Tuesday, March 29, 2022


A card from busy Shanghai.
Jing'an District is one of the central districts of Shanghai. In 2014, it had 1,180,000 inhabitants in an area of 37 km2 (14 sq mi).

CN-3324644, sent by XiangDong-Wu.
Jing'an District is named after Jing'an Temple, an ancient traditional Chinese Buddhist temple. Today's temple is a new replica of the old one, located in the southern part of the district. 

Lake Windermere - England

These last weeks, besides the Turkish FOTW card, Eric also sent me this surprise card. Lake Windermere, in the Lake District, is the largest natural lake in England. 
The Lake District, part of the county of Cumbria, is the largest of the United Kingdom’s National Parks. It was the 31st place in the UK to acquire UNESCO World Heritage status.

Passenger services operate along the whole length of the lake. These services date back to the former Furness Railway (1946-1922). Since privatisation, three of the original large railway boats are operated by Windermere Lake Cruises Ltd. The MV Teal of 1936 is one of the original boats that have survived. 
Although often described as steamers, all the original boats are now diesel motor vessels.

Saturday, March 26, 2022

Ettal Abbey - Germany

Ettal Abbey is a Benedictine monastery in the village of Ettal in Bavaria.

Emperor Ludwig of Bavaria fulfilled his vow made in exchange for his safe return to Bavaria and founded the Benedictine Abbey Ettal in 1330. Associated with the religious vow were more practical motives such as security of local roadways, development of the area and creation of a foundation for knights and their wives. 
The church was completed after forty years of construction in 1370. In 1710 the abbey functioned as a school for knights and was one of the most notable schools of higher learning of its time. - in: https://www.ammergauer-alpen.de

DE-825408, sent by Bärbel.
"The large, castle-like grounds of the monastery are the result of a long historical development and demonstrates one of the main concerns of a Benedictine Abbey: An independent religious community which produces everything needed for life and thus has all the important workshops and undertakings, if possible within the confines of the monastery.
Huber images / Hohenleitner
DE-11523455, sent by Susanne.
Compared to the large and important monasteries of the Middle Ages in Bavaria Ettal is of relatively recent origin. It owes its foundation to the Duke of Bavaria, at the same time Roman Emperor of the German Nation, Kaiser Louis IVth. The date of the endowment and foundation of Ettal is the 28th of April 1330, and the gift of the emperor for his foundation was the marble statue of the Ettal Madonna on the high altar of the church. 
© Schöning GmbH & Co. KG
The economic basis of the abbey consists of that which the monks themselves produce and earn as well as of a number of undertakings such as a brewery, the making of liqueur, hotel, and publishing house. Through these activities the large complex of buildings - all of which are used - has to be kept up - for the most part by the monks themselves." - in: http://www.bavaria.by/en/monastary-ettal.html

Regensburg Cathedral - Germany

St. Peter's Cathedral is Regensburg's best known landmark and the only Gothic Cathedral in Bavaria. I'm happy to say that I've already visited it.

St. Peter’s Cathedral in Regensburg is one of the most important Gothic structures in Bavaria. The Cathedral and its towers, which are visible for miles around, are the centrepiece of the UNESCO World Heritage city of Regensburg. One spectacular features is the colourful glass windows dating to the 13th/14th centuries.

DE-11528481, sent by Thoralf. 
The cloister, once the burial site of Regensburg’s citizens and canons, is predominantly characterised by the Gothic ribbed vault from the 15th century. All Saint’s Chapel, erected in the middle of the 12th century by builders from northern Italy, is reminiscent of the city of Ravenna. - in: https://www.routeofemperorsandkings.com

Sunday, March 20, 2022


The castles and palaces in the Loire Valley are definitely a must visit in France. In fact,they attract more than three million visitors each year, making this UNESCO World Heritage site one of the most popular French tourist destinations outside the capital city of Paris. But with so many castles to choose from, it’s difficult to decide which castles to visit. One of the best known and most visit is Chateau de Chenonceau. 
This castle, spanning the river Cher, is often described as ‘the ladies chateau’ as throughout its history it is they who have most influenced its design and its destiny.

