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22 Dec 2021

Route 66 - Oklahoma destinations





Another of my main collections is the Route 66, the Mother Road of the United States. It is one of the original highways in the US Highway System. 

The idea for Route 66 acutally started in Oklahoma. The citizens wanted to connect their state with those to the east and west. In the 1920ies existing roads were combined to one of the first highways. Originally it crossed 8 states and had a length of about 3,800 kilometers and has since become the most famous highway of the United States.

Thank you very much for this beautiful card, Christine !!!!





 

28 Nov 2021

Sinulog Festival, Cebu, Philippines

 




The Sinulog Festival in Cebu, Philippines has a long history. It is held in memory of the statue of the Santo Nino (Child Jesus) given to Rajah Humabon of Cebu by the Portuguese explorer Magellan in 1521. The statue is kept at the Basilica Minore del Santo Nino in Cebu. The religious festival takes place each year in January and is considered the biggest and most famous of the country, attracting millions of visitors. Typical for the Sinulog Festival is the Sinulog dance accompanied by drums, two steps forward and one backward with swaying body movements, simulating the current of the waters.
Besides the Grand Street Parade there are also numerous street parties and fun events hosted in the days before and after the actual festival.

Isn't it a fun fact of this postcard collecting hobby, how a single postcard makes us doing research and learning about history, culture and so many things more.
Thank you very much Rose !!!

Greetings from Nisswa, Minnesota



 

I really love the design of these Large Letter Postcards !!! Thank you Linda for sending it my way !!!

Nisswa is located in the US state of Minnesota, actually only a small city with about 2.000 residents. In the postcard collecotor's eyes, the city should call itself lucky to have such nice postcards !!! 

16 Nov 2021

Chinese Palace, Oranienbaum - Personal Residence of Catherine II of Russia



 

This, in my eyes, exceptionally beautiful postcard shows the Chinese Palace within the compound of the Russian royal residence of Oranienbaum, west of Saint Petersburg, at the Gulf of Finland.

It was built in 1762 to 1768 in Italian style and originally there was just one floor. In 19th century new features were added as well as a second floor. It was known at first as "Dutch House" but due to lots of decorations and works of art from China is acquired its current name.

I just love the colours and the reflections in the lake.

Oranienbaum is part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site: Historical Centre of the town of Lomonosov Including the Palace and Park Ensemble of the Upper Park and Lower Garden.

Thank you very much for this true beauty, Julia Kazachinskaya !!!

14 Nov 2021

Rousse, Bulgaria - Little Vienna



 


Rousse (or Ruse) is a city located on the right bank of the River Danube in Bulgaria, just opposite of the Romanian town of Giurgiu.  It is the most important Bulgarian river port because of its railway and road bridge crossing the Danube and thus connecting the two countries. 

The first settlement in this place dates back to the Neolithic age, as proven by excavations and acheological findings. Over the ages Thracians, Romans and Ottomans discovered the significance of the town and brought it under their dominance. 

Today, Rousse is famous among tourists travelling the country or cruising the Danube river for its beautiful buildings in Neo-Baroque and Neo-Roccoco style. It is often called "Little Vienna"

The centre picture shows the "Sava Ognianov Theatre", a Neoclassical building. Also integrated into the design of the postcard is a map of Bulgaria.

Thanks go to my beloved parents for sending this beautiful card from their Danube cruise.

13 Nov 2021

Neuschwanstein - Royal Palace in Winter



 

Neuschwanstein - probably the most famous of the many German castles and palaces. It is located in the Alps of Ammergau, near the city of Füssen,  nestled in the mountains with spectacular views to the Alps and down to the town of Schwangau.

It was commissioned by Bavarian King  Ludwig II. He was a great admirer of the works of German composer Richard Wagner. To him the king wrote the following words: 

"It is my intention to rebuild the old castle ruin of Hohenschwangau near the Pöllat Gorge in the authentic style of the old German Knight's castles, and I must co9nfess to you that I am looking forward very much to living there one day (in 3 years); tghere will be several cosy, habitable guest rooms with a splendid view of the noble Säuling, the mountains of Tyrol and far across the plain; you know the revered guest I would like to accommodate there; the location is one of the most beautiful to be found, holy and unapproachable, a worthy temple for the divine friend who has brought salvation and true blessing to the world. It will also remind you of "Tannhäuser" (Singers' Hall with a view of the castle in the background), "Lohengrin" (castle courtyard, open corridor, path to the chapel); this castle will be in every way more beautiful and habitable than Hohenschwangau further down, which is desecrated every year by the prose of my mother; they will take revenge, the desecrated gods, and come to live with Us on the lofty heights, breathing the air of heaven."

The gateway was the first section to be completed, after the foundation stone was laid on September 5, 1869 and the king lived there for a few years. Construction of the main parts of Neuschwanstein took longer than expected and were far more expensive, driving the king into bankruptcy. He then applied to the government, asking for financial support. The government instead, opted for deposing the king. The second attempt to bring him into custody worked, after the first one failed when Ludwig was able to get the gendarmeries and brigades of the surrounding villages and towns to protect him. The night after he was taken from the castle, King Ludwig and his assigned supervisor, his neurologist, died unter mysterious circumstances in Lake Starnberg.

The castle was eventually finished, but with simpler designs and the plans for extensive gardens with terraces and fountains were abandoned. The king had never planned for the castle to ever be opened to the public, but soon after completion, the goevbernment decided otherwise. The first year, there were 18.000 visitors, today there are near 2 million per year.

Thank you so much for this awesome winter view of Neuschwanstein Castle, Daniela !!!



11 Nov 2021

Cyprus - Where Aphrodite was born



The birthplace of Aphrodite, the Greek Goddess of Love, is said to be a beautiful beach near the city of Paphos. Naked, she emerged from the waters, created from sea foam.

Cyprus is located in the Eastern Mediterranean Sea and has a rich and old culture, actually the Cypriot culture can be counted among the oldest in the mediterranean area. Leonidas Malenis, Greek poet, named Cyprus "a golden-green leaf, thrown into the sea", a land of "wild weather and volcanoes". 

The island is popular among tourists, for the beautiful landscape and beaches, the hot, dry summers that allow baking in the sun whereas in winter there is lots of rain, to keep the island's vegetation green and fertile.

Thank you very much for this beautiful card Katerina Shagan!!

10 Nov 2021

Lake Bohinj - Julian Alps, Slovenia




Surrounded by the majestic mountains of Triglav National Park, in the heart of the Julian Alps, Lake Bohinj looks like a beautiful gem, most of all in autumn with its rich and warm colours. Even though Lake Bohinj is not far from the famous Lake Bled, it has remained less touristy, lonlier and wilder. 
The water of the glacial lake is crystal clear and cold, its temperature reaching no more than a maximum of just 17 degrees Celsius even in the height of summer.

Thank you Karmen for sending me this beauty!

 

9 Nov 2021

Gunung Kawi - Temple set in a Ravine, Indonesia




Carved into the face of rock cliff, overlooking the sacred river of  Pakerisan and set in a breathtaking landscape on the island of Bali, there is a complex of 10 shrines, up to 7 meters high. Legends tell, that these shrines are dedicated to King Udayana of Bali and his favourite queens and concubines. 
The complex, which dates back to the 11th century, stayed forgotten and hidden in its green valley until 1920.

Thank you very much Fenny Shi for this beautiful postcard !!!!

 

Punakha Drubchen Festival - Bhutan



 

In the 17th century, the Bearded Lama,  Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal, a Tibetan Bhuddist Lama,  defeated the invading Tibetan forces and in the process unified the warring fiefdoms for the first time in Bhutanese history. To honour this event, a grand celebration was held with theatrical plays of the victory and dances in colourful costumes.
Ever since the celebrations have become an annual event, actually two events, the Punakha Drubchen Festival, followed directly by the Punakha Tshechu, both held in March, where Bhutanese history comes alive.

Thank you Patrick for your beautiful card!

8 Nov 2021

Cuxhaven, Germany - Kugelbake



 

Nice surprise in my mailbox today !! I absolutely love the colours of this postcard. It was sent by Petra Schürmann and Thomas Schütze who we met during our holidays in Greece this year in September. Thank you both so much !!!

Cuxhaven is located at the coast of the North Sea, at the mouth of River Elbe. The Kugelbake, shown on this card, has become the principle landmark and symbol of the city. The  beacon, constructed from wood was once in use as a lighthouse and is about 30 meters (100 feet) high. The first navigational structure in this place goes back to about 1703. The Kugelbake, as it looks now, was built after 1945.

17 Aug 2019

New Zealand - Maori with Ta Moko Tattoos



Beautiful postcard sent by Sarah from New Zealand, showing a Maori with typical Ta Moko tattoos, the traditional permanent Maori marking of body and face. Other than normal tattoos, Ta Moko markings are made by chisels called uhi, which leaves the skin with textured grooves. 

What makes this card even more special are the stamps on the back. The stamp on the left shows Kupe, who according to legend, discovered New Zealand / Aotearoa and brought the Polynesians to this newly discovered land. The stamp in the middle shows Maui's boat. Legend says that Maui fished up New Zealand from the ocean.

I really love it when card and stamps add up like this and make me do research about a topic.
Thank you very much Sarah !!!

10 Aug 2018

Jubilee Clock Tower, George Town, Penang, Malaysia (UNESCO)



The Jubilee Clock Tower in George Town, Penang, Malaysia was built by Cheah Chen Eok in 1897 to commemorate the diamond jubilee of Queen Victoria's reign. It is designed in Moorish style and due to bombings in the Second World War it is slightly tiltet. On the left of the postcard is the stylized, betel nut shaped Penang Fountain. Both sights are  located at the King Edward Palace near the Espanade.
The historical center of George Town was inscribed into the UNESCO World Heritage List in 2008.
Thank you very much for this postcard Minh Way Poh !!!

