Tuesday, May 30, 2023


I thought I had more official cards from Greece but this is actually only my second official from there! 
This card is from Pyrgi, a village on the Greek island of Chios, known as the "painted village" due to the decoration of the buildings, called xistà.
GR-94128, sent by Nikos.
Theotokou Church is one of the buildings decorated in this unique style that consists of black and white decorative motifs in different shapes. 
Pyrgi is the traditional seat of the Mastic Villages, a group of villages where the residents engage with mastic agriculture. These villages have been added in representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity of UNESCO. - in: wikipedia

Big Ben - England

My friend Anne has been to London last month and she sent me a card from there. That's reason enough to make an update with a few cards from Uk's capital. 

Elizabeth Tower, commonly called Big Ben, is one of London's most iconic landmarks and must-see London attractions. Technically, Big Ben is the name given to the massive bell inside the clock tower, which weighs more than 13 tons (13,760 kg).  The clock tower looks spectacular at night when the four clock faces are illuminated.
The Palace of Westminster was destroyed by fire in 1834. In 1844, it was decided the new buildings for the Houses of Parliament should include a tower and a clock. 
A massive bell was required and the first attempt (made by John Warner & Sons at Stockton-on-Tees) cracked irreparably. The metal was melted down and the bell recast in Whitechapel in 1858.
Big Ben first rang across Westminster on 31 May 1859. A short time later, in September 1859, Big Ben cracked. A lighter hammer was fitted and the bell rotated to present an undamaged section to the hammer. This is the bell as we hear it today.
The origin of the name Big Ben is not known, although two different theories exist.
The first is that is was named after Sir Benjamin Hall, the first commissioner of works, a large man who was known affectionately in the house as "Big Ben".
The second theory is that it was named after a heavyweight boxing champion at that time, Benjamin Caunt. Also known as "Big Ben", this nickname was commonly bestowed in society to anything that was the heaviest in its class. - in: https://www.visitlondon.com

Buckingham Palace - England

Buckingham Palace, one of several palaces owned by the British Royal family, is one of the major tourist attractions in London. The Changing of the Guard in front of the palace always attracts plenty of spectators.
Originally known as Buckingham House, the building which forms the core of today's palace was a large townhouse built for the Duke of Buckingham in 1703 on a site which had been in private ownership for at least 150 years. Buckingham Palace finally became the official royal palace of the British monarch on the accession of Queen Victoria in 1837.
The last major structural additions were made in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, including the East front which contains the well-known balcony on which the Royal Family traditionally congregate to greet crowds outside. However, the palace chapel was destroyed by a German bomb in World War II; the Queens's Gallery was built on the site and opened to the public in 1962 to exhibit works of art from the Royal Collection.

Photographers Paul Ratcliffe and John Foster ©
GB-629355, sent by Linda.
The original early 19th-century interior designs, many of which still survive, included widespread use of brightly coloured scagliola and blue and pink lapis, on the advice of Sir Charles Long. King Edward VII oversaw a partial redecoration in a Belle epoque cream and gold colour scheme. Many smaller reception rooms are furnished in the Chinese regency style. The Buckingham Palace Garden is the largest private garden in London.
The state rooms, used for official and state entertaining, are open to the public each year for most of August and September, as part of the Palace's Summer Opening." - in: wikipedia

GB-946955, sent by Karen.
Changing the Guard, also known as Guard Mounting, takes place outside Buckingham Palace from 10.45am and lasts around 45 minutes, with the actual handover taking place at 11am. The Buckingham Palace Old Guard forms up in the palace’s forecourt from 10.30am and is joined by the St James’s Palace Old Guard at around 10.45am. The New Guard then arrives from Wellington Barracks and takes over the responsibilities of the Old Guard in a formal ceremony accompanied by music.
The guard that looks after Buckingham Palace is called The Queen's Guard and is made up of soldiers on active duty from the Household Division’s Foot Guards. The guards are dressed in traditional red tunics and bearskin hats.
The ceremony is free to watch and currently takes place every Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday, weather permitting. - in: https://www.visitlondon.com/things-to-do/event/8725947-changing-the-guard#PmJFUDdrvZpXdsMZ.97

Monday, May 22, 2023

Classical Weimar - Germany

Not many cities in the world can brag about being on the UNESCO World Heritage List twice. Many places in the city centre of Weimar, a city located in Central Germany, have been designated as WHS, either as part of the Weimar Classicism complex or as part of the Bauhaus complex. 
© Schöning Verlag
Although it only lasted around 50 years, Weimar Classicism was one of the greatest eras in European intellectual history. It all began with Duchess Anna Amalia, who drew the great poets and philosophers to the small town despite its distance from the seats of power.
Sent by Svenja via Unesco Postcards Club.

© Schöning GmbH & Co. KG
DE-8958516, sent by Conny.
Their fame is still associated with Weimar today. Reminders of Classical Weimar include the places where the writers and their patrons lived and worked – the houses of Goethe and Schiller, Belvedere Palace, Ettersburg Palace and Tiefurt House with their fabulous parks, sites associated with Herder, Wittums Palace, where the illustrious round table assembled, the renowned Duchess Anna Amalia Library and the historical cemetery with its royal crypt, where you can see the tombs of Goethe and Schiller.
The adoption of Classical Weimar as a UNESCO World Heritage site was based both on the art-historical significance of the town's buildings and parks from the cultural flowering of the Classical Weimar period and on the role of the town as an intellectual centre in the late 18th and early 19th centuries. For all these reasons and more, Weimar was one of the European Capitals of Culture in 1999. - in: https://www.germany.travel

Besteiros - Portugal

One of the good things of postcrossing and collecting postcards is discoving new places and monuments that have never been heard of. This is the case of this chapel in Besteiros, a town in the Portuguese district of Portalegre, where Tiago spent his last birthday.
Photo by Lena Trindade
Erected in an ancient place of worship, in the fields and forests surrounding the villages of Alegrete and Besteiros and built into a rock, the chapel of Our Lady of Lapa is the pinnacle of stories, pilgrimages and devotions with 5 thousand years of sacredness. Although built between the 16th and 17th centuries, recent discoveries have shed light on vestiges of a rich and colorful prehistoric past. Indeed, under the altar of the chapel, a secret passage was found that connected to a cave which, under layers of time and whitewash, revealed schematic cave paintings in reddish tones, dating from between the Neolithic and the Chalcolithic.

Monthly Fav. Surprise RR * March '23

New cards to my collections, from my favorite themes and favorites, there's no doubt Edith, Antje, Radana and Qi checked my wishlists and albuns.

No information about the author and location of this work on the card and google images didn't help this time.


Easter is celebrated in many countries and many regions - and families - have their own specific traditions to celebrate this holiday in spring. There's a lot of Easter traditions in Portugal but in my family we don't really care much about it.

Foto: Petr Toman
The highest Czech mountain rises up from the long ridges of the Krkonoše Mountains like a pointed three-sided needle. Set out to conquer the queen of Czech mountains and one of the symbols of the Czech Republic. Your reward for conquering its 1,602 metre peak will be a wonderful view of the Czech Republic and Poland and the feeling that you can’t get any higher in the Czech Republic. - in: https://www.visitczechrepublic.com

Qingdao Catholic Church is the largest and most opulent church in Qingdao. It was designed in Gothic and Romanesque style by a German architect, Arthur Bialucha. The construction of the church began in 1932 by the Missionaries of the Divine Word and was completed in 1934.   
The church was closed from the late 1960s to the early 1970s during the Great Cultural Revolution in China and was only reopened in 1982. Now the church holds weekend services and festive celebrations of Christian holidays such as Easter and Christmas.

Friday, May 12, 2023

Monthly Fav. Surprise RR * February '23

Cards from England, Malaysia, Russia and Belgium.
 I've heard about Bath's Royal Crescent but I didn't know there were other crescents in the city. There are 7 crescents in Bath and this card sent by Nan, shows 4 of them.
* One of the most visited and photographed places in the world, the Royal Crescent consists of 30 terraced houses laid out in a 150 metre crescent, close to the centre of Bath. Designed by John Wood the Younger, and built between 1767 and 1774, it is among the finest examples of Georgian architecture in the UK, and listed Grade I. Particularly in combination with the Circus, designed by John Wood the Elder and accessed through Brock Street, the Royal Crescent is the jewel in Bath’s architectural crown;
* Designed by John Palmer, Lansdown Crescent, completed in 1793. The buildings have a clear view over central Bath, being sited on Lansdown Hill.
The crescent comprises 20 houses, each originally having four floors together with servants’ quarters in the basement. It is arranged as a concave crescent, and is flanked by Lansdown Place West and Lansdown Place East, both convex crescents;
* Norfolk Crescent was built between c.1793 and c.1822 the original design was by John Palmer, but minor alterations were later made by John Pinch.
The Georgian terrace includes numbers 1 to 7, which have been converted into flats known as Cumberland House, and numbers 8 to 18 consecutively. Each has five storeys (basement, ground floor, piano nobile, second floor and attic) and the central portion has 6 Ionic pilasters;
* Camden Crescent was built by John Eveleigh in 1788; it was originally known as Upper Camden Place. The houses are of three storeys, with attics and basements. - in: https://discoverbath.co.uk

Built between 2004 and 2009, the Tuanku Mizan Zain al-Abidin Mosque, also known as the Putrajaya Iron Mosque, was designed in a distinctive architectural style that was largely inspired by German and Chinese architectural influences. What distinguishes it the most is the absence of a minaret and the fact that it was built mostly of steel. 
The mosque can accommodate up to 20,000 worshipers at one time. 
card sent by Jessie from Malaysia.
Beautiful snowy view of the Holy Trinity-St Sergius Lavra, the largest monastery in Russia. Now it is the home for 300 priests. It is considered the symbol of Russian Orthodoxy. The present monastery complex includes 45 buildings and monuments. They were created during the 15th – 19th centuries and represent different periods and styles of ancient architecture. - in: https://www.advantour.com
Card sent by Nadezhda.

Photo: Christian Collet
I love cows but I know nothing about their breed. Lara got me googling about cattle breeds in Belgium. These are either Belgium White Blue, since the second half of the 19th century, this unique breed has been Belgium’s national pride or Charolais, one of the largest, oldest meat breeds in the world, originally from France.

Monthly Fav. Surprise RR * July 22

Last year I've joined this monthly RR 10 times. I always skip December and I forgot to register one of the months. Of those 10 months, only 2 remained incomplete, meaning that I didn't get all the cards I was supposed to get. I always join with 4 cards but in April I've only received 2 and in July 3.
The three missing cards were resent and all have been received now.
 Mt. Aso in Aso-Kuju National Park, central Kyushu, is Japan's most active volcano and it's huge caldera is one of the world's largest calderas, which stretches 18km east-west, 25km north-south. Even though the crater is accessible to tourists, the area is often partially and sometimes completely closed off to visitors due to poisonous volcanic gases, bad weather or the risk of volcanic activity. 
This card was sent by Tomoko.

The Presidential Office Building in Taipei was built during Japanese colonization period. It was the governor's mansion at that time. During the ending period of World War II, the building was seriously damaged due to bombing. After Taiwan was reclaimed by R.O.C., the building was re-constructed in 1946. The building was re-named as "Jieshou Building" in celebration of the 60th birthday of former president Mr. Chiang Kai-shek. The building has been used as the presidential mansion after the central government of R.O.C. was re-instated in Taiwan. - in: https://eng.taiwan.net.tw
Card sent by Angel.
Pavilion of Prince Teng, aka Tengwang Pavilion is located on the shore of the Kan, in Nanchang City, in the Chinese Province of Jiangxi. The building is one of the three most notable pavilions on south side of the Yangtze River. 
The original three storied, thirty meters high building dates back the Tang Dynasty (618-907). During  its 1,300 year long history, the building was reconstructed a few times as a consequence of unfortunate events. However, probably the worst tragedy occurred in 1926, when it was destroyed by fire during the conflicts between the Northern Warlords. The current building is the result of rebuilding that was carried out between 1983 and 1989. 
This last card was sent by Cyan. 

Foto: G. Van Rafelghem
After months of waiting, I've received this card from Kortrijk, resent by Lara.
The Belfry of Kortrijk is a medieval bell tower in the historical centre of Kortrijk, Belgium. One of the city's most prominent symbols, the belfry formerly housed a treasury and the municipal archives, and served as an observation post for spotting fires and other danger.
 In 1999, the belfry was inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List as part of the Belfries of Belgium and France site, in recognition of the civil, not religious, importance and architecture of the belfries in the region.
The belfry was added to the main market square around 1307, when Courtray was prospering as an important centre of the Flemish cloth industry. The oldest part (the base) of the tower still dates back to this date. The tower, which nowadays is a free-standing tower in the middle of the Grote Mark (Main Market Square), used to be the main tower of the ‘‘Cloth hall’’, built in 1410.
During the Second World War, the Belfry was only partly damaged, but it wasn’t until the 1950s that the bell tower was properly restored to its original glory. - in:

Thursday, May 11, 2023

American Falls - USA

The American Falls is the second-largest of the three waterfalls that together are known as Niagara Falls on the Niagara River along the Canada–U.S. border. Unlike the much larger Horseshoe Falls, of which two-thirds is in Ontario, Canada and one-third in the U.S. state of New York, the American Falls is entirely within the United States.

Photo by John Penrod
US-6160376, sent by JoAnn.
The falls receive approximately 11% of the flow from Niagara River, with most of the rest going over Horseshoe Falls, from which it is separated by Goat Island.

© 2012 USPS
US-1972989, sent by Mike.
The height of the American Falls ranges between 70 to 110 feet (21–34 m). This measurement is taken from the top of the Falls to top of the rock pile (talus). The height of the Falls from the top of the Falls to the river is 188 feet (57 m).
US-9265237, sent by Bill.
 Visitors can view the falls from a steep angle on the American side, where it is possible to approach to within several meters of the edge of the falls. One can view the falls from the bank of the river, as well as on Goat Island and Luna Island, which are accessible by a pedestrian bridge that crosses the rapids of the Niagara River upstream from the falls. The falls are viewable head-on from the Canadian side in Niagara Falls, Ontario. - in: wikipedia