Saturday, June 26, 2021

JP-1539404

 The card says this is Uragami church in Nagasaki but google only found a Urakami church and it is a bit different than this one. Actually, this is how Uragami/Urakami church looked like before it was remodeled in 1980 with brick tiles and restored to its original appearence.  

JP-1539404, sent by Sayaka.
When the government repealed its prohibition of Christianity, the adherents of Urakami who had regained their freedom took on the building of a church as their first project. Due to funding difficulties, however, construction did not get underway for another 20 years. Finally, in 1914, this impressive structure was commemorated as Asia's leading Romanesque-style cathedral of brick construction. It featured Angelus bells from France in the front pair of towers, but these were unfortunately destroyed in the atomic bombing of 1945. One of the Angelus bells was actually blown away, along with the belfry, by the force of the blast. The building was reconstructed in 1959. The bombed remnants of stone statues have been arranged in the surrounding area, including the one bell that withstood the atomic bomb blast and continues to announce the hour three times a day. - inhttps://travel.at-nagasaki.jp

Archaeological Ruins at Moenjodaro - Pakistan

Mail services never stop to susprise us and this card is a good example of that. 
Last week I've received this card from Pakistan, written, sent and stamped on February 14th of.... 2020. 2020, not 2021! This isn't the only unique fact about it. Even though it was sent to my old address, I got it here, in the address I've been living for one year now. No, I don't have that mail forwarding service. I guess someone in the mail distribution center recognized my name et voilá, found this great card in my mailbox. I'm so glad it didn't get lost because it is from a missing UNESCO site. 

The Archaeological Ruins at Moenjodaro are the best preserved urban settlement in South Asia dating back to the beginning of the 3rd millennium BC, and exercised a considerable influence on the subsequent development of urbanization. 

Foto Bank
The archaeological ruins are located on the right bank of the Indus River, 510 km north-east from Karachi, and 28 km from Larkana city, Larkana District in Pakistan’s Sindh Province. The property represents the metropolis of Indus civilization, which flourished between 2,500-1,500 BC in the Indus valley and is one of the world’s three great ancient civilizations.
The discovery of Moenjodaro in 1922 revealed evidence of the customs, art, religion and administrative abilities of its inhabitants. The well planned city mostly built with baked bricks and having public baths; a college of priests; an elaborate drainage system; wells, soak pits for disposal of sewage, and a large granary, bears testimony that it was a metropolis of great importance, enjoying a well organized civic, economic, social and cultural system.
Moenjodaro comprises two sectors: a citadel area in the west where the Buddhist stupa was constructed with unbaked brick over the ruins of Moenjodaro in the 2nd century AD, and to the east, the lower city ruins spread out along the banks of the Indus. Here buildings are laid out along streets intersecting each other at right angles, in a highly orderly form of city planning that also incorporated systems of sanitation and drainage. - in: https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/138

Wednesday, June 23, 2021

Bratislava - Slovakia

Bratislava is in southwestern Slovakia at the foot of the Little Carpathians, occupying both banks of the River Danube and the left bank of the River Morava. Bordering Austria and Hungary, it is the only national capital that borders two sovereign states. - in: wikipedia
The city may not dazzle like the neighboring countries capitals but it is still worth the visit.
Bratislava is easily accessible. The city is safe, friendly, hassle-free and it’s all there. History, architecture, tradition, culture, art, drinks, food and nightlife.

The city walls and the wonderful St. Michael’s Gate remind visitors that town fortifications were essential in the 1300s. The architecture ranges from gothic to Renaissance, baroque, rococo to neo-classic and empire. The coronation route of Hungarian Kings is marked out in plaques with gilded crowns hammered into the cobblestones. 

© Martin Sloboda
SK-238805, sent by Karol.
Visitors seeking the inside story need only take the tour through the Old Town Hall, including its climb to the top of the bell tower and the castle, which  Maria Theresa used as her favourite residence.

Several parts of the city were changed during socialism and for those curious about what happened during the 40-year communist era, Bratislava offers a chance to get beyond the generalisations. There is abundant evidence of the boldness of the communism experiment, the remarkable housing project at Petržalka, the concrete bunkers dotting the border between Austria and Slovakia, the striking UFO bridge, the memorials to the fallen soldiers who liberated Bratislava from the Nazis, as well as the memorial to those who lost their lives attempting to flee across the Iron Curtain in Devín where another castle is located. While the castle is largely unreconstructed, there are some historical exhibits to help the visitors appreciate its story. - in: https://www.visitbratislava.com/about/come/

NL-4974247

Sneek is situated in Southwest-Friesland, close to the Sneekermeer and is well known for its canals and the Waterpoort, the symbol of the city. 

