Welcome

Добро пожаловать к этому международному месту открытки изображения. Benvenuto a questo luogo internazionale della cartolina di immagine. Καλωσορίστε σε αυτήν την διεθνή περιοχή καρτών εικόνων. Willkommen zu diesem internationalen Abbildungspostkarteaufstellungsort. Bienvenue à cet emplacement international de carte postale. Onthaal aan deze Internationale plaats van de beeldprentbriefkaar. Welcome to this International picture postcard site. (Please Click on the Picture for an Enlarged View)

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Guadeloupe

Thank you Michelle for this scenic card.

Easter Greetings

Easter Greetings from Poland. This very artistic card was sent to me by Ada.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Germany - Cistercian monastery of Langwaden

The Order of Cistercians is a Roman Catholic religious order of enclosed monks. They are sometimes also called the White Monks, in reference to the colour of the habit, over which a black scapular or apron is sometimes worn. The emphasis of Cistercian life is on manual labour and self-sufficiency, and many abbeys have traditionally supported themselves through activities such as agriculture and brewing ales. The term Cistercian (French Cistercien), derives from Cistercium, the Latin name for the village of Cîteaux, near Dijon in eastern France. It was in this village that a group of Benedictine monks from the monastery of Molesme founded Cîteaux Abbey in 1098, with the goal of following more closely the Rule of Saint Benedict. The best known of them were Robert of Molesme, Alberic of Citeaux and the English monk Stephen Harding, who were the first three abbots. Bernard of Clairvaux entered the monastery in the early 1110s with 30 companions and helped the rapid proliferation of the order. By the end of the 12th century, the order had spread throughout France and into England, Wales, Scotland, Ireland, Spain, Portugal, Italy, and Eastern Europe.
The keynote of Cistercian life was a return to literal observance of the Rule of St Benedict. Rejecting the developments the Benedictines had undergone, the monks tried to reproduce life exactly as it had been in Saint Benedict's time; indeed in various points they went beyond it in austerity. The most striking feature in the reform was the return to manual labour, especially fieldwork, a special characteristic of Cistercian life. Cistercian architecture is considered one of the most beautiful styles of medieval architecture. Additionally, in relation to fields such as agriculture, hydraulic engineering and metallurgy, the Cistercians became the main force of technological diffusion in medieval Europe. The Cistercians were badly affected in England by the Protestant Reformation, the Dissolution of the Monasteries under King Henry VIII, the French Revolution in continental Europe, and the revolutions of the 18th century, but some survived and the order recovered in the 19th century. In 1891 certain abbeys formed a new Order called Trappists (Ordo Cisterciensium Strictioris Observantiae - OCSO), which today exists as an order distinct from the Common Observance.
This pretty card was given to me by Inge-Lore.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Germany – Lindau

Lindau is a Bavarian town and an island in the eastern part of the Lake Constance, the Bodensee. It is the capital of the Landkreis or rural district of Lindau. The historic city of Lindau is located on a 0.68-square-kilometre (0.26 sq mi) island, which is connected with the mainland by bridge and railway. The name Lindau was first mentioned by a monk from St. Gallen in a document of 882, stating that Adalbert, Count of Raetia, had founded a nunnery on the island. However remains of an early Roman settlement dating back to the 1st century have been found in the district of Aeschach. The Lake Constance - "Bodensee" is the German word - is located between Germany, Austria and Switzerland. On the Swiss side are the famous Rhine falls, best reached from Schaffhausen. The lake area has one of the warmest summer microclimates in the country.
There are many outdoor activities that one can do including water sports sailing and hiking. There are many beautiful resort towns along its shores notably Meersburg which is surrounded by vineyards and which has half-timbered houses and the oldest castle in Germany. You can also visit the islands of Mainau (lush tropical vegetation) and Reichenau (ancient monastery) near Konstanz at the western end of the lake or Lindau or Bregenz at the eastern end if you have a chance. There is ferry service across the lake from Friedrichshafen into Switzerland. Clemens sent me this card.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

UK - HMS Alacrity

Dorothy sent me this nice card.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Wau kites

The picture is of Encik Ismail bin Jusoh with his hand-made “wau” kite. He is famous for his very pretty wau’s. Indigenous to the people living in Kelantan and Terengganu, these kites are a special craft of West Malaysia. Due to its similarity with the shape of an Arabic letter, these kites are known as "Wau" in Malay. Also when the kites are flown in the sky, it produces a humming sound, which is similar to "wauuuu". So symbolic is the Wau that Malaysian Airlines has even used it as its logo.

Making these kites is a tedious job and requires a great amount of patience. First, bamboo is used to make the frames for the kites, which keeps the kites sturdy and lightweight. Next, motifs are carved out of coloured paper and shiny glazed paper. The intricacy of the carvings is what sets a good kite maker apart from the others. The carvings are then meticulously glued onto the frames. Finally the kite is decorated with bright paper tassels. The motifs on the kites are normally flowers with vines. The flowers represent the man while the vines represent the ladies. After the harvest period, these kites are commonly flown over the paddy fields. This is a break time for all the farmers who had worked hard through the rice-planting season. Ethen sent me this pretty card.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Canada - Ottawa - Parliament Hill

This nice card showing Parliament Hill In winter was sent to me by Sandi.

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Finland - Lapland

This is another nice picture post card featuring a scene in Lapland. This nice card was sent to me by Esa.

Vladivostok.


Vladivostok is Russia's largest port city on the Pacific Ocean and the administrative center of Primorsky Krai. It is situated at the head of the Golden Horn Bay, not far from Russia's border with China and North Korea. It is the home port of the Russian Pacific Fleet.
Stepan Osipovich Makarov (January 8 1849— April 13 1904) was a famous Russian vice-admiral, a highly accomplished and decorated commander of the Imperial Russian Navy, and a distinguished oceanographer, awarded by the Russian Academy of Sciences, and author of several books. According to his honour, "Shiritoru", where was a town in Sakhalin island, was renamed as Makarov in 1946. Makarov was highly decorated for his service as a captain of the Russian torpedo boat tender Velikiy Knyaz Konstantin in the Russo-Turkish War of 1877-78. He was one of the first adopters of the idea of torpedo boats and he himself went to action in torpedo boats. On January 16, 1877 he was first in the world to launch torpedoes from a boat (which itself was launched from a tender) against a Turkish armed ship Intibah.
This is a monument in honour of that Great Russian Admiral . It overlooks the sea at the far Eastern Russian port of Vladivostok. I was fortunate to be a resident of this wonderful city for two winters. This pretty card was sent to me by my friend Elena.

Saturday, March 06, 2010

Czech Republic – Ještěd Tower

Ještěd Tower is a 94 metre-tall tower used to transmit television signal built on the top of Ještěd mountain near Liberec in the Czech Republic. Ještěd Tower is a reinforced concrete construction with a shape called hyperboloid, built between 1963 and 1968. Its architect was Karel Hubáček. The shape was chosen since it naturally extends the silhouette of the hill and moreover well resists the extreme climate conditions on the top of the hill. In the Tower's lowest sections it contains a hotel and a tower restaurant. It serves as a dominant attraction in the city and as a place to oversee much of Bohemia and parts of Poland and Germany. This superb card was sent to me by Stan.

Friday, March 05, 2010

Germany - Cologne Cathedral

Begun in 1248, the construction of this Gothic masterpiece took place in several stages and was not completed until 1880. Over seven centuries, successive builders were inspired by the same faith and a spirit of absolute fidelity to the original plans. The local people in Cologne say that, when there is nothing more to be done on or to the Cathedral, that will be the end of the World :-(( or ;-)) Its your choice.
Apart from its exceptional intrinsic value and the artistic masterpieces it contains, Cologne Cathedral testifies to the enduring strength of European Christianity. Even today, there's always something to be repaired or restored.
This outstanding card was sent to me by Anja.

Wednesday, March 03, 2010

Hungary - Budapest by night

This lovely picture is a panoramic view of Budapest the Capital of Hungary by night. In the foreground is the UNESCO WHS Buda Castle.Buda Castle is the historical castle complex of the Hungarian kings in Budapest, Hungary, first completed in 1265. In the past, it was also called Royal Palace and Royal Castle. Buda Castle was built on the southern tip of Castle Hill, next to the old Castle District, which is famous for its medieval, Baroque and 19th century houses and public buildings. The Castle Hill Funicular links it to Adam Clark Square and the Széchenyi Chain Bridge. Buda Castle is part of the Budapest World Heritage Site, declared in 1987.
Csilla Nell sent this lovely card to me.

Monday, March 01, 2010

Brazil - Estádio Moisés Lucarelli,

The Estádio Moisés Lucarelli, also known as Estádio Majestoso, or just Majestoso, is a football stadium inaugurated on September 12, 1948 in Campinas, São Paulo, with a maximum capacity of 19,722 people. The stadium is owned by Associação Atlética Ponte Preta. The stadium has a pitch size of 107m x 70m and its area stands at 36,000 m². Its formal name honors Moisés Lucarelli, the co-ordinator of the stadium construction works commission. Its nickname, Estádio Majestoso, means Majestic Stadium, because it was the third largest stadium in Brazil at the time of its inauguration. The stadium was inaugurated on September 12, 1948. The stadium was built with the help of hundreds of Ponte Preta supporters. The inaugural match was played on September 12, 1948, when XV de Piracicaba beat Ponte Preta 3-0. The first goal of the stadium was scored by XV de Piracicaba's Sato. The stadium's attendance official record currently stands at 34,985, set on February 1, 1978 when São Paulo beat Ponte Preta 3-1. The stadium's attendance record currently stands at 33,500, set on August 17, 1970 when Santos beat Ponte Preta 1-0. The stadium biggest score was set on April 16, 1994, when Ponte Preta beat Ferroviária 8-1. This very interesting card was sent to me by Guilherme Salustiano.

Russia


Here is a picture of a smart private of the 13th Nizhegorodshy Dragoon Regiment in 1842. This card was sent to me by Liubov.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

The Carpathians - Bucegi Mountains

This peak is part of the Bucegi Mountains, and is one of the highest peaks in the Carpathian Mountains in Romania. A beautiful landscape made nearly impossible to reach in such Winters. This spectacular card was sent to me by Daniela.

Klaipeda – Dolphinarium

The Dolphinarium in Klaipeda was opened in 1994; it is the only dolpinarium in the Eastern Baltic. Along with the Sea museum and the aquarium it makes up a unique complex for acquainting people with marine life and Sea business. The dolphinarum is a complex technical installation. The modern technologies of water preparation, filtration and regeneration ensure that the living conditions are the three pools are maintained suitable for the animals. The largest of the three pools is the arena pool (1300 m3, 5.5 m deep) where shows are held. The dolphins take their rest in a 340-m3 pool, which is 4 m deep, while for cases of sickness or delivery there is a quarantine pool. The salinity of water in the pools is 1.8%, and the temperature is maintained at 18-20Ā°C. To keep the water clear it is filtered at night; bacteria are also exterminated then. Living in Klaipeda dolphinarium are Black Sea, or bottle-nosed, dolphins (Tursiops truncatus). Each of the dolphins gets about 10 kg of sprat, mackerel, herring and cod every day. Dolphins are very sensitive animals, they need special care. The health of the dolphins is taken care of by the veterinary service, which not only treats the animals, but also applies numerous preventive measures and controls the quality of water in the pools. In 1998 two female dolphins gave birth to babies for the first ever time at Klaipeda dolphinarium. It was a time of joy and test for all the employees of the dolphinarium. Together with the dolphins, the dolphinarium also houses a couple of Californian sea lions (Zalopus californianus), which were brought to Klaipeda from Duisburg Zoo, Germany.
The dolphins and the Californian sea lions perform in the shows. Trainers of sea mammals train them. It is a rare profession, which requires thorough knowledge of animal physiology and psychology, and at last but not least, love. The basic aim of staging performances with dolphins and Californian sea lions is to educate the public, to acquaint the visitors and especially the young people in a most attractive way with these animals which are one of the most interesting sea animals, with peculiarities of their life and behavior, to foster love to the animals and sense of responsibility towards the living nature and the necessity to preserve it. Every summer, merry water festivals are held in the dolphinarium on weekend evenings in which a group of synchronized swimming, dancers and acrobats perform. These are really exotic shows. Dora sent this lovely card to me.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Finland – Votive Ship Barque Turku

Have you seen the tail of a whale in the Aura River close to the Varvintori Square. Somewhere near that place was located the old Turku shipyard where this whaler, the barque Turku, was built in 1852. Turku sailed and whaled in the Pacific. The Turku Ship Masters’ Association presented the scale model of Turku to the Cathedral as a votive ship in 1968.
Votive ships are seen in churches close to the coast. It was customary for mariners to build a miniature model of their own ship and donate it to their home church in thanks for making it home after a long voyage. The votive ship in the Cathedral was made by Åke Sandvall and was based on the original drawings of the barque. Åke Sandvall also built another votive ship in St. Michael's Church in Turku.
Fires have destroyed the earlier votive ships in the Cathedral. Hannele sent this nice card to me.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Poland – Narrow Gauge Railway Museum in Wenecja

The Narrow Gauge Railway Museum in Wenecja near Żnin is an open air museum collecting and exhibiting steam locomotives, passenger and freight cars, trolleys, railwaymen's tools, signalling equipment, contents of an old waiting room, and old maps. The 600 mm Narrow Gauge Railway Museum in Wenecja is a department of the Muzeum Ziemi Pałuckiej (the Żnin's Museum of Pałuki Land) and was established in 1972 at the suggestion of enthusiasts of the Pałuki region, of which Żnin is considered the capital. The Museum has collected many steam locomotives. One of the oldest is the German one, made by Orenstein & Koppel in Berlin in 1900. The Tx-1116 locomotive made by Henschel & Son (Kassel, 1918) and the Tx4-564 locomotive made by Hanomag (Hannover, 1923) are also very interesting. A real rarity is the Belgian locomotive made by Les Ateliers Metallurgiques Nivelles with the unique wheel arrangement 2-3-1 ("Pacific"), and the only one, which has steam brakes. There are also steam locomotives made in the first Polish plant in Chrzanów. The Narrow Gauge Railway Museum in Wenecja is situated at the foot of the ruins of the medieval castle (which can be seen in the picture) built in the 14th century by legendary Mikołaj Nałecz. Tourists can travel on the historic narrow gauge railway from Żnin via Wenecja to Biskupin which is famous for a reconstruction of the Lusatian culture settlement and the Archaeological Museum. This pretty card was sent to me jointly by my friends Kasia and Zbyszek.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Spain – Granada – La Alhambra

The Alhambra, the complete form of which was Calat Alhambra ("the red fortress"), is a palace and fortress complex constructed during the mid 14th century by the Moorish rulers of the Emirate of Granada in Al-Andalus, occupying a hilly terrace on the south-eastern border of the city of Granada, now in the autonomous community of Andalusia, Spain.
Once the residence of the Muslim rulers of Granada and their court, the site became a Christian palace. Within the Alhambra, Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor, erected the Palace of Charles V in 1527. After being allowed to fall into disrepair, the Alhambra was "rediscovered" in the 19th century. It is now one of Spain's major tourist attractions and exhibits the country's most famous Islamic architecture, together with Christian 16th-century and later interventions in buildings and gardens. This pretty picture postcard was sent to me by Anna of Torremolinos.

Finland - Lapland - Pallastunturi

This is a beautiful view of a Daybreak at Pallastunturi (Lapland) in winter. Sent to me by Paivi.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Greece - Gytheion

Gytheio is a town in the prefecture of Laconia in Greece, long known as the seaport of Sparta some 40 km away. Gytheio used to be an important port for many centuries until it was destroyed by an earthquake. Today it is the largest and most important town in Mani. It is also the capital of the municipality of Gytheio.
Gytheio is located in the north-east corner of Mani. It lies on the north-western end of the Laconian Gulf. Gytheio was built on a hill called Koumaro or Larysio in one of the most fertile areas in Mani, near the mouth of the Gythius River, which is usually dry and has been given the nickname of Xerodas, meaning 'dry'. Further north-east is the delta of the Evrotas River. Gytheio is built on hilly ground overlooking the Laconian Gulf. Offshore of Gytheio are several small islands, the most important of these being Cranae, which is connected to the mainland by a causeway. Gytheio is only 40 km southeast of Sparta. This lovely card was sent to me by Dear Friend Anna Maria of Athens.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

USA - Major General Philip Sheridan

Philip Henry Sheridan (March 6, 1831 – August 5, 1888) was a career United States Army officer and a Union general in the American Civil War. His career was noted for his rapid rise to major general and his close association with Lt. Gen. Ulysses S. Grant, who transferred Sheridan from command of an infantry division in the Western Theatre to lead the Cavalry Corps of the Army 0of the Potomac in the East. In 1864, he defeated Confederate forces in the Shenandoah Valley and his destruction of the economic infrastructure of the Valley, called "The Burning" by residents, was one of the first uses of scorched earth tactics in the war. In 1865, his cavalry pursued Gen. Robert E. Lee and was instrumental in forcing his surrender at Appomattox.
Sheridan prosecuted the later years of the Indian Wars of the Great Plains, tainting his reputation with some historians, who accuse him of racism and genocide. Both as a soldier and private citizen, he was instrumental in the development and protection of Yellowstone National Park.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Luxembourg

 Here are some nice views of Luxembourg, sent to me by Sarah.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

USA - USS KIDD (DD-661)

A national historic landmark, the USS Kidd is a restored WWII destroyer, one of the last ships of her era. USS KIDD (DD-661) is a Fletcher-class destroyer, the six hundred sixty-first destroyer built by the United States Navy. In the traditional system of naming destroyers after Naval heroes, she was named after Rear Admiral Isaac Campbell Kidd, Sr. who was killed aboard his flagship, USS ARIZONA (BB-39) during the surprise attack by the Japanese on the American fleet anchored at Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941.
Commissioned into service on April 23. The KIDD's first voyage was one of some notoriety. Under the command of Cdr. Allan B. Roby, the destroyer moved across New York Harbor for delivery to the Brooklyn Naval Shipyards . . . flying the skull and crossbones of the Jolly Roger high from the foremast. The edition of TIME magazine that week carried a photo of KIDD, announcing that it had been one hundred years since the Jolly Roger had flown in New York Harbor. The crew quickly adopted the pirate Captain Kidd—who ironically hailed from New York—as their mascot and hired a local cartoonist to paint the famed buccaneer's image high of the forward smokestack. Not wishing to dishonor RADM Kidd, however, the crew obtained permission from Mrs. Kidd first. The Admiral's nickname at the Naval Academy had been "Cap" (as in "Captain Kidd") and he had gone by this nickname his entire life. So on the crew's behalf, Mrs. Kidd obtained official permission from the powers-that-be in the Navy for them to paint the pirate on the stack and fly the Jolly Roger. The KIDD would become the only vessel in the history of the United States Navy to ever have such leave granted to fly the flag of piracy.

