Wednesday, October 31, 2018

The Scott Monument - Edinburgh

One of my favorite cities in Europe is definitely Edinburgh and I can't wait to go back. Óscar visited this city last September and this card brought me some good memories of my trip to the scotish capital. One of the last things I did was to climb the Scott Monument. If you're not afraid of hights and narrow spaces, this climb is totally worth it. The views of the city are great. 

Photography © Ian Mills
The Scott Monument is the tallest monument to a writer in the world, a Victorian Gothic superstructure towering at 200 feet 6 inches tall with its highest platform reached by 287 steps. It’s a dizzying climb and the staircase narrows as you reach the top but the reward at the end of this claustrophobic ascent is panoramic views of Edinburgh, from Princes Street Gardens where the monument stands, to the Pentland Hills and the Firth of Forth. 
Following Scott’s death in 1832, a competition was held to design a monument to him. The winner was one ‘John Morvo’, who turned out to be George Meikle Kemp, a self-taught architect who disguised his name fearing his lack of architectural qualifications and reputation would disqualify him. In 1838 Kemp was awarded the contract to construct the monument and John Steell was commissioned to design a monumental statue of Scott to rest in the space between the tower’s four columns. Steell’s statue, made from white Carrara marble, shows Scott with his favourite dog Maida by his side. There are also 64 figures of characters from Scott’s novels around the monument, created by a variety of Scots sculptors. The foundation stone was laid on the 15th of August 1840 and building took nearly four years. It was inaugurated on the 15th of August 1846, but Kemp did not see live to see his design realised having drowned in the Union Canal some months before. - in: http://www.cityofliterature.com/a-to-z/scott-monument-2/

Saturday, October 27, 2018

CZ-1462390

I've a thing for old bridges and this one is Písek is a very old one, it is the oldest bridge in Czech Republic and one of two oldest bridges in Central Europe. 

Písek is a medium-sized town on the Otava river in the South Bohemian Region, about 44 km (27 mi) northwest of České Budějovice. The town is most famous for the Stone Bridge over the Otava river. 

Foto: Ivan Rillich
CZ-1462390, sent by Kveta.
The Stone Bridge (Kamenný most) from the second half of the 13th century is the most important landmark in the town. It is the oldest bridge in Czechia which has survived until today. It is therefore older than the world famous Charles Bridge in Prague.
The bridge itself was built in the Gothic style, but there are replicas of Baroque statues on it. The Stone Bridge in Písek bears therefore a certain resemblance to Charles Bridge. Obviously, it is much shorter than the famous bridge from Prague: 109.75 m (360 ft) vs. 621 m (2,037 ft). Charles Bridge is also nearly 4 m (13 ft) wider. But the bridge from Písek is roughly one century older than its more famous cousin. - in: https://www.amazingczechia.com/destinations/pisek/

St. Peter's Square - Vatican

I've been to the Vatican in 2010 and that's when I sent from there my 1st written & stamped card from this independent city-state. The other cards were sent by Rita and Eduardo. Eduardo's card is also written & stamped from there. 

St. Peter's Square is one of the largest and most beautiful squares in the world. It is located in Vatican City, at the feet of St. Peter's Basilica.
The dimensions of the square are spectacular: 320 meters long and 240 meters wide. In the liturgies and more noticeable events St. Peter's Square has held more than 300,000 people.

Photo: Massimo Cirilli
The construction of the square was carried out between 1656 and 1667 at the hand of Bernini, with the support of Pope Alexander XII.
The most impressive part of the square, besides its size, are its 284 columns and 88 pilasters that flank the square in a colonnade of four rows. Above the columns there are 140 statues of saints created in 1670 by the disciples of Bernini.

2009 © Copyright by Plurigraf - Narni (Tr) Italy
In the centre of the square the obelisk and the two fountains, one of Bernini (1675) and another of Maderno (1614) stand out. The obelisk, which is 25 meters in height, was carried to Rome from Egypt in 1586.
The most spectacular way to arrive at St. Peter's Square is along the Via della Conciliazione, a long street that begins in the Castel Sant'Angelo. - in: https://www.rome.net/st-peters-square

Friday, October 26, 2018

German officials

I bought several postcards in Germany and when I got home I had a few more waiting for me, some of them were officials. 

DE-7574993, sent by Mark.
Merkstein is a town in Aachen district, in the west of North Rhine-Westphalia. 

DE-7572982, sent by Matthias, with a matching Oktoberfest stamp and postmark. 
Oktoberfest is the world's largest beer festival. It is held annually in Munich, running from mid or late September to the first weekend in October, with more than six million people from around the world attending the event every year. 
The Oktoberfest is an important part of Bavarian culture, having been held since the year 1810. 
In 1887, the Entry of the Oktoberfest Staff and Breweries took place for the first time. This event showcases the splendidly decorated horse teams of the breweries and the bands that play in the festival tents. This event always takes place on the first Saturday of the Oktoberfest and serves as the official prelude to the Oktoberfest celebration. It involves about 1,000 participants, including the landlords' families in decorated carriages, the magnificent horse-drawn drays of the Munich breweries, waitresses on decorated floats and all the beer tent bands. - in: https://abeaumonster.typepad.com/my-blog/2012/09/grand-entry-of-the-oktoberfest-landlords-and-breweries-aka-parade.html

DE-7581236, sent by Johanna.
Situated on a rocky ridge, Burg Rheinstein rises approximately 270 feet above the Rhine River in the Loreley Valley. 

Rothenburg ob der Tauber - Germany

These cards were both bought by me. The 1st in 2011 when I attended an international Postcrossing meeting in Köln, and the 2nd is the card I decided to send from my trip to Bavaria 2 weeks ago. Rothenburg was the place I wanted to see the most, its really a lovely town, fairy tale kind of place. I definitely want to visit the town again. 

One of the most famous postcard images from Rothenburg ob der Tauber is definitely the Plönlein. A narrow half-timbered building with a small fountain in front, it is framed by the Kobolzeller tower and the higher Siebers Tower, with lovingly restored townhouses to the right and left, creating a charmingly picturesque effect.
The word “Plönlein” derives from the Latin “planum” meaning “flat square”.
Both gate towers were built as part of the first expansion of the town in 1204. The Kobolzeller Tower secured the entrance to the town from the Tauber Valley. Built from dressed quarry stones, the Siebers Tower protected the southern gate until the Infirmary Quarter was incorporated within the town fortifications in the 14th century. - in: https://www.rothenburg.de/welcome/sightseeing/buildings-squares/ploenlein/

Foto: Thomas Endlein
Between the Rödertor and Galgentor towers is one of the finest half-timbered houses in Rothenburg. It is a loving restoration of the original house, completely destroyed in 1945 by an air raid. Its highly decorative gable, pretty windows and colorful heraldic symbols were fully restored to their former glory in 1951. The coat of arms with the crowned serpent was created by the legendary blacksmith, Georg Gerlach himself. The forge closed in 1967, since when it has been in private ownership. - in: https://www.rothenburg.de/welcome/sightseeing/buildings-squares/old-forge/

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Combourg Castle - France

To thank me for the card I sent from Germany, Damien sent me a new french castle. This medieval castle is located in Combourg in the Ille-et-Vilaine département of Brittany.

The castle was built around 1025 by Guinguené, the Archbishop of Dol. He gave it to his illegitimate brother Riwallon, the first Lord of Combourg.

The castle was made famous by François-René de Chateaubriand, the renowned French writer and politician, whose family had acquired the property in 1761, and it is where he spent part of his childhood. From his descriptions of the castle, it has come to be considered "the birthplace of Romanticism". Chateaubriand wrote in his Memoirs from Beyond the Grave, "I became what I am in the woods of Combourg."
In 1876, Count Geoffroy de Chateaubriand, grandson of François-René's eldest brother (Jean-Baptiste de Chateaubriand), undertook its restoration. The project was led by a prominent French architect, Eugène Viollet-le-Duc (...). 
Privately owned, the castle is listed as a monument historique by the French Ministry of Culture. - in: wikipedia

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

FR-1085699

While I was on holidays I've got 14 cards, one of them was this official from France, sent by a 16 years old girl. 

Editions LA GOELLE
The forest of Saou is a mountain range and a forest composed of a perched syncline, considered as one of the highest in Europe. Its basin is entirely located in the city of Saou, in the Drôme department, Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region.  

Our Lady of Cavadonga - Spain

Every time Celina travels, she sents me a card. Last month she travelled from southern Portugal to northwest Spain, from where she sent this card with Our Lady of Cavadonga. 

© FISA - ESCUDO DE ORO, S. A.
The Virgin of Covadonga is an image of the Virgin Mary that can be seen in a cave in Covadonga, Principality of Asturias. She is the patroness of Asturias and one of the seven patrons of the autonomous communities of Spain. The cave is an important Marian shrine in Spain.
According to tradition, the Virgin helped the Christians captained by Don Pelayo, causing a collapse of stones during the Battle of Covadonga, which decimated the Arab army. This victory is legendarily regarded as the beginning of the Reconquest and the reintegration of the Christian kings on the Peninsula.

Friday, October 19, 2018

Winner of the Month - September

Last month I was the lucky winner of this game, in which the prize is a postcard sent by everyone who decided to join it. I received postcards from Silvana, Luzia, Joana, Inês Barbosa, Rui and Inês Brito. 

 Photo: Carlos Alvim
The Metropolitan Cathedral of Saint Sebastian, better known as the Metropolitan Cathedral of Rio de Janeiro was designed by Edgar de Oliveira da Fonseca in a modern style based on Mayan architectural style of pyramids. 
The current cathedral was built between 1964 and 1979 and replaced as seat of the Archdiocese a series of churches that had served as cathedrals since 1676. 
The New Cathedral, as it is sometimes called, is located in the center of the city. Conical in form and with a 96 metres (315 ft) internal diameter — 106 metres of external diameter — and an overall height of 75 metres (246 ft). Inside, the area measures 8,000 square meters and sufficient 5,000 seats(; it has a standing-room capacity of 20,000 people). - in: wikipedia

Cora Coralina is the pseudonym of the Brazilian writer and poet Anna Lins dos Guimarães Peixoto Bretas. She's considered one of the most important Brazilian writers. 
In this postcard we can see the Old House of the Bridge, where Cora Coralina lived, in the city of Goiás. The house, built in the middle of the eighteenth century, is currently a museum whose mission is to preserve and promote the work of Cora Coralina.

The Basilica of the Rosary in Fátima began to be built in 1928, in neo-baroque style, according to a project by the Dutch architect Gerardus Samuel van Krieken. It stands on the spot where the Little Shepherds played to make a small wall of stones when they saw the light that made them think it was a thunderstorm on May 13, 1917. The first stone was blessed by the Archbishop of Évora, D. Manuel da Conceição Santos, in 1928, and the consecration took place on October 7, 1953. In 1954 he was granted the title of "Minor Basilica" by Pope Pius XII.

Foto: Luís Ferreira Alves
The Monastery of Saint Benedict in Santo Tirso was founded by Dª Unisco Godiniz and her husband Abunazar Lovesendes in 978.
The present mother church was built in 1659-79.
After secularization the monastery was divided; one part was for private individuals, the other for public offices (Town Hall - in the old convent inns, the Court and Administration of the county) and an Agricultural Asylum, and one last part for parish residence.
The monastery has been classified as a National Monument since 1910.

 Foto: CNART - Centro Nacional de Arte Rupestre
I've a confession to make. Sometimes I travel km's and km's to visit UNESCO sites but I have not yet visited the Foz Côa Rock Art Site that is located in my district, that's actually the only UNESCO site in mainland Portugal that I haven't visited yet. I'm telling this because Castelo Melhor, the village on this card, is one of the entrance doors to the Archaeological Park of the Côa Valley and where we can visit some rock engravings.
Besides the engravings, we can visit in the village, among others, its castle.

Foto: W. Müller * Art & Concept: G. A. Wittich
I like this postcard so much. Like I told Inês, I do not know if I like the old man better, or the donkeys. In fact, old men and donkeys make a very photogenic partnership.

Monday, October 8, 2018

PT RR - Group 113 * Surprise September

In the August group none of the postcards were from Portugal or any portuguese speaking countries, in September all the cards were from Portugal. 

 Foto: Audiovisuais C. M. A.
I didn't discover much about the Frausta Bridge in Vimieiro, only what Paulo had already written on the card. This bridge was part of a Roman route between Olisipo (Lisbon) and Emérita Augusta (Merida, Spain).

 Copioeste
I honestly don't know much about Praia da Areia Branca and never been there. Well, when I was traveling by bus from Lisbon to Peniche last June, the bus stopped there for a couple of minutes. 
We can't see the beach on the card but all this area  is a popular surfing destination.
The postcard was sent by Sónia.

papyrus
A couple of days ago I wrote a post with a few cards of Pena Palace and a few days later Patrícia sent me a new card. Cards of this palace are never enough. 

Inês sent me a card that I already had but no worries about that, the other one wasn't written. 
The Cathedral of Our Lady of the Assumption also called Santarém Cathedral, is located in the historic center of Santarém.
This Jesuit temple, dating from the seventeenth century, was erected on the site where the royal palace of the Alcazaba Nova, which was abandoned since the time of King John II. Later, with the expulsion of the Jesuits from Portugal, by order of the Marquis of Pombal, the building began to host the Patriarchal Seminary after donating D. Maria I, and remained so until the twentieth century.
When the creation of the Diocese of Santarém, in 1975 ensued, the church was elevated to the status of cathedral. - in: wikipedia

Sunday, October 7, 2018

PT RR - Group 112 * Surprise August

This is a portuguese RR but none of these cards is from a portuguese speaking country. Only 3 cards in August, the 4th got lost in the mail. 

I've been to Leuven, I've seen this church and have quite a few cards of it, St. Peter's Church is probably the belgian church from which I have more postcards. This one was sent by Ana.
St. Peter's Church (1425–1500) was finished by Jan Keldermans and Matheus de Layens. During the Second World War, the church was damaged. During the restoration, a Romanesque crypt from the 11th century was found. In the church itself, there are several paintings from the 15th to 18th centuries (among which, Dirk Bouts' famous painting of the last supper) and the grave of Duke Henry I of Brabant. The 50-metre-high tower — which was meant to be 169 metres high, but was never completed — is home to a carillon. The tower was included in UNESCO's list of Belfries of Belgium and France in 1999. - in: wikipedia

Photo: Pierre Jacques
Chamonix-Mont-Blanc, more commonly known as Chamonix, is a commune in the Haute-Savoie département in the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region in south-eastern France. Chamonix has been a world-renowned ski resort ever since the Winter Olympics of 1924 were held here.
In the shadow of Mont Blanc's majestic snowcapped peak, the traditional alpine village of Chamonix, is a quaint little town filled with historic churches and charming auberges (inns).  
Card sent by Joana.

Hamar
It is impossible to go to the Netherlands and not see mills, they are everywhere, they are part of the landscape of the country and are a symbol of the struggle of the Dutch against the water. There's no identification of the mills on this card Paulo sent me but here we've a small list of the  most famous windmills of the country. 
* Kinderdijk is the most famous group of polder mills and is World Heritage listed. This UNESCO site with nineteen mills gives you a great impression of how floods were prevented. Besides being home to this creative form of water management, Kinderdijk is  a wonderful, picturesque area.
* The mills of Schiedam are the five largest windmills in the world. These gigantic windmills, some over 40 meters high, played an important role in the production of jenever (Dutch gin). Instead of reclaiming land, these smock mills (a type of industrial mill) were used grind grain.
* Museum Mill Schermerhorn is located in the reclaimed Schermer polder. The museum mill is one of eleven remaining mills that pumped the water out of Schermeer lake four centuries ago. You will experience the power of the wind in this beautiful polder landscape, discovering how this ingenious mill system worked.
* Last but not least, you should visit Zaanse Schans. Some 250 years ago, well over 600 mills formed the first industrial site in the world. They performed a wide range of industrial duties, such as producing shelves, paint, mustard, oil and paper. Today it’s an open-air conservation area and museum, which attracts thousands of visitors each year. - in: https://www.holland.com/global/tourism/discover-holland/traditional/dutch-windmills.htm