April 30, 2016

2511 ROMANIA (Bucharest) - Bucharest Botanical Garden

2511 Bucharest Botanical Garden in late 1970's

The first botanical garden in Bucharest was founded in 1860 near the Medicine Faculty by Carol Davila, with the significant financial backing of Prince Alexandru Ioan Cuza, at the time the leader of the nascent Romanian state. Its first director was the botanist Ulrich Hoffmann, followed six years later by Dimitrie Grecescu. The garden was eventually moved to its current location (in the Cotroceni neighbourhood) in 1884 by Dimitrie Brândză, a Romanian botanist, and Louis Fuchs, a Belgian landscape architect. The gardens were opened in 1891, when the building of the greenhouses finished.

2510 BURKINA FASO - Wildlife of the country

Burkina Faso is largely wild bush country with a mixture of grass and small trees in varying proportions. The savanna region is mainly grassland in the rainy season and semi desert during the harmattan period. Fauna, one of the most diverse in West Africa, includes the elephant, hippopotamus, buffalo, monkey, lions, crocodile, giraffe, various types of antelope, and a vast variety of bird and insect life. To ensure conservation and preservation of the wildlife of Burkina Faso, four national parks have been established. The forests, fauna and fish have been declared part of the national estate of Burkina Faso.

2507-2509 ITALY (Tuscany) - Tuscany

2507 Tuscany map

Located on the Tyrrhenian Sea, between Liguria, Emilia-Romagna, Umbria and Lazio, roughly triangular in shape, Tuscany is known for its landscapes, traditions, history, artistic legacy and its influence on high culture. Having a strong linguistic and cultural identity, it is sometimes considered "a nation within a nation". It is a traditionally popular destination in Italy, and the main tourist destinations by number of tourist arrivals are  Florence, Pisa, Montecatini Terme, Castiglione della Pescaia and Grosseto. The regional capital is Florence (Firenze), "the Athens of the Middle Ages".

2508 Snapshots from Tuscany

Surrounded and crossed by major mountain chains, and with few (but fertile) plains, the region has a relief that is dominated by hilly country used for agriculture. Many of Tuscany's largest cities lie on the banks of the Arno, including the capital Florence, Empoli and Pisa. The climate is fairly mild in the coastal areas, and is harsher and rainy in the interior, with considerable fluctuations in temperature between winter and summer. Tuscany produces wines, including Chianti, Vino Nobile di Montepulciano, Morellino di Scansano and Brunello di Montalcino.

2509 Tuscany: 1. Florence; 2. Massa Marittima; 3. Siena;
4. Montecatini; 5. San Gimignano; 6. Pisa; 7. Arezzo;
8. Monteriggioni; 9. Lucca; 10. Cortona.

The Etruscans created the first major civilization in this region, reaching its peak during the 7th and 6th centuries BC, finally succumbing to the Romans by the 1st century. Soon after absorbing Etruria, Rome established the cities of  Lucca, Pisa, Siena, and Florence, endowed the area with new technologies and development, and ensured peace. The Roman civilization in the West collapsed in the 5th century AD, and the region fell briefly to Goths, then was re-conquered by the Byzantine Empire. In the years following 572, the Longobards arrived and designated Lucca the capital of their Duchy of Tuscia.

2506 AZERBAIJAN (Baku) - Walled City of Baku with the Shirvanshah's Palace and Maiden Tower (UNESCO WHS)

Rising from the south shore of the Absheron Peninsula at the western edge of the Caspian Sea, in Caucasus region, the Walled City of Baku was founded on a site inhabited since the Palaeolithic period. The city reveals, along with the dominant Azerbaijani element, evidence of Zoroastrian, Sassanian, Arabic, Persian, Shirvani, Ottoman, and Russian presence in cultural continuity. The Inner City (İçəri Şəhər) has preserved much of its 12th-century defensive walls, which define the character of the property.

2505 UNITED STATES (New York) - Taxicabs of New York City

The taxicabs of New York City are widely recognized icons of the city, come in two varieties: yellow and green. Taxis painted canary yellow (medallion taxis) are able to pick up passengers anywhere in the five boroughs. Those painted apple green (commonly known as boro taxis), which began to appear in August 2013, are allowed to pick up passengers only in some areas. In March 2014, in New York City were 51,398 men and women licensed to drive medallion taxicabs. Taxicabs are operated by private companies and licensed by the New York City Taxi and Limousine Commission (TLC).

2504 RUSSIA (Murmansk Oblast) - The city of Murmansk

2504 A view of the Murmansk

Murmansk is a port city located in the extreme northwest part of Russia, on the Kola Bay, an inlet of the  Barents Sea on the northern shore of the Kola Peninsula, close to the Russia's borders with Norway and Finland. Despite its extreme northern location above the Arctic Circle, Murmansk is in many ways similar to other Russian cities of its size, with highway and railway access to the rest of Europe, and the northernmost trolleybus system on Earth.

2504 A view of the Murmansk (1)

Murmansk was the last city founded in the Russian Empire. In 1915, WWI needs led to the construction of the railroad from Petrozavodsk to an ice-free location on the Murman Coast in the Russian Arctic, to which Russia's allies shipped military supplies. The terminus became known as the Murman station and soon boasted a port, a naval base, and an adjacent settlement with a population which quickly grew in size and soon surpassed the nearby towns of Alexandrovsk and Kola.

2504 A view of the Murmansk (2)

In 1916, the railway settlement received the urban status, being named Romanov-na-Murmane (Romanov-on-Murman), after the royal Russian dynasty of Romanovs. On September 21 (O.S. October 4) 1916, the official ceremony was performed, and the date is now considered the official date of the city's foundation. After the February Revolution of 1917, the town was given its present name. From 1918 to 1920, during the Russian Civil War, the town was occupied by the Western powers, who had been allied in WWI, and by the  White Army forces.

2504 A view of the Murmansk (3)

During WWII, Murmansk was a link to the Western world for the Soviet Union with large quantities of goods important to the respective military efforts traded with the Allies: primarily manufactured goods and raw materials into the Soviet Union. German forces in Finnish territory launched an offensive against the city in 1941 as part of Operation Silver Fox, and Murmansk suffered extensive destruction, but it wasn't conquered. For the rest of the war, it served as a transit point for weapons and other supplies entering the Soviet Union from other Allied nations.

April 29, 2016

2503 INDIA (Karnataka) - A letter box in Dharwad

Department of Posts, trading as India Post, is a government-operated postal system in India. Generally referred to within India as "the post office", it is the most widely distributed postal system in the world. Mail is collected from 579,595 letter boxes by 154,979 post offices, of which almost 90% are in rural areas. On average, a post office serves an area of 21.23 square kilometres and a population of 7,114.

0957, 2502 FRANCE (Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes) - Dombes

0957 Dombes

Posted on 10.01.2014, 29.04.2016
The Dombes is an area in South-Eastern France, bounded by the rivers Saône, Rhône, and Ain, which forms an undulating plateau with a slight slope towards the north-west. Due to the fact that is characterized by an impervious surface consisting of boulder clay and other relics of glacial action, it has a large number of rain-water pools, artificially created by proprietors who saw a surer source of revenue in fish-breeding than in agriculture. The resulted diseases and depopulation forced the Legislative Assembly to decide to reduce (at the end of the 18th century) the area of the pools. Large numbers of fish, principally carp, pike, and tench are still reared profitably. The pools are periodically dried up so the ground can be cultivated.

2502 Dombes: 1. A pond at sunset;
2. A common kingfisher; 3. Ducks on the pond;
4. The church in Ars-sur-Formans;
5. Châtillon-sur-Chalaronne.

The Dombes once formed part of the Kingdom of Arles. From 1032, when this kingdom passed to the Holy Roman emperor Conrad II, effective authority in the region was exercised by local lords. After 1378 it was under the nominal authority of the kings of France but was actually ruled as an independent principality by the Bourbon family. Francis I of France seized it from the Bourbons in 1523, and, although Dombes was later restored to the House of Bourbon-Montpensier (1561), it ultimately returned to the French crown in 1762.

2501 CANADA (Quebec) - Montreal International Jazz Festival

The Montreal International Jazz Festival takes place at 10 free outdoor stages and 10 indoor concert halls, and holds the 2004 Guinness World Record as the world's largest jazz festival. Every year, at the end of June and beginning of July, it features roughly 3,000 artists from 30-odd countries, more than 650 concerts (including 450 free outdoor performances), and welcomes close to 2.5 million visitors as well as 400 accredited journalists.

2500 CANADA (Alberta) - The Cree

The Cree (autonym: nehiyawak) are the most populous and widely distributed First Nations in Canada, with over 317,000 members (2015) living in the Subarctic region from Alberta to Quebec, as well as portions of the Plains region in Alberta and Saskatchewan. Moving from west to east their main divisions, based on environment and dialect, are the Plains (Alberta and Saskatchewan), Woods (Saskatchewan and  Manitoba), Swampy (Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Ontario), Moose (Ontario) and James Bay/Eastern (Québec) Cree. In the United States, they live mostly in Montana.

2498, 2499 ROMANIA (Arad) - Arad

2498 Arad: 1. The Romanian Orthodox Cathedral;
2. The Administrative Palace; 3. The Palace of Culture

Historically situated in the region of Crişana, and having recently extended on the left bank of the Mureş river, in Banat region, Arad is in nowadays the most important trans-European road and rail transportation junction point in western Romania. With a rich industrial and commercial tradition, it is one of the most prosperous cities in the country. The vineyards of Arad stretch on the hills bordering the western part of the Zarand Mountains. The native variety Cadarcă was the wine of the imperial court of Vienna during the reign of Emperor Franz Josef.

2499 Arad: 1. The "Ioan Slavici" Theatre; 2. The Administrative Palace;
3. The Palace of Culture; 5. Neumann Palace; 6. The National Bank;
7. Mureş River

It was first mentioned in the 11th century. The Ottoman Empire conquered the region from Hungary in 1551 and kept it until 1699, when was taken by the Habsburg Monarchy. According to 1720 data, the population of the city was composed of 177 Romanian families, 162 Serbian, and 35 Hungarian. The Arad Fortress, boasting a Vauban-style fortress with a six-pointed star shape, was built under the orders of the Empress Maria Theresa between 1763 and 1783.

April 28, 2016

2497 FRANCE (Grand Est) - Lorraine

Lorraine is a cultural and historical region in north-eastern France, which has borders with three other countries: Belgium (Wallonia), Luxembourg, and Germany (Saarland, Rhineland-Palatinate). Its location led to it being a paramount strategic asset as the crossroads of four nations. This, along with its political alliances, marriage alliances, and the ability over the centuries to choose sides between East and West, gave it a tremendously powerful and important role in transforming all of European history.

2496 CANADA (Ontario) - Spirit of Windsor

Located on the southern shore of the Detroit River (which flows from Lake St. Clair to Lake Erie), directly across the river from Detroit (Michigan), Windsor is the southernmost city in Canada. It is divided in two by the Ouellette Avenue, its historic main commercial street, which runs north-south, perpendicular to the Detroit River. At the end from the river of the avenue is Dieppe Gardens, one of the 180 parks of the city, in which is resting a Pacific type 4-6-2 steam locomotive named Spirit of Windsor.

April 27, 2016

2495 JAPAN (Kantō) - The Art of Living

2495 An interior of a house from Tokyo Area in 1970

In October 1945, when he arrived in Tokyo as part of the Allied forces occupying Japan, Charles Egbert Tuttle, Jr. didn't know that this experience will change his life completely. He spent a while helping the Japanese newspaper industry, then he married with a Japanese woman who belonged to a wealthy family from Hokkaidō. In 1948 founded his publishing company in Tokyo, with the mission to publish "books to span the East and West."

April 26, 2016

2494 CANADA (Quebec) - Saint Joseph's Oratory in Montreal

Saint Joseph's Oratory of Mount Royal is a  Roman Catholic minor basilica on Westmount Summit, and the largest church in Canada. In 1904, Saint André Bessette, member of the Congregation of Holy Cross, began the construction of St. Joseph, a small chapel on the slopes of Mont Royal near Notre Dame College. In 1917 a larger church was completed. In 1924, the construction of the basilica of Saint Joseph's Oratory was commenced; it was finally completed in 1967. Father Paul Bellot, an architect, completed the dome, the third-largest of its kind in the world, between 1937 and 1939.

2493 ROMANIA (Ilfov) - Bucharest Henri Coandă International Airport

2493 Bucharest Otopeni International Airport in 1970's

Bucharest Henri Coandă International Airport  is Romania's busiest international airport, and it is located in Otopeni, 16.5km north of Bucharest's city centre. It is currently one of two airports serving the capital city of Romania. It is named after Romanian flight pioneer Henri Coandă, builder of Coandă-1910 aircraft and discoverer of the Coandă effect of fluidics. Until 2004, the official name was Bucharest Otopeni International Airport, which remains the name by which it is generally known.

April 25, 2016

2492 URUGUAY - Gaucho Homeland Festival

In its historical sense a gaucho was "A mestizo who, in the 18th and 19th centuries, inhabited Argentina, Uruguay and Rio Grande do Sul in Brazil". Today, in Argentina and Uruguay, a gaucho is "A country person, experienced in traditional cattle ranching work". Because gauchos were reputed to be brave, if unruly, the word is also applied metaphorically to mean "Noble, brave and generous", but also "One who is skilful in subtle tricks, crafty". Is an equivalent of the North American "cowboy".

2491 FRANCE (Île-de-France) - Conciergerie and Pont au Change - part of Paris, Banks of the Seine (UNESCO WHS)

The Conciergerie is a former prison, located on the west of the Île de la Cité (Island of the City) presently mostly used for law courts. It was part of the Palais de la Cité, originally the site of a Merovingian palace, which was the seat of the Kings of France from the 10th to the 14th centuries. Charles V abandoned the palace in 1358, moving across the river to the Louvre. The palace continued to serve an administrative function and still included the chancellery and French Parliament.