Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Wat Phra Kaew Temple - Thailand

Postcards from Thailand, the three showing the Wat Phra Kaew temple in Bangkok. The 1st card arrived a few days ago and it was sent by Damien. The other two are officials received in 2009 and 2016. 

Photo by Pinit Srimuangkao
Wat Phra Kaew or the Temple of the Emerald Buddha (officially known as Wat Phra Sri Rattana Satsadaram) is regarded as the most important Buddhist temple in Thailand. Located in the historic centre of Bangkok, within the grounds of the Grand Palace, it enshrines Phra Kaew Morakot (the Emerald Buddha), the highly revered Buddha image meticulously carved from a single block of jade.
The Emerald Buddha (Phra Putta Maha Mani Ratana Patimakorn) is a Buddha image in the meditating position in the style of the Lanna school of the north, dating from the 15th century AD.

TH-26288, sent by Nhok.
Raised high on a series of platforms, no one is allowed near the Emerald Buddha except HM the King. A seasonal cloak, changed three times a year to correspond to the summer, winter, and rainy season covers the statue. A very important ritual, the changing of the robes is performed only by the King to bring good fortune to the country during each season. The temple of  Emerald Buddha is beautifully decorated and has a great sense of peace about it.

Jatuporn Rutnin - Photography
TH-223732, sent by Tavich.
The construction of the Temple of Emerald Buddha started when King Buddha Yodfa Chulaloke (Rama I) moved the capital from Thonburi to Bangkok in 1785. Unlike other temples, it does not contain living quarters for monks; rather, it has only elaborately decorated holy buildings, statues, and pagodas. The main building is the central 'ubosot' (ordination hall), which houses the Emerald Buddha. Even though it is small in size, it is the most important icon for Thai people. - in:

Warsaw's Castle Square - Poland

Officials from my beautiful Poland, all of them showing the Castle Square in Warsaw.

PL-49009, sent by Anna
Warsaw's Castle Square (Polish: plac Zamkowy w Warszawie) is a historic square in front of the Royal Castle – the former official residence of Polish monarchs – located in Warsaw, Poland. It is a popular meeting place for tourists and locals. The Square (in a more or less triangular shape) features the landmark Sigismund's Column to the south-west, and is surrounded by historic townhouses. 
Sigismund's Column, erected in 1644, is one of Warsaw's most famous landmarks and one of the oldest secular monuments in northern Europe. The column and statue commemorate King Sigismund III Vasa, who in 1596 had moved Poland's capital from Kraków to Warsaw. - in: wikipedia

© Foto: Adam Sachocki
PL-1413044, sent by Dominika.
Built in the 15th century, this castle served as residence of Mazovian princes. Once the capital was moved to Warsaw from Kraków, the castle served as seat of the king and the government. The castle has been renovated repeatedly and destroyed completely during World War II. It was rebuilt between 1971-1988 using castle remains and rubble. 

© Foto: Adam Sachocki
PL-1021687, sent by Ania.
Today, the segment with the clock tower opens the way to the Old Town. Museum attractions include two original Rembrandt paintings as well as works by Bernardo Bellotto, aka Canaletto, court painter to Polish King Stanisław August Poniatowski. Canaletto’s paintings were vital during Warsaw’s post-war reconstruction. - in:

Lithuanian cities

Last December and January my penpal Justina left Australia to spent a few weeks with her family in her home country Lithuania. I wouldn't mind to spend a few more days in this beautiful country again. 

Foto: K. Driskius, R. Paknys
St. Anne's Church in Vilnius; Thomas Mann's summer house in Nida; Trakai Castle and one of Klaipėda's most recognizable symbols – The Meridianas. 

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

National Museum of Finland

It is a church? Is it a castle? No, it actually is a museum, the National Museum of Finland, in central Helsinki.
The card was sent by Minna. 

Photo Timo Syrjänen © Museovirasto

The National Museum of Finland presents Finnish history from the Stone Age to the present day, through objects and cultural history. 
The appearance of the building reflects Finland's medieval churches and castles. The architecture belongs to national romanticism and the interior mainly to art nouveau. The museum was built from 1905 to 1910 and opened to the public in 1916. The museum was named the Finnish National Museum after Finland's independence in 1917. - in: wikipedia

Monday, February 26, 2018

Hoge Veluwe National Park - Netherlands

Hoge Veluwe National Park is a national park in the Gelderland province of the Netherlands. With its 55 km² it is one of the largest national parks of the country, and a popular short stay tourist destination for the Dutch. 

 NL-1069500, sent by Elsje.
The Veluwe is famous for its diversity in natural landscapes and partly rolling landscapes. Although most of the land is flat, it has subtle variations in small areas, with the highest point at 110 meters. It's a forest-rich area, but there are large heaths, streams and small lakes as well. In the desert patches you'll find sand drifts that are among the largest ones in Europe.

 © Uitgeverij van der Meulen bv Sneek
NL-1586954, sent by Dennis & Linda.
The park is mostly covered by pristine vegetation, most of which consists of various conifers, shrub and grassland with a large variation of flowers. A good number of rare plants are found here as well as (introduced) exotic plants like American Oaks. When it comes to wildlife, the broad variety of larger mammals is most well-known.

© Uitgeverij van der Meulen lov Sneek
NL-2061781, sent by Dj Marx
Commonly sighted are deer, roes, moeflons and wild boar. However, bird wildlife is also very divers and the park is home to lot of rabbits, foxes, badgers and other small mammals.
In order to maintain naturally sustainable population in this fenced environment, controlled annual hunt is a normal practice. - in:


Another beautiful snowy card. This one is from the Netherlands. 

© Arnold Voordewind /
NL-4033459, sent by Bianca.
I'm not sure but this might be a gate to a park in Leek, where the Nienoord estate is located.

Inselsberg - Germany

I love snow but this winter I'm only getting snow in my mailbox. This has been a very dry winter, no rain, no snow and no signs of any of them!
I don't get to see snow for real but snowy cards are a nice way to fulfill my desire for snow. This one was sent by Tanja. 

LOOK-photo / Raimund Linke
Großer Inselsberg is a mountain in the Thuringian Forest with a height of 916.5 meters above sea level. It is the fourth-highest distinct mountain of Thuringia and one of its the best known excursion destinations. 

Thursday, February 22, 2018

Venice - Italy

Venice is probably one of the most famous and visited cities, not only in Italy, but in the world. My penpal Anne visited it last month. Today I'm posting her card and another one that Irene sent me back in 2009. 

Santa María della Salute is one of the most important religious edifices in Venice. Its striking dome is depicted in most of the city’s postcards. 

© FLORENTIA MINOR S. N. C. - Fiesole (FI)
Salute, as it is commonly known, was founded in 1631. The basilica was built to commemorate the end of a terrible outbreak of the plague that began in 1630, and killed a large portion of the Veneto population. It was dedicated to Our Lady of Health (Salute in Italian).
The architect, Baldassare Longhena, was commissioned to design the church and had also been responsible for the construction of the Ca’ Rezzonico. Santa Maria della Salute took 56 years to build and was completed in 1687. 

The Basilica’s interior is octagonal with small chapels on each side of the building. Although the church’s decoration is quite plain, there are several impressive paintings by Titian and Tintoretto.
The most magnificent canvas is called “Marriage at Cana” by Tintoretto. It is located in the sacristy.
Every 21 November, the Venetians celebrate the Feast of the Presentation of the Virgin (Festa della Madonna della Salute). It is one of the most popular festivals in Venice. It involves crossing an improvised bridge over the Grand Canal to the Salute Basilica in recognition of freeing Venice from the plague. - in:

The Auvergne Volcanoes - France

I've said it before and I say it again, I like volcanoes. These are 3 wonderful examples of volcanoes cards. All of the are from Auvergne, the land of volcanoes in France. Two were sent by Valérie and the other is an official card. 

Volcanoes, a term which in France is automatically associated with Auvergne in the Massif Central, which was formed 60-million years ago, when the African and European tectonic plates collided. However, the European plate slipped under the African plate.
The thrust weakened it and provoked the appearance of faults lines in the area we today call Massif Central.
Some 25 million years the magma began to rise to the surface in the northern part of the Massif Central. 
There are 450 volcanoes spread in the Chaîne des Puys, Cantal, Monts Dore, Monts d' Artense, Monts du Cantal and Monts du Cézallier (between the Monts Dore and Cantal).
You can discover these volcanoes in the Parc Naturel Régional des Volcans d'Auvergne. - in:

Photo: Joël Damase
FR-983131, sent by Elisabeth.
The Chaîne des Puys is a volcanic alignment of 80 volcanoes that stretches nearly 32 km long and 4 km wide. It is here that the study of volcanoes is born. This natural site includes all forms of volcanism and is a fascinating visual spectacle.
Its highest point is the lava dome of Puy de Dôme, located near the middle of the chain, which is 1,465 m (4,806 ft) high.

