Monday, September 26, 2022

Bedum - Netherlands

Officials from Bedum, a town in the northeastern Netherlands.
NL-5315305, sent by Lex.
There are three churches on this card but I can only identify one, St Walfridus church, on the left side, famous for its leaning tower.

Foto: P. v.d. Wal Bedum
NL-2287427, sent by Martha.
St Walfridus church was founded ca. 1050 and was completed in the 12th century. Of this romanesque church only the tower remains.
The 36-metre tower has been calculated as now leaning at a greater angle than the leaning tower of Pisa. If both towers were the same height, Bedum's would have a greater displacement by 6 cm. 

Sunday, September 25, 2022


I'm moving now to another German state, North Rhine-Westphalia.
Müngsten Bridge crosses the river Wupper, connecting the cities of Remscheid and Solingen.

 klaes-regio Fotoverlag
DE-1214421, sent by Iris.
The bridge is 107 meters high, making it the highest railway bridge in Germany. Construction of the bridge began in 1894 and was completed in 1897. It was used 5,000 tons of steel and 950,000 rivets in construction. The bridge was built with a number of advanced building techniques, responsible architect and engineer for the project was Anton von Rieppel (1852 - 1926). The bridge was originally named the Kaiser-Wilhelm-Brücke in honor of Emperor Wilhelm I. At the end of the monarchy the bridge was renamed after the nearby settlement Müngsten and today the bridge has become a tourist attraction. - in:

Würzburg Residence - Germany

The Würzburg Residence was the 1st  UNESCO site that I visited in Bavaria. I didn't go inside though, I just saw the outside and walked through the gardens.   
The first of these postcards was my first postcard from there, it was sent by Gabriela in 2008. The other one arrived a few days ago and was sent by Claus.

The sumptuous Würzburg Residence was built and decorated in the 18th century by an international corps of architects, painters, sculptors, and stucco workers under the patronage of two successive Prince-Bishops, Johann Philipp Franz and Friedrich Karl von Schönborn.
Fotos Pixabay * Design Clara508
 The Residence was historically constructed between 1720 and 1744, decorated on the interior from 1740 to 1770 and landscaped with magnificent from 1765 to 1780. It testifies to the ostentation of the two Prince-Bishops, and as such illustrates the situation of one of the most brilliant courts of Europe during the 18th century. 
The residence gives consummate testimony to the imposing courtly and cultural life of the feudalistic era of the 18th century, but at the same time its varied use today is an example of modern utilisation and preservation as a monument of ahistorical structure. - in:

Bamberg - Germany

Four years ago I was about to travel to Germany and Bavaria was my destination. My itinerary was heavily influenced by the unesco sites in the region and I managed to visit 4 of them. Bamberg was added to the UNESCO WHS list in 1993.

"Bamberg is a town in Bavaria, located in Upper Franconia on the river Regnitz, close to its confluence with the river Main. Bamberg is one of the few cities in Germany that was not destroyed by World War II bombings. The Old Town of Bamberg is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage, primarily because of its authentic medieval appearance. - in: wikipedia 

DE-6243385, sent by Friedhelm.
The four green towers of Bamberg Cathedral dominate the skyline of the town. The cathedral, exhibiting late Romanesque and early Gothic styles of architecture, was first constructed in 1002-1012, though it has been reconstructed and renovated several times in the following centuries. Treasures of the cathedral include the stunning marble and limestone tombs of Emperor Heinrich II, the founder of the cathedral, his wife, Empress Kunigunde, and the carved marble tomb of Pope Clement II. The cathedral is known for its many admirable sculptures, carvings and ornate choirs. 
Little Venice or the Island City by the river has to be Bamberg’s most adorable section. It consists of steep-sloped, colourful houses with flower-box windows and little gardens squashed together. These cute half-timbered buildings can be dated back to the medieval ages and have been lovingly preserved through the centuries.
DE-12144269, sent by Kathrin.
Schloss Seehof is a 17th-century palace that sits in a green parkland just outside Bamberg city and makes for a very interesting sight with its octagonal towers, dark slated roofs, lovely arched windows and unusual triangular gables. The palace houses a chapel on the ground floor, with a pretty Rococo altar. - in:

Thursday, September 22, 2022


I've said that I have some postcards from Gibraltar and here are two more. The first was sent by Joaninha who was there in 2012 and the other, is a little older, I got it  in 2007 after a swap with Ana from Spain.
Copyright & Distributors Estoril LTD.
Despite the proximity to Spain, Gibraltar is a British territory and even the phone booths remind us of fact.  
Gibraltar is only 6.7 km² in size, but it has a lot of history to tell, and as we have already seen, it has been hotly contested over the centuries. The reason for so much interest in this small piece of land is mainly its strategic location: in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea, connected to Spain and just 14 km away from Africa. 
One of the most visited places in Gibraltar is Europa Point, a viewpoint where you can see where Spain ends and Africa begins. The images captured from the viewpoint are impressive due to the view of the open sea with the 2 coastal areas: one Spanish and the other African.
A 426-meter high rock covers much of the territory and offers a very privileged view in all directions. The rock is a promontory of monolithic rocks that formed about 200 million years ago, when two tectonic plates collided. Most of the rock is an area covered by a nature reserve, where about 250 Barbary monkeys live. 

FOTW Gibraltar

I've a few cards from Gibraltar but only two are written and stamped from there, both have been sent by Eric. 
I've lost count of how many FOTW cards he has already sent me :)

© concept by

Gibraltar has an area of 6.7 km², a population of 32.194 and its capital is Gibraltar.
* Barbary Macaques - the only wild monkeys to be found in continental Europe;  
* Gibraltar airport - just like the railway crossing, the boom  gates close when an airplane needs to cross. Once the airplane has passed, the barriers open and traffic can continue as normal;  
* The Strait of Gibraltar - far more famous than the city itself! The body of water carries an immense historical importance in the world, which even holds weight in today's society. If you're approaching Gibraltar by road from Spain on a clear day, you'll get a great view of Pillars of Hercules. According to legend, the Rock of Gibraltar was once one with Jebel Musa 13 miles away;
* British Control - following the ceding of Gibraltar to the English Crown in the 1713 Treaty of Utrecht, Spain unsuccessfuly attempted to regain control in three separate battles. British control of the region would forever change the culture and course of history in this little corner of the world. The residents rejected proposals of Spanish sovereignty in a 1967 referendum and in a 2002 referendum.

Saturday, September 17, 2022

Castelo Branco - Portugal

Castelo Branco is the capital city of one of my neighbour districts. Both these cards were sent by Paula "geminiscp more than 10 years ago.
Castelo Branco is the seat of the district and one of the largest municipalities in the country. The city owes its name to the existence of a Luso-Roman fort, Castra Leuca. 
In this historic city visitors will see old manor houses, rich churches, wide streets and beautiful gardens. Undoubtedly, of note is the former Bishop's Palace of Guarda, built in 1596, and its famous Baroque Garden built in different plans, with lakes, waterfalls, fountains and unique statuary, with the curious statues of the Spanish kings during their 60 years of dominance in Portuguese territory, more disproportionate than the rest.
Photo by Dias dos Reis
The construction of the Castelo Branco Castle is attributed to the Templar Military Order, around the year 1220, which received these lands from the first Portuguese king, D. Afonso Henriques, after its conquest from the Arabs. This fortress was part of the so called “Tejo river defensive line”, from which also were part the lovely Almourol Castle, the Monsanto Castle, the Tomar Castle and the Zêzere Castle. In the 16th century, Castelo Branco had the configuration of a fortress-locality, in which even the mother church is located inside the castle. Throughout the years the castle has been damaged by the Castile attacks and even by the French invasions. The period after the French invasions aggravated the destructive process for all the defensive structures, as even the public power authorized the population to remove stones from the walls in order to built their residences. Since 1940 that the Castle has been receiving several conservation works, despite some consider that all the alterations transformed the monument main features. - in:

Tuesday, September 13, 2022

Nazaré - Portugal

Natália is one of my coworkers and we often hike and travel together. She soon realized that I'm a bit crazy about postcards and my entusiasm may have infected her. She started to collect cards too, in a modest way, and every now and she sends me cards. 
Last week she was on holidays with her family in Nazaré and today I've received this card from her. One of the Óbidos cards from last post, was also sent by her.

Nazaré is arguably Portugal’s most picturesque fishing village, although its days as a traditional place are long gone. It has become internationally famous for having the world’s biggest waves, and as a result it is now better known as a surfing mecca.
Located in the center of the country, less than 90 minutes north of Lisbon, it hasn’t lost its laid-back ambience, but local traditions are only preserved for visitors to get a taste of the old days. Fish is still put out to dry in the sun, colorful fishing boats remain on the beach, and some older locals hold on to the traditional dress -- berets for men, and shawls and seven skirts or petticoats for women. 
Naturally, Nazaré is mostly a summer destination, but the colossal winter waves bring visitors throughout the year. Young surfers from all over the world have given the town a cool, cosmopolitan atmosphere, and people of all ages and backgrounds will enjoy spending a day or an entire holiday here. - in  

Óbidos - Portugal

Óbidos is a place with a lot of History and many stories to tell. My last story in Óbidos didn't have an happy ending. I fell, went to the hospital the next day and couldn't work for a few days!! Everytime I visit Óbidos, there's always something that goes wrong. However, I keep coming back. 
These postcards are all from people who have already been there, Ana Sofia, Natália and Zé.

The Óbidos Castle would have been built by Moors, in a site that had already been occupied by Lusitans, Romans and Visigoths. The first Portuguese king, D. Afonso Henriqus, conquered this castle from the Moors around the year 1148, in the context of the Christian Reconquista of the Iberian Peninsula. 
During the reign of King D. Sancho I (1185 to 1211) some improvement works were made in the Castle that resisted the attacks and kept faithful to king D. Sancho II (1223 to 1245) during the crisis that would lead to the king’s deposition and the arise to the throne of D. Afonso III. 
One of the Castle’s particularity is that after it was delivered by king D. Dinis (1279 to 1325) as a marriage gift to Queen Saint Isabel, it would be also part of the gifts of the following Queens, and was also residence to Queen D. Leonor, the wife of D. João II. 
Novo Olhar
King D. Manuel I (1495 to 1521) is the responsible for important improvements in the Castle and in the village, dating from that time the Alcaide Palace. 
The big Earthquake of 1755 caused great damages in the Castle, yet it was still important during the French invasions, contributing for the French army defeat. 
Classified as a National Monument, here is located the Óbidos Pousada (a luxury and charm hotel) that occupies the Manueline Palace built in the beginning of the 16th century. - in:
Within the extensive wall that runs along the hill, there is a village of narrow cobbled streets, houses  painted on white with blue or yellow trim, flower vases by the windows and old lamps. Everything is properly preserved. Tv antennas and telephone wires are all underground to maintain the medieval atmosphere.

Friday, September 2, 2022

PT RR - Surprise Group * July 22

 Cards written in Portuguese but from different countries.

Nídia sent me a card from Castro Daire, a city I've never been to. 
The Pedrinha Bridge, built in the 2nd half of the 19th century, replaced another that existed previously, built by the Romans, allowing the connection from Lamego to Viseu, overcoming the barrier that the Paiva River represented. 
On the card is also possible to see the roof and the millstone of an old watermill.


Lake Maggiore extends from the Italian-speaking part of Switzerland far into the Italian regions of Piedmont and Lombardy. Thanks to its mild climate, there is lush, Mediterranean vegetation along its shores. In the hinterland is a wild and romantic mountain landscape with breathtaking views. - in: 
Card sent by Pedro. 

© concept by

Once again Eric surprised me with a new FOTW card. He has been helping me a lot on this collection.
Albania has an area of 28.748 km², a population of 2.886.026 and its capital is Tirana. 
* Religious tolerance - the Muslim majority and other minorities like Catholics and Orthodox live in peace;  
* Hospitality - Albania is one of the friendliest countries in the world;  
* Mother Teresa - Roman Catholic nun and missionary. 1979 Nobel Peace Prize winner;
* Ferid Murad - physician co-winner of the 1998 Nobel Prize in Medecine; 
* Formation - 1190 - Principality of Albanon; 1368 - Princedom of Albania; 1912 - Proclamation of the Independence from the Ottoman Empire; 1928 - Albanian Kingdom; 1998 - current constitution.

Thursday, September 1, 2022

Monthly Fav. Surprise RR * June' 22

Marei, Tanya, Julia and Heli did a great job choosing these cards for me.

Aschau is a village in Bavaria. 
Hohenaschau Castle is one of the largest castles in Bavaria, built in the XII century by brothers von Hirnsberg. After having been built,  it passed from hand to hand for seven centuries, belonged to different dynasties until it fell into disrepair. In the twentieth century, the castle housed a hospital, then a building of fleet control, and nowadays it comprises a rest house, a falconry center and a museum telling about the history of the castle owners. - in:

Smolny Cathedral's stunning blue-and-white building is undoubtedly one of the architectural masterpieces of the Italian architect Rastrelli, who also created the Winter Palace, the Grand Catherine (Yekaterininsky) Palace in Pushkin, the Grand Palace in Peterhof and many other major St. Petersburg landmarks. The cathedral is the centerpiece of the convent, built by Rastrelli between 1748 and 1764.
Today Smolny Cathedral is used primarily as a concert hall and the surrounding convent houses various offices and government institutions. - in:
The Church of the Holy Spirit is one of the 50 buildings of the Trinity Lavra of St. Sergius in the town of Sergiev Posad about 70 km to the north-east from Moscow. 
This church, built in 1476, combines unique features of early Muscovite and Pskovian architecture. A remarkable feature of this church is a bell tower under its dome without internal interconnection between the belfry and the cathedral itself. - in:
Photo: Vastavalo

St. John's Church (Johanneksenkirkko) stands in Punavuori on the hill where midsummer bonfires took place. Representing the neogothic style, it is the largest stone church in Finland. The church was designed by architect Adolf Emil Melander from Stockholm in 1891. - in: