Saturday, August 31, 2013

Engadin - Switzerland

The next post will be dedicated to swiss cards, all of them sent by Grace and showing different places in Switzerland. 

© Photoglob Zürich - Foto: © Torsten Krüger
The Engadin is a long valley in the Swiss Alps located in the canton of Graubünden in southeast Switzerland. It follows the route of the Inn River from its headwaters at Maloja Pass running northeast until the Inn flows into Austria, one hundred kilometers downstream. The Engadin is protected by high mountains on all sides and is famous for its sunny climate, beautiful landscapes, and outdoor activities. - in: wikipedia

© Photoglob Zürich - Foto: © Max Weiss St. Moritz
This card shows Sent, a village located in the Engadin Valley.
Sent, in the Engadine valley, is beautifully situated on a sunny plateau high above the Inn River at an altitude of 1440 meters above sea level. A major attraction in this village is the “Parkin Not dal Mot”. This park at the western end of Sent was designed by Not Vital, a local, world-renowned artist. His art, his structural creations and sculptures are on exhibit in the park.
 The village itself is also noteworthy for its architecture with the typical Sent gables as well as the prominent village church and the unusual bell tower. - in:

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Col de la Bonette - France

Last post of today!! Now that i'm about to change to the morning shift, i'll try to make daily updates, at least till mid-september, when i'll have to stop posting for almost 2 weeks because i'll go on holidays to... France, where this card, sent by Manuela, is from. I won't visit this region but i'm sure i'll visit a lot of amazing places. 

Editions Photoguy * Photo: Charles Blanc-Pattin
Col de la Bonette (el. 2,715 metres (8,907 ft)) is a high mountain pass in the French Alps, near the border with Italy. It is situated within the Mercantour National Park on the border of the departments of Alpes-Maritimes and Alpes-de-Haute-Provence. The road over the col is the seventh highest paved road in the Alps. - in: wikipedia

Spanish towns

Luis sent me a total of 6 cards. These are from 3 different communities, Andaluzia, Catalonia and Cantabria. 

El Olivo Editora y Distribuidora * Foto: J. Marc Linares
My second card from Jaén. The other one was showing the cathedral, this one shows Santa Catalina Castle. 
Santa Catalina castle stands on the ridge of Santa Catalina, originally the site of three different fortresses, on which was built today's castle. 
The castle began as an 8th Century Moorish fortress. The current construction is of Christian origin, raised after the conquest of the city by Ferdinand III of Castile, called the Saint, in 1246.
 An interesting feature of this castle, which is connected with the city of Jaén by means of a passageway, is the Mirador de la Cruz viewing point with its exceptional views. The castle is now a Parador hotel.

 Postales Internacional Color
Pals is a medieval town in Catalonia. 
Pals has a historic centre on a hill surrounded by plains with a medieval Romanesque tower built between the 11th and 13th centuries, known as the Torre de les Hores (Tower of the Hours).
The Gothic Quarter of the town has been substantially restored and there are cobbled streets interrupted by semicircular arches, façades with pointed arched windows and stone balconies. - in: wikipedia

© Fisa - Escudo de Oro, S. A. 
This nice building is Castro Urdiales Town Hall.
Castro Urdiales is a seaport of northern Spain, situated on the bay of Biscay. 
The town hall building was built in the 16th century in neoclassic style. Highlights include its balcony and the clock tower. 


After a few months waiting, i've received yesterday 6 card from Spain, sent by Luís. All these 3 show monuments classified as UNESCO World Heritage Sites. 

Foto: Paisajes Españoles
The Hospital de la Santa Creu i Sant Pau, together with Palau de la Música Catalana, it is a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1997.
I've been to Barcelona last march visited the Palau de la Música Catalana. It wasn't in my plans to visit the Hospital, i've only seen it from the outside but even if i wanted to visit it, it would be possible because it was closed for renovation works. 
Surpresily i didn't find any cards of this Hospital and that's why i chose this card from Luis' albuns.
The former Hospital de la Santa Creu i Sant Pau in Barcelona, is a complex built between 1901 and 1930, designed by the Catalan modernist architect Lluís Domènech i Montaner. 
It was a fully functioning hospital until June 2009, it is currently undergoing restoration for use as a museum and cultural center.
Although the hospital's current buildings date from the 20th century, the Hospital de Sant Pau was founded in 1401 when six small medieval hospitals merged.

© Fisa - Escudo de Oro, S. A. 
 This the Santa Maria del Naranco church, situated 3 kilometres (1.9 mi) from Oviedo, northern Spain.
The architectural structure of what was once the residence of king Ramiro I, later converted into a church, became a reference point for Romanesque buildings.
This monument is in the pre-Romanesque style, and is set at the foot of Naranco Mountain. It is among the monuments of Oviedo and Asturias which have been awarded the World Heritage designation by the UNESCO. King Ramiro I ordered its construction in 848 and used it as a royal palace; it was later converted into a church. The building has a rectangular floor plan on two floors, each with a central section and two shorter lateral wings. There is a half barrel-vaulted roof throughout the building, except in the lateral rooms on the ground floor which have wooden ceilings. The altar is located outside the actual church and has an inscription dating from 23 June 848. Also worth seeing are the barrel-vaulted crypt, divided into five arms by Perpignan-style arches, and the vaulted hall, open to the exterior via arch-shaped windows. - in:

© Edilesa - Foto: Archivo Edilesa / M. Martin 
San Millán Yuso and Suso Monasteries (Yuso in the front and Suso in the background) are classified as UNESCO WHS since 1997.
The Committee decided to inscribe this property on the basis of criteria (ii), (iv) and (vi), considering that the Monasteries of Suso and Yuso at San Millán de la Cogolla are exceptional testimony to the introduction and continuous survival of Christian monasticism, from the 6th century to the present day. The property is also of outstanding associative significance as the birthplace of the modern written and spoken Spanish language.
The Spanish language was born in these monasteries, San Millán Suso and Yuso, and they form an important part of the history of humanity. Because of the identification and inter-relationship of the two monasteries with elements of the Mozarabic, Visigothic, medieval, Renaissance and Baroque styles, the architecture and the natural landscape bring together highly significant periods in the history of Spain. - in:

Monday, August 26, 2013

Mudejar Architecture of Aragon - Spain

Mudéjar Architecture of Aragon is an aesthetic trend in the Mudéjar style, which is centered in the spanish community of Aragon. 
The development in the 12th century of Mudejar art in Aragon resulted from the particular political, social and cultural conditions that prevailed in Spain after the Reconquista. This art, influenced by Islamic tradition, also reflects various contemporary European styles, particularly the Gothic. Present until the early 17th century, it is characterized by an extremely refined and inventive use of brick and glazed tiles in architecture, especially in the belfries. - in

In 1986, Unesco declared the whole Mudejar complex of Teruel a World Heritage Site, which was extended in 2001 to include other Aragonese Mudejar monuments. Two of those monuments, shown on these cards sent by Manuela, are the Cathedral of the Savior and the Aljafería Palace, both in Zaragoza. 
 Ediciones Arribas
The Cathedral of the Savior (Spanish: Catedral del Salvador), commonly known as La Seo,  is a Roman Catholic temple located on the Plaza de la Seo in Zaragoza. 
Dating from the 12th century, extensive renovations to the Cathedral has resulted in a mixture of architectural styles. Romanesque, Gothic, Baroque, Renaissance and Mudéjar are all present in the structure. 

Fotografía: Andrés Ferrer
The Aljafería Palace is a fortified medieval Islamic palace built during the second half of the 11th century in the Moorish taifa of Zaragoza of Al-Andalus, present day Zaragoza, Spain. The palace reflects the splendor attained by the kingdom of the taifa of Zaragoza at the height of its grandeur. The palace currently contains the Cortes (regional parliament) of the autonomous community of Aragon.
The structure holds unique importance in that it is the only conserved testimony of a large building of Spanish Islamic architecture of the era of the Taifas (independent kingdoms). - in: wikipedia

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Trás-os-Montes - Portugal

Trás-os-Montes is also a portuguese region in the north of the country. These cards, sent by Miguel, are from that region and they are great to my old people collection. 

Nunes de Almeida Editores
Over the past decades, the number of donkeys has declined in Tras-os-Montes. However these animals still have an important role in rural areas, providing a large number of services to the rural populations. 

Nunes de Almeida Editores
For many of the villages of Tras-os-Montes inhabitants, especially the elderly, the donkey is an important help for everyday tasks and many agricultural jobs. 

Minho - Portugal

Minho is a portuguese region in the north of the country, which includes the districts of Viana do Castelo and Braga. This is one of my favorite regions. 

I'll go on holidays next month and one of the places i wanted to go was Viana do Castelo but i had to change my plans. I won't be able to go next month but i still want to visit the city this year. 
This card sent by Eduardo shows the local handicraft. 

 Edição da Confraria do Bom Jesus do Monte
The Bom Jesus Sanctuary in Braga is the famous landmark of the city. The architecture of the church and its baroque stairway is remarkable but its gardens are also worth to visit. 
This card sent by Miguel shows an artificial cave and the gazebo. 

Forways, Lda
Another card sent by Eduardo, this one from Braga's city center. The Republic Square was opened by the end of the middle ages. It was here, that food and other supplies were sold and traded since the 16th century.
The space was transformed into a public garden in the mid-19th century and the arcade building was completed in 1885.
The latest intervention in the square took place between June 1994 and July 1995, when the square was closed to traffic and built an illuminated fountain. 

Buarcos & Lamego - Portugal

These two cards sent by Zé Guedes are from 2 different places. Buarcos is fishing town in the municipality of Figueira da Foz and Lamego is a city in nothern Portugal. 

 © Grafipost - Editores & Artes Gráficas, Lda

With these two statues, Buarcos honors the local fishermen and the fisherwomen. 
The first statue represents a fisherman. It is a bronze monument and was inaugurated in 1993.
The second statue, in concrete, honors the fisherwomen of Buarcos. It was inaugurated in 1996.

Nunes de Almeida Editores
Situated at the highest point of the city, Lamego Castle dates from the 12th century. Still intact are two gates, the Porta dos Fogos and the Porta do Sol, the keep, which was used as the town hall in the 16th and 17th centuries, and parts of the 13th century town wall. There is also a Moorish cistern, the largest yet discovered in Portugal, with the monograms of the master masons who built it. Tradition has it that the soul of a Moorish maid returns to the tower to weep on foggy days. - in:

Friday, August 23, 2013

Praia da Luz - Portugal

Raquel also went on holidays to Algarve and sent me this card of Praia da Luz beach. 

© Michael Howard photography 
Praia da Luz is used to refer to both the urbanized village and its beach. 
Luz is dominated by its beach, and extends as far as the cliffs of the southern coast .
Luz's beach and setting have attracted many visitors to the region, resulting in a shift from an economy based on fishing to one providing services for local tourists. Along the beach, many of the canning plants were closed and replaced by windsurfing and diving schools, as well as discos, restaurants and shops tailoring to the seasonal visitor.
 The settlements of Luz have become holiday destinations for citizens primarily from the United Kingdom, Ireland, France and Germany, as well as local vacationers from within Portugal. In some cases, foreign tourists have chosen to make it their permanent home. - in: wikipedia

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Our Lady of Guia Chapel - Portugal

Another interior of a church, this one much smaller than the Jerónimos Monastery church. 
Gracinha went on holidays to Algarve and sent me this card of this chapel in Guia, Albufeira. 

Dispalag ®
According to evidence, this chapel precedes the 16th century, and was partially destroyed in the 1755 earthquake. It represents an important testimony of the Baroque Period in the Algarve and is considered one of the most important artistic monuments of the entire Albufeira council. The interior is lined with polychrome tiles that provide an appropriate backdrop to the 17th century image of the town’s patron saint. - in:

Jerónimos Monastery - Portugal

The Jerónimos Monastery is Lisbon is one of the best known portuguese monuments, a UNESCO WHS and one of the 7 portuguese wonders. If you ever visited it, i'm sure you agree with all of these distinctions. 
The card was sent by Margarida. 

Fotógrafo: Luís Pavão
The Jeronimos Monastery is the most impressive symbol of Portugal's power and wealth during the Age of Discovery. King Manuel I built it in 1502 on the site of a hermitage founded by Prince Henry the Navigator, where Vasco da Gama and his crew spent their last night in Portugal in prayer before leaving for India. It was built to commemorate Vasco Da Gama's voyage and to give thanks to the Virgin Mary for its success. Vasco da Gama's tomb was placed inside by the entrance, as was the tomb of poet Luis de Camões, author of the epic The Lusiads in which he glorifies the triumphs of Da Gama and his compatriots. Other great figures in Portuguese history are also entombed here, like King Manuel and King Sebastião, and poets Fernando Pessoa and Alexandre Herculano. - in:

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Lisbon - Portugal

Two cards from the portuguese capital sent by Ninocas and Cristina. 

 Rufino & Rufino, Lda
This card must be new, i've never seen it before and neither has Ninocas. 
I'm not a Lisbon expert, i had to use google to identify some of these places, which are the St. Justa Elevator, Camões Square, Carmo Square and the ruins of the Carmo Convent. 

