Saturday, September 29, 2018

Lund - Sweden

Ines sent me this card a few weeks ago just to let me know she's still alive. We're pals but she didn't have much time to write letters in the last months. Wtih no time to write letters, she sent me a card from Lund, which she visited on her last holidays.

Lund is a city in the province of Scania, southern Sweden. Lund is believed to have been founded around 990, when Scania was part of Denmark. The city was ceded to Sweden in the Treaty of Roskilde in 1658, and its status as part of Sweden was formalised in 1720.
Lund University (white building on the card), established in 1666, is today one of Scandinavia's oldest and largest institutions for education and research. The university and its buildings dominate much of the centre of the city, and have led to Lund becoming a centre for high-tech industry in the south of Sweden. - in: wikipedia

Hedeby - Germany

Today is my Postcrossingversary ッ I joined Postcrossing 12 years ago and it has been great, not only because of the cards but also because of some amazing friends that I had the opportunity to meet, all the places I discovered and visited, all the knowledge and all the joy that is to find a card in my mailbox. Thank you Postcrossing!!
Thanks to my UNESCO collection I've learnt a lot about amazing places all around the world that I've never heard before. In a few days I'll visit 3 sites in Germany. Not Hedeby though, I'll travel to Bavaria, not Schleswig-Holstein. 

The Archaeological Border complex of Hedeby and the Danevirke is one of the newest german UNESCO sites, it was added to the WHS list this year. This card was sent by Claus.
Hedeby, in present-day northern Germany, was a trading post that developed into the second largest Viking city in northern Europe. Hedeby was founded in the 8th century and abandoned after 1066.
At its peak, around 2,000 people would live permanently in Hedeby with countless traders moving through.

© Stiftung Schleswig-Holsteinische Landesmuseen Schloss Gottorf, 2012
Hedeby was destroyed by Norwegian King Harald Hardrada – the last great Viking – in 1050 using burning ships. It was finally destroyed by fire in 1066 after a raid by Slavic warriors and the site completely abandoned. A new city – Schleswig – was founded on the northern side of the Schlei meaning that Hedeby was largely left undisturbed for 800 years and thus is a rich source of archaeological finds. The location of Hedeby surrounded by a semi-circular ramparts was only rediscovered in the late 19th century.
As Hedeby was abandoned in the 11th century when the new town moved to the north of the Schlei and never overbuilt, the site is one of Germany’s most-researched and richest sources of archaeological items. Although archaeological excavations have been ongoing for over a century, only around 5% of the site has been fully investigated. - in: https://www.european-traveler.com/germany/visit-the-hedeby-viking-museum-and-village-in-haithabu-germany/

Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Foix Castle - France

Five years ago I was traveling in France with and Foix was one of the places I wanted to see. The idea was to visit this castle but we arrived a bit too late, when we got there the castle was closing !!
Vitoria traveled to this part of France a few days ago and chose this postcard to send me.

The Château de Foix is a castle which dominates the town of Foix in the French département of Ariège.

Editions d'Art Larrey cdl - Toulouse
Built In the style of 7th-century fortification, the castle is known from 987. In 1002, it was mentioned in the will of Roger I, Count of Carcassonne, who bequeathed the fortress to his youngest child, Bernard.
In 1034, the castle became capital of the County of Foix and played a decisive role in medieval military history.
From 1479, the Counts of Foix became Kings of Navarre and the last of them, made Henri IV of France, annexed his Pyrrenean lands to France.
As seat of the Governor of the Foix region from the 15th century, the castle continued to ensure the defence of the area, notably during the Wars of Religion. Alone of all the castles in the region, it was exempted from the destruction orders of Richelieu.
Until the Revolution, the fortress remained a garrison. Its life was brightened with grand receptions for its governors, including the Count of Tréville, captain of musketeers under Louis XIII and Marshal Philippe Henri de Ségur, one of Louis XVI's ministers. The Round Tower, built in the 15th century, is the most recent, the two square towers having been built before the 11th century. They served as a political and civil prison for four centuries until 1862.
Since 1930, the castle has housed the collections of the Ariège départemental museum. - in: wikipedia

Sunday, September 23, 2018

Queluz National Palace - Portugal

For those who like palaces and love to imagine what life would have been like at court, the Queluz National Palace is like a time machine capable of transporting us to 18th century. 
One of the things I like the most in the palace was the furnitture, some of the pieces would be great to store my precious postcards. I bet Ninocas and Joana thought the same.

