Monday, March 31, 2014

Czech Castles

I'm palling a trip to Czech Republic (for the 4th time) and i might visit a few of the beautiful czech castles. 

 Foto: Ivan Rillich
Bouzov, one of the most visited castles in the Czech Republic, is located just 35 km from Olomouc. The castle was initially constructed as a Gothic stronghold in the early 14th century. In the 15th century, fortifications were enlarged and strengthened, and in the 16th and 17th centuries the castle was gradually converted into a residential site. It was rebuilt in the Romantic style by the Habsburg Archduke Eugene into a summer seat of the Teutonic Knights at the turn of the 19th and 20th century. The castle is said to be the birthplace of the Czech King George of Podebrady. It is a perfect example of a medieval castle, equipped inside with the highest comforts of its time. Romantic interiors with rich painting and carving decoration of local folk artists are furnished with period furniture. - in:

 Foto: Ivan Rillich
Zleby Castle is located in the small municipality of Čáslav which is located within the beautiful Czech region of Central Bohemia.
The gothic palace is considered to be the biggest attraction of the entire Kutna Hora district even though the town is located 25 kilometers from Zleby Castle.
The original medieval Gothic structure at this site appears in the 13th century when the castle Zleby was built by the Lords of Lichtenburg.
During the so-called Hussite Wars, Zleby Castle suffered enormous damage and had to be restored and reconstructed in detail. In the 16th and 17th century the mansion was in the possession of Chotouchovských, who made it the amazingly beautiful Renaissance palace we see today.
A little later Zleby fell into the hands of Lords of Auersperg. Members of this family pronounced an English style within the castle during the period between 1849 - 1868.
The last male heir of the family was Prince Ferdinand, who died in 1942. After his death the castle was managed by Marie Trauttmansdorfu, who took care of the mansion until 1945, when the political system required that it be nationalized.

Today's wealth, which has been managed to be preserved within the castle Zleby, is composed of a large and interesting collection of military equipment, interesting leather wallpaper, mosaics, one lineage gallery with portraits of the 16th century and other interesting things. - in:

Foto: Ivan Rillich
Kokořín Castle is a castle located some 10 km (6 mi) northeast of Mělník, Czech Republic. It was built in the first half of the 14th century by order of Hynek Berka z Dubé. It was heavily damaged during the Hussite Wars and stood in ruins until the reconstruction campaign of 1911–1918. It was nationalized in 1948 and has been designated a national cultural landmark since 2001. - in: wikipedia

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Czech Tentative Sites

Two other cards from the UNESCO Tentative List, both from Czech Republic and sent by Emerich. The 1st card represents the "Sites of Great Moravia: Slavonic Fortified Settlement at Mikulcice - Church of St.Margaret at Kopčani" and the 2nd is from Mariánské Lázně, one of the three towns that compose the "West Bohemian Spa Triangle".

 Text a foto © Synek Frantisek, 2009
Mikulčice is situated 7 km south of Hodonín, nearby the Slovak border. 
From the sixth until the tenth century, a Slavic fortified settlement existed 3 km away from the modern village. The settlement was one of the main centres of the Great Moravian Empire, plausibly its capital city. Excavations, led by Josef Poulík, unearthed the remnants of twelve churches, a palace, and more than 2,500 graves (three containing African skeletons) (including a horse burial). The only still-standing church safely dated to the Great Moravian period is found in the nearby Slovak village of Kopčany. The excavation complex is nationally recognised as the Mikulčice-Valy heritage site. - in: wikipedia

Foto: Ivan Rillich
Mariánské Lázně is a spa town in the Karlovy Vary Region of the Czech Republic. In terms of area, the town one of the largest spa complexes in the country. 
This spa town does not have a long history. It was established in the period of Classicism, early in the 19th century. Its creators changed an inhospitable valley into a charming park town with Classicist and Empire houses, gazebos, garden houses and colonnades. 
The focus of the town is in the central park with the Main Colonnade where the wooded valley widens. - in:
The Baroque Colonnade was built between 1888 and 1889. The Colonnade is an icon that could be said to represent the Czech spas, it is a precious example of a period building common to the Czech and other European spa towns, many of which were destroyed, deteriorated over time or modernized at some point. Fortunately our Colonnade survived with its reconstruction taking place between 1973 and 1981. - in:

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Mining Cultural Landscape Erzgebirge/Krušnohoří

Mining Cultural Landscape Erzgebirge/Krušnohoří  is a transboundary UNESCO Tentative site composed of 13 component parts located in Czech Republic and Germany. Krupka in Czech Republic and Altenberg in Germany are two of those 13 nominated locations. 

This tentative site is a large-scale example of a decentralised mining landscape in a Central European mountain region that lies in the southeast of Germany and extends to the Czech Republic – the Erzgebirge (Ore Mountains).

Foto: Ivan Tichy
The Mining Cultural Landscape Erzgebirge/Krušnohoří illustrates the formative influence of mining and metallurgy on the development of the landscape and its culture in an exceptional way. For more than 800 years, from the 12th to the 21th century, the region was actively shaped by mining activities.
Based on mining and metallurgy, the “industrialization” of the region took place in different historical stages.
Together the component parts provide a lively comprehensive insight into all aspects of miner’s world.The component parts reflect also the transboundary nature of the Bohemian and Saxon Erzgebirge. 

Fotos: Thomas Böttger
The serial property has to be understood as a geographical, historical and cultural unit illustrating both the mining activities and the interaction between two communities which shared a long common history. Mining and metallurgy had formed an important and worldwide recognised trade and economic region which is still today strongly influenced by its mining traditions. Especially the developments in the field of mining sciences and technologies contributed to the development of other mining regions in Europe and the World. - in:

Banská Štiavnica - Slovakia

This card from Banská Štiavnica in Slovakia is my 780 UNESCO site. I've got it thanks to Mircea.

Banská Štiavnica  is a town in central Slovakia. It is a completely preserved medieval town. Because of their historical value, the town and its surroundings were proclaimed by the UNESCO to be a World Heritage Site on December 11, 1993. - in: wikipedia

Foto: Andrej Ebert
Over the centuries, the town of Banská Štiavnica was visited by many outstanding engineers and scientists who contributed to its fame. The old medieval mining centre grew into a town with Renaissance palaces, 16th-century churches, elegant squares and castles. The urban centre blends into the surrounding landscape, which contains vital relics of the mining and metallurgical activities of the past. - in:


An official from Sochi in Russia, that just a few weeks ago hosted the XXII Olympic Winter Games and XI Paralympic Winter Games.
The card is not sport related, it shows the Saint Michael's Cathedral. 

RU-2412059, sent by Tanya. 
The Cathedral of St. Michael the Archangel is the oldest Orthodox church in Sochi and the entire Black Sea Oblast of the former Russian Empire. Its construction was decreed by Grand Duke Michael Nikolaevich of Russia with a view to commemorating the victorious conclusion of the prolonged Caucasian War in 1864.
The existing building was designed by Alexander Kaminsky. It was built between 1874 and 1890 with funds provided by Savva Mamontov and Count Felix Felixovich Sumarokov-Elston, among others. The church, long neglected by the Soviets, was restored in 1993. The domed baptistery and the sunday school were built next to the church in the 1990s. - in: wikipedia

Monday, March 24, 2014

Favorites from Belarus

Beautiful favorites from Belarus. The 1st card was sent by Igor and the second by Tanya. 

 © Photo by S. Plytkevich
This is the fortified Savior Transfiguration Church in Zaslawye. The church was built in 1577 as a Calvinist church.

These are two roe deers. Roe deers are widespread in Europe, from the Mediterranean to Scandinavia, and from the British Isles to the Caucasus; these two were photographed in the Belovezhskaya Pushcha National Park.

Windsor Castle - England

As every tourist that visits London, i've also went to see the Buckingham Palace. The Queen wasn't there. It was sunday, so maybe she went to spend the weekend at the Windsor Castle, her preferred weekend home. 
I didn't visit it but as i didn't have a card of the castle yet, i've sent this one to myself.

© Editorial Fisa Escudo de Oro, S. A.
Windsor Castle is the oldest and largest inhabited castle in the world. It has been the family home of British kings and queens for almost 1,000 years. It is an official residence of Her Majesty The Queen, whose standard flies from the Round Tower when she is in residence.
The Queen spends most of her private weekends at Windsor and takes up official residence for a month over Easter (March to April), known as Easter Court. The Queen is also at Windsor for one week each June, when she attends Royal Ascot and the service of the Order of the Garter.
Windsor is still very much a working royal palace. The Castle is used regularly for ceremonial and State occasions. It is here that The Queen often hosts State Visits from overseas monarchs and presidents. St George’s Hall makes a spectacular setting for a State Banquet, when a single table, stretching the length of the hall and seating 160 people, is decorated with porcelain, and silver-gilt from the Royal Collection. - in:


If you ever been to any of the London parks, i'm sure you've seen a few squirrels there! These two are not from there, though. Marieke from the Netherlands sent me the 1st card and Michèle sent me the german card. Both were in my favorites. 