© New Jamp, Lda
Rossio Square, in Lisbon's downtown, is one of the favorite places for postcrossers to meet, specially on bigger meetings. 
Rossio is the liveliest square in the city, where people stop to sit and relax, or for a drink at the several atmospheric cafes with outdoor sitting (the most popular is the art deco Cafe Nicola on the western side). 
On either side of the square are two baroque fountains, and in the center is a monument measuring 27 meters in height. It consists of a pedestal with marble allegories of Justice, Wisdom, Strength, and Moderation, qualities attributed to Dom Pedro IV, whose statue stands on top of the monument. 
In the 19th century the square was paved with cobblestones in wave patterns, a design seen today in many other pavements all over Portugal, and that has spread to Portugal's former colonies from Rio de Janeiro (Brazil) to Macao (China). 
On the north side of the square is the Dona Maria II National Theater, a monumental neoclassical building built in the 1840s. The portico has six Ionic columns (originally from the Church of St. Francis, destroyed in the 1755 earthquake), and crowning the pediment is a statue of playwright Gil Vicente. - in:

Monday, August 19, 2013

8th Postcrossing Anniversary Meeting

Last month Postcrossing celebrated its 8th anniversary and Aveiro hosted a portuguese meeting. Unfortunately, i had to work that day and celebrated this anniversary alone. 
I wasn't there but this year the meeting was big, with some of the regular faces and new ones too. This is the list of postcrossers at this meeting: Paula, Vitória, Miguel, Ninocas & Duarte, Zé "Pombal", Zé Guedes,  Catarina, Edite, Ana Sofia & Mafalda, Rita Oliveira, Edite and another Ana. 

 © Composición y diseño: EDITORIAL FISA ESCUDO DE ORO, S. A. 
This 1st card was sent by Vitória. 
Four of these cards have three things in common, the Aveiro Lagoon, the Central Channel and the moliceiros boats. 
The 45-kilometer-long  Aveiro lagoon stands as one of Europe's last remaining untouched coastal marshland. It is also a haven for numerous bird species. The locals call this rich lagoon Ria de Aveiro. Tourism and aquaculture are the mainstay of the Aveiro Lagoon region. It is also renowned for its artisan fishing and as a center for the collection of fleur de sel, an expensive salt variety. - in: wikipedia

  Fotografia: Oswaldo Santos
The Central Channel of the Ria de Aveiro runs through the center of the lower part of the city, from the Rossio Garden to the old building of the captaincy of the port of Aveiro.
Card sent by Zé Guedes.

 Forways, Lda
 This night view of the Grand Channel was sent by Ninocas & Duarte. 
Moliceiro is the name given to vessels circulating in the Ria de Aveiro lagoonThis vessel was originally used for harvesting seaweedbut now used for tourism.

 Guia Turístico do Norte, Lda
Moliceiros are known for its elegant stylized bow, decorated with cheerful colours and marine and rural elements. There's also the presence of a caption in each moliceiro, usually something unique and funny, the only limit is the imagination of its author.

Nunes de Almeida Editores
Miguel sent me a card from Barcelos with the Main Church. 
The construction of the Church began in the second half of the 14th century, ordered by D. Pedro, 3rd Count of Barcelos, whose arms are recorded in the arches of the main portal. It is a building with a Romanesque transition to Gothic. Was transformed over the centuries XV to XVIII. 
On the South side of its facade has a bell tower that dates back to the 18th century.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Contendas Lighthouse - Terceira Island

Last year, on the Terceira Island, i've seen this lighthouse with Lurdes, we didn't visited it though. She sent me this card a few weeks ago. 

Photo by: Rodrigo Bento
The Contendas Lighthouse is located in the south-east corner of the island of Terceira, at Contendas Point,  in the Portuguese archipelago of the Azores.
The construction of the lighthouse began in 1930 and was  inaugurated on 1 February 1934. 
The lighthouse building complex consists of three spaces for lighthouse-keepers, two cisterns, an office and inspection room. The first floor terrace gives access to the tower, through two narrow openings, to the terrace, and from there to the dome structure, which is manufactured steel topped by a weathervane. The building, which is circled by a cornice and terrace, is painted white. The light terrace and the lamp housing atop the building are painted red. The structure is interspersed with square sash windows and sills. - in: wikipedia

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

PT RR - Group 83 * Churches

Churches from Belgium and Spain and Brazil, sent by Lieve and José "Pombal". 

