Sunday, February 28, 2016

The Ruins at Sarmizegetusa | Romania

About 2,000 years ago the Roman Empire spread its territories towards eastern Europe. Sarmizegetusa Regia was the capital of the Roman Province of Dacia, located in today’s Romania.
Dacian Fortresses of the Orastie Mountains is an UNESCO World Heritage site. 

Both stamps are part of a series of six stamps issued in 2013: “Flowers Clock”. Each stamp shows a flower and its blooming time on the clock featured on the stamp.    

Saturday, February 27, 2016

Picture-Postcard Perfect: Hallstatt | Austria

Hallstatt is one of Austria's most picturesque villages. It is located in the Salzkammergut in the upper part of the country. This region has been inhabited for thousands of years because of the salt mining.

Hallstatt-Dachstein / Salzkammergut Cultural Landscape is a UNESCO World Heritage site.

Thursday, February 25, 2016

The Big 5 of South Africa

The "Big 5" refers to the African Cape buffalo, lion, rhino, leopard and elephant. The origin of the Big Five is at the beginning of the twentieth century. The white settlers went on hunting safaris. The Big Five refers to the five most difficult animals in Africa to hunt on foot! The members of the Big Five were chosen for the difficulty in hunting them and the degree of danger involved.  

Here you see similar cards sent from Tanzania and Lesotho.

Critically endangered birds, the Taita Falcon. Part of a set of 5 stamps, issued 2014. 

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Baranof Island, Alaska | USA

Baranof Island is an island in the northern Alexander Archipelago in Alaska. The island was named after Alexander Andreyevich Baranov, the first governor of Russian America. Baranov Island was the center of Russian activity in North America during the period from 1804–1867.

Located on Baranof Island, Sitka was once the capital of Russian America and the fur-trading center of Alaska. Russian America was the name of the Russian colonial possessions in the Americas. In 1867 Russia sold its last remaining possessions to the United States. 

Monday, February 22, 2016

Ai-Petri Mountains Cable Car in Crimea

Ai-Petri is a peak in the Crimean Mountains. There is a Cable Car that takes passengers to the main area in Ai-Petri. The upper station is located at an altitude of 1153 meters and offers spectacular views of the southern coast of Crimea. 
The peak is actually the weathered remains of a huge coral reef formed millions of years ago, when this area was under the sea.

On the left you see “Swallow’s Nest”, a castle built in the late XIX century near Yalta, in the South of Crimea. 

Sunday, February 21, 2016

A postcard from Abkhazia

Abkhazia is a break-away region of Georgia with about 250,000 inhabitants. It is situated in the north-western corner of Georgia with the Black Sea to the south-west and the Caucasus mountains and Russia to the north-east.

As the Soviet Union began to disintegrate towards the end of the 1980s, ethnic tensions grew between the Abkhaz and Georgians over Georgia's moves towards independence. This led to the 1992–1993 war in Abkhazia that resulted in a Georgian military defeat.

Abkhazia declared independence in 1999 but is not recognized internationally except by a few countries. Abkhazia together with Transnistria, Nagorno-Karabakh, and South Ossetia are post-Soviet "frozen conflict" zones.

Saturday, February 20, 2016

Saint Sophia Cathedral in Polotsk | Belarus

Polotsk is a historical city in Belarus, situated on the Dvina River. The city was a member of the Hanseatic League, an economic alliance of trading cities. 

Actually I’m not sure the city was a ‘full member’ or just had a Kontor (subsidiary trading post).

“History of national communications” (issue 2013).

Friday, February 19, 2016

Hanseatic city of Kołobrzeg (Kolberg) | Poland

Kołobrzeg is a city in north-western Poland with about 47,000 inhabitants. Kołobrzeg, meaning “near the sea” is located on the Parsęta River on the south coast of the Baltic Sea. The city’s old German name was Kolberg. 

The city joined the Hanseatic League in 1361. The Hanseatic League was a commercial and defensive confederation of merchant guilds and their market towns.

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Ugljan Island | Croatia

Kukljica is a picturesque tourist and fishing village, located on the southeast of the Croatian island of Ugljan. The island is also called the green island because it is covered by dense bush, pine trees, olive trees, fig trees, vineyards and other Mediterranean plants. 

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Cameron Highlands | Malaysia

The Cameron Highlands is situated in Pahang, West Malaysia. Approximately 200 km from Kuala Lumpur. The Cameron Highlands were named after Sir William Cameron, a British surveyor.

Great stamp!  Thx David!

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Nesvizh Palace and Park Ensemble | Belarus

Nesvizh is one of the oldest towns in Belarus. It is located about 100 km from Minsk. For centuries the Nesvizh Palace used to be the residence of the Radziwill family, one of the richest dynasties in Europe. The palace is a UNESCO World Heritage site.

“Chronicles of Victory - Defense of Brest Fortress”

The defense of Brest Fortress took place in June 1941. It was one of the first battles of Operation Barbarossa. The Brest Fortress held out longer than expected and, after the Second World War had finished, became a symbol of Soviet resistance. 

Inle Lake | Myanmar

Inle Lake is a freshwater lake located in the heart of Myanmar’s Shan State. It is the second largest lake in Myanmar. The lake is famous for its scenic beauty and the unique leg-rowing of the Inthas, the native lake-dwellers. 

Thx SL!

Friday, February 12, 2016

Hanseatic League member Groningen | Netherlands

In the fourteenth century the Dutch city of Groningen became a member of the Hanseatic League.

The league was a collaboration of merchants primarily from Germany, Scandinavia, England, Poland, the Baltic States, Russia and the Netherlands.

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Hanseatic city of Rostock | Germany

The history of Rostock dates back nearly 800 years. The rise of the city started early 13th century with its membership of the Hanseatic League. In the 14th century it was a powerful seaport town with 12,000 inhabitants.
‘A homely city or romantic fishermen"s village, Middle Age architecture or a magical coastal landscape, paintings, theatre and large ships, Rostock has something on offer for everyone.’

Porsche 911 Targa Part of a series of stamps about (German) classic cars, issued January 2016.  

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Church of St John of Nepomuk | Czech Republic

The Pilgrimage Church of St. John Nepomuk is located neart Zelena Hora in Czech Republic. The number five plays an important role in the churches layout.

There is a five-pointed ground plan, five entrances, five altar niches, twenty-five chapels around a central space, five stars and five angels on the high altar who are carrying the martyr up to heaven. The church was built in the 1720s. 

Sunday, February 7, 2016

The Curonian Spit | Lithuania

The Curonian Spit is a 98 km long, thin, curved sand-dunespit that separates the Curonian Lagoon from the Baltic Sea coast. Its southern portion is located in Russia and its northern within Lithuania. 

It is aUNESCO World Heritage Site shared by the two countries.

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Torre de Belém | Portugal

The Belém tower was built in the sixteenth century in the Tagus river to control the entrance to the city from the sea. Today the tower is Lisbon’s popular tourist attraction.
The Torre de Belém is a UNESCO World Heritage site together with the Monastery of the Hieronymites, also located in Lisbon.  

A stamp to celebrate the completion in 1614 of the autobiographical memoirs of Fernão Mendes Pinto (1509-1583), a Portuguese explorer and writer. His voyages are recorded in Pilgrimage (Peregrinação in Portugese).

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

The Semmering Railway | Austria

The Semmeringbahn is a mountain railway crossing the Semmering, a mountain pass in Austria. Built over 41 km of high mountains between 1848 and 1854, it is one of the greatest achievements of civil engineering from this pioneering phase of railway building.

The Semmering Railway is UNESCO World Heritage site.

The postcard was actually send from Germany. Normally I only show cards sent from the country of origin. But I guess the exception proves the rule.  

Monday, February 1, 2016

Iglesia de Santa María del Naranco | Spain

The church of St Mary at Mount Naranco is located near the city of Oviedo in Northern Spain. King Ramiro I ordered its construction in 848 and used it as a royal palace; it was later converted into a church.
The church is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is inscribed under the name Monuments of Oviedo and the Kingdom of the Asturias.

A stamp in remembrance of Spanish guitarist Paco de Lucia (1947 – 2014).


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