 Thomas Bohier, in 1512, acquired what was a small fortress by the river Cher and decided to replace it with a 'Renaissance' style chateau leaving only the keep from the original building.
It was his wife Katherine Briconnet who oversaw its build as her husband spent a lot of time away at war and she has left a great legacy. The chateau was later held over to the monarchy to pay-off debts and used by them to stage hunts and festivals.
Henri II gave it to his mistress Diane de Poitiers it was she who added the bridge over the Cher as well as the gardens.
When Henri died, the Queen, Catherine de Medici, forced Diane out of Chenonceau (to Chateau de Chaumont), even though by then she was its legitimate owner. Catherine proceeded to build the gallery and grand ballroom on Diane’s bridge which finally gave Chenonceau its now iconic look. - in: https://www.experienceloire.com

The Royal Monastery of Santa Maria de Guadalupe - Spain

Another Spanish Unesco site that I wouldn't mind to visit. Susana and Joana have already been there and sent me these great cards.  
"The Royal Monastery of Santa Maria de Guadalupe is a Roman Catholic monastic establishment in Guadalupe, Cáceres province of the Extremadura autonomous community of Spain; it was the most important monastery in the country for more than four centuries. It is protected by the Unesco as a World Heritage Site.
"The monastery had its origins in the late 13th century, when a shepherd from Cáceres, named Gil Cordero, discovered on the bank of the Guadalupe River a statue of Madonna, which had been apparently hidden by local inhabitants from Moorish invaders in 714. On the site of his discovery a chapel was built. 
King Alfosno XI, who visited the chapel more than once, invoked Santa Maria de Guadalupe in the Battle of Rio Salado. After gaining the victory, he ascribed it to the Madonna's intercession, declared the church at Guadalupe a royal sanctuary and undertook an extensive rebuilding program. 
The monastery is rich in associations with the New World, where Our Lady of Guadalupe is highly revered in the Mexican Basilica of Guadalupe and elsewhere. It was here, in Extremadura, that Christopher Columbus made his first pilgrimage after discovering America in 1492 and it was here that he first thanked heaven for his discovery. 
Even after the monks from Guadalupe founded the famous monastery of Escorial, which was much closer to the royal capital, Madrid, Santa Maria de Guadalupe retained the royal patronage. It remained the most important cloister in Spain until the secularization of monasteries in 1835. In the 20th century, the monastery was revived by the Franciscan Order and Pope Pius XII declared the shrine a "Minor Papal Basilica" in 1955." - in: wikipedia

Burgos Cathedral - Spain

I've a thing for religious temples and looking at this cathedral is impossible not to feel amazed by its intricate gothic style and all the other impressive architectural features and details. I would love to visit it. 
These cards have been sent many years ago by Janine and Manuela. 
"The Burgos Cathedral is a Gothic-style cathedral in Burgos. It is dedicated to the Virgin Mary and is famous for its vast size and unique architecture. Its construction began in 1221, following French Gothic parameters. 
It had very important modifications in the 15th and 16th centuries (spires of the principal façade, Chapel of the Constable, cimborio of the transept: these elements of advanced Gothic give the cathedral its distinguished profile). The last works of importance occurred during the 18th century, the century in which the Gothic statuary of the doors of the principal façade was also dismantled completely. At the beginning of the 20th century, some semidetached construction to the cathedral was eliminated, such as the Archepiscopal Palace and the upper floor of the cloister. The style of the cathedral is Gothic, although it has some Renaissance and Baroque works. 
The cathedral was declared a "World Heritage Site" by UNESCO on October 31 of 1984. It is the only Spanish cathedral that has this distinction independiently, without being joined to the historic center of a city (as in Salamanca, Santiago de Compostela, Ávila, Córdoba, Toledo or Cuenca) or in union with others buildings, as in Seville." - in: wikipedia 
© edilesa, 2005 - Photo by Archivo Edilesa / Norberto
The Door of the Sarmental, which was built in the purest Gothic style and finished around 1235, is on the South façade. It is the most classical and elegant of the Cathedral Doors because of its perfect proportions and the beauty of its sculpture-work. The central figure of the tympanum is Christ, Majesty, Master with the Book of Wisdom in his hand, surrounded by the four evangelists and their symbols. Below in the lintel, you can see the twelve apostles holding the gospel in their hands. The statues on the jambs were replaced in the 17th Century and show Aaron and Moses on the left and St Peter and St Paul on the right. In the mullion there is a statue of a bishop, successor to Christ the Teacher, who may be Don Mauricio, the bishop who started the Cathedral. In the archivolts, there are angels holding candles and the Old men of the Apocalypse. - in: http://www.catedraldeburgos.es

Friday, March 18, 2022

Monthly Fav. Surprise RR - January '22

I never join this RR in December but in January I'm ready to send favorites cards again. 
January was a good month. Veerle, Daniela, Nadine and Twinkle sent nice cards for my collections.

 © concept by Postcardsmarket.com
 Belgium has an area of 30.528 km², a population of 11.250.585 and its capital is Brussels.
 * Europe's Oldest Free City - In 1066, Huy, became the first European city to receive a charter of rights;
 * Visible from the Moon - Belgium higway system is the only man-made structure visible at night;
* The Flower Carpet - Grand Place, Brussels (UNESCO World Heritage Site). Layed out every 2 years;
* The World's Best Beer - Belgium produces over 1100 varieties of beer;
* The Name Belgium - Is derived from Gallia Belgica, a Roman province in the northernmost part of of Gaul;
* The Battle of Waterloo - fought on sunday, 18 June 1815.

© concept by Postcardsmarket.com
Italy has an area of 301.338 km², a population of 60.674.003 and its capital is Rome.
 * Sceneries - A place where the sea, land and sky come together as in no other place on earth;
 * UNESCO - Italy has more World Heritage Sites (51) than any other country in the world;
* Europe's Largest Volcano - Mt. Etna in Sicily, the world's second most active volcano;
* Culture - Over 1000.000 monuments of any sort (museums, palaces, art galleries, etc;
* Formation - 17 March 1861, Unification. 2 June 1946, Republic;
* Prehistory - Neanderthal presence dating back to the Paleolithic period, some 200.000 years ago. 

This is my 1st Happy Postcrossing from... the German states. 
North Rhine-Westphalia,, commonly shortened to NRW, is located in Western Germany. With more than 17.9 million inhabitants, it is the most populous state of Germany. Apart from the city-states, it is also the most densely populated state in Germany. Covering an area of 34,084 km², it is the fourth-largest German state by size. Düsseldorf is the state capital.

The Hall of Prayer for Good Harvests, part the Temple of Heaven complex, in Beijing, is a magnificent triple-gabled circular building, 36 m (118 ft) in diameter and 38 m (125 ft) tall, built on three levels of marble stone base, where the Emperos of the Ming and Qing dynasties prayed for good harvests. The building is completely wooden, with no nails. The original building was burned down by a fire caused by lightning in 1889. The current building was re-built several years after the incident.

Monday, March 14, 2022


The Santuario de Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe is a historic Catholic shrine in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Established in the 1770’s, is the oldest standing shrine in the United States.

Photo: Richard Cummins
US-8167838, sent by Rebecca.
It was built in honor of our Lady of Guadalupe and is an enduring landmark, commemorating the apparitions of Mary in 1531 to the Aztec peasant Juan Diego of Tepeyac, Mexico. 
The Santuario de Guadalupe is an adobe structure that sits off the banks of the Santa Fe River near the end of the Camino Real. The original church was constructed on a Latin cross floor plan, with thick 3 foot adobe walls, a flat roof supported by pine vigas, a dirt floor and a 3 tiered bell tower. The parish flourished until 1922 when a fire razed the church's roof, collapsed the spire and damaged the painted frescoes. The walls and altar survived. Restoration this time was made in the style of a California Mission with a new pitched roof, a bell tower and a wooden floor.
The newest addition to the Santuario de Guadalupe is a 12 foot statue that stands in front. - in:

Mexican UNESCO Sites

I usually get super excited when I receive cards from UNESCO sites but these from Mexico didn't impress me much. The quality of the pictures, the paper, even the cut, isn't that good, it really seems an homemade kind of thing. Homemade or not, there are four sites that I'm not missing anymore. 
The three cards with Mexican stamps were sent by Gabino and the other one was sent by Óscar.

Cueva "Las Flechas" is part of the group of cave paintings in the canyon of Santa Teresa in the San Francisco mountain range. The canvas on the rock wall describes some human figures, apparently a female and a male representation. These paintings are among the most visually attractive in the region.
From c. 100 B.C. to A.D. 1300, the Sierra de San Francisco (in the El Vizcaino reserve, in Baja California) was home to a people who have now disappeared but who left one of the most outstanding collections of rock paintings in the world. They are remarkably well-preserved because of the dry climate and the inaccessibility of the site. Showing human figures and many animal species and illustrating the relationship between humans and their environment, the paintings reveal a highly sophisticated culture. Their composition and size, as well as the precision of the outlines and the variety of colours, but especially the number of sites, make this an impressive testimony to a unique artistic tradition. - in: https://whc.unesco.org

El Pinacate and Gran Desierto de Altar Biosphere Reserve (EPGDABR) is located in the Sonoran Desert.
EPGDABR has a surface of 714,566 hectares with 354,871 hectares of buffer zone. It is a large and relatively undisturbed protected area which comprises two very distinct broad landscape types. To the East, there is a dormant volcanic area of around 200,000 ha, comprised of the Pinacate Shield with extensive black and red lava flows and desert pavement. The volcanic shield boasts a wide array of volcanic phenomena and geological formations, including a small shield-type volcano. The most visually striking feature is the concentration of a total of 10 enormous, deep and almost perfectly circular Maar (steam blast) craters.
In the West towards the Colorado River Delta and South towards the Gulf of California, is the Gran Altar Desert, North America's largest field of active sand dunes and only active Erg dunes. - in: https://whc.unesco.org

The Prehistoric Caves of Yagul and Mitla in the central valley of Oaxaca is an extensive cultural landscape that includes caves and shelters, one of which, the Guilá Naquitz cave has provided extraordinarily well preserved botanical evidence of bottle gourds, beans and squash and the earliest known maize cobs, and two others, Cueva Blanca and Gheo Shih siteshave provided evidence of Pleistocene animals and stone tools and the seasonal use of the abundant summer resources of fruit and small mammals.
The gradual shift from social groups based primarily on hunting to ones that were primarily based on settled agriculture took place in multiple areas at the same time across the Mesoamerican region. The property is an exceptional reflection of the evolution from hunter-gathering to more settled communities in this area of the Oaxaca valley. - in: https://whc.unesco.org

Xochicalco is a pre-Columbian archaeological site in the western part of the Mexican state of Morelos.   Xochicalco is an exceptionally well-preserved example of a fortified political, religious and commercial centre from the troubled period of 650–900 that followed the break-up of the great Mesoamerican states such as Teotihuacan, Monte Albán, Palenque and Tikal. - in: https://whc.unesco.org

FOTW Turkey

A new and unexpected FOTW card for my collection.This not the first time Eric surprises me with a card missing in my collections. Thank you very much 😃

© concept by Postcardsmarket.com
Turkey has an area of 783.356 km², a population of 79.463.663 and its capital is Ankara. 
 * Historical Bizantium - Istanbul is the only city in the world located on 2 continents - Europe and Asia; 
 * Founded in 660 BC, it has been the Capital of the Roman, Byzantine, Latin and Ottoman Empires; 
* The Tunel Railway Line - since 1875, the oldest surviving underground rail line in Europe;
* The Grand Bazaar, Istanbul - one of the largest and oldest covered markets in the world, with 61 covered streets and over 4000 shops; 
* Ottoman Empire: 1299-1923, Motto: "The Eternal State."
* The Anatolian Peninsula: comprising most of the modern Turkey, is one of the oldest permanently settled regions in the world.

Sunday, March 13, 2022


Nice card, beautiful building but no information about it or it's location. If you google about 5 story pagodas in Japan, you'll probably get a few images with similar buildings. I still having some doubts but I believe this might be the Gojunoto, Nikko's five-story pagoda. 

