December 9, 2013
Located on a hill on the left bank of the Eure River, at 96km southwest of Paris, Chartres is best known for its cathedral (Cathedral of Our Lady of Chartres), widely considered to be the finest Gothic cathedral in France, for which reason was included on the UNESCO list of World Heritage Sites in 1979. The current cathedral, mostly constructed between 1194 and 1250, is the last of at least five which have occupied the site since the town became a bishopric in the 4th century. While the city was heavy bombed in WWII, the cathedral was spared by an American Army officer who challenged the order to destroy it, so it is in an exceptional state of preservation. The majority of the original stained glass windows survive intact (during the WWII were removed), while the architecture has seen only minor changes since the early 13th century.
Publicat de Danut Ivanescu la 7:59 PM
December 8, 2013
Chinese opera together with Greece tragic-comedy and Indian Sanskrit Opera are the three oldest dramatic art forms in the world. Its roots going back as far as the Three Kingdoms period (220-280), and during the Tang Dynasty (618-907) the Emperor Taizong established an opera school with the poetic name Liyuan (Pear Garden). Since the Yuan Dynasty (1271-1368) it has been encouraged by court officials and has become a traditional art form. During the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911), it became fashionable among ordinary people, and performances were watched in tearooms, restaurants, and even around makeshift stages.
December 7, 2013
"The finest workers in stone are not copper or steel tools, but the gentle touches of air and water working at their leisure with a liberal allowance af time..." writted the poet Henry David Thoreau nearly 200 years ago. And the President Theodore Roosevelt said in 1903 after he visited visited the site: "The Grand Canyon fills me with awe. It is beyond comparison - beyond description; absolutely unparalleled throughout the wide world... Let this great wonder of nature remain as it now is. Do nothing to mar its grandeur, sublimity and loveliness. You cannot improve on it. But what you can do is to keep it for your children, your children's children, and all who come after you, as the one great sight which every American should see."
About the stamps
On the first postcard
The stamp is a Global Forever First-Class Mail International one ($1.10), about which I wrote here.
On the second postcard
The stamp is also a Global Forever First-Class Mail International one ($1.10), issued on October 24, 2013. It depict a photograph of a wreath made with evergreen twigs, pinecones, Nandina berries, and a bow of red ribbon. Art director William Gicker designed the stamp, and George E. Brown photographed the wreath, which was created by Alan Talley.
Publicat de Danut Ivanescu la 4:29 PM
December 5, 2013
Ainu (in historical texts Ezo), an indigenous people living in Japan (Hokkaidō island) and Russia (Sakhalin and the Kuril Islands), is one of the most mysterious ethnic groups in the world. They are very distinct from the Japanese people and it seems that before the Tungus invasion coming from mainland Asia the whole archipelago was inhabited by Ainu. Many early investigators proposed a Caucasian ancestry, but recent genetic researches haven't shown any genetic similarity with modern Europeans, but rather with the Tungusic, Altaic and Uralic populations. While some researchers say that they are the descendants of the Jōmon-jin people (who lived 10,000 years ago), another part is of the opinion that the origins of the Ainu can go as far around 35,000-40,000 years ago, during the last major glaciation which united the Japanese islands with mainland Asia. One of their Yukar Upopo, or legends, tells that "The Ainu lived in this place a hundred thousand years before the Children of the Sun came".
December 4, 2013
December 3, 2013
From what I understand, Guadeloupe's economy, based on tourism, agriculture, light industry and service, depends on two factors, it's true, for different reasons: France (for subsidies and imports), and the hurricanes (which periodically devastate it). The island is dependent on imported food, mainly from France, but the fishing is a traditional source of food. Among marine creatures fished in Guadeloupe waters are the Caribbean spiny lobsters (Panulirus argus), which, as any others lobsters, are hard to catch in large numbers, but their large size make them a profitable catch. In generally there are used bill nets and trammel nets to catch lobsters in Guadeloupe, but in this postcard can be seen in right the corner of a lobster pot, a portable trap constructed of wire and wood, so probably the boy has the two lobsters from this trap.
December 2, 2013
Built between 1928-1930 in the wealthy neighbourhood of Černá Pole in Brno for the Jewish factory-owner Fritz Tugendhat by the architect Ludwig Mies van der Rohe (1886-1969), subsequently the last director of Berlin's Bauhaus (1930-1933), Villa Tugendhat is a masterpiece of the Modern Movement in architecture. Its design principle of "less is more" and emphasis on functional amenities created a fine example of early functionalism architecture. Mies used the revolutionary iron framework which enabled him to dispense with supporting walls and arrange the interior in order to achieve a feeling of space and light. There are no decorative items in the villa, but the interior isn't austere due to the naturally patterned materials such as the onyx wall and rare tropical woods.