June 6, 2012

0239 BELARUS (Brest) - Alexander Nevsky Church of Kobryn

Two hundred years ago, more precisely on June 23, 1812, Napoleon’s army crossed the Russian border at the Neman river in the Kaunas region (now in Lithuania), beginning the disastrous campaign in Russia. On June 27 Russians won the first victory in a battle near Kobryn, located 52km away from Brest (now in Belarus), the 3rd Army, under the leadership of  general AP Tormasov, inflicting a defeat on Jean Reynier’s Corps, composed of Saxons. For the city it wasn't a blessing, because on this occasion have burned 548 of the 630 houses.

A century later there was erected a monument in honour of this victory, which is seen in the foreground of this picture. Actually not really that monument is in my postcard, because initially, in 1912, there was a two-headed eagle, removed by German troops in WWI and replaced with a bust of Tadeusz Kosciuszko, which remained there until the middle of the century. Now on the pedestal is a bronze eagle, but with one single head and a laurel wreath in its beak. Alongside to the monument there are four bombards (in the picture can seen only two), the forefather of today's mortars. A bombard was a large-caliber, muzzle-loading medieval cannon, used chiefly in sieges for throwing heavy balls, from stone or iron.

The church on background is Saint Alexander Nevsky Orthodox Church, built in 1868. About Alexander Nevsky I talked briefly here, when I receiving a postcard with another church that has him as patron saint, located in Novosibirsk. Wikipedia lists over 20 churches that have him as patron saint, and these are only the most important.

About the stamps

First stamp is one of the two issued on January 27, 2012, which are part of the 13th definitive series Belarusian ornament, designed by Yauheniya Biadonik:
• Letter "N" - the tariff of a postcard abroad - it’s on the postcard
• Letter "M" - the air-mail tariff of a postcard abroad - it's on other postcard

The second is part of the Garden flowers set, about which I wrote here.

sender: Marina / angel_love (postcrossing)
sent from Gomel (Belarus), on 17.02.2012
photo: S. Plytkevich

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