February 28, 2017

2486, 2967 POLAND (Pomerania) - Kashubian people

2486 Kashubian traditional dress

Posted on 23.04.201, 24.02.2017
Kashubians (Kashubian: Kaszëbi; Polish: Kaszubi; German: Kaschuben) are a West Slavic ethnic group in  Pomerelia, a historical region in northern Poland, located on the southern shore of the Baltic Sea and west of the Vistula river. They speak the Kashubian language, classified either as a separate language closely related to Polish, or a Polish dialect. Gdynia contains the largest proportion of people declaring Kashubian origin, but the biggest city and the traditional capital of Kashubia is Gdańsk.

2967 A Kashubian dance

Kashubians descend from the Slavic Pomeranian tribes, who had settled between the Oder and Vistula Rivers after the Migration Period, prior to the arrival of the Poles, and were at various times Polish and Danish vassals. Despite strong Germanization, Kashubian think about themselves as Poles, and the motto is "There is no Kashubia without Poles and Poland without Kaszubians". Today, in some towns and villages in Pomeralia, Kashubian is the second language spoken after Polish, and it is taught in regional schools.

2965, 2966 ROMANIA - Romanian Postcrossing Meet-up, Bucharest, February 24, 2017

2965 Romanian Postcrossing Meet-up, Bucharest, February 24, 2017

The postcard 2965 is one of the three "official" models edited for the Romanian Postcrossing Meet-up, which held in Bucharest on February 24, 2017. It depicts motifs embroidered usually on Romanian traditional dress, and especially on ie, a type of shirt with a typical gathered form of the collar. The underarm embroidery characterizes the entire costume; it is traditionally seen as the culmination of embroidery and decoration. Each blouse tells a compelling story about the region it comes from through the symbols and colors used.

2966 The launch of the Romanian Postcrossing stamp

This meet-up was very special, because at this date Romania joined the ranks of the countries which have issued a Postcrossing stamp, even if we are only 1364 Postcrossers registered until now. The stamp was issued of course by Romfilatelia, but this would not have happened without the persistence and commitment of Mihnea Răducu. 2966 is an "unofficial" postcard designed and issued also for this occasion by Radu Tusan.

February 26, 2017

2963 ITALY (Veneto) - National Library of St Mark's - part of Venice and its Lagoon (UNESCO WHS)

The National Library of St Mark's (Biblioteca Nazionale Marciana) in Venice, named after St. Mark, the patron saint of the city, is one of the earliest surviving public manuscript depositories in Italy, holding one of the greatest classical texts collections in the world. It is not to be confused with the State Archive of the Republic of Venice, which is housed in a different part of the city. The library was provided with a building in Renaissance style designed by Jacopo Sansovino. The first sixteen arcaded bays of his design were constructed during 1537 to 1553, with work on frescoes and other decorations continuing until 1560.

February 25, 2017

2962 MYANMAR (Kayah State) - The Karenni people

The Karenni people, also known as the Red Karen, the Kayah or the Kayahli (meaning "red human"), are a Sino-Tibetan people living mostly in Kayah State, Myanmar. A long period they lived in their own states, the Karenni States, located south of the Federated Shan States and east of British Burma, and ruled by petty princes named myozas. They were independent until British rule in Burma, and had feudal ties to the Burmese kingdom.

2961 ALBANIA (Dibër) - Lurë

Lurë is a former municipality in northeastern Albania, became in 2015 a subdivision of the municipality Dibër. Old Lurë, Lurë Plain, and Borie Lurë are the three neighborhoods of Lurë. More villages are in the municipality, such as Krej Lurë, Pregj Lurë, Arrmall, Vlashe and Gur Lurë. The Lurë National Park, located in the eastern side of the Kunora e Lurës massif (2,119m), is famous for its 14 glaciel lakes at an altitude between 1,350 and 1,720m. The park is also home to many rare species of wildlife and natural beauty. The southern part of the park has a meadow of multi-color flowers and coniferous trees called the Field of Mares which offers scenic views.

February 24, 2017

2952, 2960 ROMANIA (Braşov) - Moieciu

2952 Moieciu - Cheile Grădiştei

Posted on 15.02.2017, 24.02.2017
Situated between Bucegi and Piatra Craiului mountains, in Rucăr-Bran Pass, at an altitude between 800 and 1200 m, Moieciu is one of the three commune that make up the Bran area. The Rucăr-Bran Pass is one of the oldest communication routes on Romanian territory, known even before the occupation of Dacia by the Romans in 106 AD. In the Middle Ages was the main link road between Wallachia and Transylvania, through the Carpathian Mountains.

2960 Moieciu

After the occupation of Transylvania by Hungarian royalty, was build the Bran Castle, as an advanced defense point. The six villages that today make up the Moieciu commune were part of the Bran domain, being under the jurisdiction of the Bran castellan. Until not long ago, the mountain agriculture was the main occupation of the inhabitants, the main focus being on livestock. In recent years, the agritourism experienced an unprecedented development, Moieciu becoming one of the most popular tourist areas in Romania.

February 22, 2017

0476, 2926, 2959 BELARUS (Vitebsk) - Saviour Transfiguration Church and Saint Sophia Cathedral in the town of Polatsk (UNESCO WHS - Tentative List)

0476 Polatsk - Saint Sophia Cathedral (1)

Posted on 18.01.2013, 14.01.2017, 22.01.2017
Located on the Dvina river, Polatsk is one of the most ancient cities of the Eastern Slavs. The Primary Chronicle listed Polotsk in 862, together with Murom and Beloozero. The town was named in accordance with the Palata river name, on the right bank of which the first settlements appeared. From 10th to 13th centuries Polatsk was the central town of the Polatsk Principality. Favorable geographical location on trade ways ("From Varengians to Greeks") promoted the rapid economical and cultural development. At that time outstanding examples of architecture of the period Saint.Sofia Cathedral and Savior Transfiguration Church were constructed.

2926 Polatsk - Saint Sophia Cathedral (2)

In the winter of 1066-1067, very angry that was excluded from the succession of Kievan Rus', because his father (even if was the nephew of Vladimir The Great, Grand Prince of Kiev) hadn't been prince in Kiev, Vseslav the Sorcerer, Prince of Polotsk, went through fire and sword the northern areas of this principality. In this campaign he pillaged and burnt Novgorod the Great, removing the bell and other religious objects from the Cathedral of Holy Wisdom and bringing them to decorate his own cathedral of the same name in Polotsk, completed by Byzantine architects even in that year. Actually here will be buried, 34 years later, and after him another 15 Polotsk princes.

2959 Polatsk - Savior Transfiguration Church
 in 1870's

Even though it was renovated many times over the centuries, and the current appearance is an example of the Vilnius Baroque style, the cathedral still retains some elements from the original construction, so it's considered the oldest church in Belarus. Named after Hagia Sophia (Holy Wisdom) Cathedral in Constantinople, this church originally had seven domes, later reduced to five after it was rebuilt following the fire of 1447. One of the characteristic features of the cathedral is facetted apses, typically found on wooden temples. The names of the builders have been preserved until today, inscribed in a stone at the base of the church: David, Toma, Mikula, Kopes, Petr, and Vorish.

February 21, 2017

2935, 2958 ITALY (Sicily) - Teatro Massimo in Palermo

2958 Palermo - Teatro Massimo

Posted on 24.01.2017, 21.02.2017
The Teatro Massimo Vittorio Emanuele is an opera house and opera company located on the Piazza Verdi in Palermo, dedicated to King Victor Emanuel II. Built between 1874 and 1897, it is the biggest in Italy, and one of the largest of Europe (the third after the Opéra National de Paris and the K. K. Hof-Opernhaus in Vienna), renowned for its perfect acoustics. Realized in the late-Renaissance style, the auditorium was planned for 3,000 people, but, in its current format, it seats 1,350, with 7 tiers of boxes rising up around an inclined stage, and shaped in the typical horseshoe style.

2935 Palermo - Interior view of the Teatro Massimo

For many years there had been talk of building a big new theatre in Palermo, worthy of the second biggest city in southern Italy (after Naples) and designed to promote the image of the city following the unification of Italy in 1861. The opera house was designed and overseen by the Italian architect Giovan Battista Filippo Basile, well known in Sicily. Following his death in 1891, construction was then overseen by his son, Architect Ernesto Basile. The Rutelli and Machì Company, represented by Giovanni Rutelli and Alberto Machì, was contracted for the main construction.

2957 FRANCE (Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes) - Valence, Drôme

2957 Valence, Drôme - Republic Square with
Hôtel de la Croix D'or (Hotel Golden Cross)
probably in 1960's

Situated on the left bank of the Rhône, about 100km south of Lyon, along the railway line that runs from Paris to Marseille, Valence is often referred to as "the door to the South of France", the local saying à Valence le Midi commence (at Valence the Midi begins) pays tribute to the city's southern culture. Inscribed on the list of flowery towns and villages of France, it is one of the seventeen municipalities of the Rhône-Alpes region to be labeled "four flowers" by the Concours des villes et villages fleuris, i.e. the maximum level.

February 19, 2017

2956 ROMANIA (Braşov) - Bran

Bran (Törzburg in German) is a commune composed of five villages (Bran, Poarta, Predeluţ, Şimon and Sohodol), located between Bucegi and Piatra Craiului mountains, in Rucăr-Bran Pass. The medieval Bran Castle, which was once besieged by Vlad the Impaler, is a popular tourist destination, partly because it resembles the home of Dracula in Bram Stoker's famous novel.The legends mention an old man named Bran, master over these lands, who bequeathed them to his 14 sons. In this way were founded the 14 villages which make up the Bran area, grouped today in three communes: Bran, Moeciu and Fundata.

2955 GERMANY (Hamburg) - Reeperbahn

The Reeperbahn (which means ropewalk) is a street and entertainment district in Hamburg's St. Pauli district, one of the two centres of Hamburg's nightlife (with Schanze) and also the city's major red-light district. In German it is also called die sündigste Meile (the most sinful mile) and nicknamed Kiez. The street is lined with restaurants, night clubs, discotheques and bars, but also strip clubs, sex shops, brothels, a sex museum and similar businesses, including the Operettenhaus. Because of the problems with prostitution and the high crime rate, in 2007 the Senate of Hamburg enacted a ban on weapons in the Reeperbahn area.

February 18, 2017

2954 ALGERIA - National Carpet Festival in Ghardaïa

Located in the Sahara Desert, Ghardaïa is part of a pentapolis, a hilltop city amongst four others, built almost a thousand years ago in the M'zab Valley (Wadi Mzab) by the Mozabites (At Mzab), a branch of a large Berber tribe, the Iznaten, which lived in large areas of middle southern Algeria. After the Muslim conquest of the Maghreb, the Mozabites became Muslims of the Mu'tazili school. After the fall of the Rostemid state, the Rostemid royal family with some of their citizens chose the M'zab Valley as their refuge. Besides, the valley was inscribed under the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1982.

February 17, 2017

2953 FRANCE (Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes) - Tamié Abbey

Situated in the Savoie region, on the eastern slopes of the Bauges mountain massif, at an altitude of 900 meters, the Cistercian abbey of Notre-Dame de Tamié is witness to a long history. Tamié Abbey was founded in 1132 by Saint Peter of Tarentaise, a monk from Bonnevaux Abbey, who was later to become the archbishop of Moûtiers. After a successful start in the golden age of the 12th Century, the abbey was adversely affected by prosperity, which led the monks away from the austere lifestyle on which the order was based.

February 14, 2017

0686, 2951 MYANMAR (Mandalay Region) - Bagan Archaeological Area and Monuments (UNESCO WHS - Tentative List)

0686 Bagan Archaeological Area and Monuments

Posted on 19.06.2013, 14.02.2017
Capital of the Kingdom of Pagan (the first kingdom which unified the regions that would later constitute modern Myanmar) from the 9th to 13th centuries, Bagan is considered by many as equal in attraction to Angkor Wat in Cambodia. During the kingdom's height, over 10,000 Buddhist temples, pagodas and monasteries were constructed here, of which the remains of over 2500 still survive to the present day. Several of these monuments are still higly venerated by the population, and attract numerous pilgrims and devotees from all over the country, particularly at festival times, but also many tourists.

2951 Ananda Temple in Bagan

The Bagan temples falls into one of two broad categories: the stupa-style solid temples and the gu-style hollow temples. The original Indic design of the stupas (zeidi or zedi in Burmese) was gradually modified first in Pyu city states, and then in Bagan, where they developed a longer, cylindrical form, become the prototypes for later Burmese stupas in terms of symbolism, form and design, building techniques and even materials. In contrast to the stupas, the hollow gu-style temple is a structure used for meditation, devotional worship of the Buddha and other Buddhist rituals.

February 12, 2017

2949 FRANCE (Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes) - Yvoire

Since ancient times, the upper valley of the Rhône and Lake Geneva (Lake Leman, in french) have formed a route through the Alps between Italy and France; the lake itself, with its varying winds, facilitates the transport of goods which are carried on lateen-rigged boats. Located at the tip of the Leman peninsula, Yvoire delimits the two main parts of the lake, the "petit lac" and the "grand lac". Its strategic position, didn't escape the notice of Count Amédée V the Great, who under took important fortifications from 1306, during the war between the Dauphiné and Savoy.

2948 GERMANY (North Rhine-Westphalia) - Dortmund

Dortmund is an independent city in North Rhine-Westphalia, located in the middle part of the state, and is considered to be the administrative, commercial and cultural centre of the eastern Ruhr Area. Nearly half the municipal territory consists of waterways, woodland, agriculture and green spaces with spacious parks. This stands in a stark contrast with nearly a hundred years of extensive coal mining and steel milling within the city limits. The near-complete destruction of Dortmund's city centre during World War II (98%) has resulted in a varied architectural landscape.

February 11, 2017

2947 RUSSIA (Moscow) - The Palace of Kuskovo

Kuskovo was the summer country house and estate of the Sheremetev family, one of the wealthiest and most influential noble families of Russia. Built in the mid-18th century, it was originally situated several miles to the east of Moscow but now is part of the East District of the city. It was one of the first great summer country estates of the Russian nobility, and one of the few near Moscow still preserved. Today the estate is the home of the Russian State Museum of Ceramics, and the park is a favourite place of recreation for Muscovites.

2946 GERMANY (Baden-Württemberg) - Heidelberg Castle

A former residence of the Electorate of the Palatinate, and home to one of the most reputable universities in Europe, Heidelberg is also a popular tourist destination due to its romantic cityscape, including Heidelberg Castle, the Philosophers' Walk, and the baroque style Old Town. Even if the Heidelberg Castle has only been partially rebuilt since its demolition in the 17th and 18th centuries, its ruins are among the most important Renaissance structures north of the Alps. It is located 80m up the northern part of the Königstuhl hillside, and thereby dominates the view of the old downtown.