Monday, February 19, 2024

North Sea Lighthouses - Germany

Lighthouses are the landmarks of the North Sea coast. Some have been working on the coasts for over 100 years.
In addition to classic round towers with red and white horizontal stripes, there are unadorned steel structures and brick buildings with a square base. Modern technology has been replacing the lighthouse keeper for decades. The cone of light is activated in the present by pressing a button and no longer set in motion by hand. 
© Schöning GmbH & Co. KG
AT-714834, sent by Peggy.
Some lighthouses on the North Sea today have a dual function: they not only point the way to the harbor for sailors, but also serve as a registry office and escort couples in love into the port of marriage.

DE-7786378, sent by Mechthild.
Three of these lights are on Sylt island, two in Amrum and the others in Büsum, St. Peter - Böhl, Langeness; Westerhever; Dagebüll and Pellworm. 
 © Schöning GmbH & Co. KG

DE-4272859, sent by Detlef.
And the lights are: 1. Amrum; 2. Rügen; 3. Sylt/Hörnum; 4. Hiddensee; 5. Wangerooge; 6. Borkum; 7. Westerhever; 8. Warnemünde; 9. Darss; 10. Fehmarn; 11. Kiel/Holtenau; 12. Bremerhaven; 13. Norderney; 14. Sylt, Kampen; 15. Schleimünde; 16. Eckernförde; 17. Dahmeshöved; 18. Borkum; 19. Juist; 20. Roter Sand; 21. Travemünde; 22. Poel; 23. Pilsum; 24. Büsum; 25. St. Peter-Ording.

German officials

 On Februry 1st my address was given to 9 postcrossers in Germany!! I've got a bit of everything, churches, mills, sheeps, lighthouses, city views.... These are all from the north of the country.
DE-13872770, sent by Erika. 
Westerstede is a town in northwest Lower Saxony.
With its remarkable 48 m high tower, St. Petri-Kirche (Church of Saint Peter),  it is not only the oldest building in Westerstede but also the real town's landmark and the biggest church in the Ammerland region. The roman-gothic sacral building was erected during the period of the pontificate of the archbishop of Bremen (1123-1148). The latest three renovations (the Westtower, the Clockhouse and the Nave) were accomplished between 1979 and 1998. - in:
DE-13872771, sent by Achim.
 De Lütje Anja mill located in Ganderkesee, also in Lower Saxony. It was probably built in 1870 as a grain mill. It was in operation at this location until 1958. 
There is now a wedding room in the former stone floor and a tea room in the former sacking floor.

© Schöning Verlag
DE-13872766, sent by Veronika.
Sheep prosper on the salty fringes of the southern coast of the North Sea. This area is home to sheep husbandry since the earliest of times. Centuries, maybe millennia even, before the Romans arrived.  
Sheep thrive in the wider North Sea area because of the wet climate making the extensive grass pastures, which is the food of sheep, to stay green and grow longer than elsewhere. 
In the past, because of the vastness of pastures needed to feed sheep, sheep literally had to be sulla strada, on the road. Moving from one pasture to another. This was the work of shepherds and their dogs. The coastal area from Flanders to Denmark provides an infinite supply of grass-covered dikes, polders ’embanked land’, and tidal marshlands. So-called schaapsdriften ‘sheep drovers’ were dikes and roadsides along which sheep graze. Shepherds, or drovers, could make a living from the Early Middle Ages until more or less the eighteenth century, although few traditional shepherds were still active in the Zwin region in Flanders until just after the Second World War. Today, dikes and adjacent roads are partitioned with fences and cattle grids, and sheep are being moved from one section to another and back again.  - in:

Sunday, February 18, 2024

Freiburg - Germany

Reportedly Germany’s warmest city, with some 2,000 hours of annual sunshine, Freiburg, is located in a corner of southwestern Germany. The city dates to 1120, when it was founded as a free-market town. 
DE-13872774, sent by Olessia.
Freiburg im Breisgau is a city in Baden-Württemberg, in the south-west of the country.

DE-12648404, sent by Bernd.
One of the famous old German university towns, and archiepiscopal seat, Freiburg was incorporated in the early twelfth century and developed into a major commercial, intellectual, and ecclesiastical center of the upper Rhine region.
  Bildverlag J. Gass, Kunst und Ansichtskarten
DE-2106575, sent by Frauke.
The city is known for its medieval university and minster, as well as for its high standard of living and advanced environmental practices. - in: wikipedia

Verlag Karl Alber
DE-2136289, sent by Sabine.
Freiburg Minster is the cathedral of Freiburg. The last duke of Zähringen had started the building around 1200 in romanesque style, the construction continued in 1230 in Gothic style. The minster was partly built on the foundations of an original church that had been there from the beginning of Freiburg in 1120. In 1827 the Minster became the seat of the Catholic archbishop of Freiburg and thus a cathedral. - in: wikipedia

Verlag Karl Alber
DE-10111680, sent by Sandra.
The Swiss art historian Jacob Burckhardt once described the striking tower of the Freiburg Cathedral as the “most beautiful tower on earth.” 116 meters tall, it has become the city’s landmark, visible from afar. Freiburg can be viewed from above from the viewing platform at a height of around 70 meters. - in:

Friday, February 16, 2024

Lednice-Valtice Cultural Landscape - Czech Republic

Lednice and Valtice were on the list of places I'd like to visit when I've been to the Czech Republic but time wasn't enough to visit everything. 
Lednice-Valtice Cultural Landscape was added to the WHS list 24 years ago!!

Between the 17th and 20th centuries, the ruling dukes of Liechtenstein transformed their domains in southern Moravia into a striking landscape. It married Baroque architecture (mainly the work of Johann Bernhard Fischer von Erlach) and the classical and neo-Gothic style of the castles of Lednice and Valtice with countryside fashioned according to English romantic principles of landscape architecture. At 200 km2 , it is one of the largest artificial landscapes in Europe. - in:

© 2014, fotografie Ladislav Renner
Valtice is one of the most impressive Baroque residences of Central Europe. It was designed as the seat of the ruling princes of Liechtenstein by Johann Bernhard Fischer von Erlach in the early 18th century. 
Among the features worthy of mention are the main façade and its central tower, the military trophies, the portico adorned with statues and the wonderful main courtyard. The restored interior lacks its original fittings, however a fine chapel decorated with trompe l'oeil frescoes remains. - in:
 Fotografie: Jan Kulich
AT-714832, sent by Constance.
The Lednice palace is located in the extensive natural area on the bank of the river Dyje (Thaya), near Mikulov city in the eastern part of Czech Republic called Moravia.

CZ-470657, sent by Stephanie. 
The chateau began as a Renaissance villa of around 1570, and then was progressively changed and reconstructed to take account of Baroque, classical and neo-Gothic fashions. It was the 1850 Gothic Revival reconstruction that brought it into harmony with the prevailing romanticism of this part of the landscape. 

Taking the landscape as a whole, it is the mingling and interplay of Baroque and Romantic elements that gives it a special character: architecture and landscape are intimately associated with one another. - in:

Foto: Radek Buk © 2009
CZ-1684704, sent by Magdalena.
The Chapel of St. Hubert is a neogothic chapel in the Lednice-Valtice Area. A triangular shaped chapel with three Gothic arches and ribbed vault which was built in the middle of the Boří les forest according to plans by Jiří Wingelmüller under the rule of Alois II Prince of Liechtenstein in 1855. In the middle of the chapel, there is a statue of St. Hubert standing on a pedestal with statues of angels. This newest building of the Lednice-Valtice Area was built from sandstone blocks carved with markings similar to those done by medieval stonemason´s that should evoke the feeling of antiquity. The chapel is protected as a cultural monument of the Czech Republic. - in:

Wednesday, February 14, 2024


 The ID of this card is German and I thought this was a German castle. However, when I google about it, I realized that Kreuzenstein Castle is actually an Austrian castle, located just a few kilometers north of Vienna. It is one of the most beautiful historical sights in Lower Austria.

mauritius images / Hans Blossey
DE-13872776, sent by Lucie.
Burg Kreuzenstein was constructed on the remains of a medieval castle that had fallen into disrepair and was then demolished during the Thirty Years' War (1618 to 1648). 
Intended to be a family vault for the Wilczek family, it was rebuilt in the 19th century by Count Nepomuk Wilczek with money from the family's large Silesian coal mines. Kreuzenstein is interesting in that it was constructed out of sections of medieval structures purchased by the family from all over Europe to form an authentic-looking castle. Thus, the castle can be considered both a 'neo-' and 'original' medieval structure. The castle is sometimes used as a location for films. - in: wikipedia

Palermo's Cathedral - Italy

    Palermo's Cathedral is one of nine religious and civic structures located on the northern coast of Sicily classified in 2015 as UNESCO WHS, under the name Arab-Norman Palermo and the Cathedral Churches of Cefalù and Monreale.

© SIMEPHOTO - ph. Giovanni Simeone - all rights reserved
    The cathedral is located in the oldest sacred area of Palermo, where the Phoenicians, Romans, Byzantines and Arabs had previously built their own places of worship. When the Normans took power, they immediately replaced the Muslim mosque with a Christian church. However, the archbishop of Palermo, Gualtiero Offamilio, had the building demolished in 1184 and began the construction of a new splendid cathedral, a symbol of religious power in the city. A year later, the church was consecrated and dedicated to Maria Assunta.

© Huber Images / Bartuccio
DE-13872777, sent by Dan.
    Over the course of the following centuries, additions and restorations modified the original building. This union of apparently incongruous different styles gives life to a grandiose and harmonious whole. - in:
    A major attraction for anyone visiting Palermo’s Cathedral are the royal tombs. Particularly the tomb of Emperor Frederick II and his family members, Emperors Henry VI of Hohenstaufen and Constance of Altavilla. The cathedral is now considered Palermo's most important place of worship.


    Getting a card from a country as an official from a different one is not that unusual but getting a card from my own country as an official from another one is rare and a bit strange. Vicky sent me this card of Lello Bookstore in Porto. I love Porto and I've visited this bookstore 2 or 3 times, always with postcrossing friends. I've cards showing the beautiful façade, I didn't have any showing the interior.
© 2020 by Jeff Miller
US-10114943, sent by Vicky.
    Lonely Planet considered Lello & Irmão Bookstore as the third most beautiful library in the world. The store has an excellent neo-gothic façade, where you can see two figures painted by José Bielman, representing the Science and the Art. This facade is only surpassed by its stunning interior, designed by Xavier Esteves.
The building was inaugurated on January 13th, 1906, in an important social event for both Portuguese and Brazilian societies, attended by famous people from different spheres – among them Guerra Junqueiro, a renowned Portuguese writer.
As you walk through the doors of this bookstore you’ll notice that there is a marvelous stairway and the wooden walls are also very exquisite. The stained glass ceiling adds an amazing detail with Lello’s motto “vecus in labore”.
Rumor has it that J.K. Rowling’s inspiration to write Harry Potter has begun in Porto, particularly at this library. The well-known writer lived in Porto working while as an English teacher in the early 1990s and she used to drink a cup of coffee at the second floor of Lello’s bookstore. There are indeed great similarities between Lello’s bookstore staircase and the one described in Hogwarts. - in:

Saturday, February 10, 2024

Todos '13 - Lisbon

One day I'll go to Lisbon just to do an urban art itinerary. There is so much to see.
© José Vicente 2013 / 2016 Ed. 19 de Abril
This is a mural in São Bento street, which was part of the Festival Todos in 2013. Done by akaCorleone and Iamfromlx, this is a beautiful typographic and vibrant wall in the heart of Lisboa.
The card was sent by Paula.

Shazdeh Garden - Iran

    A few months ago I posted a card from Iran and mentioned that a 2nd one got lost. Well, it didn't get lost, it only took a scenic route to get here. I was more than happy to find it in my mailbox and add a new UNESCO site to my collection. Shazdeh Garden (aka Shahzadeh Garden) is one of the 9 registered Persian Gardens on the UNESCO World Heritage list. 
The card was sent by Ehsan.
    The name Shazdeh Garden literally means ‘The Prince’s Garden’. This garden is located in the outskirts of Mahan city and was built during the Qajar dynasty (1794 – 1925) by the order of Kerman’s governor. Shazdeh Garden is the the largest and one of the best examples of Persian Gardens in Iran. It is located in a dry and hot region, but what makes this garden stand out, is the green and lush trees and vegetation in the garden. 
    Thanks to the smart water control system, the garden enjoys a mild temperature throughout the year. The melted snow from the nearby mountains is controlled using Qanats and flows from the most upper part of the garden where the main pavilion is located, and goes all the way to the entrance of the garden and eventually to the city of Mahan. The water flow in the garden and even the original fountains completely rely on gravity to function. 
    If you take a closer look at the entrance of Shazdeh Garden, you can notice a few spots without any designs or tile works. The royal inhabitants of the garden were known to be hostile to civilians, thus when the mason of the garden found out that the prince who resided there had been killed, he happily threw the mortar away without completing his job. - in:

Monday, February 5, 2024

Tallinn - Estonia

Cards from beautiful Tallinn, both shower the round Fat Margaret's Tower and St. Olaf Church with it's St. Olaf Church in the background. 
The 1st card was sent by my friend Anne. I don't remember who sent the other one.
 Photo: Toomas Tull
Standing guard at the north end of Pikk street are two of Tallinn's most impressive defensive structures, the Great Coastal Gate (Suur Rannavärav) and Fat Margaret's Tower (Paks Margareeta).
The origins of Fat Margaret's name are a mystery. Some theories insist it was named for one of its larger cannons, while others hint at a cook called Margaret who once worked here.
In any case, the tower has served a number of different functions throughout its history. It has been used a storehouse for gunpowder and weapons, and as a prison.
Now it's home to the Estonian Maritime Museum, which provides a detailed look at the nation's seafaring past. Visitors should be sure to climb up to its rooftop viewing platform to get a lovely view of Old Town and the bay." - in:

Friday, February 2, 2024


The previous cards was the last official of 2023 and this card was the 1st, and so far, the only official I've received this year.
BY-3075045, sent by Ludmila.
An image from the past of Minsk. 
Previously known as the Governor’s Garden, Gorky Park was Eastern Europe’s first public garden. The park was founded on May 1, 1805.