© Uitgeverij van der Meulen bv Sneek
This cute little one is having a meal somewhere in Ugchelen, a village in the dutch province of Gelderland. 

Atelier Schumann
This one lives in a park in the city of Putbus in the Rügen island.

Friday, March 21, 2014

Meersburg Castle - Germany

A new castle from germany, sent by Michèle. 
Meersburg Castle is located in Meersburg on Lake Constance in Baden-Württemberg.

© Schöning GmbH & Co. KG 
It is the oldest inhabited castle in Germany. The central tower was first built during the 7th century, though the original structure is no longer visible. Burg Meersburg is known as the old castle, in the reference to the neighboring 18th century New Castle.
Today portions of the castle are open visitors on self-guided tours. The remainder of the castle is occupied by his descendants. - in: wikipedia

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Strasbourg Cathedral - France

I thought i already has posted a card of the Strasbourg Cathedral before but i was wrong. 
A few weeks ago Cristina sent me a card of this great cathedral. Cristina is also an enthusiast of the Taizé Community and she went to the european meeting in this french city last december. 
The 1st card was sent by Gracinha and the 2nd by Cristina.

Strasbourg Cathedral or the Cathedral of Our Lady of Strasbourg is a Roman Catholic cathedral in Strasbourg, Alsace, France. Although considerable parts of it are still in Romanesque architecture, it is widely considered to be among the finest examples of high, or late, Gothic architecture. Erwin von Steinbach is credited for major contributions from 1277 to his death in 1318.

Photo Pluriel / AIRDIASOL - R. ROTHAN
At 142 metres (466 feet), it was the world's tallest building from 1647 to 1874 (227 years), when it was surpassed by St. Nikolai's Church, Hamburg. Today it is the sixth-tallest church in the world and the highest still-standing structure built entirely in the Middle Ages.
Described by Victor Hugo as a "gigantic and delicate marvel", and by Goethe as a "sublimely towering, wide-spreading tree of God", the cathedral is visible far across the plains of Alsace and can be seen from as far off as the Vosges Mountains or the Black Forest on the other side of the Rhine. Sandstone from the Vosges used in construction gives the cathedral its characteristic pink hue. - in: wikipedia

San Cristobal de La Laguna - Spain

My good friend Miguel when on holidays to the spanish Canary Islands just a few days ago. It was a nice opportunity to visit some UNESCO sites and San Cristonal de la Laguna was one of them. He sent me this card showing the Former Convent of San Agustin.

Tullio Gatti Photo Gallery
The history of this building dates back to the beginning of the 16th century. Throughout its history the building had multiple functions, convent, church, boarding school, meteorological station and library. 
 Today, it houses part of the facilities of the Cabrera Pinto Institute of the Canary Islands. Here, you can visit the cloisters and two exhibition rooms dedicated to science and scientific instruments. It also houses a series of paintings of great interest belonging to the “dispersed Prado,” and also highlights an ancient route.

Monday, March 17, 2014


One last card from North America. This beautiful building is the The Centre Block, the main building of the Canadian parliamentary complex on Parliament Hill, in Ottawa. In the front of the building there's the Centennial Flame, which commemorates Canada’s 100th anniversary as a Confederation.

©  Published and Distributed  by the POSTCARD FACTORY
CA-413063, sent by Lionel.
This complex houses the House of Commons and Senate chambers, as well as the offices of a number of members of parliament, senators, and senior administration for both legislative houses. It is also the location of several ceremonial spaces, such as the Hall of Honour, the Memorial Chamber, and Confederation Hall.
Built in the Gothic Revival style, the present Centre Block is the second iteration of the building, after the first was destroyed by fire in 1916; all that remains of the original building is the Library of Parliament, at the rear of the Centre Block. Though construction began immediately after the blaze, sculpting work on the interior continued through the 1970s. One of the most recognizable buildings in Canada, the Centre Block is depicted on the Canadian $10 bill (the Library of Parliament), $20 bill (the Peace Tower), and the $50 bill. - in: wikipedia

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Pump Jack, Oklahoma - USA

A major oil producing state, Oklahoma is the fifth-largest producer of crude oil in the United States, no wonder that these weird pumps are a common sight in the state. 
The card was sent by Carol.

Photo by J. Griffis Smith
A pumpjack is the overground drive for a reciprocating piston pump in an oil well.
It is used to mechanically lift liquid out of the well if there is not enough bottom hole pressure for the liquid to flow all the way to the surface. The arrangement is commonly used for onshore wells producing little oil. Pumpjacks are common in oil-rich areas.
Depending on the size of the pump, it generally produces 5 to 40 litres of liquid at each stroke. Often this is an emulsion of crude oil and water. Pump size is also determined by the depth and weight of the oil to remove, with deeper extraction requiring more power to move the increased weight of the discharge column (discharge head).
A pumpjack converts the rotary mechanism of the motor to a vertical reciprocating motion to drive the pump shaft, and is exhibited in the characteristic nodding motion. The engineering term for this type of mechanism is a walking beam. It was often employed in stationary and marine steam engine designs in the 18th and 19th centuries. - in: wikipedia


From a different state in the US, comes this snowy view of Timberline Lodge and Mt. Hood in Oregon. 
Declared a National Historic Landmark in 1977, Timberline Lodge is one of Oregon’s most popular tourist attractions, drawing nearly two million visitors every year. Considered an architectural wonder, it’s still being used for its original intent—a magnificent ski lodge and mountain retreat for all to enjoy. - in:

Photo © Josef Muench
US-2628631, sent by Tammy.
Timberline Lodge is a mountain lodge on the south side of Mount Hood in Oregon, about 60 miles (97 km) east of Portland.
 The lodge was constructed between 1936 and 1938. 
Lifestyles Northwest published a story about the history of Timberline Lodge in its February 2005 issue, based heavily on interviews with the family who have operated the lodge for fifty years. The story noted that in the lodge's early years, it had had four different operators, none of which was willing or able to maintain it. By 1955 Timberline Lodge was closed and in disrepair.
Richard Kohnstamm, the patriarch of the family that currently operates it, remembered those difficulties as being due to financing problems arising from the fact that the government owned it. Kohnstamm decided to maintain the place as if he owned it himself; he lost money during his first five years of operation, but his timing turned out to be fortuitous, since he began operating it only a few years before skiing started exploding in popularity in the late 1950s. That popularity helped the family generate a profit starting in 1960. Kohnstamm, "The man who saved Timberline", died at the age of 80 on April 21, 2006. Richard's son Jeff is now the Area Operator of Timberline Lodge.
Today, the lodge and its grounds are host to a ski resort also known as Timberline Lodge. It has the longest skiing season in the U.S., and is open for skiers and snowboarders every month of the year. Activities include skiing, snowboarding, walking, hiking and climbing. - in: wikipedia

US-2628633 & US-2281692

These aren't exactly the same card but they're both from the same place, Arches National Park, and both showing the Delicated Arch. 

 Photo: William Carr
US-2628633, sent by Michael and written in a perfect portuguese.
Delicate Arch has become the unofficial symbol of Utah.  Towering eighty feet over hikers, Delicate Arch is one of the highlights of Arches National Park and is possibly the most beautiful arch in the world. 

Photo by Allen Karsh 
US-2281692, sent by Laura-Lynne.
On the back of the card: Delicate Arch, in Arches National Park, is the most famous formation in this spectcular park, north of Moab, Utah. It was formed by wind and rain erosion on Entrada Sandstone. The salmon colored arch is 45 feet (13 metres)  high and 33 feet (10 metres) wide. 

Wednesday, March 5, 2014


What a great volcano card!! Carlos read that I like volcanoes and sent me this card from his home country, Mexico. 

Karten Collection * Photo by Erick Schnabel
US-2636847, sent by Carlos.
Volcán Popocatépetl, whose name is the Aztec word for smoking mountain, towers to 5426 m 70 km SE of Mexico City to form North America's 2nd-highest volcano. The glacier-clad stratovolcano contains a steep-walled, 250-450 m deep crater. The generally symmetrical volcano is modified by the sharp-peaked Ventorrillo on the NW, a remnant of an earlier volcano. 

Popocatepetl is one of Mexico's most active volcanoes. After almost 50 years of dormancy, "Popo" came back to life in 1994 and has since then been producing powerful explosions at irregular intervals. 
In the past centuries befor European invasions, large eruptions produced giant mud flows that have buried Atzteque settlements, even entire pyramids. - in:


I believe that many people may think that Sidney is Australia's capital but that's not true, Canberra is the country's capital city. 
The card shows a view of the city along the parliamentary axis with the War Memorial in foreground and the Old and New Parliament Houses in background. 

Canberra became the site for the newly federated nation of Australia in 1908 by a ballot in Parliament after extensive searching. The Indigenous peoples of this area have lived here for over 20,000 years. Since then the city has grown to become the proud home of the Australian story. - in:
AU-336564, sent by Elizabeth.
Canberra is the capital city of Australia. With a population of 374,245, it is Australia's largest inland city and the eighth-largest city overall. The city is located at the northern end of the Australian Capital Territory.
The site of Canberra was selected for the location of the nation's capital in 1908 as a compromise between rivals Sydney and Melbourne, Australia's two largest cities. It is unusual among Australian cities, being an entirely planned city outside of any state. Following an international contest for the city's design, a blueprint by the Chicago architects Walter Burley Griffin and Marion Mahony Griffin was selected and construction commenced in 1913.
The city's design was influenced by the garden city movement and incorporates significant areas of natural vegetation that have earned Canberra the title of the "bush capital". The growth and development of Canberra were hindered by the World Wars and the Great Depression, which exacerbated a series of planning disputes and the ineffectiveness of a procession of bodies that were created in turn to oversee the development of the city. The national capital emerged as a thriving city after World War II.
As the seat of the government of Australia, Canberra is the site of Parliament House, the High Court and numerous government departments and agencies. It is also the location of many social and cultural institutions of national significance, such as the Australian War Memorial, Australian National University, Australian Institute of Sport, National Gallery, National Museum and the National Library. The Australian Army's officer corps are trained at the Royal Military College, Duntroon and the Australian Defence Force Academy is also located in the capital. - in: wikipedia

Monday, March 3, 2014

Rainbow Valley - Australia

An australian card sent by Manuela. 

Rainbow Valley Conservation Reserve is a protected area located south of Alice Springs, Northern Territory in Australia. The reserve was established to protect the unique sandstone formations and culturally significant Aboriginal art, artifacts and sacred natural objects within an area of 24.83 km2 (9.59 sq mi) around a large sandstone bluff. The sandstone layers in the main formation resemble the colored stripes of a rainbow, with the red-orange hues of sandstone that is rich with iron creating a strong contrast with the lighter shaded sandstone that turns pale yellow or gold in the late day sun as it shines on the northwest-facing cliffs.

Photo: Derek Roff * Published by Baker Souvenirs
Rainbow Valley is known as Wurre by the local Aboriginals, the Twertentyeye group of Upper Southern Arrernte people, and is a significant part of their homeland which they call Imarnte. Since 2008, the area has been jointly managed by the Twertentyeye and the Parks and Wildlife Commission of the Northern Territory (PWCNT) and is the first conservation reserve to have a joint management plan. - in: wikipedia

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Kapitan Keling Mosque - Malaysia

Kapitan Keling Mosque is the largest mosque in Georgetown and one of Penang's landmarks. 
The card was sent by SL. 

Photo by Ng Tien Khuan
Built in 1801 by Penang’s first Indian Muslim settlers, the Indo-Moorish structure was named after the ‘kapitan’ of the Keling (a leader of the South Indian community), Cauder Mydin Merican. The whitewashed mosque is topped with large golden-yellow Mughal-style domes, crescents and stars and features a single, typical Indian-Islamic minaret from which the sound of the azan (call to prayer) can be heard. 

JP-500753 & JP-500863

Two very different official cards, both from Japan. 

JP-500753, sent by Kiziri.
Shionomisaki Lighthouse is a lighthouse on Cape Shiono in Kushimoto, Wakayama, Japan.The lighthouse was designed by Richard Henry Brunton, who was hired by the government of Japan during the Meiji period to help construct lighthouses to make Japan safe for foreign ships. It was first lit on September 15, 1873; 138 years ago. - in

Photo by MORI hideo / Designed by NDC Grafics / Produced by Kohga Communications Products Inc. 
JP-500863, sent by Harumi.
Yokohama Chinatown (Yokohama Chukagai) is Japan's largest chinatown, located in central Yokohama. 
Yokohama Chinatown quickly developed, after the port of Yokohama had been one of the first Japanese ports to be opened to foreign trade in 1859. It became the residence of the many Chinese traders who settled down in the city. 
Today, a large number of Chinese stores and restaurants can be found in the narrow and colorful streets of Chinatown, while the number of actual residents has been decreasing. 
Four colorful gates stand at the entrances to Chinatown, and five more gates can be found within. The Kanteibyo is a gaudily colored temple in the center of Chinatown. Constructed in 1873 by Chinese residents, it is dedicated to the Chinese god of good business and prosperity. - in: