Thursday, July 31, 2014

Sami Old Lady - Finland

Besides the Glendalough card, "Marnie" also sent me this lovely Sami old lady, perfect for my old people collection. 

The Sami people (also Sámi or Saami), traditionally known in English as Lapps or Laplanders, are the indigenous Finno-Ugric people inhabiting the Arctic area of Sápmi, which today encompasses parts of far northern Norway, Sweden, Finland, the Kola Peninsula of Russia, and the border area between south and middle Sweden and Norway. 

Photo: Johan Antti Syväjärvi
The Sami are the only indigenous people of Scandinavia recognized and protected under the international conventions of indigenous peoples, and are hence the northernmost indigenous people of Europe. Sami ancestral lands span an area of approximately 388,350 km2 (150,000 sq. mi.), which is approximately the size of Norway, in the Nordic countries. Their traditional languages are the Sami languages and are classified as a branch of the Uralic language family.
Traditionally, the Sami have pursued a variety of livelihoods, including coastal fishing, fur trapping, and sheep herding. Their best-known means of livelihood is semi-nomadic reindeer herding. Currently about 10% of the Sami are connected to reindeer herding and 2,800 are actively involved in herding on a full-time basis. For traditional, environmental, cultural and political reasons, reindeer herding is legally reserved only for Sami people in certain regions of the Nordic countries. - in: wikipedia

Glendalough - Ireland

What a beautiful place!! I believe I could spend hours in a place like this, admiring the landscape, the medieval buildings and taking hundreds of pictures. 
Thousands of people think like me and Glendalough is one of the most visited and important monastic sites in Ireland. 
This beautiful card was sent by "Marnie".

Photography reproduced from original artistic waork © Liam Blake
Glendalough, from the Irish “Gleann da locha", means the Glen of two Lakes is famous for its spectacular scenery, rich history, archaeology and abundant wildlife. 
The early Christian monastic settlement was founded by St. Kevin in the 6th century. Most of the buildings that survive today date from the 10th through 12th centuries. Despite attacks by Vikings over the years, Glendalough thrived as one of Irelands great ecclesiastical foundations and schools of learning until the Normans destroyed the monastery in 1214 and the dioceses of Glendalough and Dublin were united. The settlement was destroyed by English forces in 1398. 
A reconstruction program was started in 1878 and today the valley boasts a visitor centre, wooded trails, walkways and rock climbing. The monastic ruins include a round tower, seven churches, a gateway into the settlement with a Sanctuary Stone, two High Crosses, the Priest’s House, a graveyard, Reeferts Church, St. Kevin’s Bed (cave) and St. Kevin’s Cell (hermitage hut).  in:

Monday, July 28, 2014

Norfolk Broads - England

As I already mentioned other times, besides postcards I also like letters and I'm a member of the Penpalling & Letters Group in FB. Postcards are dear to many of group's members and this month someone decided to organize a postcard exchange. I've sent a card to a girl in Germany and I got this one from England, sent by Catherine. I really like it. 

The Norfolk Broads is the UK's largest and finest wetland landscape. This unique patchwork of rivers and lakes is not, as was first thought, a natural landscape, but a result of intensive digging of peat in the Middle Ages to provide fuel. The empty pits were soon filled by rising water levels and now form a network of over 125 miles of navigable waterways providing leisure interest for many. The Norfolk Broads landscape is one of beauty and peace, of water, marsh, woodland and wide skies - with views of church towers and windmills. - in:

Printed and Published by J. Salmon Ltd. 
One of those windmills is the Horsey Windmill, a five storey windpump built in 1912 to pump water out from the surrounding land so that it could be used for agriculture. It was operational until 1943, when it was hit by lightning. The National trust took ownership of Horsey Windpump in 1948 and restored it. It is now open to visitors on certain days in season. You can climb the floors of the pump and see the workings, with steep steps taking you up to the top for a great view back over Horsey! 
Windmills are a feature of the Norfolk Broads landscape as they were an efficient method of draining the landscape. Nowadays they have all been replaced by electric pumps. - in:

Friday, July 25, 2014

Caernarfon Castle - Wales

Yesterday I met Paulo, a portuguese postcards collector with whom I've traded a couple of times. He said he would like to give me bunch of cards but I never thought he would give me so many.... 240 cards!! Yes, that's right, 240 cards from different countries. I already had some of them but not many, some are ad/free cards and a few others have several copies. It was an amazing present!! 
One of the cards I liked the most is this one from Wales showing this amazing view of the Caernarfon castle from across the River Seiont. 

Caernarfon Castle is a medieval fortress in Caernarfon, Gwynedd, north-west Wales cared for by Cadw, the Welsh Government's historic environment service. There was a motte-and-bailey castle in the town of Caernarfon from the late 11th century until 1283 when King Edward I of England began replacing it with the current stone structure. The Edwardian town and castle acted as the administrative centre of north Wales and as a result the defences were built on a grand scale. There was a deliberate link with Caernarfon's Roman past – nearby is the Roman fort of Segontium – and the castle's walls are reminiscent of the Walls of Constantinople.

CADW Welsh Historic Monuments
Despite Caernarfon Castle's external appearance of being mostly complete, the interior buildings no longer survive and many of the building plans were never finished. The town and castle were sacked in 1294 when Madog ap Llywelyn led a rebellion against the English. Caernarfon was recaptured the following year. During the Glyndŵr Rising of 1400–1415, the castle was besieged. When the Tudor dynasty ascended to the English throne in 1485, tensions between the Welsh and English began to diminish and castles were considered less important. As a result, Caernarfon Castle was allowed to fall into a state of disrepair.
Despite its dilapidated condition, during the English Civil War Caernarfon Castle was held by Royalists, and was besieged three times by Parliamentarian forces. This was the last time the castle was used in war. Caernarfon Castle was neglected until the 19th century when the state funded repairs. In 1911, Caernarfon Castle was used for the investiture of the Prince of Wales, and again in 1969. It is part of the World Heritage Site "Castles and Town Walls of King Edward in Gwynedd". - in: wikipedia

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Little Mermaid - Denmark

Located at Langelinje Pier, the Little Mermaid stutue is one of Copenhagen's most famous tourist attractions. 
This beautiful card was sent by Chris. 

Edition Cromática S. L© Distribution Forlaget Svanen Aps
Unveiled on 23 August 1913, The Little Mermaid was a gift from Danish brewer Carl Jacobsen to the City of Copenhagen.
The sculpture is made of bronze and granite and was inspired by Hans Christian Andersen’s fairy tale about a mermaid who gives up everything to be united with a young, handsome prince on land.
Every morning and evening she swims to the surface from the bottom of the sea and, perched on her rock in the water, she stares longingly towards the shore hoping to catch a glimpse of her beloved prince.
Carl Jacobsen fell in love with the character after watching a ballet performance based on the fairy tale at the Royal Danish Theatre in Copenhagen.
The brewer was so captivated by both the fairy tale and the ballet that he commissioned the sculptor Edvard Eriksen to create a sculpture of the mermaid.
The sculpture was inspired by ballerina Ellen Price, who in 1909 danced the lead role in the ballet The Little Mermaid at the Royal Theatre.
However, Ellen Price would not model in the nude for sculptor Edvard Eriksen. Thus Eriksen’s wife, Eline Eriksen, posed for the sculpture of The Little Mermaid.
The little mermaid has several times been the victim of vandalism. Twice she has lost her head, once the arm was sawn off, and several times she has had paint poured on her.
But every time she is rescued and restored, so she can stay in her place by the water and bid travellers welcome to Copenhagen harbour. - in:

Van Nelle Factory - Netherlands

One of the places added to the UNESCO WHS list this year, was this factory in Rotterdam. The Van Nelle Factory is considered as one of the most important industrial heritage monuments in the Netherlands. 
This card was sent by Mike. 

The Van Nelle Factory is built between 1927 and 1930 and is an icon of post WW I modern architecture in the Netherlands. The ‘Nieuwe Bouwen’ as it is called in Dutch was, among others inspired by the architecture of Le Corbusier. Characteristic of this ‘Nieuwe Bouwen’ is the use of modern materials and construction materials that create transparent, spacious and clear spaces. The Van Nelle Factory is a good example with its transparent metal constructions and large glass windows that create, inside and outside the building, a feeling of brightness and spaciousness. This result is further strengthened by the fact that not the façades but the pillars in the building support the construction.
The factory was designed by the architects Brinkman & Van der Vlugt in cooperation with design engineer Ir. J.G. Wiebenga. The principal, the director of the factory Kees van der Leeuw, tried to create a pleasant working environment for his employees. That’s why there are no basements; one worked in a building filled with light, air and space. On top of that showers were installed and even a tennis court was built, all for the employees of Van Nelle to use.
The Van Nelle factory produced tobacco, coffee and tea until 1995 when the production was finished. Together with the new owner (since 1987) Sara Lee/ Douwe Egberts new ways to use the buildings were examined. In 1998 the Ontwerpfabriek bought the factory. They shaped the former factory into a dynamic premises with offices and rentable spaces for creative entrepreneurs. - in:

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Monte San Giorgio - Switzerland

Monte San Giorgio is another UNESCO WHS shared by Switzerland and Italy. It was inscribed on the UNESCO list in 2003. I already had another card from this site but I really wanted a another one. Óscar noticed that I was still looking for a card from there and sent me this one. 

Monte San Giorgio is a living legend of a historical masterpiece with fossils dating back to over 200 million years ago. Back then, it was surrounded by a lagoon and was partially separated from the open sea, due to which various marine life flourished in the region making it a rich source of fossils. These marine life and invertebrate can still be seen in the Fossil museum in Meride for visitors who want to relive the early moments of Middle Triassic period. 

©  Photographer Renato Bagattini * Distribution:
Depending whether you are in Serpiano, Meride or at the summit; Monte San Giorgio offers magnificent views of the lake Lugano and Lake Melano. Do not miss out the sunset panoramic view of the magical village Morcote that makes Monte San Giorgio a perfect viewing point for any visitor. This mountain is surrounded by two branches of the lake of Lugano and includes the towns of Meride, Tremona, Arzo, Besazio, Riva San Vitale e Brusino Arsizio in Switzerland and the towns of Porto Ceresio, Saltrio and Viaggù in Italy. Monte San Giorgio stands 1100m high in the south of Canton Ticino in Switzerland and the region of Lombardy in Italy.
Apart from being home to fossil museum, numerous vineyards can be approached when strolling along the southern slopes of the woody mountain. Sauntering through the charming town of Meride or pampering oneself in the grottos of the Mendrisiotto region, you can be assured that you will always find something to do on Monte San Giorgio. - in:

Rhaetian Railway - Switzerland

The Rhaetian Railway in the Albula / Bernina Landscapes was added to the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites in 2008. I've got these cards, the 1st in 2009, sent by Doris and Óscar sent me the 2nd just a few days ago. 

"The RhB (Rhaetian Railway) has the largest network of all the private railways in Switzerland. The company operates most of the railways in the south-easternmost canton of Graubünden since the Federal Railways SBB-CFF-FFS extend only a few kilometres over the cantonal border to the capital at Chur.
RhB serves the major tourist centre of St Moritz and Davos, and one of the lines, the Berninabahn, crosses the Bernina Pass to the Italian border and on to Tirano, where there is a link to the Italian railways. - in: wikipedia

 © photoglob Zürich
Rhaetian Railway in the Albula / Bernina Landscapes, brings together two historic railway lines that cross the Swiss Alps through two passes. It features an impressive set of structures including 42 tunnels and covered galleries and 144 viaducts and bridges. 

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Schynige Platte - Switzerland

Damien is still on holidays and he went to Switzerland hoping to go to the mountains but the weather was too cloudy. Going to the mountain in this old small train must be really nice. 

The landscape that surrounds Schynige Platte is a strange combination of grit, rock and stones and beautiful green meadows that are known for its large number of alpine flowers. Lovers of alpine flowers can take a special route where over 500 species of flowers can be found on 8,000 m² (2 acres). - in:

Since over 120 years the small train has been ascending the up to 25% climb to the viewing terrace and mountain hotel. The Eiger, Mönch and Jungfrau are the big attraction up here, together with the popular round ridge hike with views over the lake of Brienz and alpine gardens with 600 diverse plant species, which are certainly worth a visit. - in:

Friday, July 18, 2014

DE-3263962 & DE-3275953

Mail is getting slow again. The situation got a bit better in June but now the slowness is back. 