Formed between 95,000 and 8,400 years old, the puys chain is the youngest volcanic ensemble in metropolitan France. It is precisely because these volcanoes are young, that they propose a large variety of forms.
The volcanoes of the Chaîne des Puys have not had time to erode, their forms remained pure and easily interpretable. 

Morella - Spain

Last November Celina visited the beautiful town of Morella in Spain and sent me a card from there. It didn't get to my mailbox in the following weeks and we both thought it got lost. However it didn't get lost, it must have been forgotten somewhere in the local post office because altought it has been sent in November, it has a January postmark.

© Ediciones A. M. * Fotografia: AEROPTOPVISIÓN
Located in the northern tip of the Valencian Community and just 60 kilometers from the coast, Morella is classified as one of the most beautiful villages in Spain.
Its 16 towers, six doors and almost two kilometers of wall (walls 10 and 15 meters high, and two meters thick) are the characteristics of Morella, crowned by the castle.

Friday, February 16, 2018

Ourense's Roman Bridge - Spain

Another postcard from Vanesa. She started to send offcial cards again and to celebrate, she opened a lottery. I was the lucky winner and got this card with the Roman Bridge in Ourense. 

Together with the Burgas, thermal springs and the Cathedral, the Roman Bridge is one of the three symbols of the city of Ourense.

© Ediciones Paris
The Roman Bridge of Ourense on the River Minho, was built in the first century A.D. 
According to tradition, it dates from the time of Trajan, however, its constructive characteristics are close to the time of Augustus.
During the twelfth century the main arch of the bridge gave way to a series of interminable repairs that only ended in the seventeenth century when the final reform gave the bridge its present medieval appearance while retaining its original Roman elements.
Of the original 11 arches, only 7 are left.
At present the bridge measures 370 meters long, with a central arch of 43 meters wide by 39 meters high, classified as the largest of the Roman Empire.

Thursday, February 15, 2018

Meeting in Entroncamento - Portugal

It's not easy for me to go to postcrossing meetings because I work on weekends but last month I made it to the meeting in Entroncamento. The idea of this meeting was to visit the National Railway Museum, which has its headquarters and main base in Entroncamento. This city is a major hub of the Portuguese rail network and the location of railway workshops. The museum is a postcrossing member
For the 1st time in a meeting, most of the participants were newbies, this was their 1st meeting ever. 

Museu Nacional Ferroviário / Doação Varela Pécurto
As in every meeting, we sent some cards. This one was sent by Vanesa who was in the meeting.

Carlos Pinto
This one was sent by me. It shows the historical train with the E214 locomotive in Carrazedo. This old locomotive, built in 1923, was the last of the steam engines to leave the railroad in Portugal and is considered a rarity because it is articulated and, at the time, it was the most powerful in the Corgo metric line.

Torres Novas - Portugal

I'm not really sure how this postcard got to my mailbox, because it has no stamp. It must have fallen during its trip from Alcanena to Guarda. It was sent by Carolina, who I met during the meeting in Entroncamento last month.
In Torres Novas I've only been to the shopping centers next to the highway and honestly, I don't know much about the city.
The card shows a night view of one of the city's square, the windmills of Pena and the castle with a statue of D. Sancho I, the king who founded the city in 1190.

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Cabanas / Conceição Church - Portugal

The postcard says as you can see, that this church is located in Cabanas, however when doing a search on the net, its location is in Conceição de Tavira. In 2013, the parish merged into the new parish Conceição e Cabanas de Tavira, this might explain the confusion. 
As for who sent this postcard, there's no confusion at all. It was sent by Leninha after winning her lottery on FB.

© al-garbdistri
This church goes back to the first quarter of the 16th century. The façade's portico features a late-Gothic Manueline decoration.

St. Rita healing

Inês has recently moved to Lisbon to start a new job. To celebrate this, she opened a lottery. I was the winner and she sent me a card with this old lady. 

Foto: Jão Filipe de Brito Sol Pereira
The lady is doing a St. Rita healing. I tried to find out what exactly is this healing and what it is used for but couldn't find any information. 

Three Generations

Three generations in the same picture. A nice card sent by Paula to wish me a 2018 full of cards ;)

Gérard Castello Lopes
Picture taken in 1957 somewhere in Algarve.