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 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.

1764, 3240 IRELAND (Leinster) - Temple Bar Pub in Dublin - part of the The Historic City of Dublin (UNESCO WHS - Tentative List)

1764 The Temple Bar (1)

Posted on 23.07.2015, 10.01.2018
Temple Bar is an area on the south bank of the River Liffey in central Dublin, promoted as Dublin's cultural quarter. The historic name of the district was St. Andrews Parish, and in Middle Age it was a suburb located outside the city walls. Many sources agree that Temple Bar Street got its name from the Temple family, and specifically Sir William Temple, whose house was located there in the early 17th century. However, given the existence of a district of the same name in London, it seems that the new Temple Bar street of Dublin must have been a nod to its more famous cousin.

3240 The Temple Bar (2)

In 1599, Sir William Temple, a renowned teacher and philosopher, entered the service of the Lord Deputy Of Ireland. In 1609 he was made Provost of Trinity College, Dublin and Master Chancery in Ireland and moved to this country. He built his house and gardens on the corner of Temple Lane and the street called Temple Bar. In 1656, his son, Sir John Temple, acquired additional land and made possible the development of the area today known as Temple Bar. In the 17th century "Barr" (later shortened to Bar) usually meant a raised estuary sandbank often used for walking on. Since 1840 (according to some sources, but according to other even earlier) in this building operates a pub, got famous.

January 8, 2018

3239 GERMANY - The map of West Germany (1949-1990)

Germany became a nation state in 1871, when most of the German states unified into the Prussian-dominated German Empire. After WWI and the revolution of 1918-1919, the Empire was replaced by the parliamentary Weimar Republic. The Nazi seizure of power in 1933 led to the establishment of a dictatorship, WWII and the Holocaust. After Germany surrendered, the Allies partitioned Berlin and Germany's remaining territory into four military occupation zones (three western sectors, controlled by France, the United Kingdom, and the United States, and a eastern sector, controlled by Soviet Union).

3238 LATVIA (Riga) - Riga

With 639,630 inhabitants (2016), Riga is the largest city in the Baltic states, home to one third of Latvia's population and one tenth of the Baltic states' population. The city lies on the Gulf of Riga, at the mouth of the Daugava. About the Historic Centre of Riga, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, I writed something here. On the postcard are depicted the silhouettes of the main sights of the city, among which are (from left to the right): Freedom Monument, House of the Blackheads, St. Peter's Church, Riga Castle, Riga Dom, Latvian National Opera, the Railway Bridge and Riga Radio and TV Tower.

January 7, 2018

3237 UNITED STATES (Ohio) - Cincinnati

Founded in 1788 at the north side of the confluence of the Licking River to the Ohio, Cincinnati was an American boomtown in the heart of the country, rivaling the larger coastal cities in size and wealth. Throughout much of the 19th century it was listed among the top 10 U.S. cities by population, and between 1840 and 1860 was the sixth-biggest. As it was the first city founded after the American Revolution as well as the first major inland city in the country, it is thought of as the first purely "American" City.

3236 GERMANY (Saxony) - Moritzburg Castle

Located at about 13km northwest of the Saxon capital, Dresden, Moritzburg Castle is a Baroque palace named after Duke Moritz of Saxony, who had a hunting lodge built there between 1542 and 1546. Elector John George II of Saxony had the lodge extended; the chapel, designed by the architect Wolf Caspar von Klengel, was added between 1661 and 1671. Between 1723 and 1733, Augustus II the Strong had the castle remodelled as a country seat by architects Matthäus Daniel Pöppelmann and Zacharias Longuelune, adding a formal park, several ponds and a game preserve.

January 6, 2018

0671, 3235 RUSSIA (Moscow) - The towers of Moscow Kremlin - part of Kremlin and Red Square, Moscow (UNESCO WHS)

0671 Spasskaya Tower

Posted on 07.06.2013, 06.01.2018
The Spasskaya Tower is the main tower with a through-passage on the eastern wall of the Moscow Kremlin, which overlooks the Red Square. It was built in 1491 under the supervision of the architect Pietro Antonio Solari (Pyotr Fryazin), and was initial named Frolovskaya, later being renamed the Spasskaya (Savior's), in honor of the Icon of the Savoir Not Made by Hands, which crowned the gateway. Originally it had half of its present height (71m with the star mounted in 1935), in 1624-1625 being built a multi-tiered top with a stone tent roof.

3235 Towers Konstantino-Eleninskaya,
Nabatnaya and Spasskaya

It was the first one to be crowned with the hipped roof in 1624-1625 by architects Bazhen Ogurtsov and Christopher Galloway (a Scottish architect and clockmaker). The first clock was mounted in 1491, and the present Kremlin chimes were installed in 1851-1852 by the Butenop brothers. The tower gate was once the main entrance into the Kremlin. In tsarist times, anyone passing through the gates had to remove their headgear and dismount their horses. This tradition was broken in the Soviet era. In 1935, the Soviet government installed a red star instead of a two-headed eagle on top of the tower.

2463 UNITED STATES (Michigan) - The lighthouses in Michigan


Posted on 16.04.2016, 06.01.2018
Michigan is the only state to consist of two peninsulas, separated from the Straits of Mackinac, a 8km channel that joins Lake Huron to Lake Michigan. The state has the longest freshwater coastline of any political subdivision in the world (almost 5,000 km), being bounded by four of the five Great Lakes, plus  Lake Saint Clair. It has also more lighthouses than any other state (about 150). The first lighthouses in Michigan were built between 1818 and 1822, to project light at night and to serve as a landmark during the day to safely guide the ships traveling the Great Lakes.

3234 CHRISTMAS (Czech Republic) - Veselé Vánoce

"Veselé Vánoce a šťastný nový rok" means in Czech language "Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!" For many Czechs, December 24 (Štědrý den) is the most enjoyable day of Christmas holidays. Its Czech name literally means "Generous Day", probably for the wealth of food that is traditionally served then. It is also Adam and Eve's name day. The Christmas tree is decorated with traditional ornaments in many households and preparations are made for the most festive dinner of the year.

January 5, 2018

1270, 3233 THAILAND - Thai Classical Dance

1270 Thai Classical Dance

Posted on 05.10.2014, 05.01.2018
The present Thai classical dance (natasin) probably developed during the Ayutthaya period (1350-1767), although very little is known about the process. Its possible origins may be found in the Khmer tradition as depicted in the Khmer reliefs of Angkor and the Khmer-related reliefs of the Phimai temple. One possible transmission route for this clearly Indian-influenced dance technique could also have been South Thailand with its connections with Sri Lanka and the Srivijaya Empire. There may also be the possibility that the tradition was brought from India by Indian Brahman gurus.

3233 A Khon performance

The formulation of the present style took place during the reign of Rama I (1782-1809), and the standardisation of the dance technique happened simultaneously with the rewriting of the Ramakien, Thailand's national epic, derived from Ramayana. As a result, the sub-techniques of classical Thai dance are classified according to the characters portrayed in this epic poem. The first group, the noble humans, are divided into major heroes (Phra Ram), minor heroes (Phra Lak), major heroines (Nang Sida), and finally to minor heroines (Montho).

January 2, 2018

2702-2704, 3232 UNITED STATES (New York) - Manhattan

2702 Manhattan (1)

Posted on 21.08.2016, 02.01.2018
Manhattan is the most densely populated borough of New York City, its economic and administrative center, and the city's historical birthplace. It consists mostly of Manhattan Island, bounded by the East, Hudson, and Harlem Rivers, and also includes several small adjacent islands and Marble Hill, a small neighborhood on the U.S. mainland. It is often described as the cultural and financial capital of the world and hosts the United Nations Headquarters.

2703 Manhattan (2)

Anchored by Wall Street in the Financial District of Lower Manhattan, New York City has been called both the most economically powerful city and the leading financial center of the world. Historically documented to have been purchased by Dutch colonists from Native Americans in 1626, for 60 guilders (1050 USD today). Manhattan real estate has since become among the most expensive in the world, with the value of Manhattan Island, including real estate, estimated to exceed 3 trillion USD in 2013.

2704 Manhattan (3)

Many districts and landmarks in Manhattan have become well known, as New York City received a record of nearly 60 million tourists in 2015, and Manhattan hosts three of the world's 10 most-visited tourist attractions in 2013: Times Square, Central Park, and Grand Central Terminal. The borough hosts many world-renowned bridges and skyscrapers such as the Empire State Building. The City of New York was founded at the southern tip of Manhattan, and the borough houses New York City Hall, the seat of the City's Government. 

3232 Bird's-Eye View of Manhattan / 1891 

The skyscraper, which has shaped Manhattan's distinctive skyline, has been closely associated with New York City's identity since the end of the 19th century. From 1890 to 1973, the world's tallest building was in Manhattan, with nine different buildings holding the title. The former Twin Towers of the World Trade Center were located in Lower Manhattan. At 417 and 415m, the 110-story buildings were the world's tallest from 1972, until they were surpassed by the construction of the Willis Tower in 1974. One World Trade Center is currently the tallest building in the Western Hemisphere.