8 Aug 2018

Isola Bella, Lago Maggiore, Italy



Isola Bella, translated means Beautiful Island, is located on Lago Maggiore in Nothern Italy. Originally the island's coast was rocky but Carlo III of the influtential house of Borromeo had the rocks removed and gave the island the shape of a ship. Palazzo Borromeo is a masterpiece of architecture, constructed in 1632 with pompously decorated rooms, beautiful paintings and gobelins. The palazzo is not the only sight on the island that is likely to take your breath away.  There are  four artificial caves, all beautifully decorated with baroque elements, gardens with English and Italian designs where you just want to walk or sit and enjoy the beauty of the wonderful nature all around you.
Thank you Erika for this wonderful postcard !!!

29 Jul 2018

Trulli of Alberobello, Italy (UNESCO)



Alberobello is located in Apulia, Italy and is famous for the wonderful Trulli buildings. Legend says that the Trulli were invented to circumvent the paying of taxes. They are all built with loosely fitting stones, found in the surroundings, without any mortar. According to legend, that way, the houses were easy to dismantle and did not count as permanent settlements in case the tax collectors were touring the area . The roofs often have symbols painted on the stones, mostly of Christian origin. Some of the houses are over 300 years old.
Standing on the opposite hill looking down to the part of town with the Trulli, it looks like a sea of gray jelly bag caps, totally enchanted !!
In 1996 the Trulli of Alberobello were inscribed into the UNESCO World Heritage List.
I sent this card home from our visit in this beautiful place.

Pamplona, Plaza Consistorial and Town Hall, Spain



Pamplona is the historical capital of Navarre, formerly the Kingdom of Navarre. The city was founded by Romans around 75-74 BC when the area served as a camp for Roman troops.
Today it is most famous for the San Fermin festival which is held annually in July to honour the city's first bishop and patron saint, Saint Fermin. The festivities start with at noon of July 6 with the Chupinazo fireworks and the singing of the traditional song "Pamploneses, Viva San Fermin". The most famous part of the festival is undoubtedly the Running of the Bulls, although there is much more to see and experience.
The card shows Plaza Consistorial with the historic townhall where the festivities start each year.
Thank you Ochalín for this beautiful card !!!

26 Jul 2018

Mount Shuksan, Washington, USA



Mount Shuksan with Picture lake right in front of it, might well be the most photographed mountain in North Cascades National Park, Washington. The name of this glaciated massif derives from the Lumni language, meaning High Peak. The Lumni are a native American tribe in Western Washington State.
Thank you Sheri for sending this beautiful card !!!

8 Jul 2018

Beautiful Beach on an island in the Ha'apai Group, Tonga



Ha'apai is group of 51 islands, 17 of them are populated. Traces of settlements of the Lapita culture have been found from about 1500 BC.  The first recorded visit to Ha'apai was by Abel Tasman, a Dutch explorer and merchant, in 1643. In 1774 and 1777 James cook made several stops at the islands and named them Friendly Islands. Other famous explorers and seafarers to visit Ha'apai were Fletcher Christian and Captain Bligh with the Bounty.
Thank you Dorothee and Christoph for sending this beautiful postcard !!!

6 Jul 2018

Park Güell, Barcelona, Spain (UNESCO)



It all started in 1900 when Count Eusebio Güell bought a tree-covered hillside just outside of the boundaries of Barcelona. He intended this space to become a sanctuary for the wealthy and assigned the design to Antoni Gaudí, a renowned Catalan architect at that time. Construction lasted 14 years. The whole project turned out to be a commercial flop. In 1922 the city bought the estate and intended it to become a public park. Its gates opened 4 years later in 1926 and this enchanted place has since become one of the most popular sites in the city.
The Park Güell and 7 buildings, all designed by Antoni Gaudí were inscribed into the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1984 with an extension added in 2005, as Works of Antoni Gaudí.

Thank you so much for this postcard, Belén !!!

5 Jul 2018

Hill of Crosses, Lithuania



The Hill of Crosses is a unique place of pilgrimage near the city of Siauliai in Lithuania. The reason why people come to this place to erect crosses, leave little statues or effigies and rosaries is not really known. It is believed that the first crosses were placed there by relatives of rebels who were killed in the 1831 uprising. It then started in earnest when the Tsarist authorities banned the placing of crosses at roads or on cemetaries. The same happened during the Soviet rule. Crosses were banned, and the hill even became a forbidden place. 5 times the authories ordered the hill cleared. In the night of April 5, 1961 all the crosses were bulldozed and crushed, wooden ones were burnt and those made from metal were taken away to be melted. 4 more times the Soviets tried to get rid of this place of pilgrimage, but each time it was rebuilt, larger than before. Thus the Hill of Crosses became a symbol of an unshakable faith in  the people, their sufferings and hopes. There are now about 100.000 crosses all around the hill. In September 1993 Pope John Paul II visited this breathtaking place.
The art of Lithuanian cross making was inscribed into the UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage List.
Thank you very much Kristina !!!!