As a symbol of New York City, it has featured in films, TV series and books, having it’s own part in American Culture.
Friday, 31 October 2008
As a symbol of New York City, it has featured in films, TV series and books, having it’s own part in American Culture.
This one, sent by tinkara, shows Bled Island, in the glacial Lake Bled. It is Slovenia’s only island and it’s quite small. In it there are only a few buildings and a church built in the 15th Century, The Pilgrimage Church of the Assumption of Mary, a popular site for weddings.
This card’s image is breathtaking, with the Julian Alps in the background and the swans in the lake. It makes me dream of being there...
Thursday, 30 October 2008
Kõpu lighthouse is the oldest Estonian lighthouse and it’s also the third oldest operating light in the world. It is located in the Kõpu Peninsula, in Hiiumaa Island. It is 600 years old, being lit for the first time in 1531. This great card was sent by soom, from Estonia.
Mount Ruapehu is the largest active volcano in New Zealand, located in North Island, in the Taupo Volcanic Zone. It is considered one of the most active volcanoes in the world, with an average of a major eruption every fifty years and smaller ones every couple of years.
The card was sent by adriennegarry, from New Zealand.
Wednesday, 29 October 2008
Here is located the Imam Reza Shrine, as shown in the postcard. This shrine contains the mausoleum of Imam Ridha, the eighth Imam of Twelvers. During its existence, since the 9th century, it has been destroyed and reconstructed several times. It is a place of pilgrimage in the Muslim World.
Tuesday, 28 October 2008
The lighthouse was inaugurated in 1903 and ceased its activity in the 29th of September of 1957, due to the eruption. It was the closest building to the eruption and was damaged and covered in ashes. Nowadays it’s being turned into a belvedere and close to it is a Museum.
I’ve visited this site a couple of years ago. It is quite stunning.
Monday, 27 October 2008
In the card, sent by effemmedia, from Italy, we can see three important churches (from left to right): Saint Ivo alla Sapienza, St. Peter’s Basilica in the Vatican and Saint Agnese in Agone.
Located in Agra, India, the Taj Mahal was completed in 1648 and it’s an extraordinary example of Mughal Architecture. The materials used in the construction include white marble, jasper, crystal, jade, turquoise, lapis lazuli, safires and quartz. The structure consists of a Mausoleum, where Emperor Shah Jahan and his favourite wife Mumtaz Mahal are buried, and a mosque.
The Emperor married Mumtaz Mahal in 1612 and fell irreversibly in love with her. Although he took two other wives as was custom he showed little interested in them. Mumtaz Mahal died giving birth to his 14th son and the Emperor, grieve sick, began almost immediately the construction of the Taj as a tribute to his love.
The Taj Mahal is one of the new Seven Wonders of the World and is listed by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site since 1983.
The amazing card shown on this post was sent by seetas, from India.
This card, sent by bridge, shows a winter view of the North Pass, known as Badaling. It is one of the many tourist centres along the Wall. The incredible fortification is one of the mightiest works of Man. It is so massive that some actually believe it can be seen from the moon. This belief has persisted, even in some school textbooks, but it is a myth. It’s physically impossible to see such details of earth from the moon.
But in my opinion we don’t need to see it from the moon to understand it is one of the most incredible sites on earth. It was declared by UNESCO in 1987 as a World Heritage Site.
Sunday, 26 October 2008
Yes, I am a Prague fan, although I have never visited it. Every card I receive from this city is more beautiful than the previous. It looks so full of stories and incredible locations. A perfect place for a voyage.
Both cards shown here were sent from Czech Republic by different postcrossers. Both show well known buildings of the city.
The Municipal House (card on the top) was sent by kengi. It was built in 1905, in Art Nouveau style. This impressive building is the location of the Smetana Hall, a concert hall.
The other card (on the bottom), sent by zas9k, shows Dancing House, also known as Ginger and Fred Building. It was designed by architects Vlado Milunic and Frank Gehry and was completed in 1996. There was some controversy during its construction because many thought it would clash with the surrounding architecture. Personally, I think it’s beautiful.
Saturday, 25 October 2008
The Neuschwanstein Castle is located in the top of a hill in southwest Bavaria, Germany, and it was commissioned by Ludwig II of Bavaria as a retreat and a tribute to the composer Richard Wagner. The goal was to create a theatrical and fantasy like castle that would impress anyone whom would see it. The construction began in 1869 and was completed in 1886, after the Kings’ death.
Nowadays, it’s one of German’s most popular touristic attractions. This beautiful card was sent by yukikoyh, from Germany.
It’s one of the most recognizable symbols of the city.
The holocaust is usually defined as the genocide of approximately 6 million Jews and other groups during World War II. These were not war casualties. These deaths were the result of an intentional Nazi extermination programme, carried out in cold accuracy.
The card above shows a tribute to the victims. It was sent by zimtschnecke and it shows the Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe, located in Berlin, Germany. It was designed by architect Peter Eisenman and engineer Buro Happold. It has an uneasy, confusing atmosphere about it and its goal was to portrait a supposedly ordered system without human reason. The memorial was built between 2003 and 2004.
It was built in the 16th century as a tribute to Vasco da Gama’s voyage and quickly became a symbol of the Portuguese Age of the Great Discoveries. Through out its life, it was a part of Lisbon’s defence system, a custom house, a telegraphic post, a lighthouse and even a prison.
The date of its construction is still uncertain although a date between 2900 and 2600 BC has been strongly suggested by many experts. Also, there is no clear explanation for their existence. Some suggest they form a calendar system, others claim it was a primitive burial chamber. Nobody knows for certain.
I particularly like the last part of Sarah’s message written in the back of the postcard:
"In Gaelic we call them “na Fir Bhreige”, the False Men, because they deceive us..."
Friday, 24 October 2008
The Pena National Palace is the first palace built in Romanticism style in Europe. It stands on the top of a hill above the town of Sintra and it’s a national monument. UNESCO declared it a World Heritage Site in 1995 and it is one of the Seven Wonders of Portugal.
This beautiful building was built between 1842 and 1854, on the ruins of a 16th century monastery. The construction was ordered by King Consort Ferdinand II as a summer residence for the royal family. The design was created by a German amateur architect named Baron Wilhelm Ludwig von Eschwege. It includes Medieval and Islamic elements and red and yellow façades.
This incredible postcard was sent by joana122.
It was built by Alexander III as a memorial to his father Alexander II, whom was mortally wounded by an anarchist conspirator in the exact same place where the Cathedral was built. The blood referred to by some of its names is the tsar’s.
It was constructed between 1883 and 1907 in a more traditional medieval Russian architecture, despite St. Petersburg’s more Baroque and Neoclassical buildings. Although it was built as a church, the Cathedral never worked as a public place of worship. Nowadays, it is a Museum of Mosaic.
The Batalha Monastery is located in the Town of Batalha, in the District of Leiria. It has both elements of late Gothic architecture and Manualine style and its original name is Monastery of Saint Mary of Victory. It was built as a tribute to the Virgin Mary, to whom the King D. João I attributed the Portuguese victory over the Castilians in the Battle of Aljubarrota in 1385.
This impressive Monastery took two centuries to be built, from 1386 until 1517. It was voted one of Portugal’s Seven Wonders in 2007 and it was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1983.
Both postcards were sent by our kind Helena (leninha): the one on the top shows the front of the Monastery, the other shows an arcade screen in the Cloister of King João I, inside the Monastery.
I liked all of them, but this one is my favourite. It shows Leander’s Tower, also known as Maiden’s Tower, located in a small island in Istanbul. It was built in 408 BC by Alcibiades, an Athenian General, to control the Persian movements in the Bosphorus strait. After that, and for many centuries, it was used as a lighthouse and nowadays it’s a restaurant and a café.
The pavilion is a three-story building in which the top two stories are decorated with pure gold leaf and it houses relics of Buddha. It is standing in the shores of a Mirror Pond ( Kyoto-chi).
This Temple is included in the Historic Monuments of Ancient Kyoto which was listed by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site in 1994.
This impressive golden temple was built in 1785 and is located in Bangkok. There are three main doors, but the one in the centre can only be used by the King and Queen of Thailand.
In a more curious note, to enter the temple you must always be wearing long trousers. There are no exceptions and if you don’t have any, the facility will rent you a pair.
This beautiful card was sent by cherokee, from Thailand.
Thursday, 23 October 2008
Prague is considered by many as one of the most beautiful cities in Europe and its historic centre was declared by UNESCO a World Heritage Site in 1992.
The city has many bridges over the river Vltava and the oldest (and most beautiful, in my opinion) is Charles Bridge (2nd from the front, on the card). Its construction began in 1350 and it turned Prague into an important trade route between east and west Europe.
This lighthouse is the second oldest working lighthouse in the USA, being built in 1716 and rebuilt in 1783. In 1719 this light developed the World’s first fog warning signal when a cannon was fired at regular intervals during heavy fog. During the American Independency War, the lighthouse was a witness to several attacks from both the British and the American.
It eventually became automated in 1998, but is still staffed by personnel of the Coast Guard.
It is possible to visit the island and lighthouse with guided tours.
The Golden Gate Bridge is a suspension bridge built between 1933 and 1937 over the Golden Gate, the opening of the San Francisco Bay onto the Pacific Ocean. It is an internationally recognized symbol of San Francisco and it was designed by a group of architects and engineers lead by Joseph Strauss (overall design) and Irving Morrow (bridge towers and Art Deco elements).
Sadly, it’s one of the most popular sites to commit suicide in the world and there are suicide hotline telephones all over the bridge.
The Jiuzhaigou Valley (lit. Translation: Valley of Nine Villages) is located in Sichuan, China and it was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1992. It features colourful lakes and multi-layered waterfalls, forests and snowy mountains. The water in the lakes is crystal clear, allowing visitors to see their bottoms criss-crossed by ancient fallen tree trunks. The best time to visit is in the autumn because the forests turn into an attractive yellow, orange and red shade.
The postcard shows St. Alexander Nevsky Cathedral in Sofia, the capital of Bulgaria. It’s the biggest cathedral in the country and it serves as the main church of the Patriarch of Bulgaria of the Bulgarian Orthodox Church. It was built between 1904 and 1912, in honour of the soldiers who died in the Russo – Turkish War of 1877-1878. The church was designed by architect Alexander Pomerantsev and it’s named after St. Alexander Nevsky, the Grand Prince of Novgorod and Vladimir.
Nowadays, the cathedral holds in its crypt a museum of Bulgarian icons.
The name was created in the 19th Century as a way to increase tourism in the area. It was artificially created in the 1860s with the objective of turning it into the longest name in an UK railway station. Nowadays, it still is a touristic attraction and there are many places you can visit there, such as the Marquess of Anglesey’s Column (a monument built in honour of Henry Paget, the 1st Marquess of Anglesey for his heroism in the Battle of Waterloo) and the railway station where you can take pictures next to the station sign.