Monday, July 29, 2019

JP-1278958

The Kyoto Imperial Palace used to be the residence of Japan's Imperial Family until 1868, when the emperor and capital were moved from Kyoto to Tokyo. It is located in the spacious Kyoto Imperial Park, an attractive park in the center of the city.

JP-1278958, sent by Yoshimi.
The current Imperial Palace was reconstructed in 1855 after it had burnt down and moved around town repeatedly over the centuries. The complex is enclosed by long walls and consists of several gates, halls and gardens. - in: https://www.japan-guide.com/e/e3917.html

Krzemionki - Poland

Poland was one of the lucky countries that this month added a new site to its national UNESCO list. Krzemionki Prehistoric Striped Flint Mining Region is Located in the mountain region of Świętokrzyskie, in southeastern Poland. 
The card was sent by Boguslaw. 

fot. K. Peczalski, MHA
Krzemionki is an ensemble of four mining sites, dating from the Neolithic to the Bronze Age (about 3900 to 1600 BCE), dedicated to the extraction and processing of striped flint, which was mainly used for axe-making. With its underground mining structures, flint workshops and some 4,000 shafts and pits, the property features one of the most comprehensive prehistoric underground flint extraction and processing systems identified to date. The property provides information about life and work in prehistoric settlements and bears witness to an extinct cultural tradition. It is an exceptional testimony of the importance of the prehistoric period and of flint mining for tool production in human history. - in: https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/1599/

Thursday, July 25, 2019

Corpus Christi Church - Belarus

This catholic church, the Corpus Christi Church, is located in Nesvizh as part of the Architectural, Residential and Cultural Complex of the Radziwill Family at Nesvizh, an Unesco World Heritage Site since 2005.

BY-2507232, sent by Paulina.
"The most important structure in Nesvizh is the Corpus Christi Church (1587 to 1603), connected with the castle by a dam over a ditch and containing coffins of 72 members of the Radziwill family, each interred in a simple coffin made of birch and marked with Traby Coat of Arms. 


BY-73654, sent by Ekaterina and Siarhei.
Designed by the Italian architect Gian Maria Bernardoni (1541 to 1605), the church is considered the first Jesuit temple patterned after Il Gesù in Rome, the first domed basilica with Baroque facade in the world and the first baroque piece of architecture in Eastern Europe. Apart from elaborate princely sepulchres, its interior features some late baroque frescoes from 1760s and the Holy Cross altar, executed by Venetian sculptors in 1583." - in: wikipedia

Saturday, July 20, 2019

RU-7396542

Mammoth monument in Salekhard. 
Salekhard is the only city in the world which lies directly on the Arctic Circle. It is the capital of the Yamalo-Nenets Autonomous Okrug. One of the symbols of the city is the monument to the mammoth. 

RU-7396542, sent by Daria.
The sculpture “Mammoth” was opened in the area of “settlement” of prehistoric animals, on the banks of the Ob River, at the entrance to Salekhard. The monument is dedicated to the ancient inhabitants of the North - mammoths, the mammoth bones and tusks are found in all corners of the Yamal Peninsula. - inhttps://russiatrek.org/salekhard-city
The Shemanovskiy Museum and Exhibition Center in Salekhard is the permanent home of Lyuba, a female woolly mammoth calf (Mammuthus primigenius) who died c. 41,800 years ago. She is by far the best preserved mammoth mummy in the world. 

Nature in Finland

Finland is all about nature. Here are some facts about nature in Finland to impress your friends. 

Photos: Vastavalo, Markku Wiik, Toivo G. Uttialhen, Esko Parssinen
FI-3527592, sent by Marita.
* In midwinter most of Finland is usually covered by snow and ice. In February, the coldest month, average temperatures are around -7ºC in the south and -13ºC in the north;
* In Southern and Central Finland the summers are warm enough for people to bathe in lakes and also often along the shores of the Baltic Sea:
* Key elements in Finland’s varied landscapes include forests and open waters, often in a scenic interplay;
* Successive ice ages and the cold climate have led to the formation of a wide range of peatland and wetland habitats around Finland;
* All regions of Finland have lakes, but the true Lake District is in the east, where in many areas water covers more than a third of the land;

* Semi-domesticated reindeer roam freely through the forests and fells, foraging for lichens and other food;
* In mid September Lapland’s vegetation turns spectacular colours during a popular hiking season known to Finns as ruska;
* Towns and cities are mainly small and low-rise, with no skyscrapers. In the winter the locals love to get out onto the frozen sea;
* Holiday homes are almost always located by a lake or the sea or on an island. Even people who don’t have their own second home can rent such cottages for a week or longer;
* In a good year up to 50 million kilos of wild berries are picked in forests – about 10 kg per person. The most commonly picked berries are bilberries, lingonberries and cloudberries. Mushrooms are also picked widely;
* Finland’s traditional right to roam the land allows everyone to camp out temporarily in the great outdoors. To camp for longer periods or light a fire, the landowner’s permission is needed. - inhttps://finland.fi/life-society/nature-in-finland/

Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Irish Castles

You can't go far in Ireland without catching a glimpse of a castle. From Medieval to late 19th-century residences, in various states of repair, there are hundreds of castles in Ireland. So far I've only had the oportunity to see and visit two of them, Dublin Castle and Trim Castle.  
This card sent by Heidi, presents just a few of the many Irish castles worth to visit.

Photography reproduced from original artistic work © Liam Blake
Clockwise from top left: O'Briens Castle, Aran Islands; Thoor Ballylee, County Galway; Bunratty Castle, County Clare; Dublin Castle; Blarney Castle, County Cork and Ross Castle, County Kerry. 

DE-8356057 & DE-8361394

Officials from Germany.

Fotos: Kopyra Nordhausen
DE-8356057, sent by Moni.
Nordhausen is a city in Thuringia, central Germany. 
The Nordhausen Holy Cross Cathedral is the catholic parish church of Nordhausen. It was never a bishop's seat but it's also called a cathedral because it is dating back to a cathedral chapter monastery. The building was established between 1180 and 1400 and shows both Romanesque and Gothic style elements. - in: wikipedia

DE-8361394, sent by Tania.
This elegant church is the church of a Cistercian monastery in Raitenhaslach, Bavaria. The monastery was founded in 1146 and until it's dissolution in 1803, it was closely connected to the Bavarian royal family.
8-9 September 1186 marked the consecration of the first church on the grounds of the Raitenhaslach Cistercian abbey.
The church was reconstructed as a Baroque pilaster church in  1698 to mark the 600th anniversary of the order. The church was fitted with a sumptuous Baroque interior between 1743 and 1746 under Abbot Robert Pendtner in celebration of the abbey’s 600th anniversary.
The ceiling frescos by Johann Zick depict the life story of St. Bernhard of Clairvaux of the Order of Cistercians. In 1982, the five-year complete restoration of the  abbey began, and it is now more beautiful than ever in its new splendour. - in: https://www.visit-burghausen.com/en/inform/attractions/raitenhaslach-abbey.html

Sunday, July 14, 2019

Dresden - Germany

I want to visit many, many cities in Germany, Dresden is definitely one of them. 
The 1st of these cards was from a friend, the 2nd and the 4th are officials and the other one was sent by Sandra.

Before World War II, Dresden was called “the Florence of the Elbe” and was regarded as one the world’s most beautiful cities for its architecture and museums. 
At the end of the war, Dresden was so badly damaged that the city was basically leveled. A handful of historic buildings–the Zwinger Palace, the Dresden State Opera House and several fine churches–were carefully reconstructed out of the rubble, but the rest of the city was rebuilt with plain modern buildings. - in: http://www.history.com/topics/world-war-ii/battle-of-dresden

 In the last months of World War II, Allied bombers from the British Royal Air Force and the United States Army Air Force conducted several major bombing raids on the eastern German city of Dresden. Beginning on the night of February 13, 1945, more than 1,200 heavy bombers dropped nearly 4,000 tons of high-explosive and incendiary bombs on the city in four successive raids. An estimated 25,000 people were killed in the bombings and the firestorm that raged afterward. More than 75,000 dwellings were destroyed, along with unique monuments of Baroque architecture in the historic city center. - in: http://www.theatlantic.com/photo/2015/02/remembering-dresden-70-years-after-the-firebombing/385445/

DE-8360341, sent by Heiko.
On the left bank of the Elbe is Dresden's historical centre with buildings from the Renaissance, the Baroque and the 19th century. Despite being devastated in the Second World War, the Altstadt (Old Town) has kept or regained its attractive buildings.

Photo: F. Ihlow, H. Voigt, F. Exss, Verlag
The most well-known symbol of the rebuilding of the city centre is Dresden Frauenkirche (Church of Our Lady), the magnificent domed Baroque church which again dominates the Dresden skyline. After the Second World War, Neumarkt square and the symbolic ruins of the Frauenkirche remained almost untouched for half a century before also coming up for construction.

© Schöning GmbH & Co. KG
DE-5174131, sent by Manuela.
The Altstadt is the centre of city life: it is home to the city hall, the Saxon state parliament and important cultural institutions from the Old Masters Picture Gallery, Semper Opera House and the State Theatre to the Green Vault. Between Altmarkt and Neumarkt squares, Prager Strasse and Postplatz you will find plenty of places to shop, eat and drink. - in: https://www.dresden.de/en/tourism/attractions/sights/old-town.php

Friday, July 12, 2019

Art Nouveau - Riga

When I visited Riga I already knew that the city was known for its many exemples of Art Nouveau architecture, however I didn't have time to visit the downtown quarter known as the "quiet centre" - just a 10-minute stroll from Old Town, where many Art Nouveau buildings are located. 
Art Nouveau in Riga makes up 40% of downtown Riga, making Latvia's capital the city with the highest concentration of Art Nouveau architecture anywhere in the world.
Damien went on a mega road all the way from Limoges, France and one of hist stops was the beautiful Latvian capital city.

Art Nouveau, the distinct style in art of end-19th century and early-20th, was the "father" of modern architecture. Riga is a well-known Art Nouveau mecca.

Photo: Jänis Knäkis
As the population of Riga swelled, so did the demand for new apartment houses. Thus, over 100 high-rise stone and brick buildings went up, creating the city's distinct look. Eclecticism, the predominant style since end-19th century, was gone by 1904, making way for Nouveau. 
Alberta Street (where the building on the card is located) is regarded as Riga’s Art Nouveau gem, since it is full of splendid historical Art Nouveau-style buildings from one end to the other. The area was erected in a short period of time – from 1901 to 1908, each of the buildings standing alone as an inimitable 20th century architectural achievement. Eight buildings are now recognised as architectural monuments of national significance. - in: https://www.liveriga.com/en/2492-alberta-street

St. Alexander Nevsky Cathedral - Estonia

I've a lot of places that I want to visit, the list is quite long and for many years Tallinn was on the top of that list. If someone asked me about a city I'd like to visit, Tallinn would always be my answer. I finally visited it last month, actually, I was there one month ago and loving every minute in this lovely city. I'll definitely come back one day, a snowy day!! 
Hint! If you want to buy stamps and send cards from there, there's a post office on the left side of the St. Alexander Nevsky Cathedral, that's where I bought my stamps and I think you can guess which one of these cards I've sent to my mailbox. Yes, the snowy view.  The other card was sent by Rita. 

Foto: http://pilvepiksel.ee
This spectacular, onion-domed structure perched atop Toompea Hill is Estonia's main Russian Orthodox cathedral.
It's also by far the grandest, most opulent Orthodox church in Tallinn.
Built in 1900, when Estonia was part of the tsarist Russian empire, the cathedral was originally intended as a symbol of the empire's dominance – both religious and political – over this increasingly unruly Baltic territory.
The cathedral was dedicated to the Prince of Novgorod, Alexander Yaroslavich Nevsky, who led the famous Battle of the Ice at Lake Peipsi in 1242, which halted the German crusaders' eastward advance. It was deliberately placed in this prominent location right in front of Toompea Castle, on the same spot where a statue of Martin Luther had previously stood, to show the mainly Lutheran locals who was in charge.

Now with the controversy long since faded, what's left is simply an architectural masterpiece. Designed by respected St. Petersburg architect Mikhail Preobrazhenski, the church is richly decorated in a mixed historicist style. The interior, filled with mosaics and icons, is well worth a visit.
The church's towers' hold Tallinn's most powerful church bell ensemble, consisting of 11 bells, including the largest in Tallinn, weighing 15 tonnes. You can hear the entire ensemble playing before each service. - in: https://www.visittallinn.ee/eng/visitor/see-do/sightseeing/pid-307/st-alexander-nevsky-cathedral

Monday, July 8, 2019

Konya - Turkey

Third and last card sent by Muanmer. Konya is also on the UNESCO Tentative List. 
Konya is a major city in south western edge of the Central Anantolian Plateau and is the 7th most populous city in Turkey. 

PTT
The Mevlâna Museum is the mausoleum of Jalal ad-Din Muhammad Rumi, a Persian Sufi mystic also known as Mevlâna or Rumi. It was also the dervish lodge (tekke) of the Mevlevi order, better known as the whirling dervishes.
Sultan 'Ala' al-Din Kayqubad, the Seljuk sultan who had invited Mevlâna to Konya, offered his rose garden as a fitting place to bury Rumi's father, Baha' ud-Din Walad (also written as Bahaeddin Veled), when he died on 12 January 1231. When Mevlâna died on 17 December 1273 he was buried next to his father.
Mevlâna's successor Hüsamettin Çelebi decided to build a mausoleum (Kubbe-i-Hadra) over the grave of his master. The Seljuk construction, under architect Badr al-Din Tabrizi, was finished in 1274. Gürcü Hatun, the wife of the Seljuk Emir Suleyman Pervane, and Emir Alameddin Kayser funded the construction. The cylindrical drum of the dome originally rested on four pillars. The conical dome is covered with turquoise faience.
The decree of 6 April 1926 confirmed that the mausoleum and the dervish lodge (Dergah) were to be turned into a museum. The museum opened on 2 March 1927. In 1954 it was renamed as "Mevlâna Museum". - in: wikipedia

Sunday, July 7, 2019

Aspendos - Turkey

The ancient city of Aspendos, approximately 50 kilometers east of Antalya, is one of the big-hitter historic attractions in Turkey's Turquoise Coast region. The local theater is of the Roman Empire's greatest remaining pieces of architecture. 
The Theatre and Aqueducts of this ancient city are on the UNESCO Tentative List. 

www.guneykartpostal.com
Aspendos' theater is one of the largest ever built by the Romans in Asia Minor, and today it is one of the best preserved examples of Roman theater architecture. Located in the lower town area of the site, the theater was built in the 2nd century AD during Marcus Aurelius' reign.
The mammoth seating plan could fit an audience of between 15,000 and 20,000. It has been thoroughly restored and is now used for music and drama festivals, including Turkey's famous annual Aspendos Opera Festival.
The semi-circular auditorium, divided into two sections by a broad passage halfway up, has 20 tiers of seating, with 10 staircases in the lower half and 19 tiers with 21 staircases in the upper part. Round the top runs a barrel-vaulted colonnade.
At either end of the stage are vaulted passages giving access to the orchestra. The two-story stage wall was articulated by slender double columns with Ionic capitals on the lower order and Corinthian capitals on the upper one. The double column flanking the central entrance to the stage had a common broken pediment. The stage itself had a wooden roof suspended by ropes, and the auditorium, too, was probably covered by an awning. - in: https://www.planetware.com/antalya/aspendos-tr-ant-sda.htm

Diyarbakır Fortress - Turkey

Since the last day of June, the UNESCO World Heritage Committee has been discussing the inscription of new sites. This morning Portugal received wonderful news from Baku. Our 2 candidates were inscribed ツ The Royal Building of Mafra – Palace, Basilica, Convent, Cerco Garden and Hunting Park (Tapada) and Sanctuary of Bom Jesus in Braga are now on the UNESCO WHS list. 

In 2015 Turkey had Diyarbakir Fortress inscribed. I got this card thanks to Muanmer.

Foto: Mehmet Masun Süer
Located on an escarpment of the Upper Tigris River Basin that is part of the so-called Fertile Crescent, the fortified city of Diyarbakır and the landscape around has been an important centre since the Hellenistic period, through the Roman, Sassanid, Byzantine, Islamic and Ottoman times to the present. The site encompasses the Inner castle, known as İçkale and including the Amida Mound, and the 5.8 km-long city walls of Diyarbakır with their numerous towers, gates, buttresses, and 63 inscriptions. The site also includes the Hevsel Gardens, a green link between the city and the Tigris that supplied the city with food and water, the Anzele water source and the Ten-Eyed Bridge. - in: https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/1488

Wednesday, July 3, 2019

BG-130753

Postcrossers like to travel and like to send postcards while traveling. Thanks to the travel mode option it is now possible to send official postcards with the ID of the country / countries you're visiting. That's what Frederick did. In May he left Germany and traveled to Bulgaria, where he got my address.
Last month I've also sent 4 postcards on travel mode. I've send cards with Swedish, Finnish, Estonian and Dutch ID's. The Estonian cards wasn't not registered yet.

© Larus Ltd
BG-130753, sent by Frederick.
Kranevo (Bulgarian: Кранево) is a coastal village on the northern Bulgarian Black Sea Coast.
The vast beach, clean sea, gently sloping sea bottom and curative mineral water have propelled the swift growth of the village into a competitive tourist destination.

Trier's Cathedral - Germany

Raquel is probably one of the postcrossers who sent me more postcards from PC meetings. These two were sent by her. The 1st in May 2016 and the 2nd a few days ago.

The High Cathedral of Saint Peter is the largest church structure in Trier. In 1986 it was listed as part of the Roman Monuments, Cathedral of St. Peter and Church of Our Lady in Trier UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Foto: RV-Archiv S.
Trier Cathedral, the oldest bishop’s church in Germany, stands today in Trier’s center above a former palace from the era of the Roman Emperor Constantine the Great. The palace complex was supplanted in the 4th century by the largest Christian church complex from ancient times. It consisted of four basilicas joined by a large baptistry; the complex covered an area extending to the present Main Market. Tours under the building of the Cathedral Information show the remains of the first Early Christian assembly room north of the Alps from the late 3rd century and the remains of the first basilica.

Poster XXL
Today's Cathedral still contains a Roman central section with the original walls rising up to a height of 26 m (86 ft). The huge fragment of a granite column next to the entrance to the Cathedral is another indication of the Roman origin of the building. After destructions in the 5th and 9th centuries, the remaining nucleus was enlarged by Romanesque additions - today, the Cathedral, with its three crypts, its cloister, Cathedral Treasury, and Holy Robe Chapel, displays architecture and artwork from more than 1650 years. - in: http://www.trier-info.de/english/cathedral-info

Bremen - Germany

Bremen is one more German city that I would like to visit, the fact that it is a UNESCO site highly contributes to put it on my long list of places to visit in Germany. Town Hall and Roland on the Marketplace have been on the World Heritage list since 2004


Photo by Okon
DE-1187261, sent by Piet.
The Marktplatz (Market square) is dominated by the opulent façade of the Town Hall of Bremen.
The old town hall was built in the Gothic style in the early 15th century, after Bremen joined the Hanseatic League. The building was renovated in the so-called Weser Renaissance style in the early 17th century. A new town hall was built next to the old one in the early 20th century as part of an ensemble that survived bombardment during the Second World War. - in: http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/1087

Set between the town hall and the State Parliament, the cathedral completes the ensemble of historical buildings on Bremen's market square.
Protestant/Lutheran church with a history spanning more than 1,200 years. It was built in Early-Gothic style in the first half of the 13th century. The oldest sections are the crypts. 

Foto: Torsten Krüger
DE-8247206, sent by Tatjana.
There are Roland statues in many German towns and cities, symbolising freedom and market rights. Bremen's Roland statue is one of the most beautiful, the largest and, according to UNESCO experts, the most representative and one of the oldest examples. 
Measuring five and a half metres (with a baldachin bringing the total height up to just over ten metres), the stone giant was erected in 1404, after its wooden predecessor was destroyed by the archbishop's soldiers in 1366. The distance between its knees is exactly one Bremen 'elle', a historical unit of measurement. From the outset, the statue symbolised the freedom and independence of the city. - in: https://www.bremen.eu/tourism/attractions/roland-statue