Sunday, June 25, 2017

National Museum of Western Art - Japan

The National Museum of Western Art in Tokyo is another one of French-Swiss architect Le Corbusier's  buildings classified by UNESCO as World Heritage Site. It is a concrete museum which holds a collection dedicated to western thought and art.
This card was sent by Bei Hao.

The National Museum of Western Art was built in the mid-19th century and opened in 1959. Originally, the museum housed the personal collection of Japanese industrialist Matsukata Kojiro.
When the museum was commissioned, Mr Kojiro's collection had remained mostly in Europe after the second world war. An agreement was reached between the Japanese and French governments; the latter agreed to return the artworks to Japan, on the condition that they be housed in a museum designed by a Frenchman.

The result is an exemplary Modernist building that encompasses several of Le Corbusier's key ideas.
The central galleries are laid out in a square plan, whose double-height spaces are raised on pilotis.
Throughout the building, vertical circulation is mostly through ramps, and a skylight system brings natural light into the galleries. The facade is made of precast concrete panels that rest on steel brackets.
While Le Corbusier took the lead on the design, he left the detailing and construction supervision to three Japanese apprentices: Kunio Maekawa, Junzo Sakakura and Takamasa Yoshizaka. All three would go on to be successful in their own right.
The National Museum of Western Art is the famed architect's only built project in the far east. It remains open today and houses the work of significant western artists including Rodin, Manet, Picasso and Pollock. - in:

Saturday, June 17, 2017

Mausoleum of Khoja Ahmed Yasawi - Kazakhstan

There's no doubts about this card, this one is really from an UNESCO site, the Mausoleum of Khoja Ahmed Yasawi in Kazakhstan, my 1st from there. It was sent by Emilia and she used a nice postcrossing stamp. 

The Mausoleum of Khoja Ahmed Yasawi, in the town of Yasi, now Turkestan, was built at the time of Timur (Tamerlane), from 1389 to 1405. In this partly unfinished building, Persian master builders experimented with architectural and structural solutions later used in the construction of Samarkand, the capital of the Timurid Empire. Today, it is one of the largest and best-preserved constructions of the Timurid period. - in:

Jakir - Bosnia

There are an estimated number of 60,000 stecci, monumental medieval tombstones, within the borders of modern Bosnia and Herzegovina. Last year UNESCO inscribed 22 bosnian necropolises in the WHS list. 
Sanda thought these in Jakir were classified but, unfortunately, I can't find them in the list of inscribed properties, therefore I won't consider this card for my UNESCO collection. 

In a field in Jakir, near Glamoč in western Herzegovina, there's a supersized headstone standing over 4 meters tall and capped with a 2-meter turban. This the tombstone of Omer Aga Bašić, the tallest tombstone in Bosnia & Herzegovina. 

Friday, June 16, 2017

Warsaw Ghetto - Poland

Not much was left of Warsaw Ghetto after the Uprising, suprisingly the St. Augustin Church was and is still standing. A great card sent by Emanuela & Cesare. 

Shortly after the German invasion of Poland, in September 1939, more than 400,000 Jews in Warsaw, the capital, were confined to an area of the city that was little more than 1 square mile. In November 1940, this ghetto was sealed off by brick walls, barbed wire and armed guards, and anyone caught leaving was shot on sight. The Nazis controlled the amount of food that was brought into the ghetto, and disease and starvation killed thousands each month. (Ghettos were established in cities throughout Nazi-occupied Eastern Europe. The Warsaw ghetto was the largest in Poland.)

In July 1942, Heinrich Himmler (1900-45), the head of the Nazi paramilitary corps known as the Shutzstaffel (SS), ordered that Jews be “resettled” to extermination camps. (The Jews were told they were being transported to work camps; however, word soon reached the ghetto that deportation to the camps meant death.) Two months later, some 265,000 Jews had been deported from the Warsaw ghetto to the Treblinka extermination camp, while more than 20,000 others were sent to a forced-labor camp or killed during the deportation process.

fot: Lech Zielaskowski
An estimated 55,000 to 60,000 Jews remained in the Warsaw ghetto, and small groups of these survivors formed underground self-defense units such as the Jewish Combat Organization, or ZOB, which managed to smuggle in a limited supply of weapons from anti-Nazi Poles. On January 18, 1943, when the Nazis entered the ghetto to prepare a group for transfer to a camp, a ZOB unit ambushed them. Fighting lasted for several days before the Germans withdrew. Afterward, the Nazis suspended deportations from the Warsaw ghetto for the next few months.
On April 19, 1943, Himmler sent in SS forces and their collaborators with tanks and heavy artillery to liquidate the Warsaw ghetto. Several hundred resistance fighters, armed with a small cache of weapons, managed to fight the Germans, who far outnumbered them in terms of manpower and weapons, for nearly a month. However, during that time, the Germans systematically razed the ghetto buildings, block by block, destroying the bunkers were many residents had been hiding. In the process, the Germans killed or captured thousands of Jews. By May 16, the ghetto was firmly under Nazi control, and on that day, in a symbolic act, the Germans blew up Warsaw’s Great Synagogue.
An estimated 7,000 Jews perished during the uprising, while nearly 50,000 others who survived were sent to extermination or labor camps. It is believed that the Germans lost several hundred men in the uprising. - in:

Wednesday, June 14, 2017


In ten years of Postcrossing activity, this is only the 4th time I get an official card from Norway. All of them great cards, by the way. 
The most famous Glaciers in the Arctic Circle are Okstindan and Svartisen. This is a card of Svartisen, the 2nd largest glacier in Norway. 

Foto: NK/Fjellanger Wideroe
NO-147441, sent by Heidi.
The Svartisen glacier is a part of Saltfjellet / Svartisen national park, wich is Norway´s most various national park. The Svartisen glacier is 375 square kilometer, an thereby covers quite a bit of land. The glacier stretches all the way from the widths in Saltfjellet mountain area, through beautifull valleys with calm rivers, and out to fjords and steep mountains at the coast. - in:

Tampere International PC Meeting - Finland

In the last days of May, between 26 and 28 May, a Postcrossing meeting was held in the Finnish city of Tampere. The meeting had a small but important Portuguese representation, Ana & Paulo, and Paula & Vitória. They sent me postcards and I've got another one sent by Heidi. 

© Virpi Pekkala
Finland celebrates its centenary this year and to celebrate it, a number of activities have been carried out throughout the year. One of them was FINLAND 2017 - an international stamp exhibition.

Foto: Kati Koskinen
Finlandia 2017 was partially the venue for Tampere International Postcrossing Meeting as well. The theme for the last day of Finlandia 2017 was Postcrossing.

Tuesday, June 6, 2017


My 1st option for my summer holidays this month, was a trip to Finland + Estonia and visiting Porvoo was in my plans. I'm not going to Finland now but I'll try again next year and Porvoo will stay in my plans. 

© Maria W Boström 2010
FI-2993413, sent by Isabel
Founded nearly 800 years ago, Porvoo is the second oldest city in Finland and evidence of its long history can still be seen and felt as you walk its charming streets. For centuries, the city has served as both a home and a source of inspiration for many Finnish artists.
Located about 50 kilometres east from Helsinki, it is possible to travel from the capital to Porvoo by steamboat in the summer. Even though Porvoo is not exactly a coastal town, it is connected to the Gulf of Finland via the Porvoo River. The river flows through the city, passing Porvoo’s most well-known landmarks: its red shore houses. Originally, the shore houses were painted red in honour of the arrival of Gustav III, the king of Sweden.
Historically, Porvoo has been an important centre of trade and the shore houses were once used to store goods and produce, such as exotic delicacies from distant lands. - in:

Monday, June 5, 2017

Bridges of Prague

It's always a pleasure to get cards from Czech Republic. These cards shows pretty much the same view, bridges crossing Vltava river in Prague. The 1st card is an official sent by children from a pre-school. The other one was brought from there by a friend.

foto ©
CZ-1186358, sent by stonozka.
Prague is known as the “city of hundred spires” for its many gold-tipped towers and medieval church spires that puncture the skyline, but you may as well call it the city of hundred bridges. 

According to, there are over three hundred bridges in the city. Eighteen of them span across river Vltava, and hundreds of other lead over many smaller rivers and brooks, and valleys. - in:

Weissenhof Estate - Germany

 Last year UNESCO added 17 Le Corbusier projects to the World Heritage List, which are spread across seven countries. This card is from Germany and it was sent by Steffi. 

The Weissenhof Estate is a housing estate built for exhibition in Stuttgart in 1927. It was an international showcase of what later became known as the International style of modern architecture. Two of its buildings, designed by Le Corbusier, as well as several of his other works, were inscribed as UNESCO World Heritage Sites. - in: wikipedia

Photo: Christa Munkert
The two buildings Le Corbusier designed were intended as models for mass housing, and feature modular construction methods and mobile partitions to allow a flexible use of space.
Many of the buildings were unfortunately demolished during the second world war. However, Le Corbusier and Jeanneret's structure was purchased in 2002 by the City of Stuttgart to be preserved by the Wüstenrot Foundation.
Today, the building is home to a museum and visitors centre, known as the "Weissenhof Museum im Haus Le Corbusier". - in:

Sunday, June 4, 2017


I've other cards from Bamberg but this is the 1st with the city's cathedral. 

The Bamberg Cathedral is a late Romanesque building with four imposing towers. It was founded in 1002 by the emperor Henry II, finished in 1012 and consecrated on May 6, 1012. It was later partially destroyed by fire in 1081. The new cathedral, built by St. Otto of Bamberg, was consecrated in 1111, and in the 13th century received its present late-Romanesque form. Due to its long construction process, several styles were used in different parts of the cathedral, particularly the Romanesque and Gothic ones. - in:

DE-6243385, sent by Friedhelm.
The cathedral houses many fascinating works of art, such as the famous statue of the Bamberg Rider, an altar by Veit Stoss, sculptures from the Hohenstaufen era (1230), the allegorical figures of Synagogue and Ecclesia, a visitation group and the laughing angel.
Pope Clement II (1005–47) is buried in the Bamberg Cathedral. He was the local bishop before he became Pope in 1046, but he died already in 1047 after having been pope for only twelve months. Bamberg Cathedral is the site of the only papal burial outside of Italy and France.
It is the burial place of Emperor Henry II and Cunigunde, the only imperial couple to be canonised. - in:

Porta Nigra, Trier - Germany

Raquel really enjoys going to Postcrossing meeting, I mean, who doesn't?! In the last days of May she has been to 2 meetings, one here in Portugal and then one in Trier, Germany. She sent me a south view of Porta Nigra; back in 2008 Anna sent me a view of the north side. 
In 1986 Porta Nigra was designated as part of the Roman Monuments, Cathedral of St. Peter and Church of Our Lady in Trier UNESCO World Heritage Site. 

 The Porta Nigra is a magnificent 2nd-century Roman city gate in Trier. It was given its name (which means "black gate") in the Middle Ages because of its weathered color. 

Foto: Jeiter
The oldest defensive structure in Germany, the Porta Nigra was erected in about 180 AD when the Roman city was surrounded by walls. Trier was a Roman colony from the 1st century AD and then a great trading centre beginning in the second century. It became one of the imperial capitals under the Tetrarchy at the end of the 3rd century, and became known as the "second Rome."

The Porta Nigra is the only one of four Roman gates that still stands in Trier; the others were gradually pillaged for their stone and iron. The Porta Nigra survived because it was used as the humble residence of a hermit monk named Simeon for seven years (1028-35). After his death he was buried in the gate and the structure was transformed into the two-story Church of St. Simeon (lay church on the bottom, monastery church on top).
Napoleon destroyed the church in 1803, but the 12th-century Romanesque apse survived and the entire structure has been restored to its medieval appearance. - in:

Thursday, June 1, 2017

List Ost Lighthouse - Germany

Sylt is also a german island in northern Germany. It belongs to the North Frisian Islands and is the largest island in North Frisia. 
List Ost lighthouse is a cast iron light built by the danish in 1858. 

 Foto: © Jenny Sturm - Fotolia
DE-6245670, sent by Kathrin. 
The lighthouse is still active. This is one of two lighthouses built by the Danish government on the sand spit at the north end of Sylt to guide ships through the channel between Sylt and the adjacent (and still Danish) island of Rømø.

Rannenberg & Friends - Hamburg
 The lighthouse is close to the beach and may be endangered in the future by beach erosion. - in:
Card sent by Melanie.

Dornbusch Lighthouse - Germany

Both these cards were sent by, Norbert. The 1st was sent by him on behalf of Inês and the 2nd is an official that he sent me in 2011.

Atelier Schumann
Hiddensee is an island in the Baltic Sea, located west of Germany's largest island, Rügen, on the German coast.

Photo by Klaus Ender-Bergen auf Rügen 
DE-1164926, sent by Norbert
In the north of the island stands the symbol of the island, Dornbusch Lighthouse. It was built in 1888 and it's open to the public since 1994. 

Monday, May 29, 2017

Maria Laach Abbey - Germany

Both these cards have been sent by Paulo. 

The abbey church of Maria Laach is considered a masterpiece of German Romanesque architecture, with its multiple towers, large westwork with arcaded gallery, and unique west porch.
Maria Laach Abbey is a Benedictine abbey situated on the southwestern shore of the Laacher See (Lake Laach), near Andernach, in the Eifel region of the Rhineland-Palatinate in Germany. 

The abbey was known for nearly 770 years as "Abtei Laach" ("Abbatia Lacensis" or "Laach Abbey", meaning the "Lake Abbey") until 1862 when the Jesuits added the name "Maria".
Founded in 1093 as a priory of Affligem Abbey (in modern Belgium) by the first Count Palatine of the Rhine Heinrich II von Laach and his wife Adelheid von Orlamünde-Weimar. - in: wikipedia

Sunday, May 28, 2017

Mirabell Gardens, Salzburg - Austria

Last month Óscar took his wife Daniela to spend her birthday in Salzburg. For my next brithday someone take me somewhere, please!! 

Bild: Oskar Anrather
The Mirabellgarten was laid out under Prince-Archbishop Johann Ernst von Thun from 1687 according to plans designed by Johann Bernhard Fischer von Erlach. In its geometrically-arranged gardens are mythology-themed statues dating from 1730 and four groups of sculpture (Aeneas, Hercules, Paris and Pluto), created by Italian sculptor Ottavio Mosto from 1690. It is noted for its boxwood layouts, including a sylvan theater (Heckentheater) designed between 1704 and 1718. An orangery was added in 1725.
The gardens were made accessible to the public under Emperor Franz Joseph I of Austria. Up to today, it is one of the most popular tourists' attraction in Salzburg. Several scenes from The Sound of Music were filmed here. Maria and the children sing 'Do-Re-Mi' while dancing around the horse fountain and using the steps as a musical scale. - in: wikipedia

Alpine Marmot

The alpine marmot is the mascot of Crans-Montana in Switzerland, where Óscar lives. He has never seen one tough.

The Alpine Marmot is common in the Swiss Alps between 2500 and 10,000 feet in elevation. They are excellent diggers, able to burrow through soil that even a pickaxe would have difficulty with. The marmot is the largest member of the squirrel family. The body mass is lightest in the spring, weighing about 6-7 pounds. By the fall they weigh between 12-18 pounds as they prepare for hibernation. 

Foto © Verlag Schocher Pontresina
Marmots live in an underground burrow or "hotel". The burrow only hosts one family, but are often enlarged by the next generation. They can create very complex burrows over time. Each alpine marmot will live in a group that consists of several burrows, and which has a dominant breeding pair. One can often see an alpine marmot "standing" while they keep a look-out for potential predators or other dangers. Warnings are given, by emitting a series of loud whistles, after which members of the colony may be seen running for cover. Alpine marmots eat plants such as grasses and herbs, as well as grain, insects, spiders and worms. Marmots spend up to nine months per year in hibernation. The mating season for alpine marmots occurs in the spring, right after their hibernation period comes to a close, which gives their offspring the highest possible chance of surviving the coming winter. Alpine marmots are able to breed once they reach an age of two years and have gestation period of 33-34 days. Each litter consists of between one to seven babies, though this number is usually three. The babies are born blind and will grow dark fur within several days. The weaning period takes a further forty days, during which time the mother will leave the young in the burrow while she searches for food. If kept in captivity, alpine marmots can live up to 15-18 years. - in:

Torino - Italy

An italian card sent from France by a spanish girl!! 
My penpal Gemma went on a road trip from Barcelona to northern Italy last April. She visited a few nice places, including Torino, the capital of the italian Piedmont region. 

In 1997 a part of the historical center of Torino was inscribed in the World Heritage List under the name Residences of the Royal House of Savoy.
The city has a rich culture and history, and is known for its numerous art galleries, restaurants, churches, palaces, opera houses, piazzas, parks, gardens, theatres, libraries, museums and other venues. Turin is well known for its Renaissance, Baroque, Rococo, Neo-classical, and Art Nouveau architecture.
Many of Turin's public squares, castles, gardens and elegant palazzi such as Palazzo Madama, were built between the 16th and 18th centuries. This was after the capital of the Duchy of Savoy (later Kingdom of Sardinia) was moved to Turin from Chambery (now in France) as part of the urban expansion. - in: wikipedia

aRos comunicazione
The monuments on the card are:
* The Mole Antonelliana is a major landmark building in Torino. Originally conceived of as a synagogue, it now houses the Museo Nazionale del Cinema;
* The Basilica of Superga holds the tombs of many of the dukes of Savoy, as well as many of the kings of Sardinia;
* Turin Cathedral was built during 1491–98 and is adjacent to an earlier campanile built in 1470;
* Piazza San Carlo was built by Carlo di Castellamonte in the 17th century. In the middle of the square stands the equestrian monument to Emmanuel Philibert. Piazza San Carlo arcades host the most ancient cafés of the city, such as Caffé Torino and Caffé San Carlo. - in: wikipedia

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Taormina - Italy

Beautiful cards from Taormina, a city located on the east coast of Sicily about halfway between Messina and Catania on the Ionian Sea.

 © SIME * ph. Antonino Bartuccio
 Settled on a hill of the Monte Tauro, Taormina dominates two grand, sweeping bays below and on the southern side, the top of Mount Etna, the European highest active volcano, often capped with snow, offering to the visitors a breathtaking, dramatic and memorable view over almost one hundred miles of Mediterranean sea. Taormina really seems to be born as a tourist resort since past times, when ancient people like the Sicels, Greeks, Romans, Byzantines, Saracens, Arabs, Normans and Spaniards chose it as their residential site thank to its favourable position, mild climate and magic atmosphere. - in:

 © SIME * ph. Demetrio Carrasco
Isolla Bella is tiny island located in a small bay on the coast just below Taormina. The island is connected to the mainland by a small and narrow path that depending on the tide may be submerged. The island itself was actually private property up until 1990 when the owners went bankrupt and auctioned the island, which was bought by the Region of Sicily. Since then it has been designated as a nature reserve and is home to numerous species of birds and lizards. - in:

© SIME * ph. Alessandro Saffo
One of the main attractions of the city is the Ancient Theatre. Built for the most part of brick,  is therefore probably of Roman date, though the plan and arrangement are in accordance with those of Greek, rather than Roman, theatres; whence it is supposed that the present structure was rebuilt upon the foundations of an older theatre of the Greek period. With a diameter of 109 metres (358 ft) (after an expansion in the 2nd century), this theatre is the second largest of its kind in Sicily (after that of Syracuse); it is frequently used for operatic and theatrical performances and for concerts. - in: wikipedia


This cute little badger lives in the Sierras de Cazorla, Segura y Las Villas Natural Park in Spain. I've never seen a badger and this is my 1st card with this cute animal. 

Editora y Distribuidora, El Olivo S. L. L. 
ES-456442, sent by Lisca.
This natural park is located in the eastern and northeastern part of the province of Jaén, Spain, established in 1986. With an area of 2,099.2 square kilometres (810.5 sq mi), it is the largest protected area in Spain and the second largest in Europe. It was declared a biosphere reserve by UNESCO in 1983 and also a Special Protection Area for migratory birds in 1988. - in: wikipedia

Alcúdia - Spain

Last march Heidi participated in a parabadminton tournament in Mallorca. The results weren't the best but it was a good opportunity to practice and enjoy a few days on this spanish island. 

Tullio Gatti Photo Gallery
The port and holiday resort of Alcudia lies on the north east coast of Mallorca, and is one of the most attractive areas on the island. It is considered as the favorite resort with families. 
Alcudia has a fantastic 10km stretch of soft sandy beach, ideal for all the family and there are plenty of attractions around the resort. 
For the tourist there are clean beaches and quiet calas (bays) near by, as well as peaceful Aucanada pine forests. - in:

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Pueblos Blancos - Spain

Andalucía was my 1st option for my holidays last month. Unfortunately I didn't make it and instead of spending a week in southern Spain, I spent a week in southern Portugal, which was also great. 
When searching for ideas of what to visit in Andalucía, I discovered the beautiful Pueblos Blancos, White Towns, which are a series of towns and large villages in the northern part of the provinces of Cádiz and Málaga. Setenil and Olvera, both in the province of Cádiz, were the towns I wanted to visit. 
I didn't get to visit Andalucía but Celina gave me these 2 cards from there. 

© Ediciones A. M. * Fotografia: A. Murillo
Setenil de las Bodegas grew out of a collection of cave dwellings, and many of the present-day dwellings were hewn from rock. Entire rows of whitewashed buildings seem to be submerged under massive rocky overhangs. Setenil de las Bodegas has been settled since the Moorish Almohad period of the 12th century. A legacy of the Islamic heritage, the ruins of a Moorish castle overlook the medieval village. - in:

© Ediciones A. M. * Fotografia: A. Murillo
Olvera is a small village located in the heart of the Cadiz mountains, Spain. The village’s main monument is the city itself, with its whitewashed houses, steep narrow streets all running up towards the impressive silhouette of its church and castle at the top of the hill.
The hills surrounding Olvera are full of olive tree plantations that provide the best extraction of olive oils in Andalusia. It’s believed that the name of the town is related to the amount of olive trees in the area. - in: