Tuesday, June 28, 2022

Santiago de Compostela Cathedral - Spain

Santiago de Compostela in Galicia, is internationally known as one of the most famous pilgrimage destinations in the world.
Since the ninth century, pilgrims from around the world, travel through kilometers on foot to venerate the relics of the Apostle James the Greater, one of the apostles of Jesus Christ, whose alleged tomb is in the cathedral of Santiago de Compostela.
In 1985 the city's Old Town was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
This city was on the top of my spanish must visit list for quite some time but this month I finally got to visit Santiago. 
I already had a few cards from there but I've sent one to myself, the one with the Acibecharía façade.

A small church was first built over the tomb of St. James shortly after it was discovered in 819 AD. This was destroyed by al-Mansur's Moorish army in 997, though Almansor left the relics of the Apostle undisturbed. He did, however, force Santiago's citizens to carry the bells of the tower to the mosque in Cordoba (they have since been returned).
Despite its Baroque facade, the present cathedral of Santiago de Compostela is predominantly Romanesque; in fact, one of the finest Romanesque churches in Spain. Construction began in 1060 in the reign of Alfonso VI and was completed in 1211.
Various elements were added in later centuries, culminating in the dramatic Baroque transformation of the exterior in the 16th-18th centuries. The interior of the cathedral, however, retains its pure Early Romanesque style.

 The remains of St. James, the raison d'être of the cathedral, were lost in 1700 after being hidden before an English invasion. Fortunately, they were rediscovered during building work in 1879.
Actually, three skeletons were found, presumed to be James and two of his disciples. The one belonging to the Apostle was identified thanks to a church in Tuscany, which possessed a piece of his skull that exactly fitted a gap in one of the discovered skulls. The identity was confirmed in 1884 by Pope Leo XIII and reinforced by John Paul II's visit in 1982.

The spectacular Baroque facade of the cathedral, known as the Obradoiro facade, was added between 1738 and 1750 by an obscure local architect, Fernando de Casas. Made of granite, it is flanked by huge bell towers and adorned everywhere with statues of St. James as the pilgrim, with staff, broad hat and scallop-shell badge.
The ground rises to the cathedral, which is reached by a magnificent quadruple flight of steps, flanked by statues of David and Solomon. Access to the staircase is through fine wrought-iron gates marked with a seashell. - in: http://www.sacred-destinations.com/spain/santiago-cathedral
Fotografia: D. Leiva
The façade "da Acibecharía" is in the Praza da Inmaculada or Acibecharía, draining the last section of urban roads: French, Primitive, Northern and English through the old gate Franxígena or Paradise door. The Romanesque portal was built in 1122 by Bernardo, treasurer of the temple. This portal was demolished after suffering a fire in 1758. The new façade was designed in Baroque style by Lucas Ferro Caaveiro and finished by Domingo Lois Monteagudo and Clemente Fernández Sarela in the neoclassical style in 1769, although it retained some traces of the baroque. - in: wikipedia

Monthly Fav. Surprise RR * February '22

I didn't forget about these cards, I was actually waiting for one of them and now that I've got them all, I can finally post them.

It seems that Ella took some time to send her cards but it was worth the wait. She sent me this card from my favs from beautiful Tallinn, one of my favorite cities in Europe. 
This pair of picturesque, ivy-covered towers at the entrance to Viru Street is often the first glimpse visitors get of Old Town. 
The towers are actually only the foregates of what was a much more complex gate system built in the 14th century. It included a large, square tower that stood father back along the street, close to where the city wall can be seen.
Most of the gate was pulled down in the 1880s to make room for traffic, but these two towers remained and have since become a symbol of the town. - in: https://visittallinn.ee

Getting cards from new castles is something that makes me quite happy. Thank you Veronica. 
The history of this legendary castle goes back 800 years. For a long time, Kalmar Castle was an important fortification and known as the key to the kingdom because of its strategical location.
 Kalmar Castle was given its current design during the 16th century, when the Vasa kings Gustav, Erik XIV and Johan III rebuilt the medieval castle and made it into a Renaissance palace, furnished and decorated in continental fashion.
Even before then the castle had played an important role in Nordic politics, for example as the location for the signing of the Kalmar Union in 1397. This event was celebrated during the whole year of 1997, the union's 600th anniversary. - in: https://www.kalmarslott.se


I already have a few Herrenchiemsee Palace cards and if I'm not mistaken, this is not the 1st card Marei sent me of it.
Herrenchiemsee stands as a monument to Ludwig's admiration of King Louis XIV of France.
The palace was shaped in a 'W' with wings flanking the central edifice. Only 16 of the 70 rooms were on the ground floor. Though it was to have been an equivalent to the Palace of Versailles, only the central portion was built before the king died and construction was discontinued with 50 of the 70 rooms still incomplete. It was never intended to be a perfectly exact replica of the French royal palace. Like Versailles, the Hall of Mirrors has 17 arches, the Hall of Peace and the Hall of War on either side have six windows each. The window niches at Herrenchiemsee are slightly wider than those at Versailles, making its central façade a few metres wider. The dining room features an elevator table and the world's largest Meissen porcelain chandelier. Technologically, the building also benefits from nearly two centuries of progress. The original Versailles palace lacked toilets, water, and central heating, while the New Palace has all of these, including a large heated bathtub. - in
: wikipedia

Karina sent me this street art card. Not much information about the art but I've learnt about ACTA and why was it important to stop it. 
The Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) is a multilateral treaty for the purpose of establishing international standards for intellectual property rights enforcement that did not enter into force. The agreement aims to establish an international legal framework for targeting counterfeit goods, generic medicines and copyright infringement on the Internet. Industrial groups with interests in copyright, trademarks and other types of intellectual property said that ACTA was a response to "the increase in global trade of counterfeit goods and pirated copyright protected works"
Organisations representing citizens and non-governmental interests argued that ACTA could infringe fundamental rights including freedom of expression and privacy. ACTA has also been criticised by Doctors Without Borders for endangering access to medicines in developing countries. The nature of negotiations was criticized as secretive and has excluded non-governmental organizations, developing countries and the general public from the agreement's negotiation process and it has been described as policy laundering by critics including the Electronic Frontier Foundation and the Entertainment Consumers Association.
The signature of the EU and many of its member states resulted in widespread protests across Europe.
On 4 July 2012, the European Parliament declined its consent, effectively rejecting it. - in:

Saturday, June 25, 2022

Portugal x World RR * Religious Buildings

Some time ago I've decided to join this RR hosted by Tiago. There are different groups that we can join and I chose the group of religious buildings.

When I think of French religious buildings, impressive gothic cathedrals immediately come to mind and that's exactly what Nadia sent me.
 Cathédrale Saint-Gatien de Tours, is dedicated to the first bishop of the city and is a 'must-see' when visiting the Loire Valley. The current cathedral sits on the site of a number of predecessors all of which were damaged by fires.
Construction proper on the existing cathedral began in 1270 but progress was slow and it was not completed until 1547, so what we have is a building made up of styles spanning a number of centuries, though the predominate 'style' is obviously 'Gothic'. - in:
Chinami sent this view of the Great Buddha's Hall of Todaiji Temple, one of Japan's most famous and historically significant temples and a landmark of Nara.
Until recently, Todaiji's main hall, the Daibutsuden (Big Buddha Hall), held the record as the world's largest wooden building, despite the fact that the present reconstruction of 1692 is only two thirds of the original temple hall's size. The massive building houses one of Japan's largest bronze statues of Buddha (Daibutsu). - in: https://www.japan-guide.com

Temple Street is a street located in the areas of Jordan and Yau Ma Tei in Kowloon, Hong Kong. It is known for its night market and as one of the busiest flea markets at night in the territory. The night market lies in the Yau Ma Tei, Jordan part of the street. Popular with tourists and locals alike in the evening, it is also common to see the place crowded at dusk. It sells cheap merchandise and food items.
The road was built during the Qing Dynasty and was named after the Tin Hau temple which was built on the site. - in:
Card sent by Sunny.

Salt Lake Temple - USA

Three officials from Salt Lake City, all depicting Salt Lake Temple, a temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, popularly known as the Mormon Church.

US-1125639, sent by Linda.
Salt Lake Temple is the largest and most recognizableof all Latter-day Saint temples and is an international symbol of the church.

US-1196175, sent by Mark "youngini".
The massive granite, six-spire edifice was constructed in a neo-gothic style over the course of an astounding 40-year period between 1853 and 1893; the pioneers who settled the valley sacrificed both time and material goods to the building of the temple, which stands as a testament to their faith and devotion." - in: http://www.utah.com/mormon/salt_lake_temple.htm
US-8468312, sent by Jeannette.
Althought it is popular tourist attraction, like other Latter-day Saint temples, the church and its members consider it sacred and a temple recommend is required to enter, so there are no public tours inside the temple.

Hooiberg - Aruba

Lazy saturday morning with some postcards updates. Lets start with something new, my 1st card from Aruba. In the last months, a lot of cards from new or unique places, were sent by Eric and I can't thank him enough.
Beaches are probably the 1st thing that cross our mind when thinking about Aruba but there's more to think and do in this Caribbean country. 

Hooiberg - which translates to Haystack - is a volcanic formation which 165 meters above sea level, and is located at the approximate center of Aruba. 
One of the contributing factors to Hooiberg's popularity, and the often mistaken belief that it is the highest point, is the fact that it stands out as a solitary mountain surrounded by a flat landscape.
A depiction of Hooiberg can be seen on the Aruban Coat of Arms. It symbolizes Aruba rising out of the sea.
Try to reach the top of Hooiberg and you will have a nice view over the island and the sea. On clear days you can even see Venezuela to the south.
Hooiberg is covered with cacti, divi-divi trees and some Kibrahacha trees. - in: https://www.visitaruba.com 
Divi divi trees are very common and popular on Aruba. The famous Divi Divi (Watapana) tree is always pointing in a southwestern direction due to the trade winds that blow across the island from the north-east.

Wednesday, June 22, 2022


My 6th official card from Sweden.

SE-208836, sent by Eivor. 
The parish church of Glanshammars was originally built in the 12th century and already had a tower that still exists today.
Perhaps the most prominent in today's church rooms are the well-preserved ceiling and wall paintings from 1589. On the south wall there are also some preserved remains from the original church's medieval paintings. There are also three of Närke's rune stones and in addition there is a walled one somewhere near the current entrance.

Blaenau Ffestiniog - UK

Blaenau Ffestiniog in Wales was once a slate mining centre in historic Merionethshire. It reached a population of 12,000 at the peak development of the slate industry, but fell with the decline in demand for slate. It now relies much on tourists, drawn for instance to the Ffestiniog Railway and Llechwedd Slate Caverns. 
The mines and quarries, ‘city of slates’ and Railway to Porthmadog, are classified as UNESCO WHS, on the list under the name of  The Slate Landscape of Northwest Wales since last year.
This is a new UNESCO site in my collection, thanks to Adam.

© Dave Newbould
The Slate Landscape of Northwest Wales illustrates the transformation that industrial slate quarrying and mining brought about in the traditional rural environment of the mountains and valleys of the Snowdon massif. The territory, extending from mountain-top to sea-coast, presented opportunities and constraints that were used and challenged by the large-scale industrial processes undertaken by landowners and capital investors, which reshaped the agricultural landscape into an industrial centre for slate production during the Industrial Revolution (1780-1914). The serial property comprises six components each encompassing relict quarries and mines, archaeological sites related to slate industrial processing, historical settlements, both living and relict, historic gardens and grand country houses, ports, harbours and quays, and railway and road systems illustrating the functional and social linkages of the relict slate industrial landscape. The property was internationally significant not only for the export of slates, but also for the export of technology and skilled workers from the 1780s to the early 20th century. It played a leading role in the field and constituted a model for other slate quarries in different parts of the world. It offers an important and remarkable example of interchange of materials, technology and human values. - in: https://whc.unesco.org

Sunday, June 19, 2022


Official from Belgium. 
I was curious and I've just checked how many officials I've received since I joinged PC in 2006. 20 cards, only 20 officials cards and not all were actually from Belgium. This one definitely is. Namur is a city in Wallonia.

© Jacques Leurquin

BE-816624, sent by Claire.
The old Saint-Ignace Jesuit church in Namur, currently the Saint-Loup church, is considered as one of the most beautiful 17th century baroque buildings in Belgium. Designed by Huyssens, it was built between 1621 and 1645. - in: https://www.namurtourisme.be

Nuremberg - Germany

Probably one of the 1st things that comes to mind when thinking about Nuremberg is Second World War and it is not surprising, Nuremberg was the 2nd most bombed German city during the war. The city had been the location of the Nazi Party's Nuremberg rallies and after the war the German officials involved in war crimes and crimes against humanity were brought before an international tribunal in the Nuremberg trials.
The first card, an official, shows the destruction caused by bombing during World War II. The 2nd card is also an official and the 3rd card, sent by Ina, shows the Church of Our Lady.

Fotos: © Stadtarchiv Nürnberg A 41 Nr. 114-7 und Bildagentur Huber
  DE-5012078, sent by Silke.
 The city was severely damaged in Allied strategic bombing from 1943–45. On 29 March 1944, RAF endured its heaviest losses in the bombing campaign of Germany. Out of more than 700 planes participating, 106 were shot down or crash landed on the way home to their base, and more than 700 men were missing, as many as 545 of them dead. More than 160 became prisoners of war. On 2 January 1945, the medieval city centre was systematically bombed by the Royal Air Force and the U.S. Army Air Forces and about ninety percent of it was destroyed in only one hour, with 1,800 residents killed and roughly 100,000 displaced. In February 1945, additional attacks followed. In total, about 6,000 Nuremberg residents are estimated to have been killed in air raids.
Despite this intense degree of destruction, the city was rebuilt after the war and was to some extent, restored to its pre-war appearance including the reconstruction of some of its medieval buildings.[12] However, over half of the historic look of the center, and especially the northeastern half of the old Imperial Free City was lost forever. - in: wikipedia
DE-11822653, sent by Patricia.
St. Lorenz Church was badly damaged during the war but was later restored. It is one of the most prominent churches of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Bavaria. 

© 2008 by an SICHTEN verlag
The Frauenkirche ("Church of Our Lady") stands on the eastern side of the main market. An example of brick Gothic architecture, it was built on the initiative of Charles IV, Holy Roman Emperor between 1352 and 1362. The church contains many sculptures, some of them heavily restored.
The church was almost completely destroyed in the Second World War in the bombing of Nuremberg with only the nave walls and facade remaining. This damage was repaired by 1953.  - in: wikipedia

Wednesday, June 15, 2022

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.
 Copyright by Wefo-Verlag AG
CH-612106, sent by Jennifer.
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 

Monday, June 13, 2022

Bordeaux - France

My last time in France was almost 9 years ago and now is finally time to return. Flight is booked to... Bordeaux. To be honest the city was never on my wishlist but after checking some flight options and ruling out the places my friend and I have already been too, this French city was the winner. in October I'll get to see all the places on these cards sent by Óscar, Nancy and Cathy.

Editions RENE * Photo: Drouot
The Port of the Moon, port city of Bordeaux in south-west France, is inscribed as an inhabited historic city, an outstanding urban and architectural ensemble, created in the age of the Enlightenment, whose values continued up to the first half of the 20th century, with more protected buildings than any other French city except Paris. It is also recognized for its historic role as a place of exchange of cultural values over more than 2,000 years, particularly since the 12th century due to commercial links with Britain and the Low Lands. Urban plans and architectural ensembles of the early 18th century onwards place the city as an outstanding example of innovative classical and neoclassical trends and give it an exceptional urban and architectural unity and coherence. Its urban form represents the success of philosophers who wanted to make towns into melting pots of humanism, universality and culture. - in: http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/1256

Connecting the left and right banks of the Garonne, commissioned by Napoleon and inaugurated in 1822, the Pont de Pierre was the first bridge ever built in Bordeaux.
Until then, it was necessary to cross the river by boat. 
The bridge has 17 spans... which is also the number of letters in the name Napoleon Bonaparte. The Pont de Pierre was the only bridge to connect the city's historic centre on the left bank and the La Bastide district on the right bank for nearly 150 years.
Photo: © Olivier Anger
FR-1516598, sent by Cathy.
Today, it is crossed by an ultramodern tramway and is one of half a dozen bridges. The Pont de Pierre nevertheless has a special place in the hearts of the Bordelais, who admire its elegance. The also scrutinise the bridge's piles to ascertain the level of the tide. - in: http://www.bordeaux-tourism.co.uk/offre/fiche/pont-de-pierre/PCUAQU033V500O5D