Monday, July 30, 2018

PT RR - Group 110 * Surprise July

Once again, I got only nice cards in this portuguese RR. The RR might be portuguese but the cards are from different locations, in this case, China, Portugal and France. 

© René Burri / Magnum Photos
Last month Paulo sent me a Magnum Photos card and this month he did it again. René Burri is the photographer of this picture of dead lotus leaves taken in 1964 on Kunming Lake in the grounds of the Summer Palace near Beijing. 
Kunming Lake is a most attractive water feature a short distance from downtown Beijing, where it covers three quarters of the total area of the Summer Palace grounds.

© Edição Vistal - Foto ©, Art & Concept: Gustav A. Wittich
If you're in southern Portugal and want to go to southern Spain, you'll cross this bridge. I've only crossed it once but I bet Tiago has crossed many times. 
The Guadiana International Bridge is a bridge that crosses the Guadiana River connecting southern Spain (town of Ayamonte) and Portugal (town of Castro Marim). It is the southernmost land crossing on the Portugal–Spain border. It is not split evenly between the two countries, a greater share of it situated in Portugal. Completed in 1991, its structural type is a cable-stayed bridge, with a deck of prestressed concrete. (...) The bridge is open to vehicles only. It is the third longest bridge in Portugal and one of the longest in Spain. - in: wikipedia

The Château de Villandraut is a ruined castle in the commune of Villandraut in the Gironde département of France.
The castle of Villandraut is known as the castle of Pope Clement. Villandraut is the birthplace of Bertrand de Goth, who became the first pope in Avignon under the name of Clement V in 1305. 
From the beginning of his pontificate, Pope Clement V decided to build a castle in Villandraut, which should be the symbol of the increased power of the Goth’s family.
The work began in 1305 and was completed in 1312. The castle was built in just seven years, a particularly short time to the Middle Ages, because normally twenty years have been reasonably necessary for the realization of such a work. This rapidness is due to the richness and the power of the sponsor, Pope Clement V. - in:
Card sent by Joana.

Editions d'Art
A nice french castle and now a church. Sent by Michele.
The city of Malestroit is a small town located in the Morbihan department of Brittany in north-western France.
St. Gilles Church was built in the 12th century and rebuilt partly in the 16th and 18th centuries. Its southern 12th century cross, its double nave, its special statues, its stained glass windows, as well as its exceptional 13th century paintings, discovered on the vault at the end of 2011 during a restoration, make it a special building. 

Sunday, July 29, 2018

Europe RR - Group 137 * Happy Mix

Two very different cards from Montenegro and Belarus. 

Annamaria is from Serbia and traveled to Montenegro by train some time ago and that was when she had the opportunity to see Skadar Lake. 
The lake is located in Zeta – Skadar valley and is surrounded by mountains, and it’s 7 km away from Adriatic Sea. Two Thirds of Skadar Lake is in Montenegro and the rest is in Albania. The size of the lake varies from 530 to 370 km2 it is 44 km long and 14 km wide. Coast line is very sharp, especially in the north – west side.
Skadar Lake is the largest lake at the Balkan Peninsula, with fresh water and one of the largest national parks in Montenegro. It’s extremely famous for its diversity of flora and fauna. - in:

Yuliya sent me a new church from Belarus. 
The catholic church of Exalatation of the Holy Cross in Vileika was built between 1906-1913. Its architecture combines features of neo-romanesque and neo.gothic styles. 
The church is included in the state list of Historical and Cultural Values of Belarus. 


Greetings from snowy Saskatchewan, a province in western Canada. 
Saskatchewan is a landlocked province with large distances to moderating bodies of waters. As a result, its climate is extremely continental, rendering severe winters throughout the province. In winter, temperatures below −45 °C (−49 °F) are possible even in the south during extreme cold snaps. - in: wikipedia

Photo by Douglas E. Walker
CA-823391, sent by Joyce.
Yes, it’s cold in Saskatchewan in wintertime. But locals know how to have fun and enjoy the snow and ice. One of the best outdoor activities in wintertime is dogsledding. 
Before cars, snowmobiles, and even horses, dog sledding was one of the primary ways for getting around Canada during the winter months. It was an especially important mode of transportation for the people of the northern territories, who continue to respect huskie dogs deeply.
Today, dog sledding is mostly a recreational activity rather than necessary transportation, but it’s an amazing and fun way to experience Canada’s stunning landscape and part of its past.
Dog-sledding tours are available in many provinces and territories, and tours run from a couple of hours to a few days.
Many of the dogs are treated very well, but be sure to do your own research when selecting a tour to ensure that you are using one that treats their animals ethically and humanely. - in:

Thursday, July 26, 2018


How cute is this tiger hug?
Tadoba National Park is a popular tiger reserve that’s affably known as ‘The Land of Tigers’ as large number of tigers (approx.43) are found here.