© Sergiy Scheblykin 2016
The National Palace of Queluz and its historical gardens are one of the most remarkable examples of the harmonious link between landscape and palatial architecture in Portugal. They illustrate the evolution of the Court’s tastes in the 18th and 19th centuries, a period that was marked by the baroque, rococo and neoclassicism. 


Built in 1747 at the orders of the future King Pedro III, the consort of Queen Maria I, the Palace of Queluz was initially conceived as a summer residence, becoming the royal family’s preferred place for their leisure and entertainment. They lived there permanently from 1794 until their departure for Brazil in 1807, as a result of the French invasions. - in: https://www.parquesdesintra.pt/en/parks-and-monuments/national-palace-and-gardens-of-queluz/

© Instituto dos Museus e da Conservação, I. P. / Palácio Nacional de Queluz - Fotografia: Luís Pavão
Don Quixote Room is the most well known and ostentatious of the Palace rooms and where the majority of the children of King João VI and Queen Carlota Joaquina were born, including among whom Prince Pedro – future Emperor of Brazil and King of Portugal – who died here in 1834, the victim of tuberculosis, aged just thirty-nine. - in: https://www.parquesdesintra.pt/en/pontos-de-atracao/dom-quixote-room/

Europe RR - Group 136 * Churches

Churches from Torun, Poland and Budapest, Hungary. 

Fot. Dariusz Krakowiak
On the center of this card sent by Kamilla, there's the Church of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary. It was erected in the second half of the 14th century by Franciscan friars. 
It is one of the most outstanding artistic and architectural achievements of sacral architecture in Poland. In the 14th century it was the highest hall church in Central Europe with the naves and aisles 26.8 metre (88 feet) high. 
According to the Franciscan rule, the church does not have a tower but three rather small ave-bell towers instead. - in: http://www.visittorun.pl/386,l2.html

Photos by www.photodecor.hu
Some cards bring me good memories and this is one of them. I've been to Budapest last year and loved the city.
Ferenc sent a card with . St. Stephen’s Basilica, the largest church of Budapest. The building was finished in Neo-classicist style in 1905, following 54 years of planning. Similarly to the Parliament, it is 96 meters high, which makes it the highest building of Budapest. 
This place of Catholic worship was named after St. Stephen, the first Christian king of Hungary, whose mummified body is buried in the undercroft. His intactly preserved right hand, the Holy Dexter, is kept as a relic in the Basilica’s main aisle. The Basilica is also a significant musical venue, where various concerts are held. - in: https://welovebudapest.com/en/venue/st-stephens-basilica-2/

Thursday, September 20, 2018

Pittsburgh - USA

Pittsburgh is a city in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania in the United States, and is the county seat of Allegheny County. As of 2017, a population of 305,704 lives within the city limits, making it the 63rd-largest city in the U.S.

Photo © Dan Amerson
US-5507991, sent by Reda.
Located at the confluence of the Allegheny, Monongahela, and Ohio rivers, Pittsburgh is known both as "the Steel City" for its more than 300 steel-related businesses and as the "City of Bridges" for its 446 bridges. The city features 30 skyscrapers, two inclined railways, a pre-revolutionary fortification and the Point State Park at the confluence of the rivers. The city developed as a vital link of the Atlantic coast and Midwest, as the mineral-rich Allegheny Mountains made the area coveted by the French and British empires, Virginians, Whiskey Rebels, and Civil War raiders. 

Photo © Dan Amerson
US-2078239, sent by Don.
This card shows Downtown Pittsburgh, colloquially referred to as the Golden Triangle and officially the Central Business District, the urban downtown center of Pittsburgh. It is located at the confluence of the Allegheny River and the Monongahela River whose joining forms the Ohio River. The "triangle" is bounded by the two rivers. The area features offices for major corporations such as PNC Bank, U.S. Steel, PPG, Bank of New York Mellon, Heinz, Federated Investors and Alcoa. - in: wikipedia

Meeting in São Paulo - Brazil

Exactly two years ago I was in Brazil, not yet in São Paulo though. It was there that I met Valeria and Luzia. They did not know each other but since then they have been together in several meetings. The last one was in July and they both sent me a postcard.

Postais do Brasil
The 23th of May Avenue, originally known as Itororó Avenue and then Anhangabaú Avenue, is one of the busiest avenues in the city of São Paulo, and is the main connecting corridor of the neighborhoods of Vila Mariana subprefecture to the central part of the city.
It was named after the date the Martins, Miragaia, Dráusio and Camargo students were killed, on May 23, 1932, an event that fits in the context of the Constitutionalist Revolution of 1932.

Design by Ralph Tung - Postcrossing logo is a registered trademark
The Octavio Frias de Oliveira bridge is a cable-stayed bridge in São Paulo, Brazil over the Pinheiros River, opened in May 2008. The bridge is 138 metres (453 ft) tall, and connects Marginal Pinheiros to Jornalista Roberto Marinho Avenue in the south area of the city.
The bridge deck is unusual due to its form, which is similar to an "X", crossing at the tower. The "X" is 76 meters wide at its base and 35.4 meters wide at the top.
It is the only bridge in the world that has two curved tracks supported by a single concrete mast. The two curved tracks, one at an elevation of 12 meters and the other at an elevation of 24 meters, have approximate lengths of 900 meters each.
At the end of December lights are put up on the cables and illuminated to create color effects like those on a Christmas tree. The bridge is also lit up on special occasions during the year and is often used for automobile advertisements on television. - in: wikipedia

Saturday, September 15, 2018

AU-621459

Tasman Island is the site of one of the most isolated lighthouses in Australia and is a part of the Tasman National Park. 

Photographs: John Ibbotson; © Totajla/Shutterstock (background)
AU-621459, sent by Karen. 
The 29 metre high lighthouse is situated on the highest point of the island, near Storm Bay, 276 metres above sea level – making it Australia’s highest lighthouse.  Built in 1906,  the lighthouse is constructed of curved cast-iron plates, bolted together and positioned on a concrete base.
Three brick keepers’ quarters, also built in 1906, housed sheds for wood and coal under the same roof for protection from the wild weather which batters the island.
The light was was automated in 1976, demanned in May 1977 and there has been no permanent human presence on the island since that date. - in: https://wildcaretas.org.au/branches/friends-of-tasman-island/

Chiang Kai-shek Memorial - Taiwan

The National Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall is a national monument, landmark and tourist attraction in Taipei. 

© Nisan International Co., Ltd. All rights reserved
Main entrance gate to the Chiang Kai-shek Memorial in Taipei. 
Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall is located in the heart of Taipei City. The area is 250,000 square meters and it is the attraction most visited by foreign tourists. Outside the gate of Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall, there are poles carrying the sign of true rightness. 

TW-2589637, sent by Jianxian.
 The architecture of Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall is inspired by Tiantan in Beijing. The four sides of the structure are similar to those of the pyramids in Egypt. The material is white marble. The roofs are decorated with deep-blue glass as part of the reflection of blue sky and bright sun. - in: http://eng.taiwan.net.tw/m1.aspx?sNo=0002090&id=73

The Memorial Hall was erected in memory of Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek, former President of the Republic of China. It is located in Taipei, Republic of China (ROC).

Osima Photo & Publishing
TW-761517, sent by Szu-Chia.
Groundbreaking for the memorial took place on 31 October 1976, the 90th anniversary of Chiang's birth. The hall officially opened on 5 April 1980, the fifth anniversary of the leader's death. 

Taiwan mapcard

Mapcards from Taiwan. 
The 1st is an official and the 2nd was sent in 2009 by Licia. 

The Republic of China (Taiwan) is situated in the West Pacific between Japan and the Philippines. Its jurisdiction extends to the archipelagoes of Penghu, Kinmen and Matsu, as well as numerous other islets. The total area of Taiwan proper and its outlying islands is around 36,197 square kilometers. At about the size of the Netherlands, but with a population of some 23 million, Taiwan is more populous than three-quarters of the world’s nations.

TW-2590092, sent by Troy.
Taiwan proper has more than its share of natural splendor.
Mountain ranges with many peaks reaching over 3,000 meters—including East Asia’s highest, Jade Mountain (Yushan)—and forested foothills occupy more than half of its area. The island also features volcanic mountains, tablelands, coastal plains and basins.



While Taiwan may be described as a predominantly Han Chinese society, with more than 95 percent of the population claiming Han ancestry, its heritage is actually much more complex. The successive waves of Chinese immigrants that began arriving in the 17th century belonged to a variety of subgroups with mutually unintelligible languages and different customs. Today in Taiwan, however, distinctions between them have become blurred as a result of extensive intermarriage and the universal use of Mandarin.
With its unique fusion of cultures, breathtaking scenery, diverse cuisine, exciting city life and well-developed hospitality industry, Taiwan is an ideal destination for many types of travelers. - in: https://www.taiwan.gov.tw/about.php

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Asakusa, Tokyo - Japan

From the tranquility of a mountain village in India to the hustle and bustle of Tokyo. Asakusa is one of Tokyo's major sightseeing areas. Relie visited it when she traveled to Japan 8 years ago. 8 years later I got another card from there, an official this time. 
Asakusa is famous in particular for Sensoji Temple. The temple's imposing red Kaminarimon Gate dominates Asakusa's main street and is the district's best known landmark.
Asakusa offers the sights, sounds and smells of old, historical Tokyo like nowhere else in the metropolis can. Life is still very much lived on the streets of Asakusa, tangible and visible in the roadside vending, the rickshaws for hire, and regular street festivals. - in: https://www.japanvisitor.com/japan-city-guides/asakusa-guide

JP-1150938, sent by Satomi.
Of the iconic photo spots in Asakusa is Kaminarimon Gate. 
Originally built by military commander Taira no Kinmasa and dating back to 942 A.D., Kaminarimon Gate was later relocated to its current site. Reconstructed several times after being damaged by fire, the current gate dates from 1960. 
The gate’s centerpiece is a magnificent red lantern made by a Kyoto lantern maker and inscribed with kanji characters meaning "thunder gate,". 

Langza Village - India

A mountain village attracts me much more than a resort by the beach. 
To enjoy this beautiful view is necessary to travel to Spiti Valley in the Indian state of Himachal Pradesh. 
Thanks to Sachin for this great card. 

Image Courtesy: Gautam Pandey
Langza village is situated at an altitude of 4400 meters and is divided into two sections, namely Langza Yongma (lower) and Langza Gongma (upper). It houses a population of approximately 137 people, who are dependent on agriculture and business for their livelihood. The production of vessels of all shapes and sizes and crafts such as shawls, carpets, etc. are common in Langza and helps residents earn money for a livelihood. The village has an ancient Lang or temple, which is regarded as the headquarters of all the Deities of the Spiti Valley.
Life is not easy in Langza during winter and the village remains disconnected from civilization as the temperature drops below zero, making it difficult for the villagers to continue their day-to-day task. As soon as summer approaches, the snow fields transform into green pastures and Langzu opens its door for a few fortunate visitors. - in: https://www.tourmyindia.com/states/himachal/langza-village.html

Ayia Napa Caves - Cyprus

Ayia Napa is a resort at the far eastern end of the southern coast of Cyprus. The word resort suggests me a lot of hotels, crowds of tourists, night life... not a place that I'd like to visit. However the coastline and its sea caves might make me think twice. 
Nicoletta as been to Cyprus last month and sent me this card to thank me the card I sent her from Malta. 

Photo by George Hadjimenikou
Marking the start of the Cape Greco national forest park, there are impressive rock bridges, hidden caves and tunnels. As well as being amazing to look at, the sea caves extend for up to 80 metres underground and are only partially submerged. They can be explored on foot at low tide and this area is popular for snorkeling, diving and just swimming in the crystal clear water. The legend is that the caves were once used by pirates to store their bounty and the cavernous tunnels, bridges and rock formations were a perfect spot for the seafarers to hide out. ​- in: https://www.loveayianapa.com/ayia-napa-sea-caves.html

Monday, September 10, 2018

Great Mosque and Hospital of Divriği - Turkey

Getting a card from this turkish site seemed quite difficult, I've actually never seen any cards with these buildings. Thanks to Ercan, I've finally seen and got a card with the the first turkish buildings  inscribed on the World Heritage List.  
Renowned for its monumental architecture and traditional stone carving decorations of Anatolia, this masterpiece, with its two-domed mosque, hospital and tomb, was placed on the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1985.

This building complex was commissioned in the 13th century by Ahmet Shah and his wife Melike Turan of the Principality of Mengüçlü. 
The Great Mosque and Hospital have plain facades. Their status as a unique masterpiece rests on the merits of the stone carving decorations that adorn the great portal of the Hospital, the northern portal of the Mosque, the western portal of the Mosque and the portal of Shah’s dais. Each and every figure in the decoration is a unique marvel of art and architecture, as well as a feat of engineering.

Tire Cards & Printing Office
The Great Mosque of Divriği is the most splendid example of the mosques built during the Seljuk Period in Anatolia. Art historians and architects agree that there are no other examples of the three dimensional and intricate geometric styles and flowing figures of plants.
Its portals appear to be a mixture of Baroque, Seljuk and Gothic styles, but nevertheless represent a unique and distinct style of their own. All figures carved on the portals and walls are asymmetrical and each square has thousand of stone carved figures. The most prominent characteristic of the designs featured in the portals is their uniqueness: each is distinct from other decorations. For example, the wreath of life used on the portal on the north facade is noteworthy, as it depicts an imaginary plant world that only existed in the imagination of the craftsman.
In addition to the portals, all bases, shafts and capitals of the columns, as well as the inner surface of the dome, are decorated with a different, distinct and unique style. The hospital, situated next to the Great Mosque is, in itself, a masterpiece of stone carving. It shares a splendid unity with the Great Mosque. The hospital is a two-story building with a central courtyard surrounded by porticoes, and designed as a hospital where cures included the soothing sound of flowing water from the fountains. - in: http://www.turkishculture.org/general/unesco-world-heritage/great-mosque-and-1037.htm

Friday, September 7, 2018

St Nikola Fortress, Sibenik - Croatia

We all love surprise cards and I like them even a bit more when they are from missing UNESCO sites. Agata surprised me with this beautiful view of Sibenik with St. Nikola Fortress, one of the 2 croatian places classified by UNESCO as part of the Venitian Works of Defense. 
Hvala Agata.

The unusual island fortress of St Nikola in Sibenik is part of the Venetian Defensive System that Unesco has recently inscribed on its list of World Heritage Sites. Like Zadar's Walls, the Republic of Venice built St Nikola's fortress in the 16th century to protect the town from attacks by Ottoman Turks.

With its unique triangular shape and sturdy construction, it became the strongest fort on the Croatian coast.
Sibenik was important to La Serenissima for its agricultural products and nearby salt pans. The fortress was erected to protect Sibenik's vital port and thus was situated at the entrance to the narrow milelong channel of St Anthony (Sv Ante) which connected Sibenik to the open sea. Like other forts in the Venetian Defensive System, St Nikola was a bastioned fort in the alla moderna style. The celebrated Venetian architect, Michele Sanmicheli, designed it and his nephew, Giangirolamo Sanmicheli, built it between 1540 and 1547. - in: https://www.croatiatraveller.com/central%20dalmatia/St-Nikola.html

Starigrad Paklenica - Croatia

Any postcard collector of UNESCO sites complains every now and then about how hard it its to get cards from certain sites; the Primeval Beech Forests of the Carpathians and Other Regions of Europe is definitely one of them. These forests can be found in 12 countries but so far I only have cards from 3 of them, Germany, Ukraine and now Croatia. In Croatia the classified forests are located in Northern Velebit and Paklenica National Parks, where this card sent by Antonella is from. 

Paklenica National Park is located slightly inland from the coast of North Dalmatia, situated about 47 kms northeast of Zadar. The nearest coastal town is Starigrad Paklenica.
The park is south of Velebit  range of mountains (the largest in Croatia) and covers an area of just under 100 square km. It has a mixture of high peaks with stunning views, deep gorges and beech and pine forest. - in: https://www.visit-croatia.co.uk/croatia-destinations/north-dalmatia/paklenica-national-park/