Jul 2, 2018

Berlin | Germany

This beautiful postcard was sent to me by Carina from BerlinGermany via Postcrossing [DE-7301557]. It shows the Berlin Cathedral, the Palace of the Republic and the Spree seen from the Nikolai Quarter. She informs me that 'the view on this postcard is not what you would see today. The Palace of the Republic has been torn down. In it's place, the old Berlin Palace is been rebuilt.'

The Palace of the Republic (German: Palast der Republik) in East Berlin was the seat of the parliament of the German Democratic Republic (also known as East Germany), the Volkskammer (People's Chamber), and also served various cultural purposes. Located between Schlossplatz and the Lustgarten (referred to jointly as Marx-Engels-Platz from 1951 to 1994) on an island in the River Spree, it also housed two large auditoria, art galleries, a theatre, 13 restaurants, a bowling alley, a post office, and a discothèque. On 23 August 1990, the Volkskammer ratified the treaty on German reunification, which was later also confirmed by the Bundestag in Bonn. The building was constructed between 1973 and 1976 on the site of the former Berliner Stadtschloss (City Palace), and was completely demolished by 2008 to make room for a reconstruction of the Stadtschloss, which began in 2013.

Jun 19, 2018

Dublin | Ireland

This beautiful postcard was sent by Jana from Ireland via Postcrossing [CZ-1407509]. It shows some colourful front doors in Dublin. Dublin (Irish: Baile Átha Cliath) is the capital of and largest city in Ireland. Dublin is located in the province of Leinster on the east coast of Ireland, at the mouth of the River Liffey and bordered on the South by the Wicklow Mountains.

There is archaeological debate regarding precisely where Dublin was established by Celtic-speaking people in the 7th century. Later expanded as a Viking settlement, the Kingdom of Dublin became Ireland's principal city following the Norman invasion. The city expanded rapidly from the 17th century and was briefly the second largest city in the British Empire before the Acts of Union in 1800. Following the partition of Ireland in 1922, Dublin became the capital of the Irish Free State, later renamed Ireland.

As of 2010, Dublin was listed by the Globalization and World Cities Research Network (GaWC) as a global city, with a ranking of "Alpha-", which places it amongst the top thirty cities in the world. It is a historical and contemporary centre for education, the arts, administration, economy and industry.

Jun 17, 2018

Tolmezzo | Italy

This picturesque postcard shows Tolmezzo (Friulian: Tumieç, Slovene: Tolmeč, archaic German: Tolmein or Schönfeld; Timau Cimbrian: Schunvelt) is a town and comune in the province of Udine, part of the Friuli-Venezia Giulia region of north-eastern Italy. Tolmezzo is located at the foot of the Strabut Mountain, between the Tagliamento River and the Bût stream. Nearby is the Mount Amariana, elevation 1,906 metres (6,253 ft). The commune also includes the five frazioni of Cadunea (Friulian: Cjadugnee), Caneva (Cjanive), Casanova (Cjasegnove), Fusea (Fusee), Illegio (Dieç), Imponzo (Dimponç).

The existence of Tolmezzo (called Tolmetium) is first documented in the late 10th century, when it was part of the Patriarchate of Aquileia, but it has been suggested that the town stemmed from a very ancient pre-Roman settlement. In Roman times, the area was crossed by one of the main Roman roads that connected Italy to what is now Austria.

The city had a flourishing market, and was defended by a line of walls with 18 towers and by the castle of the Patriarchs. In 1420, it was annexed to the Republic of Venice, but its trades and industries did not suffer from the change, and the city maintained its privileges. In 1797, with the Treaty of Campo Formio, it was handed over to the Austrian Empire, and, after a short Napoleonic rule, it was included in the client Kingdom of Lombardy-Venetia.

Tolmezzo became part of the new unified Kingdom of Italy in 1866.

Jun 13, 2018

San Francisco | USA

This postcard shows the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, California, USA. San Francisco (Spanish for 'Saint Francis'), officially the City and County of San Francisco, is the cultural, commercial, and financial center of Northern California. It covers an area of about 46.89 square miles (121.4 km2), mostly at the north end of the San Francisco Peninsula in the San Francisco Bay Area. San Francisco is the fourth-most populous city in California and the 13th-most populous in the United States, with a 2017 census-estimated population of 884,363. The consolidated city-county is also the fifth most densely populated U.S. county, behind only four of the five New York City boroughs. As of 2016, it was the 7th highest-income county in the United States, with a per capita personal income of $110,418.

Josef Lada [part 02] | Czech Republic

Another postcard with illustration from Josef Lada. I like the simplistic design and basic colours. Born in the small village of Hrusice in a cobbler's family, he went to Prague at the age of 14 to become an apprentice binder. Entirely self-taught, he created his own style as a caricaturist for newspapers, and later as an illustrator. He produced landscapes, created frescoes and designed costumes for plays and films. Over the years he created a series of paintings and drawings depicting traditional Czech occupations, and wrote and illustrated the adventures of Mikeš, a little black cat who could talk.

Lada produced nearly 600 cartoons of the Švejk characters, depicting Austria-Hungary officers and civil servants as incompetent, abusive and often drunk. All subsequent editions of Švejk used Lada's illustrations, except for the 2008/2009 Czech edition illustrated by Petr Urban.

Rila Monastery | Bulgaria

A good friend sent me this postcard from Bulgaria on 1st November 2016. It shows Rila Monastery. I have not been in Bulgaria yet, but she tells me that I 'should really visit this place in autumn'. I will try dear V.

The Monastery of Saint Ivan of Rila, better known as the Rila Monastery (Bulgarian: Рилски манастир, Rilski manastir) is the largest and most famous Eastern Orthodox monastery in Bulgaria. It is situated in the southwestern Rila Mountains, 117 km (73 mi) south of the capital Sofia in the deep valley of the Rilska River at an elevation of 1,147 m (3,763 ft) above sea level, inside of Rila Monastery Nature Park. The monastery is named after its founder, the hermit Ivan of Rila (876 - 946 AD), and houses around 60 monks.

Founded in the 10th century, the Rila Monastery is regarded as one of Bulgaria's most important cultural, historical and architectural monuments and is a key tourist attraction for both Bulgaria and Southern Europe. In 2008 alone, it attracted 900,000 visitors. The monastery is depicted on the reverse of the 1 lev banknote, issued in 1999.

She used 2 stamps of 1 lev, 1 stamp of 0.20 lev and 1 stamp of 0.10 lev. 

10th FEBRUARY 2014, BULGARIA - Mushrooms; 0,10: Pine Bolete (Boletus pinophilus); 0,20: Magpie Fungus (Coprinus picaceus); 0,50: Citron Amanita (Amanita citrina); 1: Green-cracking Russula (Russula virescens)

Niagara Falls | USA

This postcard shows a general view of the Niagara Falls from Steel Arch Bridge. Niagara Falls is the collective name for three waterfalls that straddle the international border between the Canadian province Ontario and the American state of New York. They form the southern end of the Niagara Gorge.

From largest to smallest, the three waterfalls are the Horseshoe Falls, the American Falls and the Bridal Veil Falls. The Horseshoe Falls lies on the border of the United States and Canada with the American Falls entirely on the United States' side, separated by Goat Island. The smaller Bridal Veil Falls are also on the United States' side, separated from the American Falls by Luna Island.

Located on the Niagara River, which drains Lake Erie into Lake Ontario, the combined falls form the highest flow rate of any waterfall in North America that has a vertical drop of more than 165 feet (50 m). During peak daytime tourist hours, more than six million cubic feet (168,000 m3) of water goes over the crest of the falls every minute. Horseshoe Falls is the most powerful waterfall in North America, as measured by flow rate.

The falls are 17 miles (27 km) north-northwest of Buffalo, New York, and 75 miles (121 km) south-southeast of Toronto, between the twin cities of Niagara Falls, Ontario, and Niagara Falls, New York. Niagara Falls was formed when glaciers receded at the end of the Wisconsin glaciation (the last ice age), and water from the newly formed Great Lakes carved a path through the Niagara Escarpment en route to the Atlantic Ocean.

Niagara Falls is famed both for its beauty and as a valuable source of hydroelectric power. Balancing recreational, commercial, and industrial uses has been a challenge for the stewards of the falls since the 19th century.

The card was posted on 4 August 1905 at 3pm. In the front it reads: 'Dear Alice, 5 of us have come here today - we are staying until tomorrow [...]'  Unfortunately I cannot read the rest.

Chinzei Hachiro Tametomo | Japan

I love the colours of this postcard! It shows the mighty Chinzei Hachiro TametomoMinamoto no Tametomo (源 為朝, 1139 – April 23, 1170) (also known as Chinzei Hachirō Tametomo (鎮西 八郎 為朝)) was a samurai who fought in the Hōgen Rebellion of 1156. He was the son of Minamoto no Tameyoshi, and brother to Yukiie and Yoshitomo.

Tametomo is known in the epic chronicles as a powerful archer and it is said that he once sunk an entire Taira ship with a single arrow by puncturing its hull below the waterline [pictured on this postcard]. It is also added in many legends that his left arm was about 4 in. longer than his right, enabling a longer draw of the arrow, and more powerful shots. He fought to defend Shirakawa-den, alongside his father, against the forces of Taira no Kiyomori and Minamoto no Yoshitomo, his brother. The palace was set aflame, and Tametomo was forced to flee.

After the Hōgen Rebellion, the Taira cut the sinews of Tametomo's left arm, limiting the use of his bow, and then he was banished to the island of Ōshima in the Izu Islands. Tametomo eventually killed himself by slicing his abdomen, or committing seppuku. He is quite possibly the first warrior to commit seppuku in the chronicles.

In the Chūzan Seikan (1650) by Shō Shōken, the first history of Ryūkyū, is mentioned that he made his way down to Okinawa during his exile, and sired the first known chief of Chūzan - Shunten.

Written after Invasion of Ryukyu (1609), this narrative was probably constructed to connect and legitimise the relation of Japan's imperial family with the Ryukyu Islands. During the Meiji period the myth was considered as an official and historical fact for the Japanese "legitimacy" and "sovereign right" of the annexation of the Ryukyu Kingdom in 1879.

The stamp is placed in the front side of the card. Apost stamp with the date 6 October 1921 can be seen in the back

Nunobiki Waterfall | Japan

This postcard shows Nunobiki Waterfall, (布引の滝 Nunobiki no Taki) is a set of waterfalls near downtown Kobe, Japan, with an important significance in Japanese literature and Japanese art. In Japan, Nunobiki is considered one of the greatest "divine falls" together with Kegon Falls and Nachi Falls.

Nunobiki waterfalls comprises four separate falls: Ontaki [the one pictured here], Mentaki, Tsutsumigadaki, and Meotodaki.

A well-known section of the Tales of Ise (Ise monogatari) describes a trip taken by a minor official and his guests to Nunobiki Falls. They begin a poetry-writing contest, to which one of the guests, a commander of the guards, contributes:

Which, I wonder, is higher-
This waterfall or the fall of my tears
As I wait in vain,
Hoping today or tomorrow
To rise in the world.

The minor official offers his own composition:

It looks as though someone
Must be unstringing
Those clear cascading gems.
Alas! My sleeves are too narrow
To hold them all.

This card has a post stamp dated 25th October 1923, 11:45pm, however the handwritten date is 25th September 1923. It was written by a father to his daughters and it reads: 'H.M.S. Despatch, Kobe, Japan 25/09/23 Dear Sonny, I hope you will keep these nice post cards & not make them dirty or lose them. Perhaps you can put them in mummy's album. Lots of love from Daddy'.

Well, I can safely say Sonny kept them in pristine condition! Her Daddy would be very happy!

Minatogawa Kobe | Japan

This beautiful postcard comes from my beloved Japan. It shows Minatogawa Kobe.

Kobe (神戸市 Kōbe-shi, Japanese) is the sixth-largest city in Japan and the capital city of Hyōgo Prefecture. It is located on the southern side of the main island of Honshū, on the north shore of Osaka Bay and about 30 km (19 mi) west of Osaka. With a population around 1.5 million, the city is part of the Keihanshin metropolitan area along with Osaka and Kyoto.

The earliest written records regarding the region come from the Nihon Shoki, which describes the founding of the Ikuta Shrine by Empress Jingū in AD 201. For most of its history, the area was never a single political entity, even during the Tokugawa period, when the port was controlled directly by the Tokugawa shogunate. Kobe did not exist in its current form until its founding in 1889. Its name comes from kanbe (神戸, an archaic title for supporters of the city's Ikuta Shrine). Kobe became one of Japan's 17 designated cities in 1956.

Kobe was one of the cities to open for trade with the West following the 1853 end of the policy of seclusion and has since been known as a cosmopolitan and nuclear-free zone port city. While the 1995 Great Hanshin earthquake diminished much of Kobe's prominence as a port city, it remains Japan's fourth-busiest container port. Companies headquartered in Kobe include ASICS, Kawasaki Heavy Industries, and Kobe Steel, as well as over 100 international corporations with Asian or Japanese headquarters in the city, such as Eli Lilly and Company, Procter & Gamble, Boehringer Ingelheim, and Nestlé. The city is the point of origin and namesake of Kobe beef, as well as the site of one of Japan's most famous hot spring resorts, Arima Onsen.

In the back it reads: 'H.M.S. Despatch, Kobe, Japan 25/09/23 Dear Sonny [?] I expect you & sister Margaret are quite living [?] strong after your holiday. I hope you are ever so good too. Lots of love to both from Daddy'

He sure cared about his daughters. That's why he sent another card just a few days later.