DE-3263962, sent by Corinna.
This is a card from Kevelaer, in North Rhine-Westphalia. It is one of the largest places of pilgrimage in north-west Europe and welcomes roughly one million visitors every year. The main attraction is and remains the Gnadenkapelle [Chapel of Grace] which has drawn pilgrims to the Lower Rhine Region from all over the world for more than 360 years. 
The Gnadenkapelle was built in 1654 to protect a sacred image and give it a worthy home. The small but richly decorated hexagonal building was designed after the model of the pilgrimage chapel in Scherpenheuvel in Belgium. The altar inside was consecrated in 1663. The chapel is a little gem of Dutch renaissance. 

DE-3275953, sent by Olaf.
This is the baroque interior of Dresden's Frauenkirche. Built in the 18th century, the church was destroyed in the bombing of Dresden during World War II. The remaining ruins were left as a war memorial, following decisions of local East german leaders. The church was rebuilt after the reunification of Germany. The reconstruction of its exterior was completed in 2004 and its interior in 2005. - in: wikipedia
The baroque interior with its five semi-circular galleries is of an impressive architectural unity and, at the same time, great beauty. It combines the concept of a centralised structure with that of a clear focus on the pulpit, baptismal font, altar and organ. - in:

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Schwerin Castle - Germany

The 2nd of these Schwerin Castle cards was in my favorites wall for a very long time, hoping to get it someday. A few days ago I've finally got it, thanks to Michèle and then, in the same week, i've got a a 2nd card of the same castle but sent as an official. 
This romantic fairytale fortress, with all its many towers, domes and wings, is reflected in the waters of Lake Schwerin. It was completed in 1857 and symbolised the powerful dynasty of its founder, Friedrich Franz II.
DE-3274169, sent by Silvia.
Set in a romantic location on a small island in Lake Schwerin, Schwerin Castle is one of Europe's foremost examples of historicist architecture. The island location chosen for the original Slav stronghold, first documented in 973, offers many strategic advantages. But the current five-wing castle owes its current appearance to Grand Duke Friedrich Franz II of Mecklenburg-Schwerin, who commissioned it to be rebuilt.

Foto: - Jochen Knobloch * © Schöning GmbH & Co. KG 
The architects involved were the finest of their age: 653 rooms are contained within this work of magnificence, most of them with marquetry floors, exquisite carvings, gilding and ceiling stucco work. The pièce de résistance is the throne room, with columns made from Carrara marble and gilded cast-iron doors. Then there is the splendid ancestral gallery, the dining room with its intricate panelling and the round tower room, designed as a garden salon, which offers a panoramic view of the lake. An exceptional porcelain collection and regular concerts complete the long list of highlights. A special part of the appeal, however, lies within the baroque gardens that surround the castle, which is now also home to the regional government. - in:

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Carolingian Westwork and Civitas Corvey - Germany

This year Germany has seen another historical monument added to the UNESCO WHS list. This card sent by Lars was the 1st of this year's new sites that I got. 
Carolingian Westwork and Civitas Corvey are located  along the Weser River on the outskirts of Höxter where they were erected between 822 and 885 A.D. in a largely preserved rural setting. 

© type art satz & grafik - dortmund
The Westwork is the only standing structure that dates back to the Carolingian era, while the original imperial abbey complex is preserved as archaeological remains which are only partially excavated. The Westwork of Corvey uniquely illustrates one of the most important Carolingian architectural expressions. It is a genuine creation of this period, and its architectural articulation and decoration clearly illustrate the role played within the Frankish empire by imperial monasteries in securing territorial control, administration, as well as the propagation of Christianity and of the Carolingian cultural and political order throughout Europe. - in:

Friday, July 11, 2014

Mount Etna - Italy

This is a wonderful card for me as a UNESCO and volcanoes entusiast. Thank you so much Ischa for this great card and for helping my UNESCO collection. 4 more cards and I'll have cards from 800 sites!! 

© Grafiche Milan cards
Mount Etna is an active stratovolcano on the east coast of Sicily, Italy, in the Province of Catania, between Messina and Catania. It is the tallest active volcano on the European continent, currently 3,329 m (10,922 ft) high, though this varies with summit eruptions. It is the highest mountain in Italy south of the Alps. Etna covers an area of 1,190 km2 (459 sq mi) with a basal circumference of 140 km. This makes it by far the largest of the three active volcanoes in Italy, being about two and a half times the height of the next largest, Mount Vesuvius. Only Mount Teide in Tenerife surpasses it in the whole of the European–North-African region. 
Mount Etna is one of the most active volcanoes in the world and is in an almost constant state of activity. 
The fertile volcanic soils support extensive agriculture, with vineyards and orchards spread across the lower slopes of the mountain and the broad Plain of Catania to the south. 
Due to its history of recent activity and nearby population, Mount Etna has been designated a Decade Volcano by the United Nations. In June 2013, it was added to the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites. - in: wikipedia

Thursday, July 10, 2014


An old card with the old Château de Falaise, a castle located in Falaise, in the region of Normandy, France. 

FR-401335, sent by Aline.
 William the Conqueror, the son of Duke Robert of Normandy, was born at the castle in about 1028. William went on to conquer England and become king and possession of the castle descended through his heirs until the 13th century when it was captured by King Philip II of France.
Possession of the castle changed hands several times during the Hundred Years' War. The castle was deserted during the 17th century. Since 1840 it has been protected as a monument historique.
The castle suffered due to bombardment during the Second World War in the battle for the Falaise pocket in 1944, but the three keeps were unscathed. - in: wikipedia

Belfort's Lion - France

Frédéric Auguste Bartholdi was a French sculptor who is best known for designing the Statue of Liberty but he also designed other impressive works of art. One of them is this massive sculpture of a lion carved into the side of a mountain in Belfort, a city in north-east France. 
This card was sent by Damien who visited this city recently.

Photo © Olivier Anger
The sculpture was finished in 1880 and is entirely made of red sandstone. The blocks it is made from were individually sculpted then moved under Belfort castle to be assembled. The colossal work is 22 meters long and 11 meters high and dominates the local landscape.
The lion symbolizes the heroic French resistance during the Siege of Belfort, a 103-day Prussian assault (from December 1870 to February 1871). The city was protected from 40,000 Prussians by merely 17,000 men (only 3,500 were from the military) led by Colonel Denfert-Rochereau.
Instead of facing Prussia to the east as was intended, it was turned the other way because of German protests. - in: wikipedia

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Many Themes - Group 1548 * Castles / Palaces

This group and the previous one were the first two I joined in this RR. All my cards were received and I've received all the cards I was supposed to get. These cards are from Estonia, Ireland and China.

Rita sent me this card with a view of the Neo-Gothic Alatskivi Castle. It dates back to the 16th century. It was rebuilt in the late 19th century by Arved von Nolcken, modeled on the royal residence of Balmoral in Scotland. Alatskivi Castle is one of the many structures that exists in a forested park of 130 hectares (320 acres) area. Five rooms on the first floor house the Eduard Tubin museum, which documents his accomplishments as a music composer and conductor. - in: wikipedia

Photography: Peter O'Toole
From Ireland, a Powerscourt Estate card sent by Thea-Iren. 
Powerscourt Estate, located in Enniskerry, County Wicklow, Ireland, is a large country estate which is noted for its house and landscaped gardens, today occupying 19 hectares (47 acres). The house, originally a 13th-century castle, was extensively altered during the 18th century by German architect Richard Cassels, starting in 1731 and finishing in 1741. A fire in 1974 left the house lying as a shell until it was renovated in 1996.
Today the estate is owned and run by the Slazenger family. It is a popular tourist attraction, and includes a golf course, an Avoca Handweavers restaurant, and an Autograph Collection hotel. - in: wikipedia

And from China, a card with the Palace Museum in Beijing, sent by Mengyao.
Located in the center of Beijing, the Palace Museum, historically and artistically one of the most comprehensive museum in China, was established on the basis of the Forbidden City, a palace of the Ming and Qing dynasties (1368-1840), and their collection of treasures.
The Palace Museum is China's largest museum. It houses a collection of one million valuable art works, most of which were in the possession of the imperial families of the Ming and Qing dynasties. These art treasures include paintings, pottery, bronze wares, gold and silver wares, embroidery, sculptures, jade wares, lacquer wares and lacquer enamel wares. In addition, there are also court articles, including jewels, accessories, clocks, medicines, furniture and furnishings. It is a unique, superb building complex, integrating the outstanding achievements of ancient Chinese architecture. - in:

Many Themes RR - Group 1544 * Churches

More churches but these are from a different RR and from different countries. These are from Russia, Norway and USA. 

There is no identification of this church on this card sent by Olga, not even it's location but I managed to figure it out. This is the Protection of the Holy Virgin Church, the new church in Pivovariha.  And this was the only thing I could find abou this church. 

Foto: Aune Forlag / Ole P. Rorvik * © Aune Forlag,
Anne had to resend this card because the 1st one she sent got lost in the mail. 
This is the Stiklestad Church, located in Stiklestad, a village in the in Nord-Trøndelag county, Norway.  The stone church building was completed in 1180 
The church was built at the site of the Battle of Stiklestad. During the battle, St. Olaf received three severe wounds—in the knee, in the neck, and the final mortal blow through the heart—and died leaning against a large stone. The church building is assumed to have been erected on the exact spot where St. Olaf was killed during that battle and that stone is supposedly still inside the altar of the church. - in: wikipedia

Photo ©  Dianne Dietrich Leis
Sybil sent this card showing the old Mission San Diego de Alcalá in California.
Mission Basilica San Diego de Alcalá was the first Franciscan mission in the Las Californias Province of the Viceroyalty of New Spain. Located in present-day San Diego, California, it was founded on July 16, 1769 by Spanish friar Junípero Serra in an area long inhabited by the Kumeyaay Indians. The mission and the surrounding area were named for the Catholic Saint Didacus, a Spaniard more commonly known as San Diego. The mission was the site of the first Christian burial in Alta California. San Diego is also generally regarded as the site of the region's first public execution, in 1778. Father Luís Jayme, "California's First Christian Martyr," lies entombed beneath the chancel floor. The current church is the fourth to stand on this location. The Mission is a National Historic Landmark. - in: wikipedia

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

PT RR - Group 86 * Churches

Nice churches from Brazil, Portugal and Belgium.

Luzia sent me this card showing the Chapel of Our Lady of Piedade in Piedade Mountain, in Caeté, Minas Gerais state. 
The chapel is a fairly simple temple, built between 1704-1770. This was a prayer temple for pilgrims and penitents who climbed to mountain seeking for silence, far from the world and close to heaven.  

© Micahel Howard Photography *
From southern Portugal, Tiago sent this card with the Chapel of Our Lady of Rocha in Porches. The chapel was built on a narrow tongue of rock extending into the sea. Its origins are lost in time. The hermitage used to be surrounded by an old coastal defence fort (built in the 15th century) which was destroyed by the earthquake of 1755.

© Uitgave Antoine Beringen
Lieve has already sent a card of this church, Saint Peter's Church of Leuven, last year. On the left side of the card is possible to see a bit of the gorgeous Town Hall building. 

Landscape of Grand Pré - Canada

Here comes a new UNESCO site in my collection, the Landscape of Grand-Pré in Canada, classified as World Heritage in 2012. 
The card was sent by Jason. 

Situated in the southern Minas Basin of Nova Scotia, the Grand Pré marshland and archaeological sites constitute a cultural landscape bearing testimony to the development of agricultural farmland using dykes and the aboiteau wooden sluice system, started by the Acadians in the 17th century and further developed and maintained by the Planters and present-day inhabitants. Over 1,300 ha, the cultural landscape encompasses a large expanse of polder farmland and archaeological elements of the towns of Grand Pré and Hortonville, which were built by the Acadians and their successors. The landscape is an exceptional example of the adaptation of the first European settlers to the conditions of the North American Atlantic coast. The site – marked by one of the most extreme tidal ranges in the world, averaging 11.6 m – is also inscribed as a memorial to Acadian way of life and deportation, which started in 1755, known as the Grand Dérangement. - in: