Tuesday, March 30, 2021

Monument to Sebastião da Gama - Portugal

Christmas is long gone, Easter is around the corner. I don't care about Xmas and I care even less about Easter. No matter how much you care, may you all have an Happy Easter. 
Rui and Carla sent me this card from Azeitão, with a monument to a local poet, to send me their Easter wishes.  

Sebastião Artur Cardoso da Gama was a poet, educator and the pioneering voice for the defence of the “Serra da Arrábida” (Northern hillside).
He was born on 10 April 1924 in Vila Nogueira de Azeitão, and died on 7 February 1952.
The statue in his honour stands in the main square of his hometown – Vila Nogueira de Azeitão. - inhttps://visitsetubal.com

Saturday, March 27, 2021

Changdeokgung Palace Complex - South Korea

Constructed in the 15th century during the Joseon Dynasty, the Changdeokgung Palace Complex occupies a 57.9 ha site in Jongno-gu, in northern Seoul. 
Changdeokgung is an exceptional example of official and residential buildings that were integrated into and harmonized with their natural setting. The complex was originally built as a secondary palace to the main palace of Gyeongbokgung, differentiated from it in its purpose and spatial layout within the capital. 
The official and residential buildings that make up the complex were designed in accordance with traditional palace layout principles. The buildings and structures include three gates and three courts (an administrative court, royal residential court and official audience court), with the residential area to rear of the administrative area reflecting the principles of ‘sammun samjo (三門三朝)’ and ‘jeonjo huchim (前朝後寢)’. The buildings are constructed of wood and set on stone platforms, and many feature tiled hipped roofs with a corbelled multi-bracket system and ornamental carvings. - in: https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/816/

KR-7992, sent by Samara.
The Juhamnu pavilion was built in 1776 and is a 2 floors palace raising the talented, studying and publishing for the country. The 1st floor is the Gyujangkak royal library and the 2nd a readind room.
State exams were conducted in front of the pavilion on special occasions in presence of the king.

Injeongjeon Hall is the main hall at Changdeokgung Palace. It was used by the king and officials for conferences and as a meeting point with visitors. Foreign envoys would meet the king at this location when they arrived at the palace.
Originally built in 1405, it was twice destroyed by fire, once in 1592 and again in 1804. Both times it was rebuilt.
The royal walkway and courtyard, dating back to 1609, can be seen in front of the hall.
On this walkway are stone markers inscribed with ranks of court officials. Court officials would stand behind their designated stone marker when meeting with the king. Higher ranked officials stood closest to the king. Lower ranked officials would stand furthest from the king. - in: https://www.theseoulguide.com/sights/palaces/changdeokgung-palace/injeongjeon-hall-and-injeongmun-gate/

Photo by Seo Heun-Kang
KR-25753, sent by "yunjeong".
On this card there's the Jangnangmum Gate, the Main Gate of Nakseonjae House.
Nakseonjae was built by King Heonjong in 1847 for his concubine Kim Gyeongbin. It stands to reason that King Heonjong must not have been to infatuated with his wife considering he had this entire complex built for a concubine. Even the name Nakseonjae tends to indicate that the King preferred his concubine more than his wife because Nakseonjae literally means the “Mansion of Joy and Goodness”. This probably did not go over to well with his wife which might explain why the King died at age 22 only two years later in 1849.
Nakseonjae had been closed off to the public for decades because it had been used as the residence for the last remaining Korean princesses until 1989 when Princess Deokhye, the youngest daughter of King Gojang, the 26th king of the Joseon Dynasty passed away in 1989. Even after her death Nakseonjae didn’t open to the public until 2006. - in: http://rokdrop.com


These last 2 weeks my mailbox was empty most of the days and for that reason I'm running out of cards to post here!! I'm not getting (enough) cards and my cards take forever to arrive. Lets just hope that next week my postman will bring much more card.

RU-8308102, sent by Alena.
The Bornay Mosque is a mosque in Kazan.  
Its construction dates back to 1872. The architectural style is national romance eclecticism. The minaret was built in 1895. The interior is designed in the medieval Tatar and Russian traditions. 
Between 1930-1994 the mosque was out of service due to the Soviet authorities and in 1994 it was returned to the believers.

Wednesday, March 24, 2021

Church of the Savior on Spilled Blood - St. Petersburg

St. Petersburg is one of those cities that I really, really want to visit. I can imagine myself taking hundreds of pictures of all those beautiful buildings, churches and palaces. The Church of the Savior on Spilled Blood is the monument I want to see the most. To see it on a snowy day would be wonderful. 
All these gorgeous cards were sent by Larisa, Eugene, Angela, Mia, Alena and Ara. 
RU-7397281, sent by Larisa. 
The Church of the Savior on Spilled Blood is one of the main Russian Orthodox cathedrals of St. Petersburg.
The church is also variously known as the Church of Our Savior on Blood and the Church of the Resurrection of Jesus Christ, its official name. The "blood" of the common name refers to that of Tsar Alexander II, who was killed on that site on March 13, 1881, as well as that of the crucified Jesus.

RU-8308106, sent by Eugene.
Construction began in 1883 under Alexander III, as a memorial to his father. Work progressed slowly and was finally completed during the reign of Nicholas II in 1907.
Funding was provided by the Royal family with the support of many private investors. The church's construction ran well over budget, having been estimated at 3.6 million roubles but ending up costing over 4.6 million.

In the aftermath of the Revolution, the church was ransacked and looted, badly damaging its interior. The Soviet government closed the church in the early 1930s.
During World War II, the church was used as a warehouse for vegetables, leading to the sardonic name of "Savior on Potatoes." It suffered significant damage during the Siege of Leningrad and after the war, it was used as a warehouse for a nearby opera theatre.

In July 1970, management of the church passed to Saint Isaac's Cathedral (then used as a highly profitable museum) and proceeds from the cathedral were ploughed back into restoring the church.
It was reopened in August 1997, after 27 years of restoration, but has not been resanctified and does not function as a full-time place of worship. The church is now one of the main tourist attractions of St. Petersburg.

The church is prominently situated along the Griboedov Canal. The section of street where the assassination took place was enclosed within the walls of the church, and part of the canal filled to allow the street to pass around the building.
Architecturally, the church is out of place in St. Petersburg. The city's architecture is predominantly Baroque and Neoclassical, but the Savior on Blood is more in line with medieval Russian architecture. It intentionally resembles the famous St. Basil's Cathedral in Moscow.

The interior was designed by some of the most celebrated Russian artists of the day - including Viktor Vasnetsov, Mikhail Nesterov and Mikhail Vrubel - but the church's chief architect, Alfred Alexandrovich Parland, was relatively little-known. An elaborate shrine was constructed on the exact place of Alexander's death, garnished with topaz, lazurite and other semi-precious stones.
The church contains over 7,500 square meters of mosaics - according to its restorers, more than any other church in the world. The intricately detailed mosaics depict biblical scenes and figures, with fine patterned borders setting off each picture. - in: http://www.sacred-destinations.com/russia/st-petersburg-church-of-savior-on-blood

Rush Hour in Ireland

When I traveled to Ireland with my friend Joana we rented a car so that it would be easier for us to explore the country. 
Rush hour can cause anger and frustration for some but when traveling in Ireland this is the type of rush hour you really don’t mind getting’ caught up in.   

Photography: Liam Blake 
For tourists this may be a delightfully unique experience, with plenty of photo or video opportunities but that's not the kind of thing you can plan, it’ll either happen or it won’t. It didn't happen for us. It would have definitely made our road trips even better and funnier.
This card was sent by Katya.

Saturday, March 20, 2021

Bergpark Wilhelmshöhe - Germany

Bergpark Wilhelmshöhe is a landscape park in Kassel, Germany.
On 23 June 2013, the total work of art of Wilhelmshöhe was listed as a World Cultural Heritage site by UNESCO's World Heritage Committee, an act that distinguished it as a cultural landscape that is unique: Nowhere else in the world was a place like this ever created: a park on a steeply sloping hillside featuring huge, artistically and technologically accomplished water structures such as those built at Kassel from 1691 onwards by Landgrave Carl and his successors.

Foto: Gisa Brandes
DE-10113555, sent by Gisela.
Towering 530 metres above Kassel, the city's landmark – the Hercules Monument – crowns the Bergpark, offering an incomparable view of the city and its surroundings. The monumental structure consists of three parts: the Grotto, fashioned to look like living rock, which is also the fountainhead of the water features; the open Belvedere surmounting it; and the Pyramid with the 8.30-m copper-wrought Hercules statue.

DE-1078896, sent by Mrs Claus.
The layout was devised at the end of the 17th century by Landgrave Carl (r. 1677–1730), who in 1701 commissioned the Italian architect and water engineer Giovanni Francesco Guerniero (1665–1745) to refine and implement the design. Guerniero remained in charge of the project up to its completion in 1717. The Hercules statue was created by Augsburg goldsmith Johann Jacob Anthoni, one of the earliest copper-wrought monumental statues in the world.
To the Landgrave, the structure represented the triumph of art over nature and the omnipotence of human ingenuity. In Hercules, the mythological paragon of strength, courage and resourcefulness, he saw his own virtues as a ruler embodied. Consequently the entire layout consisting of the Hercules Monument, the grottoes at its foot, and the water features are a perfect example of a Baroque »architecture of power«. This show of strength by a ruling prince, which is also reflected in the monumental layout of the park, is unique in the world; it is what constitutes to so-called »Outstanding Universal Value« of the World Heritage property of Wilhelmshöhe Park. - in: https://museum-kassel.de

Wednesday, March 17, 2021

Meissen - Germany

In January I´ve received a postcard from Meissen, a month later got another one. These were not my 1st cards from this town. A few years ago I had already received a 1st official from there. Three cards with beautiful views that make you want to go there and take some pictures.

© Mirko Stelzner
DE-10122509, sent by Anke.
Meissen is a town of approximately 30,000 about 25 km northwest of Dresden on both banks of the Elbe river in the Free State of Saxony, in eastern Germany. One of the attractions of this town is the Albrechtsburg castle.

© Mitei - Dresden/Germany
DE-2883058, sent by Mirko.
The late-Gothic Albrechtsburg Castle rises high above the picturesque Elbe river valley. Built in the 15th century, the Meissen Albrechtsburg is regarded to be Germany’s oldest castle.
The Meissen Albrechtsburg is Germany’s first castle complex that gave up its fortifying character in favor of becoming a representative place of residence. Therefore, it is regarded to be the first German palatial building and a masterpiece of late-Gothic architecture.

Foto: Dietmar Brück, Meissen
FI-3844158, sent by Aune.
The palace building was erected between 1471 and 1524 by order of the Wettin brothers Ernst and Albrecht who jointly ruled over the Duchy of Saxony. As a sign of power and wealth, the new residence was not only to be designed as a representative administration center, but also as a place where two separate courts could be held. The master builder Arnold von Westfalen was commissioned with the building. He created a castle that set European standards in spatial structure, statics, vaulting, and window and staircase design. - in: http://www.albrechtsburg-meissen.de/en/albrechtsburg_castle/

Tuesday, March 16, 2021


Once again Google Images was a great help as there's no identification of this bridge on the card. This was an easy one. This is Pont Saint-Bénézet, also known as the Pont d'Avignon, a famous medieval bridge in the town of Avignon, in southern France.

FR-1367900, sent by Mireille.
A wooden bridge spanning the Rhône between Villeneuve-lès-Avignon and Avignon was built between 1177 and 1185. This early bridge was destroyed forty years later in 1226 during the Albigensian Crusade when Louis VIII of France laid siege to Avignon. Beginning in 1234 the bridge was rebuilt with 22 stone arches. The stone bridge was about 900 m (980 yd) in length and only 4.9 m (16 ft 1 in) in width, including the parapets at the sides. 
The bridge was abandoned in the mid-17th century as the arches tended to collapse each time the Rhône flooded making it very expensive to maintain. Four arches and the gatehouse at the Avignon end of the bridge have survived. The Chapel of Saint Nicholas which sits on the second pier of the bridge, was constructed in the second half of 12th century but has since been substantially altered. The western terminus, the Tour Philippe-le-Bel, is also preserved.
In 1995, the surviving arches of the bridge, together with the Palais des Papes and Cathédrale Notre-Dame des Doms were classified as a World Heritage Site. - in: wikipedia

Friday, March 12, 2021

Sado Estuary - Portugal

Sado Estuary Nature Reserve occupies a total area of 23,160 hectares, integrated in the municipalities of Setúbal, Alcácer do Sal, Grândola and Palmela. The estuary is formed near Alcácer do Sal, a very fertile humid area where the landscape is marked by rice paddies, grown in trays.

© AVS Multimédia
One of the images associated with this landscape are the nests of white storks, perched on top of church towers or electricity pylons. This elegant bird always chooses the highest places in order to build its nests. This is one of the more of 200 bird species that inhabit the Sado Estuary, which has been declared a Nature Reserve and a zone of special protection in order to protect the species.

© AVS Multimédia
The fauna is rich and diverse, being one of the most important wetlands in the country. 261 species of vertebrates are registered in the Nature Reserve, of which 8 are amphibians, 11 are reptiles, 211 are birds and 31 are mammals. The estuary is an important wintering area for several bird species and nesting areas for others. It also houses the only resident community of dolphins, bottlenose dolphins, in Portuguese territory.

© AVS Multimédia
The protected area has great natural riches that man can use to his benefit, including cork oak groves from which cork is extracted, pine groves, whose pinenuts are transformed by skilled hands into highly appreciated regional desserts, and the now defunct salt pans, which were of great economic importance over many centuries.

© AVS Multimédia
The fish salting tanks that can be seen in Tróia, in the Roman ruins, vestiges of an ancient production practice. - inhttps://www.visitportugal.com

Tuesday, March 9, 2021

Monthly Fav. Surprise RR * February '21

February's cards arrived very quickly. They came from Czech Rep., Netherlands, Belgium and Germany.

Radana says that there are only a few windmills in Czech Republic. I think I've never seen cards of mills from Czech Republic and this is my 1st one from there. 
I couldn't find much about this mill and the information on the back of the card is written in Czech but with the help of my penpal Zdenka, who translated the text for me, now I know a bit about this mill in Premyslovice, one of the oldest villages in Morava region. The mill, of Dutch style, was built in 1884 in the same place of the original that burnt down. It was used until 1945. In 1965 was classified as a National Technical Monument. It has been reconstructed and now is a private property.

© www.postcards-for-postcrossing.com
This is a beautiful card but I already had it. The other one is an official, this one was sent by Annerie.
De Zaandplatte, in Ruinen, is a smock mill built in 1964 and is listed as a Rijksmonument (national heritage site of the Netherlands). 
The present mill was built at Echten in 1866 by millwright Zilverberg for the Van Holthe family. In 1964, the mill was re-erected at Ruinen. It was used as a holiday home but its condition deteriorated over the years. In 1989 the Stichting Vrienden van der Ruinen Molen (English: Society of Friends of the Ruinen Mill) was set up to preserve the mill. 
In 1993 the mill was sold to the Gemeente Ruinen who owned it until 1995 when ownership was transferred to the Stichting Vrienden van der Ruinen Molen. A restoration of the mill to full working order started in 1995. The mill was officially opened on 6 September 1996. - in: wikipedia

I really don't associate Belgium with the sea but the country is bordered by the North Sea and its coastline is 66 km's in length. 
The card was sent by Karina.

A new Happy Postcrossing from... card. In the future if I want to tell the my grandkids (that I won't have) about this pandemic, I can show them this card. In a few words, it sums up all about these days that we live. Lockdown, masks, sanitizer, social distance, quarantine, homeschooling and homeoffice are now very familiar words and expressions and the correct use of all these things definitely help the fight against this virus. 
Postcards matter even more these days and that is so true. Getting and sending cards really help me to get through all this madness. If it wasn't for postcrossing, and penpalling too, my days would be so much boring. 
Thanks Nadine for the great card. 

Monthly Fav. Surprise RR * January '21

January and February's MFS RR cards didn't took that long to arrive to my mailbox but 2 of my cards are still traveling, both to USA. My last cards to USA took forever to get there, more than a month but these cards are taking even more than that!! 

Frankfurt am Main has Germany’s largest Christmas market as well as its tallest Christmas tree. The tallestt houses in Germany are in Frankfurt, which is why the tree should always be the tallest in the country. It is usually 30 meters high and over 100 years old. 
This winter view of Romerberg was sent by Birgit.

Photo: Taneli Eskola 2010
Sofiankatu is a short alley between the Senate Square and Market Square, and among the oldest streets in Helsinki dating back to 1640's.
I've been there in 2019, trying to take a picture like this one sent by Mari.

Iris said she already sent me all her church cards, now she sent a mosque. Church, mosque, I don't mind, any religious building is ok for me.
Blue Mosque (Sultanahmet Mosque) is one of the most beautiful mosques and landmarks in both Istanbul and the world. Blue Mosque was built in the 17th century (1603-1617) by Sedefkar Mehmet Aga with the order of Sultan Ahmet I.
Located in the Sultanahmet neighborhood of Fatih district, along the Sultanahmet Sqaure, the Blue Mosque is a great sample of the Turkish and Islamic architecture and one of the most visited sights and mosques in Istanbul . It can also be considered as a triumph of harmony, proportion and elegance. - in: https://istanbeautiful.com

Photo: Jonathan (?)
I believe this is my 1st card from this American National Park. Kae has been there on hiking trip. 
At 110 feet high, Otter Cliff, in Acadia National Park, is one of the most spectacular sights along the North Atlantic Seaboard. 
The park is located along the mid-section of the Maine coast, southwest of Bar Harbor. It preserves about half of Mount Desert Island, part of the Isle au Haut, the tip of the Schoodic Peninsula, and portions of 16 smaller outlying islands. The park preserves the natural beauty of the rocky headlands, including the highest mountains along the Atlantic coast. The park boasts a glaciated coastal and island landscape, an abundance of habitats, a high level of biodiversity, clean air and water, and a rich cultural heritage. - in: wikipedia