© Uitgeverij van der Meulen bv Sneek
NL-4974247, sent by Jan.
The Waterpoort is a water gate, a gate in a defensive wall that connects a city to a waterway. 
In the 15th and 16th century, a defensive wall had been built around Sneek. The city lay on the important trade route between Leeuwarden and Stavoren, from which the rich western parts of the Netherlands (now North Holland and South Holland) could be reached. To facilitate this trade, a new harbour called the "Kolk" was built to the southwest of the city and in 1613 the Waterpoort was erected to connect city and harbour. It formed part of the city walls, but when large parts of these were demolished in the early 18th century, it was decided to leave the Waterpoort intact.
The style of the gate, now the symbol of Sneek, can be described as Manierist. It is unclear who designed it, but names suggested include those of Thomas Berentsz. and Jacob Lous. Above the gate itself, which originally would have had wooden fences, is a loggia (gallery) and above that are what were the quarters of the gatekeeper. On each side is an octagonal tower. - in: wikipedia

Tuesday, June 22, 2021

Château de Chillon - Switzerland

The Château de Chillon is probably the most famous castle in Switzerland so it is not surprising that I've a few postcards of it in my collection. These aren't even all the cards I've. Several photos from different angles, seasons and hours of the day. The postcards also had several origins, my brother, an ex-cousin and two of them are official postcards.

Chillon Castle easily has one of the most spectacular locations for any European castle. Located on a rock on the eastern side of the picturesque Lake Geneva, Chillon Castle attracts visitors from all over the world throughout the year. In fact, it has the most visitors each year for any historic building in all of Switzerland.

Chillon has a rich history due to its significantly strategic location. Starting out as a Roman outpost, it controlled an essential Alpine pass. The actual history of the castle is divided into three significant periods: the Savoy Period, the Bernese Period, and the Vaudois Period.
 
Even though the exact date of the castle’s origins is not known, the first mention in historical records dates back to 1150. During the Middle Ages, the first significant renovations and extensions were made in the 13th century and onwards, when the castle was turned into a summer residence for the counts. It wasn’t long until the castle slowly fell into neglect due to being uninhabited for the most part of the year.

Edition PERROCHET S. A.
CH-109510, sent by Rita.
In 1536 the Bernese overtook the castle. For over two and a half centuries the castle was a significant fortress, arsenal, and prison under the Bernese rule in the region. Since the late 18th century the castle has been in the possession of the Canton of Vaud. The restoration campaign that was launched in the late 19th century is still ongoing.
The castle is open to visitors with several exhibitions and tours of the castle. - in: https://www.thecrazytourist.com

CH-4378.
It was made popular by Lord Byron, who wrote the poem The Prisoner Of Chillon (1816) about François de Bonivard, a Genevois monk and politician who was imprisoned there from 1530 to 1536. The castle is one of the settings in Henry James's novella Daisy Miller (1878).

Lake Leman lies by Chillon’s walls:
A thousand feet in depth below
Its massy waters meet and flow...
There are seven pillars of Gothic mould,
In Chillon’s dungeons deep and old,
There are seven columns massy and grey,
Dim with a dull imprison’d ray,
A sunbeam which hath lost its way… Lord Byron, The Prisoner of Chillon

Eiger, Mönch, and Jungfrau - Switzerland

These cards show what Switzerland is famous for, mountains and these are three of the most famous, Eiger, Mönch, and Jungfrau. 

CH-554449, sent by Stefanie.
This Oberland, "land from above", is dominated by three peaks: the Jungfrau at 4.158 meters, and Eiger at 3.970 meters (whose famous north face is one of the most difficult climbs in Europe) and the Mönch at 4.099 meters. With its lakes and mountains, it is the most popular tourist destination in the Bernese Oberland, both for skiers in winter and for hikers and mountaineers in summer. 

The first line of the Jungfrau Railway, connecting Interlaken to the Jungfraujoch, was opened in 1912, giving the region a valuable lead.
At the foot of the Eiger, Mönch and Jungfrau, the ski areas of Grindelwald, Wengen, Mürren, Lauterbrunnen and Interlaken offer 200 km of pistes. Above Grindelwald there are gentle slopes (First Region) for beginners and sunny slopes for all skiers. - in: https://www.petitfute.co.uk 

Friday, June 18, 2021

DE-10580738

I thought I already had a card of this lighthouse but this is actually my 1s card from this island on the German North Sea coast. Amrum is part of the Nordfriesland district in the federal state of Schleswig-Holstein and has approximately 2,300 inhabitants.

Fotografie © Uwe Steffens
DE-10580738, sent by Birgit.
The lighthouse is one of the island's landmarks, being open to the public during the summer season.
The focal plane height of the lightsource measures 63 metres above mean sea level and thereby it is one of the highest lights along the German North Sea shore. The tower itself is 41.8 metres tall, which makes its top reach 67.4 metres above msl. 
The "Amrum Wittdün Lighthouse" (Leuchtfeuer Amrum Wittdün) was officially activated on 1 January 1875, shortly before sunset. It was the first German lighthouse to be erected in Nordfriesland. In 1936, the lantern was electrified and only in 1952 the lighthouse received its red and white marking. The last keeper left the lighthouse in 1984 when the facility had become automated. - in: wikipedia

Thursday, June 17, 2021

Halle - Germany

 his is what a call a great card. An impressive church and tower, great picture and nice quality paper. All the ingredients to be on my favorites wall and now, thanks to Ina, it's in my collection. 

The largest city in Saxony-Anhalt, Halle is a former ducal town rich in history. 

© Schöning Verlag
Fourteen streets in Halle lead to the city’s 16,000-square-metre Marktplatz, hosting many of the monuments on this list like the Marktkirche and Roter Turm. 
One of Central Germany’s finest Late Gothic churches, Halle’s 16th-century Marktkirche is unmissable thanks to its four towers.These are four of the five towers that give Halle its nickname “Stadt der fünf Türme”. That unusual pair towers on the east side are watchmen’s towers and were linked high up by a bridge. 
Martin Luther preached at the Marktkirche three times, and 140 years later, George Frideric Handel was baptised here. 
Halle’s fifth tower is also the tallest, rising to 84 metres on Marktplatz just a few metres from the Marktkirche. The tower was 88 years in the making, and was completed in the Late Gothic style in 1506. If you squint you can just make out the cluster of 246 spikes on the gilded orb at the very top of the spire. As a free-standing campanile Halle’s Roter Turm has no equivalent in Germany. The tower has a carillon of 76 bells, the largest in Europe with a total weight of almost 55 tons. - in: https://www.thecrazytourist.com

Vila Nova de Cerveira - Portugal

In 2019, when Maria do Céu sent me the 1st of these postcards, I didn't know that this view of the river Minho could be seen in Vila Nova de Cerveira and the postcard did not specify the location. When I was doing some research on what to do during my holidays, I found out a trail in Cerveira which passes by some viewpoints from where you can see this view. I had to go there. Even thought it wasn't that ease to get there, it was worth the effort. This hike was one of the things I most enjoyed doing during my week on holidays in Minho.

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.

Nunes de Almeida Editores
Trilho do Cervo is a circular hiking trail of about eight kilometers. It begins and ends at the Casa do Turismo de Cerveira, passes by the Fort of Lovelhe and continues towards the hill, passing by the Ermida da Senhora da Encarnação. Shortly after is Alto do Castro, where you can see the Cervo. In addition to the Cervo sculpture, there is a very intragrammble swing that delights children and adults.... in this case, I think it will be more for the adults.

Monday, June 14, 2021

AU-761479

I started to write this post yesterday but then something on FB caught my attention and I couldn't stop crying. One of my dearest Postcrossing friends, Déa from Brazil, who I mentioned so many times in this blog, died. It was too awful to be true but it was... she died in her sleep 2 nights ago. We started to exchange cards more than 10 years ago, spent hours chatting on msn and met twice. First she came to Portugal in 2011 and in 2016 I spent almost two weeks with her in Brazil, travelling in Minas Gerais state. 
I've already said many times that Postcrossing gave me much more than just cards, it gave me also the opportunity to meet amazing people all over the world and Déa was definitely one of the most amazing persons I've ever met. I'll keep your cards and the memories. Rest in peace dear friend. 

AU-761479, sent by Janti.
The Swan Bells are a set of 18 bells hanging in a specially built 82.5-metre-high (271 ft) copper and glass campanile in Perth, Western Australia. The tower is commonly known as The Bell Tower or the Swan Bell Tower. 
Named after Swan River which it overlooks, the Swan Bells, are the main focus of Barrack Square.
Given to the people of Western Australia as part of the bicentennial celebrations in 1988, Swan Bells are one of the largest sets of change ringing bells in the world and are comprised of some of the only known Royal Bells to leave England. 12 of the bells date from the 14 century, though were recast by Queen Elizabeth I in the 16 century and again in the 1700's at the order of King George II. Surrounding the bell tower is an inlaid path of ceramic tiles which were created, decorated and signed by almost every school student of Western Australia in 2000. - in: http://www.australianlandmarks.com