Sunday, December 5, 2010

Postcard from the United Kingdom

Caernarfon Castle

Caernarfon Castle (Welsh: Castell Caernarfon) is a medieval building in Gwynedd, north-west Wales. There was a motte-and-bailey castle in the town of Caernarfon from the late 11th century until 1283 when King Edward I of England began replacing it with the current stone structure. The Edwardian town and castle acted as the administrative centre of north Wales and as a result the defences were built on a grand scale. There was a deliberate link with Caernarfon's Roman past – nearby is the Roman fort of Segontium – and the castle's walls are reminiscent of the Walls of Constantinople.

In 1986, Caernarfon was added to the UNESCO list of World Heritage Sites as part of the "Castles and Town Walls of King Edward in Gwynedd" in recognition of its global importance and to help conserve and protect the site. The castle houses the Royal Welsh Fusiliers Museum.

Postcard from Poland

A view in Ostrow Tumski, Wroclaw

Ostrów Tumski ("Cathedral Island", German: Dominsel) is the oldest part of the city of Wrocław in south-western Poland. It was formerly an island (ostrów in old Polish) between branches of the Oder River.

Archaeological excavations have shown that the western part of Ostrów Tumski, between the Church of St. Martin and the Holy Cross, was the first to be inhabited. The first, wooden church (St. Martin), dating from the 9th century, was surrounded by defensive walls built on the banks of the river. The island had approximately 1,500 inhabitants at that time.

The first constructions on Ostrów Tumski were built in the 10th century by the Piast dynasty, and were made from wood. The first building from solid material was St. Martin's chapel, built probably at the beginning of the eleventh century by Benedictine monks. Not long after the first cathedral was raised, in place of the small church.

In 1163 the settlement was raided by Boleslaw I the Tall who had returned after being banished. After taking control of the area and waiting for the political situation in Silesia to stabilize, he chose Ostrów Tumski as his new seat. He began replacing the wooden defenses with brick ones and to build a Roman-style residence.

In 1315 Ostrów Tumski was sold to the church authorities. Since the island ceased to be under secular jurisdiction, it was often used by those who had broken the law in Wrocław, as a place of sanctuary. An interesting indication of the special status of the island was a ban on wearing anything on the head, effective even on Tumski Bridge beyond the border pole of this small "ecclesiastical nation" (the law also applied to royalty).

Old Postcard from Turkey

The postcard was sent from Galata, Turkey on 16\1\1917 to the city of Peshtera, Bulgaria.
the stamp on the card is 'Ottoman' and its value is 10 para
arriving date is unknown.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Stamps from Jordan

Pope Benedict XVI visit to Jordan

Date of issue: 08\05\2009
Denomination: 0.20, 0.30, 0.40 and 0.50 JOD
Quantity: 15 000

Pope Benedict XVI is the 265th and current Pope, by virtue of his office of Bishop of Rome, the head of the Catholic Church and Sovereign of the Vatican City State. He was elected on 19 April 2005 in a papal conclave, celebrated his Papal Inauguration Mass on 24 April 2005, and took possession of his cathedral, the Basilica of St. John Lateran, on 7 May 2005. A native of Bavaria, Pope Benedict XVI has both German and Vatican citizenship. He succeeded John Paul II.

Stamps from Bulgaria

Expo 2010 Shanghai China
Year of the Tiger

Date of issue: 30\04\2010
Denomination: 1.40 BGL
Quantity: 20 000

Expo Shanghai was held on both banks of the Huangpu River in the city of Shanghai, China, from May 1 to October 31, 2010. It was a World Expo in the tradition of international fairs and expositions. The theme of the exposition was "Better City – Better Life" and signifies Shanghai's new status in the 21st century as the "next great world city". The expo Logo features the Chinese character('world', Chinese "shì") modified to represent three people together with the 2010 date. It had the largest number of countries participating and was the most expensive Expo in the history of the world's fairs.

Stamps from Bulgaria

Souvenir sheet

Date of issue: 28\10\2010
Denomination: 0.10, 0.60, 1.00, 1.50 BGL
Quantity: 17 000

The giant panda, or panda (Ailuropoda melanoleuca, literally meaning "black and white cat-foot") is a bear, native to central-western and south western China. It is easily recognized by its large, distinctive black patches around the eyes, over the ears, and across its round body. Though it belongs to the order Carnivora, the panda's diet is 99% bamboo.

The giant panda lives in a few mountain ranges in central China, mainly in Sichuan province, but also in the Shaanxi and Gansu provinces. Due to farming, deforestation and other development, the panda has been driven out of the lowland areas where it once lived.
The panda is a conservation reliant endangered specie

The red panda (Ailurus fulgens, or "shining cat") is a small arboreal mammal and the only species of the genus Ailurus. Slightly larger than a domestic cat, it has reddish-brown fur, a long, shaggy tail, and a waddling gait due to its shorter front legs. It eats mainly bamboo, but is omnivorous and may also eat eggs, birds, insects, and small mammals. It is a solitary animal, mainly active from dusk to dawn, and is largely sedentary during the day.

Endemic to the temperate forests of the Himalayas, the red panda ranges from Nepal in the west to China in the east. It is also found in northern India, Bhutan and northern Myanmar.

Stamps from Bulgaria

FIFA World Cup South Africa
Souvenir sheet
Date of issue: 10\06\2010
Denomination: 2.10 BGL
Quantity: 15 000

Jules Rimet: (14 October 1873 – 16 October 1956) was a French football administrator who was the 3rd President of FIFA, serving from 1921 to 1954. He was FIFA's longest serving president, having served for 33 years. He also served as the president of the French Football Federation from 1919 to 1946. He was born in Theuley, France.

On Rimet's initiative, the first FIFA World Cup was held in 1930. The Jules Rimet Trophy was named in his honour. He also founded one of France's oldest teams, Red Star Saint-Ouen.

Postcard from Jordan

An old postcard from Jarash, Jordan (During 80's)

The Forum of Jarash and the Oval Piazza: forum (Latin, "marketplace"; pl. fora) was the public space in the middle of a Roman city. In addition to its standard function as a marketplace, a forum was a gathering place of great social significance, and often the scene of diverse activities, including political discussions and debates, rendezvous, meetings, et cetera.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Postcard from Jordan

An old postcard from Jordan
Jarash, Virgin's bath

Jerash is known for the ruins of the Greco-Roman city of Gerasa, also referred to as Antioch on the Golden River. It is sometimes misleadingly referred to as the "Pompeii of the Middle East or Asia", referring to its size, extent of excavation and level of preservation (though Jerash was never buried by a volcano). Jerash is considered one of the most important and best preserved Roman cities in the Near East. It was a city of the Decapolis.

Postcard from Jordan

An old postcard from Jordan (during 70's)
Petra, the Monastery (El-Dair)

Giving the Treasury a run for its money as the most impressive monument at Petra is the Monastery (a.k.a. al-Deir or ad-Dayr in Arabic), which is about an hour's climb north of Petra's city center.

The Monastery is beautifully carved, though much less decorated than the Treasury, and so huge that even the doorway is several stories tall. Its name, like most Petra structures, does not reflect reality: it was probably a Nabatean temple.

Like the "Treasury," the name "Monastery" is a rather inaccurate nickname, which is probably based on its remote location and some inscribed crosses in the interior. Althought it may have been later used as a church (or even a hermitage), it was probably a temple. It may have been dedicated to the deified Nabatean king Obodas I, who reigned in the 1st century BC.

Postcard from Jordan

An old postcard from Jordan
General view of Amman's Downtown during the 60's

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Postcard from Germany

Bassum is a town in the district of Diepholz, Lower Saxony, Germany. It is situated approx. 35 km northeast of Diepholz, and 25 km south of Bremen.

Postcard from Malaysia

Malaysia: a country in southeast Asia. The Capital city is Kuala Lumpur

Traditional houses of Malaysia, top left clockwise - Chinatown - Kuala Terengganu, Kedah house - Langkawi, Marang Street scene and Malaca River

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Postcard from the United States of America

Exotic wildlife
Jaguar (Panthera onca)
A solitary animal the Jaguar pairs with the female to the brief courtship and mating season. Gestation lasts about 95 days, after which two to four young are born. They nurse for three to for months and remain with the mother for about two years.
Photographer: Barbara Von Hoffmann

Postcard from Finland

Lappi Lapland
Lapland is one of the Regions of Finland. It is considered the traditional home of Father Christmas (Joulupukki). Lapland is the home of about 3.6% of Finland's population.

In this postcard we see the Reindeer, which is a deer from the Arctic and Subarctic, including both resident and migratory populations. The reindeer varies considerably in colour and size, and both genders grow antlers, though these are larger in the males and there are a few populations where females lack them completely.
In the Santa Claus myth, Santa Claus's sleigh is pulled by flying reindeer. These were first named in the 1823 poem "A Visit from St. Nicholas", where they are called Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Comet, Cupid, Dunder, and Blixem. Some consider Rudolph as part of the group as well, though he was not part of the original named work referenced previously. Rudolph was added by Robert L. May in 1939 as "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer".

Monday, July 12, 2010

Postcard from the Netherlands

Amsterdam, the capital of Holland, is situated 2 meters above sea level. The surrounding land is flat as it is formed of large polders. To the southwest of the city lies a man-made forest called het Amsterdamse Bos. Amsterdam is connected to the North Sea through the long North Sea Canal.

Amsterdam has been called the "Venice of the North" for its more than one hundred kilometres of canals, about 90 islands and 1,500 bridges. The three main canals, Herengracht, Prinsengracht, and Keizersgracht, dug in the 17th century during the Dutch Golden Age, form concentric belts around the city, known as the grachtengordel. Alongside the main canals are 1550 monumental buildings.

Postcard from Bulgaria

A Bulgarian town situated in the fertile sub-Balkan mountain valley of Karlovo (which is the western part of the famous Rose Valley), immediately below the steep southern slopes of the Troyan Balkan Mountain (Central Stara Planina). Sopot is part of Plovdiv Province and is the administrative centre of a municipality.

Ivan Minchov Vazov (June 27, 1850 - September 22, 1921) a Bulgarian poet, novelist and playwright was born in Sopot

Postcard from Bulgaria

Iskar river and Cherepish Monastery, Western Bulgaria

Postcard from Bulgaria

The ancient Thracian city of Perperikon is located in the Eastern Rhodopes, 15 km northeast of the present-day town of Kardzhali, Bulgaria, on a 470 m high rocky hill, which is thought to have been a sacred place. The village of Gorna Krepost ("Upper Fortress") is located at the foot of the hill and the gold-bearing Perpereshka River flows near it. Perperikon is the largest megalith ensemble in the Balkans.

It is thought that the famous sanctuary and oracular shrine dedicated to Sabazios (similar to Greek Dionysus) of the Bessi was situated there.

Postcard from Bulgaria

Eastern Rhodopes Mountain
Mountain range in Southeastern Europe, with over 83% of its area in southern Bulgaria and the remainder in Greece. Its highest peak, Golyam Perelik (2,191 m), is the seventh highest Bulgarian mountain. The region is particularly notable for the Karst areas with their deep river gorges, large caves and specific sculptured forms, such as the Trigrad Gorge.
The Eastern Rhodopes are spread over a territory of about 34% of the mountains' area in Bulgaria, constituting a much lower part.
The large artificial dams Kardzhali and Studen Kladenets are located in this part of the mountains. The region is rich in thermal mineral springs. The waters around Dzhebel have national reputation for healing various diseases. Belite Brezi is an important healing centre for respiratory and other ailments.
Almost every species of the European birds of prey nestle in rocks and forests of the Eastern Rhodopes including the extremely rare Black vulture, Egyptian vulture and others.

In this postcard:
1. The Devil's bridge - XIV c.,near Ardino village
2. Rock phenomenon ''the stone wedding'' near Zimzelen village
3. Rock phenomenon ''the Mushrooms'' near Beli plast village
4. The stone Sanctuary ''Eagle rock'' near Ardino village

Postcard from Germany

Orietal Garden in the Marzahn Leisure Park

Marzahn is a locality within the borough of Marzahn-Hellersdorf in Berlin.

The historic village of Marzahn was first mentioned as Morczane in a 1300 deed by Margrave Albert III of Brandenburg-Salzwedel, when he granted the estates to the Friedland Cistercian abbey.

A part of East Berlin from 1949, Marzahn remained a rural site until from 1977 vast housing estates were built on its fields by order of the East German authorities.

Postcard from Turkey

Cappadocia, region in central Turkey

Interior of one of the many churches of Cappadocia, a UNESCO WHS. These churches were carved in volcanic rocks during the crusades.

The name was traditionally used in Christian sources throughout history and is still widely used as an international tourism concept to define a region of exceptional natural wonders, in particular characterized by fairy chimneys and a unique historical and cultural heritage. The term, as used in tourism, roughly corresponds to present-day Nevşehir Province.

Postcard from Qatar

A sample of local architecture.
In 1825, the city of Doha was founded under the name Al-Bida. The name "Doha" came from the Arabic ad-dawha, "the sticky tree." The reference is to the fact that they smoked a lot of sticky tree in the original fishing village, on the eastern coast of the Qatar peninsula. It might have been derived from "dohat" — Arabic for bay or gulf — referring to the doha bay area surrounding corniche.
In 1882, al Rayyan built the Al Wajbah fortress, in southwestern Doha. The following year, Sheikh Qassim led a Qatari army to victory against the Ottomans.
The city was made capital of the British protectorate of Qatar in 1916, and when the nation gained independence in 1971.

Postcard from Russia

The Moscow Kremlin
A historic fortified complex at the heart of Moscow, overlooking the Moskva River (to the south), Saint Basil's Cathedral and Red Square (to the east) and the Alexander Garden (to the west).
It is the best known of Kremlins (Russian citadels) and includes four palaces, four cathedrals and the enclosing Kremlin Wall with Kremlin towers. The complex serves as the official residence of the President of Russia.

Postcard from Syria

Damascus: Hanania church carved in the rock.

The ancient house of Saint Ananias, in the old Christian quarter of Damascus, Syria. It is believed to be the house where Ananias baptized Saul (who became Paul the Apostle).
It is located near Bab Sharqi (Eastern Gate), at the very end of the Street Called Straight. Five meters below ground level, the church is supposedly the cellar of the House of Ananias, but more likely it is built at the level of the Roman street.
The church, which has been restored many times, is the only early Christian house of worship from the first century to survive in the city. A simple structure consisting of two small rooms with bare stone walls, it houses only an altar, some icons and a few pews. The icons tell the story of the conversion of Paul. It represents the simplicity of the initial Christians and is one of the earliest churches still standing where services continue to be held to this day.

Postcard from Syria

Damascus Countryside, Country house.

Damascus lies about 80 km (50 mi) inland from the Mediterranean Sea, sheltered by the Anti-Lebanon Mountains. It lies on a plateau 680 metres (2,230 ft) above sea-level.
The old city of Damascus, enclosed by the city walls, lies on the south bank of the river Barada which is almost dry (3 cm left). To the south-east, north and north-east it is surrounded by suburban areas whose history stretches back to the Middle Ages: Midan in the south-west, Sarouja and Imara in the north and north-west.
These districts originally arose on roads leading out of the city, near the tombs of religious figures.
In the nineteenth century outlying villages developed on the slopes of Jabal Qasioun, overlooking the city, already the site of the al-Salihiyah district centred around the important shrine of Sheikh Muhi al-Din ibn Arabi.

Postcard from China

The gate of the Zhongshan university in the former institute of Tribute on Wenming Road in early 1930's. The school motto on the wall says ''Learning to tell the good from the bad, and to be unswervingly true to promise''.
The large collection of books in teh university, which was as many as 242 600 copies, ranked the second in all the state-run and private universities and colleges in the whole country.