February 5, 2018

3261 ROMANIA (Bucharest) - Postcrossing Meetup, Bucharest, 20 January 2018

The second meeting of the Romanian postcrossers in this year of the Centenary of the Great Union (the 34th in total) took place on January 20, 2018 at the premises of the Philatelic Association of Bucharest. Since around this date the Romanians had other two reason to celebrate, these were also mentioned on the postcard. The first one was the National Culture Day, celebrated on January 15, the day in which in 1850 was born Mihai Eminescu, the Romanian national poet.

February 4, 2018

3260 IRELAND / UNITED KINGDOM (Northern Ireland) - The map of the island

Located in the North Atlantic, Ireland is the third-largest island in Europe (after Great Britain and Iceland), separated from Great Britain to its east by the North Channel, the Irish Sea, and St George's Channel. Politically, the island is divided between the Republic of Ireland (with Dublin as capital city), which covers five-sixths of the island, and Northern Ireland (with Belfast as capital city), which is part of the United Kingdom. In 2011, the population of Ireland was about 6.6 million (under 4.8 million in the Republic of Ireland and over 1.8 million in Northern Ireland).

3259 FRANCE (Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes) - Peasants of Ardeche in 1970's

3259 Joseph, Noemie and Celestin, paysans d'Ardeche in 1970's

Ardèche is a département in south-central France,  named after the River Ardèche. Picturesque, lush and wild, this département is a tapestry of ancient grey rock, verdant hills and thick forests. Heavily loaded with history and tradition, the sparsely populated Ardèche region is the perfect place to lose yourself in the simplest pleasures that rural France can offer, namely hearty regional fare and untamed beauty. The Ardèche is known in France as "chestnut country", and, for many locals, this anonymous wintertime ingredient holds iconic status. This explains its prominence in so many dishes and the region’s position as France’s leading producer.

February 3, 2018

3258 POLAND (Lesser Poland) - International Postcrossing Meetup, Kraków, January 8, 2018

The first Polish Postcrossing meetup in 2018 occured on 8 January in Kraków, in Kazimierz district, somewhere near Q Hotel Plus, starting 4:30 afternoon. The special postcard issued with this occasion depicts Saint Mary's Basilica (Church of Our Lady Assumed into Heaven) seen from Sukiennice (Kraków Cloth Hall), across the Main Market Square in Kraków. This square is one of the four core areas of Historic Centre of Kraków, an UNESCO World Heritage Site about which I wrote here.

3257 GERMANY (Rhineland-Palatinate) - Landau

3257 Landau - The Market Hall and
the statue of Prince Luitpold in Town Hall Square

Landau, or Landau in der Pfalz, is an autonomous (kreisfrei) town surrounded by the Südliche Weinstraße (Southern Wine Route) district. It is a long-standing cultural centre, and a market and shopping town, surrounded by vineyards and wine-growing villages of the Palatinate wine region. Landau was first mentioned as a settlement in 1106, and was granted a charter in 1274 by King Rudolf I of Germany, who declared the town a Free Imperial Town in 1291.

3256 MYANMAR (Yangon Region) - Karaweik Hall

The Karaweik Hall, also known as Karaweik Palace is one of Yangon's many landmarks. From a distance, it looks like a huge golden barge floating on Kandawgyi Lake, glittering in the sun. The word karaweik comes from Pali karavika, which is a mythical bird with a melodious cry. The barge was designed by Burmese architect U Ngwe Hlaing, who based it on the Pyigyimon royal barge. Construction began in June 1972 and it was finished in October 1974.

February 2, 2018

3255 FRANCE (Occitania) - The people of Lozère

Located in the region of Occitanie in southern France near the Massif Central, Lozère is the least populated French department, due to its mountainous relief, and to poor soil quality. There is barely any agricultural farming in Lozère, the main activities being cattle farming and tourism. It is one of the few region where the langue d'oc is spoken fluently because it remained an agricultural department, and that people are attached to their roots. And if the Lozériens speak French, it is strongly mixed with Occitan, what some call the patois.

February 1, 2018

2401, 3243, 3254 UNITED STATES - John F. Kennedy (1917-1963) and Jacqueline Kennedy (1929-1994)

3243 JFK at Cape Cod.

Posted on 24.03.2016, 11.01.2018, 01.02.2018
John Fitzgerald "Jack" Kennedy, commonly known as JFK, was the 35th President of the United States, and certainly one of the most important and loved. The Cuban Missile Crisis, The Bay of Pigs Invasion, the Nuclear Test Ban Treaty, the establishment of the Peace Corps, developments in the Space Race, the building of the Berlin Wall, the Civil Rights Movement, and abolition of the federal death penalty in the District of Columbia all took place during his presidency. He also avoided any significant increase in the American presence in Vietnam.

2401 JFK and Jackie... summer of '60
Hyannisport, Massachusetts

JFK was born in Brookline (Massachusetts) on May 29, 1917, as one of the nine children of businessman/politician Joseph Patrick "Joe" Kennedy, Sr. and philanthropist/socialite Rose Elizabeth Fitzgerald-Kennedy. Both the Fitzgeralds and the Kennedys were wealthy and prominent Irish Catholic Boston families. John F. Kennedy, nicknamed "Jack," was the second oldest of a group of nine extraordinary siblings, who remained close-knit and supportive of each other throughout their entire lives.
3254 Jacqueline and John F. Kennedy, New York City, 1960

At school, although he was obviously brilliant - evidenced by the extraordinary thoughtfulness and nuance of his work on the rare occasions when he applied himself - Kennedy remained at best a mediocre student, preferring sports, girls and practical jokes to coursework. He was also chronically ill during his childhood and adolescence; he suffered from severe colds, the flu, scarlet fever and even more severe, undiagnosed diseases that forced him to miss months of school at a time and occasionally brought him to the brink of death.

0549, 2030, 3253 IRELAND (Leinster) - Trinity College - part of The Historic City of Dublin (UNESCO WHS - Tentative List)

2030 Dublin - Trinity College

Posted on 11.03.2013, 13.11.2015, 01.02.2018
Probable that Dublin no longer looks as it was presented in Dubliners by Joyce, but certainly that Trinity College, the sole constituent college of the University of Dublin, hasn't changed much since Beckett studied there, from 1923 to 1927. Founded in 1592 as the "mother" of a new university, and modelled after the collegiate universities of Oxford and of Cambridge, it's one of the seven ancient universities of the British Isles, and was originally intended to consolidate the rule of the Tudor monarchy in Ireland, being seen as the university of the Protestant Ascendancy for much of its history.

0549 Dublin - The Long Room from
Trinity College Library (1)

Although Roman Catholics and Dissenters had been permitted to enter in college since 1793, the professorships, the fellowships and the scholarships were reserved for Protestants until 1873, and the Catholic Church forbade its adherents from attending, without permission of their bishop, until 1970. Its library is the largest research library in Ireland, and a legal deposit library for the UK and Ireland, so it receives a copy of every book published in Great Britain and Ireland, which means 100,000 new items every year. It contains circa five million books, including significant collections of manuscripts, maps, and printed music.

3253 Dublin - The Long Room from Trinity College Library (2)

The Book of Kells, created by Celtic monks ca. 800, is by far its most famous book and is located in the Old Library. As is writes on the postcard, "The main chamber of the Old Library, the Long Room, is nearly 65m in length, and houses around 200,000 of the Library's oldest books. In 1860 the roof was raised to allow the construction of the present barrel-vaulted ceiling and gallery bookcases. Marble busts are placed down either side of the room which also contains the oldest surviving harp in Ireland." It's about the Brian Boru harp, one of the three surviving medieval Gaelic harps, and a national symbol of Ireland (used also on the Irish Euro coins), received by the college in the 18th century.

January 28, 2018

3252 POLAND (Podlaskie) - The Augustów Canal (UNESCO WHS - Tentative List)

The Augustów Canal (Kanał Augustowski) is a cross-border canal built in the 19th century in the present-day Podlaskie Voivodeship of northeastern Poland and the Grodno Region of north-western Belarus (then the Augustów Voivodeship of the Kingdom of Poland). From the time it was first built, the canal was described by experts as a technological marvel, with numerous sluices contributing to its aesthetic appeal. The completed part of the canal remained an inland waterway of local significance until rendered obsolete by the regional railway network.

3251 SPAIN (Andalusia) - Salobreña

Located in Granada, on the Costa Tropical, Salobreña claims a history stretching back 6,000 years. The Old Town which sits atop a rocky prominence (Gran Peñón) and is a cluster of whitewashed houses and quirky steep narrow streets leading up to a 10th-century Moorish castle. Another interesting building is the parish church of Nuestra Señora del Rosario, built in the 16th century on the site of an old mosque. The different districts of the town, like La Loma, La Fuente, El Brocal and el Albaycín, have medieval corners with openings for doors, arches and windows.

January 23, 2018

3250 FRANCE (Brittany) - A traditional breton farm

The rural architecture of France has a rich variety, because the farms are the expression of the coexistence of several agrarian civilisation, of the variety of natural environments and of types of farming. In Brittany, specific are the long, low, compact houses, with transverse elements. The house and the farm buildings such as stables and sheds, are built in a row under the same roof in the case of small farms, and under roofs of different  of heights in the case of large farms; the house thus consists of juxtaposed units.

January 20, 2018

3249 ITALY (Apulia) - Ostuni

Located about 8km from the coast, Ostuni is among the main towns attracting tourists in Apulia, in southern Italy, known also for its high quality olive oil and wine. It is commonly referred to as "the White Town" (La Città Bianca) for its white walls and its typically white-painted architecture. Monuments in their own right, the town's largest buildings are the Ostuni Cathedral and the Bishop's Palace, together with a number of palazzi of local aristocratic families.

3248 ITALY (Lazio) - Second Postcrossing Meetup in Rome, 2 January 2018 - Colosseum

The italian postcrossers wanted to be the first ones this year, so they organized on 2 January the first meetup of this year. They met in Rome, at the Subway Station Piramide (Line B), and after that they went to Caffe Letterario, in Via Ostiense 95, to write and sign postcards. The postcard issued to mark this event depicted Colosseum to the transition between years (named by Italians La Festa di San Silvestro), with fireworks in the background. A nice, well-chosen photography.

3247 GERMANY (Saarland) - St. Johanner Market Square in Saarbrücken

The heart of Saarbrücken (and its nightlife hub) historic Saint Johanner Market Square (Sankt Johanner Markt) is a long, narrow public square anchored by an ornate fountain designed and built in 1759-1760 by Friedrich Joachim Stengel and flanked by some of the town's oldest buildings. As its name implies, it used to belong to the once independent municipality of St. Johann, which merged with Saarbrücken in 1909, along with Malstatt-Burbach.

January 13, 2018

3245 ROMANIA (Gorj) - Traditional clothes in Gorj

Oltenia is a historical province and geographical region in southwestern Romania, bounded to the east by the Olt River, south and west of the Danube, and to the north by the Southern Carpathians. It is also an ethnographic area with a highly expressive artistic individuality, with a wide variety of costumes. The ethnographic sub-zones, crystallized over time in this region, generally correspond to the old administrative units: Mehedinţi, Gorj, Vâlcea, Romanaţi and Dolj.

January 12, 2018

3244 IRELAND - Irish writers

For a comparatively small place, the island of Ireland has made a disproportionate contribution to world literature in all its branches, in both the Irish and English languages. The island's most widely known literary works are undoubtedly in English. Three of the four Nobel prize Irish winners (William Butler Yeats, George Bernard Shaw, Samuel Beckett and Seamus Heaney) were born in Dublin, making it the birthplace of more Nobel literary laureates than any other city in the world.

January 11, 2018

3242 GERMANY (Hamburg) - Elbphilharmonie

Located on the Grasbrook peninsula of the Elbe River, the Elbphilharmonie (Elbe Philharmonic Hall) is one of the largest and most acoustically advanced concert halls in the world, inaugurated on 11 January 2017. The new glassy construction resembles a hoisted sail, water wave or quartz crystal, and was designed by architecture firm Herzog & de Meuron. It is the tallest inhabited building in Hamburg, with a final height of 108m. The original 1966 brick façade of the Kaispeicher A, formerly a warehouse, was retained at the base of the building.

January 10, 2018

3241 ROMANIA - Romanian Revolution of 1989

The Romanian Revolution of 1989 started in the city of Timișoara on 16 December and soon spread throughout the country, ultimately culminating in the show trial and execution of longtime Communist Party General Secretary Nicolae Ceaușescu and his wife Elena on 25 December (Christmas Day), and the end of 42 years of Communist rule in Romania. The regime reacted violently, loyal members of the army and the Securitate (a kind of romanian NKVD) opening the fire on demonstrators, arresting, torturing and killing many thousands of people.