JP-1668291, sent by Junichiro.
This pagoda is located in front the main entrance of the Toshogu Shrine, and is one of Nikko's great attractions. This sanctuary is part of the UNESCO WHS “Shrines and Temples of Nikko” that has been included on the ist since 1999.  
The original five-storey pagoda was donated by a daimyō in 1650, but it was burned down during a fire, and was rebuilt in 1818. Each storey represents an element–earth, water, fire, wind and aether (or void)–in ascending order. Inside the pagoda, a central shinbashira pillar hangs from chains to minimize damage from earthquakes. in: wikipedia


The beautiful neo-Gothic Church of St. John the Baptist in the village of Opsa, Vitebsk region in Belarus.
BY-2850190, sent by Olga.
The red brick Catholic church of St. John the Baptist was built in 1887.
In 1928 the church was damaged by a fire but it remainded opened thanks to the efforts of the parishioners until 1949. In 1949 - 1990 it  was used as a warehouse and storage.
In 1990 it was thought to transform the church into an art gallery and concert hall. However, due to lack of funds the church of St. John the Baptist returned to parishioners and to its original appearance and beauty.


    From the Finnish to the Russian winter with a postcard of a taiga forest in Primorsky Krai,, located in the Far East region of the country. 
    The taiga, also known as coniferous forest, or boreal forest, is a predominant biome in regions located in the Northern Hemisphere, in latitudes whose typical climate is cold and polar continental, such as northern Alaska, Canada, southern Greenland, part of Norway, Sweden, Finland, Siberia and Japan.

RU-8995556, sent by Svetlana.
    In Russia, the world’s largest taiga stretches about 5,800 kilometers (3,600 miles), from the Pacific Ocean to the Ural Mountains. This taiga region was completely glaciated, or covered by glaciers, during the last ice age. 
    Taigas are thick forests. Coniferous trees, such as spruce, pine, and fir, are common. Coniferous trees have needles instead of broad leaves, and their seeds grow inside protective, woody cones. While deciduous trees of temperate forests lose their leaves in winter, conifers never lose their needles. For this reason, conifers are also called “evergreens.”
    Conifers have adapted to survive the long, cold winters and short summers of the taiga. Their needles contain very little sap, which helps prevent freezing. Their dark color and triangle-shaped sides help them catch and absorb as much of the sun’s light as possible. In the taiga, tree growth is thickest beside muskegs and lakes formed by glaciers. 
    Taigas have few native plants besides conifers. The soil of the taiga has few nutrients. It can also freeze, making it difficult for many plants to take root. The larch is one of the only deciduous trees able to survive in the freezing northern taiga. - in: https://www.nationalgeographic.org

Thursday, March 10, 2022

Lapland in winter - Finland

I've been to Finland in summer but to me Finland means winter and snow. I love snow and would love to experience winter in Lapland. 
My friends Heidi and Anne have visited this winter wonderland destination and sent me these beautiful cards.

Foto: Marko Junttila
Usually the first intrepid snowflakes of the season drift gently atop Finland’s highest mountains sometime in autumn. As the days grows shorter and colder, snow begins its slow blanketing of the Arctic, from north to south. Some years, there’s more snow, some years less. But according to the Finnish Meteorological Institute, Finnish Lapland has a better than 90% chance of a White Christmas every year. 

Temperatures vary quite a bit depending on location and time of year. Christmas in Rovaniemi might be -20°C to +5°C. But the farther north you go, the more likely you’ll encounter negative temperatures as low as -30°C in the coldest parts of winter.
Foto: Matti Nieminen

Once the snow and weather spiral together like a frosty waltz, Lapland is set for the winter. 200 days of snow per year is the norm, with peak snowcover usually in late January and February. According to the Finnish Meteorological Institute, in northern Lapland, this translates to 50 – 75 cm of snow. Around the Arctic Circle, you can expect 25 – 50 cm of snow on the ground. But a special mention has to be given to Posio and Syöte, just below the Arctic Circle. These areas receive the most snowfall in Finland, the perfect location for an unforgettable ski vacation, snowmobile ride or epic snowball fight! - in: https://www.lapland.fi