IN-305664, sent by Himanshu.
Situated in the core of a reserved forest and spread in the area of 1727 sq. km, Tadoba National Park lies in the Chandrapur district of Maharashtra (India). One of the largest and oldest national park,  which has endless treasure trove of large number of species of trees & plants and wildlife like panthers, tigers, hyenas, sloth bears, wild dogs, jackals, barking deer, bison, sambar, herd of deer to name a few. - in:

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Western Tien-Shan - Uzbekistan

Most of my card swaps are via postcrossing, both the official site and the forum but every now and then, if I see a nice offer on FB I might give it a shot. Igor was offering a few cards and the UNESCO symbol caught my attention. Western Tien-Shien was the last WHS I was still mising from Uzbekistan, so I contacted Igor. In return of a church card from Malta, I got this nice card from a new UNESCO site to my collection.

Western Tien-Shan is a transnational site located in the Tien-Shan mountain system, one of the largest mountain ranges in the world. It spans over three countries: Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan.
On 17 July 2016, (...) Western Tien-Shan was inscribed on UNESCO’s World Heritage List to protect its biodiversity.
The nominated property includes (...) Chatkal Biosphere Reserve, located in the Republic of Uzbekistan. - in:

Photo by Pavel Fedorovich
Ugam-Chatkal is the state national wild nature park, created in 1992 by reorganization of Chatkal biosphere reserve. It is located at Chatkal ridges of Western Tien-Shan, encompassing Akhangaran, Brichmulla and Chirchik lumber reserves, and has a total area of 668350 hectares, which makes it the largest nature protection complex in Uzbekistan. The National park was created to protect Tien-Shan highland woods and unique ecosystem, inhabited by multiple rare and endangered species of animals and plants. - in:

Sunday, July 22, 2018

Moscow Metro - Russia

Moscow’s underground transit system is now more than 80 years old, and carries up to 9 million passengers through more than 200 stations every day. It was built under Soviet rule and opened in 1935. Most of the architecture and decor meant to be a showcase for Soviet artists, ideals, and icons. 
These are Krasnopresnenskaya and Arbatskaya stations.

RU-6600221, sent by Tanya.
Krasnopresnenskaya was opened on 14 March 1954. The station has red granite pylons with white marble cornices and 14 bas-reliefs. As the Presnya area of Moscow was the site of the Moscow Uprising of 1905 during the 1905 Russian Revolution, the station is decorated with artwork commemorating the events of the period. Eight of the bas-reliefs depict the events of the Russian Revolution of 1905 and the other six show scenes from the Russian Revolution of 1917. Statues of Vladimir Lenin and Joseph Stalin originally stood at the end of the platform, though these had been removed by the early 1960s. - in: wikipedia

Arbatskaya is a station of the Moscow metro. It was built in 1953 to replace an older station damaged in a German bomb attack in 1941. Since it was meant to serve as a bomb shelter as well as a Metro station, Arbatskaya is both large (the 250-m platform is the second-longest in Moscow) and deep (41 m underground).
 The station represents an example of Stalinist baroque style, its opera clothes include white arched ceilings, bronze chandeliers, ceramic bouquets of flowers, red marble decorations, and glazed tiles.


Maria sent me this card from Yaroslavl with St. John the Baptist Church and gave me some information about orthodox churches colors. Golden if devoted to Jesus Christ or Great Feasts; blue with golden stars for Mary; green for the Holy Spirit or some holy men and black for monks, which means that there are relics inside. 

RU-6527396, sent by Maria.
St. John the Baptist Church in Yaroslavl is considered to be the acme of the Yaroslavl school of architecture. It was built in 1671-1687 on the bank of Kotorosl river in the Tolchkovo sloboda (district) which at that time was the largest and wealthiest part of the town.
Its walls and dome drums are covered with richly glazed tiles; the temple's fifteen onion domes are assembled in three groups. The 7-storey, 45-metre high bell-tower was built later than the church itself in mid-1690s.
The entire interior is covered with frescoes depicting Christian saints, St. John the Baptist hagiography and biblical topics. They were painted by Dmitry Plekhanov and Fyodor Ignatyev in 1694-1695. - in: wikipedia

Saturday, July 21, 2018

Hâncu Monastery - Moldova

My 4th card from Moldova. Sent by Ara who visited the country a few months ago but who didn't had time to buy stamps there. 

In 1678 in a forest at the source of the Cogalnic river (about 55 km West of Chisinau) the great High steward Mihai Hincu at request of his daughter founded a convent of nuns, which she entered. The convent was named Parascheva. 

Autor: Iurie Raileanu
The wooden churches and cells were often destroyed by the Tartar invasions during the XVIIth c., and the “St. Parascheva” monastery remained uninhabited. In 1835 a stone church was built in a Russian-Byzantine style for the summer period. Later, in 1841, came a church for the winter season.
From 1956 to1990 the convent was closed by the Soviet authorities, and instead it functioned as a sanatorium and a rest-base for the Health Ministry. In 1990, at the request of the local population the Hincu convent was reopened, becoming one of the most well arranged and most visited religious communities. - in:

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Zamość Town Hall - Poland

Zamość is a city in southeastern Poland. It's historical centre was added to the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1992. 
The Town Hall stands on the north side of the Great Market Square, regarded as one of the most beautiful 16th-century squares in Europe. 
The 1st card is an official and the 2nd was sent by Rafal 10 years ago!! 

Fot: Dariusz Krakowiak
PL-1484220, sent by Kasia.
The massive edifice of the Town Hall dominates the Rynek. Its contemporary silhouette, with a 52-m tower and monumental fan-shaped double stairway date back to the second half of the 18th century. Although it seems to be a perfect structure, the left-hand side of the facade is 130 cm wider than the right-hand side. The difference is so skillfully concealed that only a very careful observer can notice it. 

In summer, at noon a trumpeter plays a bugle call from the Town Hall tower only towards three directions of the world. Apparently, Jan Zamoyski did not like Krakow and forbade his trumpeters to play the bugle call in the direction of this town.
The Town Hall was and still is the seat of the town council and on the ground floor there is Tourist Information Centre in Zamość. - in:

Victoria Citadel - Malta

Last month I traveled to Malta with a friend. Beautiful towns, landscapes and cheap stamps, the cheapest stamps I've ever bought. I'd be an even happier postcrosser in Malta. The cards are also cheap and this is the one I sent to mysfelf. 

Victoria Citadel on Gozo island is not a UNESCO site but it might be one day as it is on the tentative list.
All roads in Gozo lead to Rabat, also known as Victoria. The Citadel is visible from almost all the Island, rising steeply above the surrounding countryside. 

© Photo: Maurizio Urso
The Citadel in Gozo owes its roots to the late medieval era, but the hill has been settled since Neolithic times. For centuries, the Citadel served as a sanctuary from attack by Barbary corsairs and Saracens. At several times during Gozo's history, these raiders took its population into slavery.
After the Great Siege of 1565, the Knights set about re-fortifying the Citadel to provide refuge and defence against further attack. Until 1637, the Gozitan population was required by law to spend their nights within the Citadel for their own safety. In later, more peaceful times, this restriction was lifted and people settled below its walls, creating the prosperous town of Rabat, now known as Victoria. - in:

Christiansfeld - Denmark

Here comes a card from another new UNESCO site in my collection. Christiansfeld in Denmark was added to the World Heritage Site list in 2015. 
Tack Doris.

Founded in 1773 in South Jutland, the site is an example of a planned settlement of the Moravian Church, a Lutheran free congregation centred in Herrnhut, Saxony. The town was planned to represent the Protestant urban ideal, constructed around a central Church square. The architecture is homogenous and unadorned, with one and two-storey buildings in yellow brick with red tile roofs. The democratic organization of the Moravian Church, with its pioneering egalitarian philosophy, is expressed in its humanistic town planning. The settlement’s plan opens onto agricultural land and includes important buildings for the common welfare such as large communal houses for the congregation’s widows and unmarried men and women. The buildings are still in use and many are still owned by the local Moravian Church community. - in:

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Villa « Le Lac » - Switzerland

In 2016, the Villa « Le Lac », near Vevey, Switzerland, became a UNESCO World Heritage Site in recognition of its outstanding contribution to the Modern Movement, alongside 16 other architectural works in seven countries.
Thanks to Óscar, now I only need cards from Belgium and Argentina, to have at least one of the Le Corbusiers works in these seven countries. 

Photo: Olivier Martin-Gambier 2006
A gem of ingenuity and functionalism, the Villa « Le Lac » (1923) is among Le Corbusier’s most inventive and most personal creations. This masterpiece of modern architecture, built for the architect’s parents, embodies three of what would become his five points for a new architecture: the roof garden, the open plan design and the long, horizontal window. A real “machine for living”, it illustrates the ideas that Le Corbusier had already espoused in his earlier works and that would ensure the success of the villas that he built from the 1920s onwards. - in:

Naumburg Cathedral - Germany

A few days ago 19 new sites and 1 significant modifications to the boundaries, were added to the UNESCO WHS list. Of those 19 sites I only had 2 and now with this card sent by Ina, I've 3 of the new sites. Notice that Ina used 2 matching stamps. 
Naumburg Cathedral is one of the two sites that Germany inscribed this year. 

© 2016, Foto: Verlag Janos Stekovics
Located in the eastern part of the Thuringian Basin, the Cathedral of Naumburg, whose construction began in 1028, is an outstanding testimony to medieval art and architecture. Its Romanesque structure, flanked by two Gothic choirs, demonstrates the stylistic transition from late Romanesque to early Gothic. The west choir, dating to the first half of the 13th century reflects changes in religious practice and the appearance of science and nature in the figurative arts. The choir and life-size sculptures of the founders of the Cathedral are masterpieces of the workshop known as the “Naumburg Master”. - in:

Sunday, July 8, 2018


Official from Mönchengladbach in Germany.

© Kunsthaus Krichel 
DE-7261031, sent by Michael. 
The only thing I knew about this german city before getting this card, was that the city is home to football team, Borussia Mönchengladbach, one of the country's most well-known teams. Now I know that the city is located in North Rhine-Westphalia, halfway between Düsseldorf and the Dutch border. 
In the city we can visit the Basilica of St. Vitus, the Municipal Abteiberg Museum for contemporary art and Museum im Wasserturm Rheindahlen for relics of the stone age. 

Friday, July 6, 2018

Limousin septennial ostensions - France

I'm crazy about UNESCO WHS, love to get cards of the heritage sites, to visit the sites and learn about them. However, UNESCO also protects intangible cultural heritages and it also has a list with the aim of ensuring better protection of these cultural heritages worldwide and the awareness of their significance. I've to confess that I've never paid much attention to these and I believe this is the 1st time I'm posting a card of a tradition classified as an Intangible Cultural Heritage. 
This card was sent by Damien. 

The Limousin septennial ostensions are grand ceremonies and processions organized every seventh year for the exhibition and worship of relics of Catholic saints kept in Limousin churches.

Widely supported by local towns and villages, the festivities are attended by great numbers of people who gather to see the reliquaries as they process through town, accompanied by flags, banners, decorations and costumed historical figures. The septennial ostensions belong to the whole population of Limousin, and the inhabitants – Christian and non-Christian alike – think of themselves as the keepers of the tradition. Confraternities and committees are actively involved in the transmission of knowledge (both oral and written), as well as the artefacts linked with this practice. Preparing the ostensions is a communal, year-long undertaking that mobilizes the knowledge and skills of many craftspeople, local clergy, councillors, charities and volunteers, as well as choirs, bands and musical groups, in organizing the festivities and renewing the memory of the ostensions. The preparations also help to strengthen social bonds, while the festivities play an important role in helping recently arrived or former inhabitants to integrate and in reuniting families as relatives return to join in the celebrations. - in:

Thursday, July 5, 2018

Meeting in Bordeaux - France

Last month 18 postcrossers got together in Bordeaux for another postcrossing meeting. It seems quite normal these days to create special cards for meetings. Joana created 4 different ones for this one and sent me 2 of them. 

This large blue lion conceived by the French artist Xavier Veilhan is the most striking feature in Place Stalingrad.  It has become one of the symbols of the renewal of this district, which was for many years regarded as the black sheep of the Bordeaux neighbourhoods.

The Miroir d'eau (Water Mirror), built in 2006,  is the largest water mirror in the world, covering 3,450 square metres (37,100 sq ft). Located opposite the Place de la Bourse, between the Quai de la Douane and the Louis XVIII quay, the mirror of water alternates extraordinary effects of mirror and fog.