Saturday, June 24, 2023

Meeting in Bragança - Portugal

If I'm not mistaken, this year at least two meetings have already taken place but I didn't attend  any of them. The last one was last month in Bragança. Miguel and Vitória have both been there and sent me these cards signed by Portuguese and Spanish postcrossers.
Bragança Castle, one of the most characteristic examples of medieval architecture, was built in 1409 on the orders of king João I on foundations dating back to the times of the first king of Portugal, Afonso Henriques. 
Formed by an imposing keep and a double wall, it has stood up well to the tests of time. The central parade ground, known as the citadel or old town and where the church of Santa Maria and the Domus Municipalis are to be found, retain its medieval lines with narrow streets and small whitewashed houses.
Fifteen towers and three gateways complete the walls. The Torre da Princesa (Tower of the Princess), a former belonging of the Casa dos Alcaides stores the legend of a princess taken prisoner. There is also the Porta da Vila (Town Gateway) that welcomes in visitors to the castle.

Inside the 17-metre wide and 33-metre tall Keep, there are some notable gothic features including the battlements, the railed windows and the stone carved arms of the Casa Real de Avis (Royal House of Avis), founded by king João I. 
Also inside, there is the Military Museum. Heading up to the top floor is well worth it if only for the wonderful views out over the city and surrounding countryside. - in:

Funchal - Madeira

After a postcard from the Azores, now I have a postcard from Madeira. It could also have been sent by me, but no, it was sent by Rui and Carla who went there on vacation a few days ago. After visiting the island 4 times, I already have a lot of cards from there but this one I still didn't have. It shows the Church of Nossa Senhora do Monte and the Terreiro da Luta, both located in the parish of Monte, Funchal.

Fotógrafos: Miguel Perestrelo, Luigi di Giovine

The Monte Church, built in the 18th century, presents an 18th and 19th century architecture. On the left side chapel is the tomb of Charles of Hapsburg, the last emperor of Austria.
Located in Terreiro da Luta, the Shrine of Nossa Senhora da Paz - Our Lady of Peace,  is the grandest monument on the Island of Madeira. 
In 1917, during World War I, the city of Funchal was bombed twice by German submarines. In the face of these events, a promise was then made: if peace was re-established on the island, the Madeirans would erect a statue in worship of Senhora do Monte. Eventually, ten years after these episodes, the Shrine of Nossa Senhora da Paz was built, with a five-metre-high marble statue. - in:

Tuesday, June 20, 2023

Windmill in Faial - Portugal

I've been on holidays these last weeks and this time I decided to visit one of the Azores islands. Two weeks ago I was flying to Faial. Although it's a small island, there's a lot to see, including windmills, which I'm a big fan of. I saw two, in Lomba da Conceição and apparently there is a third there, this one, which I sadly missed.
Foto: Maurício Abreu
The windmills of Lomba da Conceição are a set of 3 windmills, built at the end of the 19th century.
The base of the mills was built in stone masonry. On these bases rest the mobile structures, made of wood, painted red. The conical roofs are coated with zinc plate. In addition to their color, the masts are quite characteristic. Two of the mills have Flemish-influenced grid sails, and another has Portuguese-influenced triangular sails.
The windmills can be visited and offer a fantastic view over the island of Pico and the city of Horta. - in:

PT RR - Surprise Group * June

It's been a few months since I've shown the postcards that I've received from this RR but this month, these cards, deserved to be shared.
 Fundação Francisco Manuel dos Santos
Google images suggests that this is an image from Grand Canyon or Big Bend National Park in USA but no, Rita sent me a card from Trás-os-Montes, a region in the northeastern corner of Portugal.

Leone Holzhaus
One more postcard for my elderlies collection. Sent by who? By Tiago, of course. 
If I had to guess, I would say that this scene is from a fair, perhaps in Alentejo, where the author of this illustration lived.
Porto is one of my favorite cities and Ribeira is my favorite place in the city. Of course I already have several postcards from there but it's always a pleasure to receive another one and this postcard from Eric reminds me that I haven't been to the city yet this year.
One of Porto’s most beautiful neighborhoods is Ribeira. This area is filled with winding medieval streets, small cobblestone alleyways and colorful architecture. Ribeira is extremely scenic as it sits on the river front of the Douro River.

Monday, June 5, 2023

Winner of the Month - May

 In the Portuguese speaking community of the PC forum we have this winner of the month game and last month I was the winner. The prize were these wonderful cards.
Fotografia: Fernanda Gonçalves
Just like me, Diana also seems to enjoy going to antiques and collectors fairs. Yesterday I went to one in my city, where I bought a few cards. She bought this one at the Espinho fair and I loved!! This picture was taken in Carção, Vimioso, northern Portugal.
Tiago usually posts photos of his sent mail on Instagram and FB and I saw this postcard in one of the publications. I immediately thought "Is this for me?" It really was and like Diana's postcard, it fits wonderfully in my elderlies collection.


Pedro sent me this postcard because he knows that I like churches but it could also have been because I really miss Madeira. 
Popularly known as 'Colégio Church', the Church of Saint John the Evangelist is an admirable example of 17th-century religious architecture. Considered one of the most beautiful monuments in Funchal, this temple marks the transition from international Mannerism to Portuguese Baroque. - in:

One more church, one more island. The postcard was sent by Isabel. 
Terceira was my first island in the Azores and in a few days I'll be there for a few hours but I won't be able to go to Angra to visit the Cathedral. 
The cathedral, Igreja do Santíssimo Salvador da Sé, is an imposing temple, considered the largest church in the entire Azores archipelago. It was built in 1568 to serve as the seat of the bishopric of the city of Angra.
 Fotografia: Henrique Ruas
There are still so many places that I've never visited, and others I haven't even heard about, in Portugal. Ana Cláudia introduced me to the Roman ruins of S. Cucufate in Vila de Frades, Vidigueira, Alentejo region. 
These ruins are made up of a mansion, spas, a temple and an agricultural production area. The villa is probably the largest in Portugal, and a unique example in the country, being integrated into the typology of an aulic villa.
The Roman occupation of the site probably began in the 1st century AD, and ended in the 5th to 6th centuries, during the barbarian invasions of the Iberian Peninsula. However, the site continued to be inhabited during this period, with the old Roman temple being converted into an early Christian basilica. The old Roman house was later occupied by two Christian monasteries dedicated to São Cucufate, founded at different times, and each with its own church, built in different places within the ruins.  
The archaeological remains were classified as a National Monument in 1947. 

This a community in Portuguese but we like to hear/read other languages too. In this case, Spanish. The card was sent by Maritere, whom I met many years ago in a meeting in Salamanca. 
Puentecillas is, perhaps, one of the places with the most personality and charm in Palencia. It is considered the oldest bridge in the capital, as its origins seem to go back to Roman times, most likely to the 1st century BC. However, the numerous reforms it has undergone since then have radically changed its current architectural bill. Of all these transformations, the most important was the one that lived at the end of the Middle Ages, around the 16th century, when its appearance and layout were adapted to those it exhibits today. It was a place of passage for the clerics who went to the Sotillo de los Canónigos and for the gardeners who cultivated the orchards located on the banks of the river. - in:

 Tânia likes to travel and visited Mount St. Michel on her last trip. I haven't visited it yet but I really want to go there.  
A few curiosities about this amazing place.
- The construction of the Mont Saint Michel Abbey started in 708 AD and was built over 1300 years by several generations of workers working and surviving in an inhospitable site;
-  The idea came from a dream of  Bishop Aubert of Avranches, who was visited in his dreams by Archangel Michel. The Archangel instructed him to build a church on the rocky island situated at the mouth of the Couesnon River; 
- The construction of the Mont Saint Michael represents the feudal hierarchy practised at the time. God is, of course, on top and after that comes the abbey and the monastery. The great halls are constructed below this and then comes the stores and the housing and at the bottom nearly outside the walls are situated the fisherman's and farmers’ housing;
- The strong fortifications & high tidal waves made it impossible for the English to capture and conquer Mont Saint Michel during the Hundred Years War;
- Mont Saint Michel was also a prison during the French Revolution in the 18th century;
- Mont Saint Michel is well known for being a tourist destination but it is also a very important pilgrimage site;
- William the Conqueror, Duke of Normandy created a replica of Mont Saint Michel that was called St Michael’s Mount of Penzance and is situated on the English side of the channel;
- The iconic castle of the animated movie Tangled was inspired by the Mont Saint Michel. It was also the inspiration behind Minas Tirith, the capital city of Gondor in Lord Of The Rings;
- The tidal waves in Mont Saint Michel reach nearly 14 metres which is the highest in Europe;
- Mont Saint Michel and the surrounding bay have been listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site since 1979. - in:

Sunday, June 4, 2023

Copán - Honduras

The Maya Site of Copán is my 1st  and only UNESCO WHS from Honduras. It was classified in 1980. All these cards are from there but only one was written and stamped from the Honduras. It was sent by Eric. The other two were sent by Stefanie and Wilmer.

Fotos: Juan Bendeck
Copán is an archaeological site of the Maya civilization located in the Copán Department of western Honduras, not far from the border with Guatemala. It was the capital city of a major Classic period kingdom from the 5th to 9th centuries AD. 
Photo by Marino Cattelan
The Copán site is known for a series of portrait stelae, most of which were placed along processional ways in the central plaza of the city and the adjoining acropolis, a large complex of overlapping step-pyramids, plazas, and palaces. 
Foto: Juan Bendeck
The Copán buildings suffered significantly from forces of nature in the centuries between the site's abandonment and the rediscovery of the ruins. After the abandonment of the city the Copán River gradually changed course, with a meander destroying the eastern portion of the acropolis and apparently washing away various subsidiary architectural groups. - in: wikipedia


 The Australian War Memorial is Australia's national memorial to the members of its armed forces and supporting organisations who have died or participated in wars involving the Commonwealth of Australia and some conflicts involving personnel from the Australian colonies prior to Federation. Opened in 1941, the memorial includes an extensive national military museum.
The memorial is located in the suburb of Campbell in Australia's capital, Canberra.
Photographs: courtesy of Australian War Memorial
AU-871701, sent by Rene.
The memorial was initially planned as a museum memorial dedicated solely to the remembrance of Australian involvement in World War I. However, in 1939, as it became clear that a second war of similar proportions would break out, the memorial's Board of Management decided to make the building a space for the remembrance of all Australian involvement in war. This involvement would be characterised as a continuation of Australia's experience of World War I.
The building was completed in 1941, after the outbreak of World War II. It was officially opened following a Remembrance Day ceremony on 11 November 1941 by the then Governor-General Lord Gowrie, a former soldier whose honours include the Victoria Cross. Additions since the 1940s have allowed the remembrance of Australia's participation in all recent conflicts. - in: wikipedia