August 31, 2016

2725 UNITED KINGDOM (Anguilla) - Chairs at Shoal Bay

Anguilla has approximately 33 beaches, but the most popular one is Shoal Bay East. With its pinkish-hued white sand and intense turquoise water, it ranks as one of the top beaches in not only the Caribbean, but the entire world. The northern shore of the island is set up to entertain daytrippers from St. Martin-St. Maarten, so there are plenty of bars and restaurants, plus rental equipment for snorkeling, parasailing and scuba diving.

1899, 2724 GERMANY (Schleswig-Holstein) - Westerheversand Lighthouse

2724 Westerheversand Lighthouse

Posted on 16.09.2015, 31.08.2016
The Westerheversand Lighthouse is situated on the German North Sea coast in the northern part of the peninsula of Eiderstedt. Here the Hever stream has formed a channel in the intertidal area, in which the water flows to and from with the tides causing a continuously change in the depths and the extension of the sands. Many ships were stranded in this dangerous area, so in the beginning of this century it was decided to build a lighthouse at this site.

1899 A painting with a imaginary lighthouse,
inspired by Westerheversand Lighthouse

Work on the lighthouse began in 1906. Since the tower was to be built in the sands outside the diked area, a hill as protection against high floods was created. Then it was tightened by letting horses stamp the area. One hundred twenty seven wooden piles were driven into the ground as a base for the tower. The lighthouse itself is constructed of hundreds of pre-manufactured plates of cast iron. The light was finally lit for the first time in 1908.

2723 ROMANIA (Prahova) - Cota 1400 Hotel

Cota 1400 Hotel seen from Vârful Piscul Câinelui (The Dog's Peak) in 1980's

Located on the very steep slope of Bucegi Mountains toward the Prahova Valley, at the terminal of the cable car from Sinaia, on the way toward the Cota 2000, a road toward Bucegi Natural Park, at an altitude of 1400m, as the name suggests, Cota 1400 Hotel (1400 Elevation Hotel) offer, by its positioning above the resort Sinaia, a great view of the town and the Prahova Valley.

August 30, 2016

2721 NORWAY (Dependencies) - The map of Bouvet Island

Bouvet Island is an uninhabited subantarctic volcanic island and dependency of Norway located in the South Atlantic Ocean, south of Antarctic Convergence. It lies at the southern end of the Mid-Atlantic Ridge and is the most remote island in the world, approximately 2,600km south-southwest of the coast of South Africa and approximately 1,700km north of the Princess Astrid Coast of Queen Maud Land, Antarctica. It has an area of 49 square kilometres, of which 93 percent is covered by a glacier.

August 29, 2016

2720 ETHIOPIA (Tigray) - Aksum (UNESCO WHS)

Situated in the highlands of northern Ethiopia, Aksum symbolizes the wealth and importance of the civilization of the ancient Aksumite Kingdom, which lasted from the 1st to the 8th centuries AD. The kingdom was at the crossroads of the three continents: Africa, Arabia and the Greco-Roman World, and was the most powerful state between the Eastern Roman Empire and Persia. In command of the ivory trade with Sudan, its fleets controlled the Red Sea trade through the port of Adulis and the inland routes of north eastern Africa.

August 28, 2016

2719 UNITED KINGDOM (Anguilla) - Sunset at Sandy Ground

Sandy Ground is a village and one of the fourteen districts of Anguilla, and its main port. According to the 2001 census Sandy Ground has a population of 274. The long curved beach is backed by high cliffs and a disused salt pond. It is the busiest beach on the island for boat traffic. The container ships come and go to the south end of the Road Bay. Local boats and charters come and go from the wharf closer to the middle of the bay. The fishermen and their smaller boats seem to stick to the north end of the bay.

2718 POLAND (Pomerania) - Stilo Lighthouse

Stilo Lighthouse is located in Osetnik (formerly Stilo) on the Polish coast of the Baltic Sea, close to the village of Sasino. It was built between 1904 and 1906 by the plans of German architect Walter Körteg. Formerly the lighthouse had a rotating beacon powered by 110 V. In 1926, the lighthouse had undergone modernisation, when the former light system was replaced by a light bulb with the power of 2000 V. In 2006, on the lighthouse's one hundredth year of existence - the lighthouse had undergone a complete renovation; which included a new exterior paint-scheme; a characteristic of the lighthouse.

2717 GUERNSEY - The 150th Anniversary of "The Toilers of the Sea", by Victor Hugo

When Louis Napoleon (Napoleon III) seized complete power in 1851, establishing an anti-parliamentary constitution, Hugo openly declared him a traitor to France. He relocated to Brussels, then Jersey, from which he was expelled for supporting a Jersey newspaper that had criticised Queen Victoria and finally settled with his family at Hauteville House in Saint Peter Port, Guernsey, where he would live in exile from October 1855 until 1870.

2712-2716 ROMANIA (Argeș) - Byzantine and post-Byzantine churches in Curtea de Argeș (UNESCO WHS - Tentative List)

2712 Princely Church of Saint Nicholas in Curtea de Argeş

Located on the right bank of the Argeş River, where it flows through a valley of the lower Carpathians (the Făgăraş Mountains), Curtea de Argeş (literally The Court upon Argeş), capital of Wallachia in 14th and 15th centuries, retains Romanian representative monuments of medieval architecture. A first set consist in the Princely Church Saint Nicolas, the ruins of the Princely Court (13th-16th centuries) and the Church Saint Nicoară (15th century). The second objective is the church of the former Argeş Monastery (1512-1517), an architectural archetype for a series of monastic buildings until the 18th century.

2713 Princely Church of Saint Nicholas
in Curtea de Argeş - Deisis (detail proskynesis
- Nicholas Alexander Basarab)

Founded by Basarab I (r. 1310-1352), the founder of the independent feudal state of Wallachia, the Princely Church of Saint Nicholas was built in Byzantine style, after a plane of the type Greek cross, version Constantinople, ending with three apses to the east. The outside look is defined by the alternation of stone and brick layers. For many decades, the church was also a necropolis for the crowned heads of Wallachia, being the burial place of Vladislav I (r. 1364-1377) and Radu I (r. 1377-1383). The paintings covering the walls date back to voivode Vladislav I, but some of them are from the 18th century.

2714 Princely Church of Saint Nicholas
in Curtea de Argeş - Radu I and Lady Ana

The over 300 original painting from the 14th century represent one of the most valuable examples of Byzantine art in south-eastern Europe, the works being impossible to categorize into one school of thought or one art genre. One of the walls bears a painting unique in the world that depicts the Virgin Mary pregnant. Other frescoes presents scenes from the life of Saint Filofteia, the saint whose relics were brought to the Princely Church in 1396. The relics remained in the place of worship until 1894 when they were moved to Curtea de Arges Monastery.

2715 Cathedral of Curtea de Argeş

The Cathedral of Curtea de Argeş, dedicated to the Assumption of the Virgin, resembles a very large and elaborate mausoleum, and was built in the Byzantine style, with Moorish arabesques. In shape the structure is oblong, with a many-sided annex at the back. A dome rises in the center, fronted by two smaller twisting and leaning cupolas, while a secondary dome springs from the annex. Each summit is crowned by an inverted pear-shaped stone, bearing a triple cross, emblematic of the Trinity. Facing the main entrance is a small open shrine, consisting of a cornice and dome upheld by four pillars.

2716 Cathedral of Curtea de Argeş - Mircea the Elder

The church was built in three years (1515-1517), by Neagoe Basarab, and the paintings inside were executed in 1526 by Master Dobromir during the reign of Radu of Afumaţi. The later damage caused by people, fired and earthquakes was mended in 1682 by Şerban Cantacuzino. Following another fire, the last restoration was made between 1875 and 1886 under the lead of the French André Lecomte du Nouy, who made questionable changes. Near the church is the well of Master Manole, the builder of the church, the hero of the ballad of the same name.

Cathedral of Curtea de Argeş - ticket

As a curiosity, the nave and the narthex are not separated by a door, but by the frame of a door, placed between two columns. In the narthex are the graves of Neagoe Basarab (d.1521), his wife, Despina (d.1554), and his daughter, Stana (d.1531), Radu of Afumaţi (d.1529). Other tombs in the monastery are the final resting places for other four important royal heads of Romania: King Carol I (d.1914) and his wife Queen Elisabeta (d.1916), King Ferdinand I (d.1927) and his wife Queen Maria (d.1938).

2189, 2705, 2710, 2711 FRANCE (Saint Barthélemy) - The map of Saint Barthélemy

2189 The map of Saint Barthélemy (1)

Posted on 05.01.2016, 24.08.2016, 28.08.2016
Saint-Barthélemy, officially the Territorial collectivity of Saint-Barthélemy, is an  overseas collectivity of France, located about 35km southeast of Saint Martin and north of St. Kitts. Often abbreviated to Saint-Barth in French, or St. Barths in English, the indigenous people called the island Ouanalao. It was for many years a French commune forming part of Guadeloupe, but in 2003 the island voted in favour of secession from Guadeloupe.

2705 The map of Saint Barthélemy (2)

Columbus was the first European to encounter the island in 1493, and named it after his brother. By 1648, it was settled from St. Christopher (Saint Kitts), but the settlement was destroyed by Caribs six years later. In 1674 it became part of the French Kingdom. There was a very brief takeover by the British in 1758, and in 1784 it was given to Sweden in exchange for trade rights in Gothenburg. This change of control saw progress and prosperity as the Swedes declared Gustavia a free port.

2710 The map of Saint Barthélemy (3)

Slavery was practiced in St. Barthélemy between 1787 and 1847. In 1852, a devastating hurricane hit the island and this was followed by a fire. Following a referendum in 1877, Sweden gave the island back to France in 1878, after which it was administered as part of Guadeloupe. On 19 March 1946, the people of the island became French citizens with full rights, and in 1961 the island received electricity. In nowadays it has a high standard of living, due to the international investment and the wealth generated by wealthy tourists.

2711 Aerial view of Saint Barthélemy

Saint Barthélemy is a volcanic island fully encircled by shallow reefs, which has a population of 9,035. Morne du Vitet, 286 m in height, is the highest peak in the island. Its capital is Gustavia, which also contains the main harbour of the island. Some small satellite islets belong to St. Barthélemy. Although it is the only Caribbean island which was a Swedish colony for a significant length of time, the language, cuisine, and culture are distinctly French.

August 27, 2016

2709 ETHIOPIA - Ge'ez script

In terms of writing systems, Ethiopia's principal orthography is the Ge'ez script, also known as Ethiopic, considered one of the oldest alphabets still in use in the world. Employed as an abugida (syllable alphabet) for several languages of Ethiopia and Eritrea languages, it first came into usage in the 6th and 5th centuries BC as an abjad to transcribe the Semitic Ge'ez language. Ge'ez now serves as the liturgical language of the Ethiopian and the Eritrean Orthodox Tewahedo Church.

August 25, 2016

2708 FRANCE - The Stamp Feast 2001

It was 1935 when the FIP proposed at its Congress in Brussels the creation of a stamp day in each of its member countries. The project was approved by the Congress of the FFAP in Paris in 1937, and the first day of the stamp took place in 1938. Since 1944 La Poste issued stamps devoted to the stamp day. From 1944 to 2002, a surcharge in favor of the French Red Cross was levied on the sale of these stamps. In 2000 the event was renamed The Stamp Feast.

2707 CHINA (Inner Mongolia) - Hādá

A Hādá (khata, dhar, khadag or hatag) is a traditional ceremonial scarf in tengrism and Tibetan Buddhism, so is common in cultures where Tibetan Buddhism is practiced. It symbolizes purity and compassion and are worn or presented at many ceremonial occasions, including births, weddings, funerals, graduations and the arrival or departure of guests. Tibetan khatas are usually white, symbolising the pure heart of the giver, though it is quite common to find yellow-gold khata as well.

August 24, 2016

2706 ROMANIA (Vâlcea) - Turnu Monastery

Secluded on the left bank of the Olt River, sheltered by Cozia Mountain and located nearly 2 km away from Cozia Monastery, Turnu Monastery was, for centuries, a very remote and unreachable place. Its name comes from a massive tower, located on a rock called "Teofil`s Peak", which was built by the Roman legions of the Arutela Roman Camp, in the 2nd century. The monastery was first called "the convent behind the tower", then "Turnu Convent" and finally "Turnu Monastery".

August 21, 2016

0990-0995, 1009, 1422-1423, 1540, 2575, 2701 UNITED STATES (New York) - The bridges in New York City

0990 Brooklyn Bridge & Downtown Manhattan

Posted on 26.01.2014, 21.02.2014, 28.01.2015, 25.04.2015, 25.05.2016, 21.08.2016
New York City is home to over 2,000 bridges and tunnels, some of which were premieres or set records. For example the Holland Tunnel was the world's first vehicular tunnel when it opened in 1927, and the Brooklyn, Williamsburg, George Washington, and Verrazano-Narrows bridges were the world's longest suspension bridges when were opened in 1883, 1903, 1931, and 1964 respectively. The first bridge in New York, King's Bridge, was constructed in 1693, over Spuyten Duyvil Creek between Manhattan and the Bronx.

0991 Brooklyn Bridge and Lower Manhattan

Now the oldest crossing still standing is High Bridge, which connects Manhattan to the Bronx over the Harlem River. On the other hand, the George Washington, High Bridge, Hell Gate, Queensboro, Brooklyn, Manhattan, Macombs Dam, Carroll Street, University Heights and Washington bridges have all received landmark status. New York features bridges of all lengths and types, carrying everything from cars, trucks and subway trains to pedestrians and bicycles.

1009 Brooklyn Bridge - View from the pedestrian walkway

The George Washington Bridge, spanning the Hudson River between New York City and Fort Lee (New Jersey), is the world's busiest bridge in terms of vehicular traffic, but also, togheter with Verrazano Narrows Bridge and the Brooklyn Bridge, is considered among the most beautiful in the world. Others are more well known for their functional importance such as the Williamsburg Bridge, which has two heavy rail transit tracks, eight traffic lanes and a pedestrian sidewalk.

0992 Brooklyn Bridge and Lower Manhattan

The Brooklyn Bridge stretches 1.825m over the East River, connecting  Lower Manhattan at Canal Street with Downtown Brooklyn at the Flatbush Avenue Extension, is one of the oldest suspension bridges in the United States, and also the first steel-wire suspension bridge constructed. Designed by German immigrant John Augustus Roebling, it was completed in 1883, and has become in a short time an icon of New York City. The architectural style is Neo-Gothic, with characteristic pointed arches above the passageways through the towers, built of limestone, granite blocks (quarried and shaped on Vinalhaven Island, Maine), and Rosendale cement.

1422 Brooklyn Bridge silhouetted
by a glittering downtown New York skyline at dusk

Roebling designed a bridge and truss system that was six times as strong as he thought it needed to be. Because of this, the Brooklyn Bridge is still standing when many of the bridges built around the same time have vanished into history and been replaced. At the time it opened, and for several years, it was the longest suspension bridge in the world. Its paint scheme is "Brooklyn Bridge Tan" and "Silver", although it has been argued that the original paint was "Rawlins Red". Since the 1980s, it has been floodlit at night to highlight its architectural features. The bridge originally carried horse-drawn and rail traffic, with a separate elevated walkway along the centerline for pedestrians and bicycles. Since 1950, the main roadway has carried six lanes of automobile traffic.

2701 Brooklyn Bridge and Lower Manhattan in 2013

A bronze plaque is attached to one of the bridge's anchorages, which was constructed on a piece of property occupied by a mansion, the Osgood House, at 1 Cherry Street in Manhattan. It served as the first Presidential Mansion, housing George Washington, his family, and household staff from April 23, 1789 to February 23, 1790, during the two-year period when New York City was the national capital. The centennial celebrations on May 24, 1983, saw a cavalcade of cars crossing the bridge, led by President Ronald Reagan. In 2006, a Cold War-era bunker was found by city workers in the Manhattan tower. The bunker, hidden within the masonry anchorage, still contained the emergency supplies that were being stored for a potential nuclear attack by the Soviet Union.

1540 Manhattan Bridge in black and white

The Manhattan Bridge is the last of the three suspension bridges built across the lower East River (following the Brooklyn and the Williamsburg bridges), connecting Lower Manhattan (at Canal Street) with with Downtown Brooklyn (at the Flatbush Avenue Extension). The main span is 448 m long, with the suspension cables being 983 m long (its total length is 2,089 m). Nearly 80,000 vehicles and more than 320,000 people use it (via public transportation) each day. 

0993 Manhattan Bridge at twilight

First bridge to be built based on deflection theory, a radical engineering theory at the time, and also the first suspension bridge to utilize a Warren truss in its design, it is considered to be the forerunner of modern suspension bridges and this design served as the model for many of the long-span suspension bridges built in the first half of the 20th century. It has four vehicle lanes on the upper level, split between two roadways. Four subway tracks are located on the lower deck of the bridge. The original pedestrian walkway on the south side of the bridge was reopened after forty years in June 2001.

1423 Manhattan Bridge, looking up
 Berenice Abbott / gelatine silver print
The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Designed by Leon Moisseiff (1872-1943), who later designed the Tacoma Narrows Bridge (that collapsed in 1940), it was opened on December 31, 1909, and is noted for its innovative design. A year later, Carrère and Hastings drew up preliminary plans for an elaborate grand entry to the bridge on the Manhattan side (in Chinatown), as part of the "City Beautiful" movement. The arch and colonnade were completed in 1915, and the decoration includes pylons sculpted by Carl A. Heber and a frieze called "Buffalo Hunt" by Charles Rumsey. On the Brooklyn side, the bridge ends in the popular neighborhood DUMBO (Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass). After many years of neglect and several attempts by traffic engineers to remove the structure, the arch and colonnade were repaired and restored in 2000.

0994 Verrazano-Narrows Bridge

The Verrazano-Narrows Bridge is a double-decked suspension bridge that connects the boroughs of Staten Island and Brooklyn, marking the gateway to New York Harbor. It is named for both the Florentine explorer Giovanni da Verrazzano (the first European to enter New York Harbor and the Hudson River), and for the body of water it spans: the Narrows. It has a central span of 1,298m, and was the longest suspension bridge in the world at the time of its completion in 1964. Its massive towers can be seen throughout a good part of the New York metropolitan area, and all cruise ships and most container ships arriving at the Port of New York and New Jersey must pass underneath it.

0995 Queensboro Bridge & Midtown Manhattan
(aerial view from the south)

The Queensboro Bridge (also known as the 59th Street Bridge) is a double cantilever bridge over the East River, which connects the neighborhood of Long Island City in the borough of Queens with the Upper East Side of Manhattan, passing over Roosevelt Island. The plans were finished in 1903 and construction soon began, but lasted until 1909 to be completed, due to delays from the collapse of an incomplete span during a windstorm and from labor unrest (including an attempt to dynamite one span).

2575 Queensboro Bridge & Midtown Manhattan
(aerial view from the north)


The bridge doesn't have suspended spans, so the cantilever arm from each side reaches to the midpoint of the span. Until it was surpassed by the Quebec Bridge in 1917, the span between Manhattan and Roosevelt Island was the longest cantilever span in North America. In December 2010, the bridge was renamed Ed Koch Queensboro Bridge in honor of the former mayor Ed Koch, a decision unpopular among Queens residents and business leaders.