoning and witchcraft.
Many of the condemned were transferred to France’s safest fortresses such as Salses, Fort les Bains and chateau Fort Liberia, where they were chained up and imprisoned for life. - in:

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Sant Feliu de Guíxols - Spain

I've almost 400 cards from Spain, mostly from the biggest and well known cities, so it's kind of nice to get cards from other places. I've never heard about Sant Feliu de Guíxols before and it seems to be a lovely place.
The card was sent by Sandra.

Photo by Paco Dalmau
Sant Feliu de Guíxols is a town in the province of Girona, Catalonia. It is situated on the Costa Brava and is an important port and tourist centre.
Located on the Mediterranean, Sant Feliu de Guíxols has idylic weather almost all year long. The coastline of Sant Feliu de Guíxols spreads over ten kilometers. It also includes many little bays with coves surrounded by pines with rocky or fine sand beaches. The beaches are cleaned daily and a modern water treatment system prevents wastewater from entering the sea. The town is engulfed by small mountains, with forests of pine, oak, and cork trees. - in: wikipedia

Alcalá de Henares - Spain

Alcalá de Henare is a Spanish city whose historical centre is one of UNESCO's World Heritage Sites. It is located 35 km northeast of the city of Madrid.
This card, sent by Fabienne, shows the plateresque facade of the university.

Founded by Cardinal Jiménez de Cisneros in the early 16th century, Alcalá de Henares was the first city to be designed and built solely as the seat of a university, and was to serve as the model for other centres of learning in Europe and the Americas.
The concept of the ideal city, the City of God (Civitas Dei), was first given material expression in Alcalá de Henares, from where it was widely diffused throughout the world.
The contribution of Alcalá de Henares to the intellectual development of humankind finds expression in its materialization of the Civitas Dei, in the advances in linguistics that took place there, not least in the definition of the Spanish language, and through the work of its great son, Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra and his masterpiece, Don Quixote. -in:

Friday, March 1, 2013

Lake la Cueva - Spain

The Asturias region in northern Spain was one of the possibilities for my holidays. I'm going to Catalonia instead but i'd like to visit this region in the future.
This card was in my favs and it was sent by Raquel.

© Ediciones A. M. - Fotografia: Daniel Acevedo
Lake La Cueva, together with Lake Cerveriz and Lake Calabazosa, form the so-called Saliencia Lakes.
The basin is completely closed; therefore the view is limited to the immense basin. The eastern half of the basin conserves its pastoral character while the northern section, where the mining track is found, has been artificially terraced due to hydroelectric work and has been used as a spontaneous campsite as it includes a drinking fountain and an ample surface where cars can park. The western area has been deteriorated by past mining activities.
This lake collects water from several tributaries. Another possibly exists below the normal water level. There are three floodgates to regulate the flow. One controls the flow from Lake Negro and the other two are part of the outflow pipe.
The water is transparent if not clouded by mud that accumulates at the bottom of the lake, which makes it vary between emerald green and red-ochre. - in:

Cards from the future

As i said before, next week i'll travel to Barcelona but i'll visit other places too, such as the Montserrat Monastery and Tarragona, where these cards are from.

Triangle Postales - Photo by Pere Vivas
Heidi sent me this card last december and back then i didn't know that 2 months later i would visit this place.
The mountain Montserrat with the Benedictine monastery of Santa Maria de Montserrat lies about 45 km northwest of Barcelona.
Not only is Montserrat Monastery of significant religious importance but the natural beauty surrounding the monastery is simply breathtaking.
If you enjoy walking there are also some interesting walks through the mountains where you will experience magnificent views of some of the most unusual rock formations in the whole of Catalonia. You can take a funicular to the top of the mountain and from there you can choose a number of different walks, all with amazing views of the Catalonian countryside. - in:

© foto Raymond
Ana and Paula have recently been to Barcelona and they visited Tarragona. Ana knows about this trip to Catalonia and sent this card to let me know what to expect about the city.
On the card there's one of the several roman ruins in the city, the amphitheatre.
Built in the 2nd century A.D. on the shores of the Mediterranean Sea, the amphitheatre was used as a venue for numerous popular events, including gladiatorial games. It has the elliptical plan which is characteristic of this type of construction. There are pits which were used for auxiliary services located beneath the arena where these spectacles took place. In the central part of the amphitheatre the remains of the plan of a Visigoth basilica are preserved (6th century) as well as those of a Romanesque-Gothic church from the 12th century. - in: