Saturday, August 31, 2019

Dominican Church, Lviv - Ukraine

The Dominican Church is rightfully considered to be one of the best monuments to late baroque architecture not only in Lviv, but all of Europe. The building harmoniously rounds out the historical center’s ensemble. Along with other temples in Lviv, it is included on UNESCO’s list of World Heritage Sites. - in: http://discover-ukraine.info/places/western-ukraine/lviv/72

 UA-358335, sent by Marina.
The Dominican church and monastery in Lviv, Ukraine is located in the city's Old Town, east of the market square.
The present day Baroque church, commonly attributed to Jan de Witte, was consecrated in 1764. In 1865 a neo-baroque bell tower was added to the complex.

UA-1182066, sent by Victoria.
After World War II the complex was occupied by soviets, used as warehouse and in the 1970s changed into a museum of religion and atheism. With the collapse of the soviet union the church was given to the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church and now serves as a parish church, the monastery however has not been returned yet and still serves as a museum (renamed as the museum of religion). - in: wikipedia

Latin Cathedral, Lviv - Ukraine

Here comes another card sent by Ana. She says Ukraine is lovely and quite different compared to other countries. I've only been to Kiev a couple of hours a few years ago. Did get to see much of the city because of the weather but the thing I remember the most is the people and how friendly everybody was. 
This card is from Lviv, the largest city in western Ukraine and the seventh-largest city in the country.

© photo by Yurko Dyachyshyn
The Archcathedral Basilica of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, usually called simply the Latin Cathedral,is a 14th-century Roman Catholic cathedral, located in the city's Old Town.
In 1360, the king Casimir III of Poland founded the construction of the present day church, built in Gothic style, for a cathedral of the newly created Latin diocese. Construction work continued throughout the 15th century and in 1481 the Cathedral was finally consecrated.
The Latin Cathedral is one of the just two churches in Lviv that weren't closed or subjected to the Muscovite Patriarchate during Soviet rule (the other being the Roman Catholic church of St. Anthony in Lychakiv), however during that time the bishops resided in Lubaczów, a town in southeastern Poland, close to the border with Ukraine. In 1991 Pope John Paul II reactivated the diocese. - in: wikipedia

Friday, August 30, 2019

Village in Troodos - Cyprus

One of the 1st things that caught my attention on this postcard were the stamps, the price of the stamps. 0.66 €! It is not as cheap as in Malta but it is still a very nice price. I suddenly feel like going to Cyprus to buy and send postcards.
I believe it was not because of the stamps price that Ana visited this country but I'm sure she sent a lot of postcards from there. I received this one from a village in the Troodos Mountains.

Nikolas Lambrou editions and photography
The villages in Troodos are very charming, and contain folk architecture and cobbled streets. Located on the slopes of the mountains they are mostly situated amid orchards, vineyards and pine trees complete with corresponding scents and aromas. These rural villages are renowned for their warm welcoming hospitality and the traditional local cuisine. - inhttps://www.chooseyourcyprus.com/discover-cyprus/troodos-mountains/troodos-villages-cyprus.html

Plitvice Lakes National Park - Croatia

I really wouldn't mind to pack my bags and travel to Croatia to visit the beautiful Plitvice Lakes, one of the places on my must visit list and also on the UNESCO WHS list. 
I got my 1st card from there back in 2008, sent by Gosia and a few weeks ago got another one sent by Celina.

The Plitvice Lakes National Park is renowned for its sixteen beautiful lakes, linked to each other by cascading waterfalls. Founded in 1949 and located in Croatia’s mountainous north, the stunning park has been recognised as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO since 1979. 


Its status as a UNESCO site comes from its unusual geology, which is the result of thousands of years of water flowing over limestone and chalk to create natural travertine dams. As well as creating the park’s famous lakes and waterfalls, this geological process has also formed some impressive caves that make for wonderful photo opportunities amidst the dense forest. - in: https://venezialines.com/blog/plitvice-lakes-unesco-world-heritage-site-croatia/

Thursday, August 22, 2019

Iceland

Iceland, the land of ice and fire, of volcanoes and glaciers, waterfalls and fjords, nature in its purest and rawest state. It makes you want to go there, right? There is only one small catch, Iceland is one of the most expensive destinations in the world and for that reason alone it is not on my list of countries to visit... soon. Maybe one day you'll do like Gemma, who visited the country a few weeks ago, forget the budget and go live an unique experience.

© Photo: Ingimar Thorhallsson
Gemma is one of my penpals and in the next letter she'll tell me all about this trip. While she was traveling, she sent me this card with some beautiful Icelandic landscapes.
Clockwise: Vestrahorn Mountain; puffins; Seljalandsfoss waterfall, one of the most photogenic and unique (Seljalandsfoss is one of the very rare waterfalls, anywhere in the world, where it is possible to walk behind the narrow, cascading falls) of Icelandic waterfalls; the Skógafoss waterfall and Reynisdrangar, basalt sea stacks situated under the mountain Reynisfjall near the village Vík í Mýrdal. 

Saturday, August 17, 2019

Meetings in France

Two meetings in France with 21 days and more than 900 kms distance from each other. The cards were sent by two portuguese emigrant postcrossers, Joana and Raquel. 

Joana and 10 other postcrossers met in the beginning of July in Mont de Marsan, where Joana lives. 

poster XXL
A few days later Raquel traveled a few kms from Belgium to France to attend a meeting in Lille.

Thursday, August 15, 2019

Minho River

Let's have a geography lesson with this postcard sent by Maria do Céu. 

The Minho is the longest river in Galicia, sharing the border with Portugal, with a length of 340 kilometres (210 mi). By discharge, it is the fourth river of the Iberian peninsula, after the Douro, Ebro and Tagus.

Foto de Andrea Fernandes
The source of the Minho lies north of Lugo in Galicia, in a place called Pedregal de Irimia. 
From its source to its outlet in the Atlantic, it runs 340 kilometers. In the last 75 kilometers of its route, between Melgaço and the mouth, the river serves as the border between Spain and Portugal.
Passing the medieval towns of Melgaço and Monção, the Minho divides the Spanish Tui and Portuguese Valença do Minho, towns that guarded an important bridge for road and rail. Both towns preserve fortifications and are national monuments. The Minho reaches the Atlantic between the Galician A Guarda and the Portuguese Caminha. - in: wikipedia

Azeitão - Portugal

Postcrossing meetings happen everywhere, with a lot or only a few postcrossers, always with lotsof happy moments . Last saturday 4 portuguese postcrossers who gathered in Azeitão, Gracinha, João, Luís and Filipa (I believe this is the name). I thank all of them for my first postcard of Azeitão.

It would be interesting to know what year this postcard is. At that time the Palace of the Dukes of Aveiro was still in good condition, currently is, according to wikipedia, abandoned.

The Palace of the Dukes of Aveiro is a majestic building of Classical Renaissance. It was built by D. Jorge de Lancastre between 1521 - 1537.
Its fate was set on 12 January 1759 when it was confiscated with all the property of the Távora family who owned the palace at the time, and this was the only property that was spared from demolition even though the coat of arms had been shredded.
Of the palatial interior there is little left but the large halls, with their half-tiled silvery towers, as the palace was sacked when the last Duke of Aveiro was arrested, accused of involvement in the attack on D. José in 1758. Most of these beautiful tiles date back to the 17th century (...).

Tuesday, August 13, 2019

Chaves' Roman Bridge - Portugal

This is probably, one of the most photographed bridges in Portugal. I've been to Chaves a couple of years ago a took quite a few pictures too. I'm actually considering a visit to this city in a few days. I wanted to go there last month to attend a postcrossing meeting but it wasn't possible. Anyway, a got a card signed by a lot of postcrossers, thanks to Sofia. The other 2 were sent by Paula and Emanuel over the last years. 

The Roman Bridge at Chaves, also known as Trajano bridge as a reference to Trajan, is an ancient bridge located in the north of Portugal in the town of the same name.

The bridge which is in relatively good shape unites the two most important parishes in the town. The bridge is 140 meters long, high and has 12 visible arches. Although the bridge spanning the Minho in Ourense is longer and higher, this example of Roman architecture is even today a masterpiece of construction.
Two of the columns of the original bridge, built by the Emperor Trajan, still stand. They are stout cylindrical columns with details of the honors bestowed by the emperor on local governors or generals clearly legible on them. They were also milestones indicating distances to the important settlements of Astorga in Spanish León and Bracara Augusta, Braga, in Portugal.

Photo by Oswaldo Santos
The bridge was built between the end of the first century and the beginning of the second century AD. Little is known about the exact dates of the beginning or conclusion of construction. However, it is known that slaves captured from the peoples inhabiting the region worked on the bridge. This appears to be written on one of the columns placed in the middle of the bridge. These columns were not here originally. One of them mentions the construction of the bridge, referring to the reign of the emperor Trajan; the other was taken from the Roman road leading up to the bridge.
Allowing the river to be crossed at any time of the year, the bridge was an important factor of development for the town, but it was also necessary and useful for the Pax Romana: here there were hot springs visited by a lot of people; in the region there were mines with precious metals, whose product was taken to Rome; across the bridge passed the important Roman road of Braga to Astorga, with a lot of traffic; and lastly here was quartered a numerous detachment of legionnaires of the Roman army.

Fotografia: Oswaldo Santos - www.papyrus.pt
The bridge has suffered many modifications, for restoration and conservation. The fortified tower that was built at the entrance was long ago demolished and the stone sides were substituted by iron. The span was widened and footpaths put in. The floor, originally covered by large granite blocks, now is covered by paving stones. - in: wikipedia

Thursday, August 8, 2019

Festival of the Trays - Portugal

Early July, every four years, Tomar holds the traditional Festa dos Tabuleiros (Festival of the Trays). As you can read on the postcard sent by Rui, this year the festival took place between 29 June and 8 July.
In addition to the postcard sent by Rui, I'm also posting the postcards that Paula and Zé sent me during the 6th Postcrossing anniversary meeting in Tomar in 2011. I don't remember where the card with the girls came from.

This festival has its origins in the worship of the Holy Spirit, a great devotion of Queen Saint Isabel, wife of King Dinis, and is strongly rooted throughout the whole national territory but in Tomar it reaches a most symbolic and followed fair. In the adornment of the Trays, houses and streets, one can find flowers, bread and wheat spikes that are typical elements of ancient and traditional crops festivals.

 Design: Vasco Nuno Martins
For the Festa dos Tabuleiros, in addition to the traditional Parade, it is also organized the "Procession of the Boys", the "Mordomo" Parade and Partial Parades. The streets decorated by the locals, the street Parties, the Popular Games and the "Peza", illustrate and bring the festival alive for over three days.

The Grand Parade takes place on Sunday and the city's window balconies are decorated with gaudy brocade quilts to welcome the procession of trays. The parade always begins with fireworks men clothed in white with a red band, followed by pipers and music bands. There follows the Banner of the Holy Spirit held by the Mayor, and then the guests of honour carrying three Crowns and, finally, Banners and Crowns of all the parishes as well as their duly ornamented Trays carried by coupled pairs. The young women will be wearing white with a coloured ribbon across the chest and place the stacked trays on their heads, while the young men wear white shirts, dark pants, cap on the shoulder and a tie the colour of the girl´s ribbon.

The traditional Tray should have the height of the girl who carries it and it is decorated with paper flowers, wheat spikes, 30 bread loaves of 400g each, stuffed into rods coming out of a wicker basket decorated with an embroidered white cloth. At the top of the Tray, the Cross of Christ or the Dove of the Holy Spirit finishes off a crown. The day after the Grand Parade, tradition implies distributing the bread and meat - "Pêza" - amongst the people of the municipality. - in: http://www.conventocristo.gov.pt/en

Coimbra University - Portugal

I go to Coimbra quite often, have been to the University  a few times but never visited inside, it's one of the things I have to do in the city.
The 1st of these cards was a lottery prize, sent by Fernando. I bought the 2nd a few years ago in the post office. Back then the portuguese mail service was selling some nice collections of postcards. The 3rd is a meeting card sent by Luís and also signed by Anabela and Liliana. 

© New Jamp, Lda
A centre of learning, par excellence, the University of Coimbra was founded in 1290 and is one of the oldest in Europe, and was classified World heritage site by UNESCO; this classification includes also the Uptown and Sofia Street.

Founded in 1290 by Dom Dinis, with the name of "Estudos Gerais" (General Studies), the University was transferred between Lisbon and Coimbra during the reigns of several monarchs until it was definitively established in this city in 1537, by Dom João III. Since then, it has continued to occupy the same building, the former mediaeval royal palace, acquired by the university in 1597 from Filipe II of Spain, who also ruled over Portugal at that time. 
The subjects studied here were theology, medicine and law until the 18th century when the Marquês de Pombal changed the educational system and introduced other subjects. Today, the University has seven faculties - Arts, Law, Medicine, Science and Technology, Pharmacy, Economics and Psychology and Educational Sciences. 

Guia Turístico do Norte, Lda
Standing in a most privileged position overlooking the rest of the city, with a magnificent view over the River Mondego, the University is a complex building, constructed around a central courtyard in which a number of features stand out because of their artistic interest and symbolism. The entrance to the University is through the Porta Férrea (Iron Gate), an impressive Mannerist work (1634), where one can see the statues of the University´s patrons, the kings Dom Dinis and Dom João III. 
On the right, in the centre, is the Via Latina, a Mannerist colonnade built in the 18th century and indicating that Latin was the "official language" formerly used inside this space. The entrance through the loggia leads to the Sala Grande dos Actos (the Ceremonial Hall), and in the corner is the famous Tower. Built in 1728, it can be seen from all around the city and has become its most distinctive landmark. It has four bells, which used to regulate the routine of academic life and that of the city itself. The tower has always been tenderly referred to by the students as "a Cabra" (the Goat).  - inhttps://www.visitportugal.com/en/NR/exeres/212BDD2D-3DC6-4836-BCD7-BBB9011C5036

Algarve's oranges - Portugal

One of the most famous products from Algarve are the oranges. I'm not a fruit kind of person but I really like Algarve's oranges. They're juicy, very sweet, super delicious!! Vera and Sofia didn't send me any oranges, only these cards. 

© Michael Howard  Photography * www.mikehowardphoto.com
Sweet oranges were brought from China to Europe by the Portuguese in the 16th century. 
The Algarve produces between 300,000 and 400,000 tonnes of citrus fruits each year, and it is hardly surprising that the oranges grown here account for about 70% of the total oranges grown in Portugal – long days of hot sunshine, adequate water supplies and good soil ensure fine crops. - in: https://algarveblog.net/2013/01/13/o-is-for-oranges/

Photography & design © Michael Howard * www.mikehowardphoto.com
Oranges make the body more resistant to infection, give vitality to the gums and preserve youth. They fight stress and allergies, reduce the rate of cholesterol and the risk of some cancers. - in: http://www.algarveorange.com/

PT RR - Group 137 * Surprise June

I'm a bit late posting these cards but they're actually the last I got from this RR. There were no group in July and not even this month. Joana will open a new group in September. 

I'm starting with a Belgium card sent by Rui. 
The Church of Saint John the Baptist is a Roman Catholic church located in Molenbeek-Saint-Jean, a municipality of Brussels, Belgium. Designed by Joseph Diongre and built in 1931 in Art Deco style, it is one of three major churches in Brussels made of reinforced concrete (the other two are the Basilica of the Sacred Heart in Koekelberg and the Church of St. Augustine in Forest). The church and the Catholic parish it belongs to gave their name to the municipality.  - in: wikipedia

Illustration de Jean-Benoit Héron
Joana sent a lighthouse located on an island I've never heard of before. Chausey lighthouse is located on the Grande-Île, the largest of the islands of Chausey located near the Channel Islands off the coast of Normandy in France. The lighthouse was built in the middle of the 19th century and is listed as a historic monument. It was built because of the many shipwrecks caused by the reefs that surround the island.
Entirely cut stone from the quarries of the island, the Chausey lighthouse was partially destroyed by German attacks in 1945. Electrified in 1949, it was definitely relit a year later. 

© Edição Vistal * Foto ©, Art & Concept: Gustav A. Wittich
Another lighthouse, this one from southern Portugal, sent by Tiago.
Built in 1923, Vila Real de Santo António Lighthouse replaced the earlier “Farolinho de ferro” (“Little Iron Lighthouse”). The circular tower stands 40 metres high. Initially, the light beam was obtained through the incandescence of oil vapour but by 1927 the lighthouse had been electrified using generator engines and was connected to the public grid in 1947. A lift up to the tower was installed in 1960 and in 1989 the lighthouse was fully automated, although lighthouse keepers are still required today to ensure it functions properly. - in: https://www.visitalgarve.pt/en/562/farol-de-vila-real-de-santo-antonio-vila-real-santo-antonio-lighthouse.aspx


All I could find out about this mill sent by Paulo is that it is a typical mill from the Portuguese West region, located in Pescaria mountain, one of the highest areas of the county, with fabulous views of the northern beaches and Nazaré.