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

USA – Arizona - Saguaros

The saguaro is a large, tree-sized cactus species in the monotypic genus Carnegiea. It is native to the Sonoran Desert in the U.S. state of Arizona, the Mexican state of Sonora, and an extremely small area of California, U.S. The saguaro blossom is the state flower of Arizona. The common name saguaro came into the English language through the Spanish language, originating in the language of the Tohono O'odham Native American nation. Saguaros have a relatively long life span. They take up to 75 years to develop a side arm. The arms themselves are grown to increase the plant's reproductive capacity (more apices equal more flowers and fruit). The growth rate of saguaros is strongly dependent on precipitation; saguaros in drier western Arizona grow only half as fast as those in and around Tucson, Arizona. Some specimens may live for more than 150 years; the Champion Saguaro grows in Maricopa County, Arizona and is 13.8 meters (45.3 ft) tall with a girth of 3.1 meters (10 ft). They are also slow to propagate.

Sunday, February 07, 2010

Hong Kong - Chek Lap Kok International Airport.

Hong Kong International Airport is the main airport in Hong Kong. It is colloquially known as Chek Lap Kok Airport , because it was built on the island of Chek Lap Kok by land reclamation, and also to distinguish it from its predecessor, the closed Kai Tak Airport.
The airport opened for commercial operations in 1998, replacing Kai Tak, and is an important regional trans-shipment centre, passenger hub and gateway for destinations in Mainland China (with over 40 destinations) and the rest of Asia. Despite a relatively short history, Hong Kong International Airport has won seven Skytrax World Airport Awards for customer satisfaction in just ten years.
HKIA also operates one of the world's largest passenger terminal buildings and operates twenty-four hours a day. The airport is operated by the Airport Authority Hong Kong and is the primary hub for Cathay Pacific, Dragonair, Hong Kong Express Airways, Hong Kong Airlines, Air Hong Kong (cargo) and Asia Jet (private). It is a secondary hub for Air New Zealand, to a lesser extent Qantas and Virgin Atlantic, all of which use Hong Kong as a stopover point for flights on the Kangaroo Route between Australasia and Europe. United Airlines also uses Hong Kong as a stopover point for flights from the United States to Singapore and Ho Chi Minh City.
Flights are operated by roughly 90 airlines to over 150 cities across the globe, and in 2008 it was the 12th busiest airport worldwide in terms of passenger throughput, registering 47,857,746. HKIA is also an important contributor to the Hong Kong economy, with 60,000 people employed at the airport.
In 2008, it was the second busiest airport in the world in terms of cargo traffic, handling 3,660,901 tons of cargo.

Saturday, February 06, 2010

Indonesia – Monument of Krishna and Arjun

A lovely card sent to me by Juwono in Jakarta. The picture is of a Monument of Krishna and Arjun in a Chariot During the Mahabharata in the Centre of Jakarta.

Friday, February 05, 2010

Belgium – Leuven University Library


The Catholic University of Leuven, or Louvain, was the largest, oldest and most prominent university in Belgium. Pope Martin V founded the Old University in 1425. After the disruptions of the French Revolutionary Wars, it was re-founded in 1816 as the State university of Louvain and converted into the Catholic University of Leuven in 1835.
In 1968 the university split to form two institutions:
  • Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Dutch-speaking, situated in Leuven; and
  • Université catholique de Louvain, French-speaking, situated in Louvain-la-Neuve, Belgium.
In 1914, during World War I, Leuven was looted by German troops. They set fire to a large part of the city, effectively destroying about half of it. The library was lost, as well as about 300,000 books; and a huge collection of manuscripts, such as the Easter Island tablet bearing Rongorongo text E. In the early stages of the war, allied propaganda capitalized on the German destruction as a reflection on German Kultur.
The new main library was built between 1921 and 1928 and designed by the American architect Whitney Warren in Low Countries neo-renaissance style. Its monumentality is a reflection of the Allied victory against Germany. It is one of the largest university buildings in the city. In 1940, during the second German invasion of Leuven, the building largely burnt down, including its (at that time) 900,000 manuscripts and books. Rebuilt after the war in accordance with Warren's design, it is now the Central Library of the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven. The paintwork decorations of the original design were completed only in 2000, and marked the 575th anniversary of the university's foundation. Thank you Thomas for sending me this card from Leuven.

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Bamburgh Castle, Northumberland

Bamburgh Castle is an imposing castle located on the coast at Bamburgh in Northumberland, England. It is a Grade I listed building. Built on a basalt outcrop, the location was previously home to a fort of the native Britons and may have been the capital of the region (see Gododdin, Bryneich and Hen Ogledd) from the realm's foundation in c.420 until 547, the year of the first written reference to the castle. In that year the citadel was captured by the Anglo-Saxon ruler Ida of Bernicia (Beornice) and became Ida's seat. The Normans built a new castle on the site, which forms the core of the present one. William II unsuccessfully besieged it in 1095 during a revolt supported by its owner, Robert de Mowbray, Earl of Northumbria. After Robert was captured, his wife continued the defence until coerced to surrender by the king's threat to blind her husband. Bamburgh then became the property of the reigning English monarch. Henry II probably built the keep. As an important English outpost, the castle was the target of occasional raids from Scotland. In 1464 during the Wars of the Roses, it became the first castle in England to be defeated by artillery, at the end of a nine-month siege by Richard Neville, 16th Earl of Warwick.
The Forster family of Northumberland provided the Crown with twelve successive governors of the castle for some 400 years until the Crown granted ownership to Sir John Forster. The family retained ownership until Sir William Forster (d. 1700) was posthumously declared bankrupt, and his estates, including the castle, were sold to Lord Crew, Bishop of Durham (husband of his sister Dorothy) under an Act of Parliament to settle the debts.
The castle deteriorated but was restored by various owners during the 18th and 19th centuries. The Victorian industrialist William Armstrong, who completed the restoration, finally bought it. During the Second World War, the Royal Navy corvette HMS Bamborough Castle was named after it.

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Malaysia - Mount Kinabalu

Kinabalu National Park or Taman Negara Kinabalu in Malay, established as one of the first national parks of Malaysia in 1964, with over 600 species of ferns, 326 species of birds, and 100 mammalian species identified. Among them is the gigantic Rafflesia plants and the orangutan. Is Malaysia's first World Heritage Site designated by UNESCO in December 2000 for its "outstanding universal values" and the role as one of the most important biological sites in the world. Located on the west coast of Sabah, east Malaysia on the island of Borneo; it covers an area of 754 square kilometres surrounding Mount Kinabalu, which at 4,095.2 metres, is the highest mountain on the island of Borneo. The park is one of the most popular tourist spot in Sabah as well as in Malaysia. In 2004, more than 415,360 visitors and 43,430 climbers visited the Park. The region was designated as a national park in 1964. British colonial administrator and naturalist Hugh Low led an expedition from Tuaran to the region in 1895. He also became the first recorded man to reach the peak of Mount Kinabalu. The highest peak of the mountain was later named after him—Low's Peak.
This botanical site contains a variety of flora and fauna that ranges over 4 climate zones; from rich lowland dipterocarp forest through the montane oak, rhododendron, to the coniferous forests, to the alpine meadow plants, and to the stunted bushes of summit zone. The mountain is also known for its many carnivorous plant and orchid species, most notably, the Nepenthes rajah. It is also home to a multitude of endemic animal species, including the Kinabalu Giant Red Leech and Kinabalu Giant Earthworm. The park also plays host to a variety of birds, insects, mammals, amphibians, and reptiles. Mount Kinabalu is one of the youngest non-volcanic mountains in the world. It was formed within the last 10 to 35 million years. The mountain still grows at a rate of 5 millimetres a year.

Monday, February 01, 2010

Indonesia – Hindu Temples

Borobudur is a ninth-century Mahayana Buddhist monument in Magelang, Central Java, Indonesia. The monument comprises six square platforms topped by three circular platforms, and is decorated with 2,672 relief panels and 504 Buddha statues. 72 Buddha statues seated inside perforated stupa surround a main dome, located at the centre of the top platform.
The monument is both a shrine to the Lord Buddha and a place for Buddhist pilgrimage. The journey for pilgrims begins at the base of the monument and follows a path circumambulation the monument while ascending to the top through the three levels of Buddhist cosmology, namely Kāmadhātu (the world of desire), Rupadhatu (the world of forms) and Arupadhatu (the world of formlessness). During the journey the monument guides the pilgrims through a system of stairways and corridors with 1,460 narrative relief panels on the wall and the balustrades.
Evidence suggests Borobudur was abandoned following the fourteenth century decline of Buddhist and Hindu kingdoms in Java, and the Javanese conversion to Islam. Sir Thomas Stamford Raffles, the then British ruler of Java, who was advised of its location by native Indonesians, sparked worldwide knowledge of its existence in 1814. Borobudur has since been preserved through several restorations. The largest restoration project was undertaken between 1975 and 1982 by the Indonesian government and UNESCO, following which the monument was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Borobudur is still used for pilgrimage. Once a year Buddhists in Indonesia celebrate Vesak at the monument, and Borobudur is Indonesia's single most visited tourist attraction.

Indonesia – Hindu Temples


Lombok (population 2,950,105 in 2005) is an island in West Nusa Tenggara province, Indonesia. It is part of the chain of the Lesser Sunda Islands, with the Lombok Strait separating it from Bali to the west and the Alas Strait between it and Sumbawa to the east. It is roughly circular, with a "tail" to the southwest, about 70 km across and a total area of about 4,725 km² (1,825 sq mi). The provincial capital and largest city on the island is Mataram. The Dutch first visited Lombok in 1674 and settled the eastern most part of the island, leaving the western half to be ruled by a Hindu dynasty from Bali. The Sasaks chafed under Balinese rule, and a revolt in 1891 ended in 1894 with the annexation of the entire island to the Netherlands East Indies.

The second largest city in Lombok, Cakranegara houses an important temple for Hindu follower in Lombok. This architecture beauty is a remnant of the Karangasem Kingdom of Bali, when it ruled Lombok in the past. This temple is the largest temple in Lombok. Meru temple was built in 1970 by Balinese prince Anak Agung Made Karang, as an attempt to unite all the small kingdoms on Lombok since this temple was built as a symbol of universe.

Meru Temple has three courtyards; the outer courtyard houses a kukul (wooden gong) tower. The middle courtyard houses two buildings for the worshipers to retreat and for the gamelan orchestra. The inner courtyard houses 33 small shrines, a large Padmasana, and three multi-roofed Meru shrines, which are dedicated to Hindu trinity, Brahma, Vishnu, and Shiva.



Prambanan is the ninth century Hindu temple compound in Central Java, Indonesia, dedicated to Trimurti, the expression of God as the Creator (Brahma), the Sustainer (Vishnu) and the Destroyer (Shiva). The temple compound located approximately 18 km east of Yogyakarta city on the boundary between Yogyakarta and Central Java province. The temple is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and is currently the largest Hindu temple in Indonesia, and also one of the largest Hindu temples in Southeast Asia. It is characterised by its tall and pointed architecture, typical of Hindu temple architecture, and by the towering 47m high central building inside a large complex of individual temples.

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Presidential Palace, Hanoi

The Presidential Palace of Vietnam, located in the city of Hanoi, was built between 1900 and 1906 to house the French Governor-General of Indochina. Auguste Henri Vildieu, the official French architect for Vietnam, constructed it. Like most French Colonial architecture, the palace is pointedly European- the only visual cues that it is located in Asia at all, are the mango trees growing on the grounds. The striking yellow palace stands behind wrought iron gates flanked by sentry boxes. It incorporates elements of Italian Renaissance design.
When Vietnam achieved independence in 1954, Ho Chi Minh refused to live in the grand structure for symbolic reasons, although he still received state guests there, and he eventually built a traditional Vietnamese stilt house and carp pond on the grounds. Today, Ho Chi Minh's Mausoleum stands nearby and the Presidential Palace remains part of Hanoi's cultural core. The palace hosts government meetings. It is not open to the public, although one may walk around the grounds for a fee. This card is kind courtesy of Dao.

France – Peyrepertuse – Cathar Castle

Peyrepertuse (or Pierre Pertuse) is a ruined fortress and one of the so-called Cathar castles located high in the French Pyrénées in the commune of Duilhac-sous-Peyrepertuse, in the Aude département, and has been associated with the Counts of Narbonne and Barcelona. It stands 800m high.
The name of Peyrepetuse derived from the ancient language called Occitan and means Pierced Rock. The castle was built on a strategic location along the French/Spanish border by the kings of Aragon (lower) in the 11th Century and by Louis IX. The two castles are linked together by a huge staircase. However, the castle lost importance as a strategic castle when the border of the two countries was moved in 1659, causing the castle to be abandoned.
During the Albigensian Crusade it served as a Cathar haven and stronghold, but was handed over to French forces without a battle in 1240. Known as one of the "five sons of Carcassonne" — several castles along the border between France and Spain — the French fortified the castle in 1242 to protect the border.
Since 1908, the site has been listed as a monument historique by the French Ministry of Culture. This nice card was sent to me by Nancy.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Germany - Heidelberg

Heidelberg is a city in Baden-Württemberg, Germany. As of 2008, over 145,000 people live within the city's 109 square kilometres (42 sq mi) area. Heidelberg is a unitary authority. The Rhein-Neckar-Kreis rural district surrounds and has its seat in the city, but the city itself does not form a part of it. Heidelberg lies on the river Neckar at the point where it leaves its narrow, steep valley in the Odenwald to flow into the Rhine valley where, 20 kilometres (12 mi) northwest of Heidelberg, it joins the river Rhine at Mannheim. Heidelberg is part of a densely populated region known as the Rhine-Neckar Metropolitan Region.
It is no secret that Heidelberg is a jewel among German travel destinations. Heidelberg is located in the Neckar river valley right where the dark Odenwald (Forest of Odes) opens up towards the plains of the Rhine Valley. Heidelberg is home to the oldest university in Germany (est. 1386). With 28,000 students, the Ruprecht-Karls-Universität (or Ruperto Carola, as the university is called in Latin) is one of Germany's larger academic institutions and boasts the full spectrum of an ancient academy, from Egyptian Studies to Computer Linguistics. The faculties for Medicine, Law and Natural Sciences are considered to be among the best in Germany. The university fostered the settlement of several other world class research institutions such as the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ), the European Molecular Biological Laboratory (EMBL), Center for Molecular Biology (ZMBH), Max-Planck-Institutes for Medicine, Astronomy, Nuclear Physics and others. In a nutshell, Heidelberg is an academic city with a rich history and shows many similarities to cities like Cambridge or Oxford (Heidelberg and Cambridge, UK are twinned).
During WWII, the city was almost completely spared by allied bombings which destroyed most of Germany's larger inner cities. As a result, Heidelberg has retained its baroque charm of narrow streets, picturesque houses and of course the world-famous Schloss (castle). After the war, the United States Armed Forces built large barracks on the southern end of the city. Therefore, Heidelberg's 130,000 inhabitants include not only the 28,000 students of the university, but also nearly 30,000 American citizens, almost all soldiers and their families. Together with the hundreds of thousands of annual visitors, Heidelberg is truly an internationally and culturally diverse destination, despite its small size.
This nice card was sent to me by Ursula.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Romania - Bucovina - Moldova


The name Bucovina means beech land Location Northeastern Romania - between the Carpathian Mountains and the Prut River. Bucovina is situated in the northern part of the region of Moldova, bordering with Ukraine.
Note: The region of Moldova (often referred to in the Western press as Moldavia) is not to be confused with the Republic of Moldova, its eastern neighbor. Area 27,062 sq miles Population Approximately 4.5 million Main cities Bacau, Botosani, Galati, Iasi, Piatra Neamt, Radauti, Suceava Climate Temperate continental with hot summers and cold, snowy winters
Places to explore
  • The monasteries and churches with painted exterior frescos of Bucovina: Voronet (‘the Sistine Chapel of the East’), Moldovita, Sucevita, Humor, Probota, Arbore, Rasca
  • The old monasteries and convents of: Putna, Dragomirna, Bogdana-Radauti, Neamt, Agapia (one of the largest nun monasteries in the Orthodox world)  and Varatec
  • Trei Ierarahi Church  in Iasi - built in 1635, its walls, real stone embroidery
  • The Neamt Fortress (Cetatea Neamtului) in Targu Neamt
  • The natural scenery of the Bicaz Gorges – one of the most spectacular road
    passes in Romania
  • The Ceahlau, Romania’s Olympus – sacred mountain of Dacians, the forefathers
    of the Romanian people, where Zamolxes, their supreme god, had his temple.
  • Take a wine tasting tour and try some of Romania’s finest sweet wines at
    Cotnari Vineyards, established in1448
   This lovely card was sent to me by Oana.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

India - Golden Temple - Amritsar


Sri Harmandir Sahib, also known as Sri Darbar Sahib or Golden Temple, (on account of its scenic beauty and golden coating for English speaking world), is named after Hari(God) the temple of God. The Sikhs all over the world, visit Amritsar and pay obeisance at Sri Harmandir Sahib in their Ardas.
Guru Arjan Sahib, the Fifth Guru, conceived the idea of creating a central place of worship for the Sikhs and he himself designed the architecture of Sri Harmandir Sahib. Earlier the planning to excavate the holy tank (Amritsar or Amrit Sarovar ) was chalked out by Guru Amardas Sahib, the Third Guru, but it was executed by Guru Ramdas Sahib under the supervision of Baba Budha ji. The land for the site was acquired by the earlier Guru Sahibs on payment or free of cost from the Zamindars (landlords) of native villages. The plan to establish a town settlement was also made. Therefore, the construction work on the Sarovar(the tank) and the town started simultaneously in 1570. The work on both projects completed in 1577 A.D. My thanks to Manu for sending me this lovely card.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Vatican City – The Tiber and St. Peter's Basilica


The Tiber is the third-longest river in Italy, rising in the Apennine mountains in Emilia-Romagna and flowing through Umbria and Lazio to the Tyrrhenian Sea. The river has achieved lasting fame as the main watercourse of the city of Rome, founded on its eastern banks. It is probable that the name Tiber is pre-Latin, like the Roman name of Tibur (modern Tivoli). The legendary king Tiberinus Silvius, or Thebris, ninth in the king-list of Alba Longa, was said to have drowned in the Albula River, which was subsequently renamed in his honour. The myth may have explained a memory of an earlier, perhaps pre-Indo-European name for the river, "white" (alba) with sediment. According to the legend, Jupiter made him a god and guardian spirit of the river (also called Volturnus, "rolling water"). This gave rise to the standard Roman depiction of the river as a powerfully built reclining river god, also named Tiberinus, with streams of water flowing from his hair and beard. According to legend, the city of Rome was founded in 753 BC on the banks of the Tiber about 25 km from the sea at Ostia. The island Isola Tiberina in the center of Rome, between Trastevere and the ancient center, was the site of an important ancient ford and was later bridged. Legend says Rome's founders, the twin brothers Romulus and Remus, were abandoned on its waters, where they were rescued by a she-wolf.
The Papal Basilica of Saint Peter officially known in Italian as the Basilica Papale di San Pietro in Vaticano and commonly known as St. Peter's Basilica, is located within the Vatican City. St. Peter's Basilica has the largest interior of any Christian church in the world, holding 60,000 people. It is the symbolic "Mother church" of the Catholic Church and is regarded as one of the holiest Christian sites. It has been described as "holding a unique position in the Christian world" and as "the greatest of all churches of Christendom". In Catholic tradition, it is the burial site of its namesake Saint Peter, who was one of the twelve apostles of Jesus and, according to tradition, first Bishop of Rome and therefore first in the line of the papal succession. Tradition and some historical evidence hold that Saint Peter's tomb is directly below the altar of the basilica. For this reason, many Popes have been interred at St Peter's since the Early Christian period. There has been a church on this site since the 4th century. Construction of the present basilica, over the old Constantinian basilica, began on April 18, 1506 and was completed on November 18, 1626. St. Peter's is famous as a place of pilgrimage, for its liturgical functions and for its historical associations. It is associated with the papacy, with the Counter-reformation and with numerous artists, most significantly Michelangelo. As a work of architecture, it is regarded as the greatest building of its age. Contrary to popular misconception, Saint Peter's is not a cathedral, as it is not the seat of a bishop. It is properly termed a papal basilica.
This nice card was sent to me by Stanislav of Odessa in Ukraine.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Poland - Crowned White Eagle


THE WHITE EAGLE - 700 YEARS OF THE COAT OF ARMS OF THE POLISH STATE

The White Eagle is the national coat of arms of Poland. It is a stylized white eagle with a golden beak and talons, and wearing a golden crown, in a red shield. The Crowned White Eagle has been the Coat of Arms of the Polish State for seven centuries now. It is one of the oldest State Coats of Arms in the world. There are very few other countries who have managed to maintain their coats of arms for such a long period of time.
Several historic traditions and legends have referred to the origin of the White Eagle, moving it back to the times when the Polish State was being established, and even earlier. The Eagle was connected with Poland's first capital, Gniezno, where Lech, the legendary ancestor of the Piast dynasty was to find an eagle's nest (in Polish: "gniazdo"), and thus took the eagle as his coat of arms. On the other hand, Jan Dlugosz, Poland’s most distinguished chronicler living in the 15th century, wrote that Duke Boleslaw Chrobry was granted the Eagle as his coat of arms by the Emperor Otto III during the meeting of both Monarchs in Gniezno in the year 1000. The origin of the White Eagle is neither as fine nor as distant in time however. Generally, coats of arms did not exist before 12th century.
The Legend behind the Polish White Eagle.
A thousand years ago, or maybe even more, there lived three brothers, Lech, Czech, and Rus. For many years they had been content in their villages, but the families grew larger and they needed more room to live.The brothers decided to travel in different directions to search for new homes. Lech, Czech, and Rus traveled with their troops for many days. They rode their horses over mountains and rivers, through forests and wild country. There were no people to be found anywhere, not a town or tiny village. On the crest of a mountain top, they separated, each going in a different direction. Czech went to the left, Rus went to the right and Lech rode straight ahead, down the mountain and across vast plains. One day Lech saw a spendid sight. He and his troops had come to a place where a meadow surrounded a small lake. They stopped at the edge of the meadow as a great eagle flew over their heads. It flew around in great swooping circles, then perched on its nest, high on a craggy rock. Lech stared in awe at the beautiful sight. As the eagle spread its wings and soared into the heavens again, a ray of sunshine from the red setting sun fell on the eagle's wings, so they appeared tipped with gold, the rest of the bird was pure white. "Here is where we will stay!" declared Lech. "Here is our new home, and we will call this place GNIEZNO ... (the eagle's nest). He and his people built many houses and it became the center of his territory. They called themselves Polonians, which means "People of the Field". They made a banner with a white eagle on a red field and flew it over the town of Gniezno, which became the first historical capital of Poland.
And, now you know how Poland began . Thank you Ada Lewandowska for this card.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Russia - Moscow - Red Square


Red Square is the most famous city square in Moscow, and arguably one of the most famous in the world. The square separates the Kremlin, the former royal citadel and currently the official residence of the President of Russia, from a historic merchant quarter known as Kitai-gorod. As major streets of Moscow radiate from here in all directions, being promoted to major highways outside the city, Red Square is often considered the central square of Moscow and of all Russia.
The rich history of Red Square is reflected in many artworks, including paintings by Vasily Surikov, Konstantin Yuon and others. The square was meant to serve as Moscow's main marketplace. It was also used for various public ceremonies and proclamations, and occasionally as the site of coronation for Russia's czars. The square has been gradually built up since that point and has been used for official ceremonies by all Russian governments since it was established.
The name Red Square derives neither from the colour of the bricks around it (which, in fact, were whitewashed at certain points in history) nor from the link between the colour red and communism. Rather, the name came about because the Russian word красная (krasnaya) can mean either "red" or "beautiful" (the latter being archaic). This word, with the meaning "beautiful", was originally applied to Saint Basil's Cathedral and was subsequently transferred to the nearby square. It is believed that the square acquired its current name (replacing the older Pozhar, or "burnt-out place") in the 17th century. Several ancient Russian towns, such as Suzdal, Yelets, and Pereslavl-Zalessky, have their main square named Krasnaya ploshchad, namesake of Moscow's Red Square.
The buildings surrounding the Square are all significant in some respect. Lenin's Mausoleum, for example, contains the embalmed body of Vladimir Ilyich Lenin, the founder of the Soviet Union. Nearby to the south is the elaborate brightly-domed Saint Basil's Cathedral and the palaces and cathedrals of the Kremlin.
On the eastern side of the square is the GUM department store, and next to it the restored Kazan Cathedral. The northern side is occupied by the State Historical Museum, whose outlines echo those of Kremlin towers. The Iberian Gate and Chapel have been rebuilt to the northwest.
The only sculptured monument on the square is a bronze statue of Kuzma Minin and Dmitry Pozharsky, who helped to clear Moscow from the Polish invaders in 1612, during. Nearby is the so-called Lobnoye Mesto, a circular platform where public ceremonies used to take place. Both the Minin and Pozharskiy statue and the Lobnoye Mesto were once located more centrally in Red Square but were moved to their current locations to facilitate the large military parades of the Soviet era. The square itself is around 330 meters (1100 ft) long and 70 meters (230 ft) wide.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Italy - Syracuse



Syracuse  is a historic city in southern Italy, the capital of the province of Syracuse. The city is famous for its rich Greek history, culture, amphitheatres, architecture and association to Archimedes, playing an important role in ancient times as one of the top powers of the Mediterranean world; it is over 2,700 years old. Syracuse is located in the south-east corner of the island of Sicily, right by the Gulf of Syracuse next to the Ionian Sea.
The city was founded by Ancient Greek Corinthians and became a very powerful city-state. Syracuse was allied with Sparta and Corinth, exerting influence over the entire Magna Grecia area of which it was the most important city. Once described by Cicero as "the greatest Greek city and the most beautiful of them all", it later became part of the Roman Republic and Byzantine Empire. After this Palermo overtook it in importance, as the capital of the Kingdom of Sicily. Eventually the kingdom would be united with the Kingdom of Naples to form the Two Sicilies until the Italian unification of 1860.
In the modern day, the city is listed by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site along with the Necropolis of Pantalica. In the central area, the city itself has a population of around 125,000 people. The inhabitants are known as Siracusans, and the local language spoken by its inhabitants is the Sicilian language. Syracuse is mentioned in the Bible in the Acts of the Apostles book at 28:12 as Paul stayed there. The patron saint of the city is Saint Lucy; she was born in Syracuse and her feast day, Saint Lucy's Day, is celebrated on 13 December. Stan sent me this card.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

France – Toulon


Toulon is a city in southern France and a large military harbour on the Mediterranean coast, with a major French naval base. Located in the Provence-Alpes-Côte-d'Azur region, Toulon is the capital of the Var department in the former province of Provence.
Toulon is an important centre for naval construction, fishing, wine making, and the manufacture of aeronautical equipment, armaments, maps, paper, tobacco, printing, shoes, and electronic equipment.
The military port of Toulon is the major naval centre on France's Mediterranean coast, home of the French Navy aircraft carrier Charles De Gaulle and her battle group. The French Mediterranean Fleet is based in Toulon.
The Toulon harbour is one of the best natural anchorages on the Mediterranean, and one of the largest harbours in Europe. A naval arsenal and shipyard was built in 1599, and small sheltered harbour, the Veille Darse, was built in 1604-1610 to protect ships from the wind and sea. The shipyard was greatly enlarged by Cardinal Richelieu, who wished to make France into a Mediterranean naval power. Jean-Baptiste Colbert and Vauban made further additions. This lovely card is kind courtesy of Thaddee Calisson.

France – Chateaubriant


Châteaubriant is a commune in the Loire-Atlantique department and the Pays de la Loire region in western France. It is part of the historic duchy of Brittany and the country of Mée.
The inhabitants of Châteaubriant are called Castelbriantais and Castelbriantaises.
For his talent as much as his excesses, Chateaubriand may be considered the father of French Romanticism. His descriptions of Nature and his analysis of emotion made him the model for a generation of Romantic writers, not only in France but also abroad. For example, Lord Byron was deeply impressed by René. The young Victor Hugo scribbled in a notebook, "To be Chateaubriand or nothing." Even his enemies found it hard to avoid his influence. Stendhal, who despised him for political reasons, made use of his psychological analyses in his own book, De l'amour.
Chateaubriand was the first to define the vague des passions ("intimations of passion"), which would become a commonplace of Romanticism: "One inhabits, with a full heart, an empty world" (Génie du Christianisme). His political thought and actions seem to offer numerous contradictions: he wanted to be the friend both of legitimist royalty and of freedom, alternately defending which of the two seemed most in danger: "I am a Bourbonist out of honour, a monarchist out of reason, and a republican out of taste and temperament". He was the first of a series of French men of letters (Lamartine, Victor Hugo, André Malraux) who tried to mix political and literary careers.
"We are convinced that the great writers have told their own story in their works", wrote Chateaubriand in Génie du christianisme,"one only truly describes one's own heart by attributing it to another, and the greater part of genius is composed of memories". This is certainly true of Chateaubriand himself. All his works have strong autobiographical elements, overt or disguised. Perhaps this is the reason why today Mémoires d'outre-tombe is regarded as his finest achievement.
A food enthusiast, he coined the name of a dish made from a cut of tenderloin (the Chateaubriand steak).
The Castle is considered the residence of a ghost/(s). A Very romantic place, which is very popular with tourists. It is just an hour’s drive from Nantes. This lovely card was sent to me by Aline.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Finland – Lapland



Another lovely card about Lapland sent to me by Sirpa.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Finland



A typical winter's scene in a Finnish coutryside. Card was sent to me by Sirpa.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Slovak Republic



Bratislava is the capital of the Slovak Republic and, with a population of about 429,000, also the country's largest city. Bratislava is in southwestern Slovakia on both banks of the Danube River. Bordering Austria and Hungary, it is the only national capital that borders two independent countries, and it and Vienna are the two European national capitals closest to one another, at less than 60 kilometres (37 mi) apart.
Bratislava is the political, cultural, and economic centre of Slovakia. It is the seat of the Slovak president, the parliament, and the executive branch of the government. It is home to several universities, museums, theatres, galleries and other important cultural and educational institutions. Many of Slovakia's large businesses and financial institutions are also headquartered there.
The history of the city, long known by the German name Pressburg, has been strongly influenced by people of different nations, namely by Austrians, Czechs, Germans, Hungarians, Jews, and Slovaks. The city was the capital of the Kingdom of Hungary under the Habsburg Monarchy from 1536 to 1783 and has been home to many Slovak, Hungarian, and German historical figures.
The picture on the card shows the Main Square in Bratislava. The card was sent to me by Ivan.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Merry Christmas



Danielle from the USA sent this nice card For all those still in the Christmasy mood -- Merry Christmas ;-))

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Guadeloupe


Guadeloupe, Antilles Francaises, or the French West Indies as it is popularly known, is an archipelago located in the eastern Caribbean Sea , with a land area of 1,628 square kilometres (629 sq. mi). It is an overseas department of France. As with the other overseas departments, Guadeloupe is also one of the twenty-six regions of France (being an overseas region) and an integral part of the Republic since 2007.
As part of France, Guadeloupe is part of the European Union; hence, as for most EU countries, its currency is the euro. However, Guadeloupe does not fall under the Schengen Agreement. The prefecture of Guadeloupe is Basse-Terre. Christopher Colombus named the island Santa María de Guadalupe in 1493 after the Virgin Mary, venerated in the Spanish town of Guadalupe, in Extremadura. This nice Multi-view card was sent to me by Michelle from Guadeloupe.