© Uitg. Thill
Saint Peter's Church of Leuven is situated on the city's Grote Markt. It was built mainly in the 15th century in Brabantine Gothic style. 
In 1458, a fire struck the old Romanesque towers that still flanked the West End of the uncompleted building. The first arrangements for a new tower complex followed quickly, but were never realized. Then, in 1505, Joost Matsys (brother of painter Quentin Matsys) forged an ambitious plan to erect three colossal towers of freestone surmounted by openwork spires, which would have had a grand effect, as the central spire would rise up to about 170 m, making it the world's tallest structure at the time. Insufficient ground stability and funds proved this plan impracticable, as the central tower reached less than a third of its intended height before the project was abandoned in 1541. After the height was further reduced by partial collapses from 1570 to 1604, the main tower now rises barely above the church roof; at its sides are mere stubs. The architect had, however, made a maquette of the original design, which is preserved in the southern transept.
Despite their incomplete status, the towers are mentioned on the UNESCO World Heritage List, as part of the Belfries of Belgium and France. - in: wikipedia

Edita: Picu Urriellu * Diseño; Javier Cruz * Fotografia: Juanjo Arrojo
The  Cathedral of San Salvador is a Roman Catholic cathedral and minor basilica in the centre of Oviedo, in the Asturias region of northern Spain.
The Cathedral of San Salvador of Oviedo today displays an array of architectural styles, from Pre-Romanesque to Baroque, including Romanesque, Gothic and Renaissance parts. It began as a large Pre-Romanesque basilica in the present location of the Gothic cathedral, but nothing more is known about that first building, built by order of King Alfonso II of Asturias.
The Cathedral was founded by King Fruela I of Asturias in 781 AD, and enlarged in 802 by his son Alfonso II of Asturias known as Alfonso the Chaste, who made Oviedo the capital of Kingdom of Asturias, and resided in Oviedo with his court. - in: wikipedia

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

PT RR - Group 80 * Castles/Palaces

Palaces and castles from Portugal, Italy and Belgium. 

Desenho de Jorge Braga da Costa
This is the Anadia Palace, also know as Paes do Amaral Palace in Mangualde. 
The Palace of the counts of Anadia, in Mangualde, has its origins in the 17th century.
In the early 19th century, the palace was known as "House of Paes do Amaral" but, by the marriage of Manuel Paes de Sá do Amaral de Almeida e Vasconcelos Quifel Barbarino, 10th Lord of the House of Paes do Amaral, with his niece Maria Luiza de Sá Pereira de Melo Menezes de Sotomaior, 3rd Countess of Anadia, came to be known as "Anadia Palace".
Several historical figures have passed through this House, as the Marshal Massena, Commander of the French army that invaded Portugal in 1810, for the third time, or the King d. Luis I, who visited him in 1882.
Characterized by a striking western façade, for its 18th century tiles, stonework, and works of painters such as Pellegrini, Giagenti, or Lancelotto, thia palace is one of the most important examples of 18th century manor architecture, and is classified as "Public Property".
The card was sent by Ana Sofia. 

Edizioni I. ANCORA
Zé sent me an italian castle, the Castelvecchio in Verona. 
The building is a large square compound made out of red bricks and is an impressive example of Gothic architecture. One of the most noteworthy features of the castle is its imposing M-shaped merlons which run along the walls of the bridge and the castle itself. There are seven towers in the castle along with a maschio or a super elevated keep. Inside are four main buildings. Castelvecchio is surrounded by a ditch that is now dry. When the castle was first built, the moat was filled with water from the nearby Adige. 
The castle and nearby bridge were built by Lord Cangrande II della Scala. 
 The castle was constructed as a deterrent to attack by powerful neighbors like the Sforzas and Gonzagas and the city state of Venice.
The construction of the castle started in 1354 and Cangrande died in 1359, before it was completed. The fortified bridge over the Adige was designed to let the castle's inhabitants escape north to Tyrol in case of a rebellion or a coup d'etat.

During the time of Venetian rule in the area slits were added to the structure to allow defence by cannons. The fortress was badly damaged during the Napoleonic Wars and Napoleon himself stayed in the castle many times when he visited Verona. Under the later rule of the Austrians the castle was used as barracks and was later restored in 1923.
Castelvecchio today is home to the Castelvecchio museum. - in:

© Uitg. Thill
Yes, another Het Steen castle card. But don't worry, i won't write about the castle again. I'll just say that the statue of a giant and two humans at the entrance bridge to the castle, depicts the giant Lange Wapper who used to terrorise the inhabitants of the city in medieval times.
The card was sent by Lieve.