June 23, 2017

3096 ROMANIA - Romanian from Transylvania in traditional workaday costume


The structure of Romanian traditional clothing has remained unchanged throughout history and can be traced back to the earliest times. It finds its roots in the part of Dacians and Getae ancestors, and resembles with that of the peoples of the Balkan Peninsula. The first testimonies about it are set in stone, on Tropaeum Traiani monument in Adamclisi and Trajan's Column in Rome, and its first representations date from the 14th century, in Chronicon Pictum Vindobonense, and in Codex Latinus Parisinus.

June 19, 2017

2338, 2532, 2751, 3064, 3095 LAOS (Luang Prabang) - Town of Luang Prabang (UNESCO WHS)

2751 That Pathoun in Luang Prabang

Posted on 29.02.2016, 08.05.2016, 14.09.2016, 24.05.2017, 19.06.2017
Luang Prabang (literally: "Royal Buddha Image") is located in northern Laos, at the confluence of the rivers Nam Khan and Mekong. Actually, the main part of the city consists of four main roads on a peninsula between the two rivers. Mountain ranges (in particular the PhouThao and PhouNang mountains) encircle the city in lush greenery. It was formerly the capital of a kingdom of the same name, and also the royal capital and seat of government of the Kingdom of Laos, until the communist takeover in 1975.

2532 Wat Xieng Thong Temple in Luang Prabang

The city is an outstanding example of the fusion of traditional architecture and Lao urban structures with those built by the European colonial authorities in the 19th and 20th centuries. Its unique, well-preserved townscape illustrates a key stage in the blending of these two cultural traditions. The richness of its architecture reflects the mix of styles and materials. The majority of the buildings are wooden structures. Only the temples are in stone, whereas one- or two-storey brick houses characterize the colonial element.

2338 Royal Palace in Luang Prabang - The King's office
during Sisavang Vong's reign (1905-1959, Reception Hall
during Sisavang Vatthana's reign (1960-1975),
a hall of National Museum since 1995.

That Pathoun (Stupa of the Great Lotus), also known as That Mak Mo (Watermelon Stupa) due to its similarities to the fruit, lies within the walls of Wat Visounnarath, the oldest temple in Luang Prabang, erected in 1513 and rebuilt in 1898. Built between 1559 and 1560 by the Lao King Setthathirath, Wat Xieng Thong is one of the most important of Lao monasteries and remains a significant monument to the spirit of religion, royalty and traditional art.

3064 Wat Aham in Luang Prabang

There are over twenty structures on the grounds including a sim, shrines, pavilions and residences, in addition to its gardens. The building of the wat have carved gilded wooden doors depicting scenes from Buddha's life. In the sim the ceiling displays Dharmachakras - dharma wheels symbolising Buddhist law and the circle of reincarnation. The outer walls of the sim depict Lao legends and the rear gable is decorated with a glass mosaic depicting the tree of life. The outer walls of the Sanctuary of the Reclining Buddha, also known as Red Chapel, are decorated with mosaics.

3095 Wat Mai Suwannaphumaham in Luang Prabang

The Royal Palace (Haw Kham) was built in 1904 during the French colonial era for King Sisavang Vong and his family. After the death of the king, the Crown Prince Savang Vatthana and his family were the last to occupy the grounds. In 1975, the monarchy was overthrown by the communists and the Royal Family were taken to re-education camps. The palace was then converted into a national museum. The architecture of the building has a mixed of traditional Lao motifs and French Beaux Arts styles.

3094 GERMANY (Bremen) - An eye-bird view of the city of Bremen


The city of Bremen lies on both sides of the river, about 60km upstream of its estuary on the North Sea and its transition to the Outer Weser by Bremerhaven. Opposite Bremen's Altstadt (Old Town) is the point where the Middle Weser becomes the Lower Weser and, from the area of Bremen's port, the river has been made navigable to ocean-going vessels. The region on the left bank of the Lower Weser, through which the Ochtum flows, is the Weser Marshes, the landscape on its right bank is part of the Elbe-Weser Triangle.

3093 CHINA (Yunnan) - Pumi people

The Pumi people are one of the 56 ethnic groups officially recognized by China, ethnically related to the Tibetans, and recognized as an official minority nationality unique to Yunnan, with a population of 30,000. They live on rugged mountains as high as 2,600 meters above sea level, cut by deep ravines. They live in approximately 500 villages spread in rugged mountains as high as 2,600 meters above sea level, cut by deep ravines. In many locations they live beside members of the Naxi nationality. Prinmi, the Pumi language, belongs to the Qiangic branch of the Tibeto-Burman family.

June 18, 2017

3092 ALBANIA (Vlorë) - Butrint (UNESCO WHS)

3092 Butrint - Remains of the baptistery

Located in south Albania, in Epirus, close to the Greek border, Butrint constitutes a very rare combination of archaeology and nature, being a microcosm of Mediterranean history, with occupation dating from 50 000 BC, at its earliest evidence, up to the 19th century AD. Prehistoric sites have been identified within the nucleus of Butrint, the small hill surrounded by the waters of Lake Butrint and Vivari Channel, as well as in its wider territory.

3091 ROMANIA (Cluj) - The Pharmacy History Collection from National Museum of Transylvanian History in Cluj-Napoca

The National Museum of Transylvanian History is a history and archaeology museum in Cluj-Napoca, and features a permanent exhibition, as well as temporary exhibitions, and Pharmacy History Collection (rom) - this last opened in the Hintz House, the building of the first pharmacy in the city (16th century), documented since 1573. At the origin of the collection is a collection of the professor Iuliu Orient (1869-1940), which includes various Transylvanian pharmaceutical objects, exhibited since in 1904.

0136, 3090 SLOVAKIA - The map and the flag of the country

3090 The flag of Slovakia, with its map and coat of arms
(from the series Flags of the World)

Posted on 03.03.2012, 18.06.2017
Slovakia is a landlocked country in Central Europe, bordered by the Czech Republic, Austria, Poland, Ukraine and Hungary. Its population is over 5 million and comprises mostly ethnic Slovaks. The capital and largest city is Bratislava, which occupies both banks of the River Danube and the left bank of the River Morava. The Slovak landscape is noted primarily for its mountainous nature, with the Carpathian Mountains extending across most of the northern half of the country. The largest lowland is the fertile Danubian Lowland in the southwest, followed by the Eastern Slovak Lowland in the southeast.

0136 The flag of Slovakia

Even though the Slavic tribes have settled in the territory of present-day Slovakia in the 5th century, a state only of the Slovaks there only from 1993, after the peaceful dissolution of Czechoslovakia (if we don't take into consideration the puppet state dependent of Nazi Germany, that existed from 1939 to 1945). In the rest of history, various parts of today's Slovakia belonged to Samo's Empire, Principality of Nitra, Great Moravia, Kingdom of Hungary, the Austro-Hungarian Empire or Habsburg Empire, and Czechoslovakia.

June 17, 2017

3089 FRANCE (Centre-Val de Loire) - Chateau de Boisrenault in Buzançais

The Château du Boisrenault, located 12 kilometers from the commune Buzançais, in the Indre department in central France, was built from 1882 to 1896 in Renaissance style by Huard de Boisrenault, who offered it as a wedding present to his daughter Marguerite, when she married Viscount Léonce de Maussabré. The youngest son of the two, Louis, will live there with his wife Denise. When her nephew Yves du Manoir married Sylvie, Denise was widow and offered to share her home. They have 3 children: Olivier, Florence and Véronique.

June 16, 2017

3088 ROMANIA - Michael the Brave

Michael the Brave (1558, Târgul de Floci - August 9, 1601, Câmpia Turzii) was the Prince of Wallachia (1593-1601), Prince of Moldavia (1600) and ruler of Transylvania (1599-1600). He is one of Romania's greatest national heroes, being considered the first author of Romanian unity. Michael was born under the family name of Pătraşcu. He is argued by most historians to have been the illegitimate son of Pătraşcu the Good of the Drăculeşti branch of the House of Basarab. His mother was Theodora Kantakouzene, a member of the Kantakouzenoi, a noble family allegedly descended from the Byzantine Emperor John VI Kantakouzenos.

June 15, 2017

3087 ROMANIA (Bucharest) - Postcrossing Meetup, Bucharest, 11 June 2017

I don't know why the Romanian postcrossers chose Betty Boop to mark the meeting that took place on 11 June in Bucharest, but I know that, with no doubt, this postcard continues successfully the ingenious series, of the best quality, which constitute a true illustrated chronicle of these meetings. The host was, like many other times, the  unobtrusive and welcoming Milu Café, located on a street not far from Piaţa Unirii (the Union Square).

June 14, 2017

3086 HUNGARY (Bács-Kiskun) - The traditional costume of Kalocsa region

The Kalocsa is a marshy but highly productive district, on the left bank of the Danube River, in south central Hungary, and forms part of the cultural area known as the Great Hungarian Plain. Although is not very large, it has developed a beautiful form of very colorful embroidery which is often considered to be representative of Hungary. This handicraft was born in the second half of the 19th century, and originally the needlework was only white and the embroidery patterns were merely made up by holes.

June 12, 2017

3085 INDIA / CHINA - Joint India (Chennai) - China (Ningbo) International Postcrossing Meetup, May 7, 2017

On May 7th, 2017 took place this meetup, actually two meetups which holded in same day, at the same hour (China is 3 hours earlier than India) in Chennai (India) and Ningbo (China). Chennai (formerly known as Madras) is the capital of the Indian state of Tamil Nadu, and one of the biggest cultural, economic and educational centres in South India. Ningbo is a sub-provincial city in northeast Zhejiang province in China, with a port which is among the busiest in the world.

June 11, 2017

3084 INDIA (Madhya Pradesh) - Buddhist Monuments at Sanchi (UNESCO WHS)

On a hill overlooking the plain and about 40 km from Bhopal, the site of Sanchi comprises a group of Buddhist monuments (monolithic pillars, palaces, temples and monasteries) all in different states of conservation most of which date back to the 2nd and 1st centuries B.C. It is the oldest Buddhist sanctuary in existence and was a major Buddhist centre in India until the 12th century A.D. Sanchi was discovered in 1818 after being abandoned for nearly 600 years.

3083 GERMANY (North Rhine-Westphalia) - Rheine

3083 Rheine: background - Kloster Bentlage; 1. Saline Gottesgabe;
2. Ems river; 3. Dreiklang Bentlage; 4. NaturZoo.

Rheine is a town located on the river Ems, at about 40km north of Münster, not far from the border with Netherlands. The most important touristic attractions in Rheine are the Saline Gottesgabe, the Bentlage Monastery, and the NaturZoo. Kloster Bentlage is a former monastery of the Crosiers and dates back to 1437. Secularized in 1803, has been in municipal ownership since 1978; today it is an artistic and cultural monument, renovated in a contemporary manner. Since 1990s Kloster Bentlage has established itself as a major centre for contemporary art in the Münsterland region.

June 9, 2017

3082 CZECH REPUBLIC - The map and the flag of the country

Located in Central Europe, between Germany, Austria, Slovakia and Poland, the Czech Republic, also known as Czechia, includes the historical territories of Bohemia, Moravia, and Czech Silesia. The capital and largest city is Prague, on the Vltava river, the main residence of several Holy Roman Emperors, and an important city to the Habsburg Monarchy and its Austro-Hungarian Empire. Its rich history and its cultural attractions makes it a popular tourist destination, with more than 6.4 million visitors annually (2014).

June 8, 2017

3057, 3074, 3081 TANZANIA - Serengeti National Park (UNESCO WHS)

3057 Wildbeest during the Great Migration in Serengeti National Park

Posted on 18.05.2017, 01.06.2017, 08.06.2017
The Serengeti National Park lies in northwestern Tanzania, to the northwest of the Ngorongoro Conservation Area, and is bordered to the north by the Kenyan border, where it is continuous with the Maasai Mara National Reserve. It covers 14,750 km2 of grassland plains, savanna, riverine forest, and woodlands, and is usually described as divided into three regions: Serengeti plains (the almost treeless grassland of the south), Western corridor (the Grumeti River and its gallery forests), and Northern Serengeti (open woodlands and hills).

3074 Elephants in Serengeti National Park

The Maasai people had been grazing their livestock in the open plains of eastern Mara Region, which they named "endless plains", for around 200 years when the first European explorer visited the area in 1892. The name Serengeti is an approximation of the word used by the Maasai to describe the area, siringet, which means "the place where the land runs on forever". The park was established in 1951, and in 1959 the residents Maasai were evicted from there by the British, being moved to the Ngorongoro Conservation Area.

3081 Black rhinoceros in Serengeti National Park

The remarkable spatial-temporal gradient in abiotic factors such as rainfall, temperature, topography and geology, soils and drainage systems in park manifests in a wide variety of aquatic and terrestrial habitats. The combination of volcanic soils combined with the ecological impact of the migration results in one of the most productive ecosystems on earth, sustaining the largest number of ungulates and the highest concentration of large predators in the world. The biological diversity of the park is very high with at least four globally threatened or endangered animal species: black rhinoceros, elephant, wild dog, and cheetah.

June 7, 2017

0008, 1433, 2655, 2793, 2831, 2939, 3081 THAILAND (Bangkok) - The Grand Palace in Bangkok

0008 The Grand Palace in Bangkok

Posted on 12.10.2011, 01.02.2015, 19.07.2016, 03.10.2016, 19.10.2016, 29.01.2017, 07.06.2017
Undoubtedly, Bangkok's history is intimately linked to the Chakri dynasty, which leads Siam (named from 1939, with a brief interruption, Thailand) for more than two centuries. Founder of the dynasty, Buddha Yodfa Chulaloke (Rama I), was the one who moved the capital from Thonburi to Bangkok. Of course, the king had to have a palace and so appeared The Grand Palace (Phra Borom Maha Ratcha Wang), whose construction began in 1782, after a plan that closely followed that of the old palace in Ayutthaya.

2655 Phra Thinang Chakri Maha Prasat (1)

The king, his court and his royal government were based on the palace until 1925. King Bhumibol Adulyadej (Rama IX), resided at Chitralada Royal Villa and his successor Vajiralongkorn at Amphorn Sathan Residential Hall, both in the Dusit Palace, but the Grand Palace is still used for official events. Situated on the banks of the Chao Phraya River, at the heart of the Rattanakosin Island, the palace complex (made up of numerous buildings, halls, pavilions set around open lawns, and gardens) is roughly rectangular. Its asymmetry and eclectic styles are due to its organic development, with additions being made by successive kings.

2939 Phra Thinang Chakri Maha Prasat (2)

It is divided into several quarters: the Temple of the Emerald Buddha; the Outer Court; the Middle Court, including the Phra Maha Monthien Buildings, the Phra Maha Prasat Buildings and the Chakri Maha Prasat Buildings; the Inner Court and the Siwalai Gardens quarter. The Phra Thinang Chakri Maha Prasat buildings are composed of nine major and minor halls, structured in a similar scheme to the Maha Monthien Halls from north to south. The whole of the Chakri Maha Prasat group was the work of King Rama V and foreign architects in the 19th century.

3081 The Temple of the Emerald Buddha (1)

The first phase of construction began in 1868, then again in 1876, and the final phase between 1882 and 1887. The throne hall forms the front or the façade of the entire building group. The throne hall is constructed in an eclectic style, a blend of Thai and European (more specifically Renaissance or Italianate) styles. The lower part of the structure is European, while the upper part is in Thai-styled green and orange tiled roofs and gilded spires or prasats.

2831 The Temple of the Emerald Buddha (2)

The Temple of the Emerald Buddha (Wat Phra Kaew) is actually a royal chapel, built in 1783. It is surrounded on four sides by a series of walled cloisters, with seven gates. Like the royal temples of Sukhothai and Ayutthaya, the complex is separated from the living quarters of the kings. Within these walls are buildings and structures for diverse purposes and of different styles, but most of them adheres strictly to classical Thai architecture. It is regarded as the most sacred Buddhist temple (wat) in Thailand.

1433 A kinnara in front of the Temple of the Emerald Buddha

The main building is the central phra ubosot, which houses the statue of the Emerald Buddha. In the postcard 1433 is a golden statue of a kinnara, a half-bird, half-woman creatures at Southeast Asian Buddhist mythology, one of the many creatures that inhabit the mythical Himavanta. Kinnaris have the head, torso, and arms of a woman and the wings, tail and feet of a swan. She is renowned for her dance, song and poetry, and is a traditional symbol of feminine beauty, grace and accomplishment.

2793 The Temple of the Emerald Buddha
with a Thotsakhirithon guarding an exit

The Gate No. 2 (Na Wua Gate) of the complex is guarded by the statues of two demons (yaksha), Thotsakhirithon and Thotsakhiriwan, which appear in Ramakien (Glory of Rama), Thailand's national epic, derived from the Hindu epic Ramayana. They are the sons of Thotsakan (One with ten necks), a king of demons and their mother is a female elephant, that why they have trunks like an elephant. They are mostly depicted with a characteristic face, having big round bulging eyes and protruding fangs, as well as a green complexion.