Feb 28, 2011

This house is my soul!



Last weekend a friend of mine went to Vienna and sent me this postcard! It shows Hundertwasser Haus.

“This house is my soul!”
Friedensreich Hundertwasser, 1986
The Hundertwasser-Haus is an apartment house in Vienna, Austria, built after the idea and concept of Austrian artist Friedensreich Hundertwasser with architect Joseph Krawina as a co-author. This expressionist landmark of Vienna is located in the Landstraße district on the corner of Kegelgasse and Löwengasse.
Friedensreich Hundertwasser started out as a painter. Since the early 1950s, however, he increasingly became focused on architecture, writing and reading in public manifestos and controversial essays (e.g. 1958 a ‘Mouldiness Manifesto.’ advocating natural forms of decay) In 1972, he had his first architectural models made for the TV-show ‘Wünsch dir was', in order to demonstrate his ideas on forested roofs, "tree tenants" and the "window right" of every tenant to embellish the facade around his windows. In these models Hundertwasser also developed new architectural shapes, such as the "eye-slit" house and the "high-rise meadow house"

Feb 23, 2011

36 years ago in Barcelona

These three postcards were sent from my aunt, who was then living in Barcelona, to my mother in the year 1974. At that time she started working at the hospital shown on the third card! She writes that Barcelona is a magnificent city and that she thinks she could spent the rest of her life there!

Gothic Quarter
 On the first postcard you can see the Gothic Quarter of Barcelona. El Gòtic ('Gothic Quarter' in Catalan; Spanish: Barrio Gótico), also known as Barri Gòtic, is the centre of the old city of Barcelona. It stretches from La Rambla to Via Laietana, and from the Mediterranean seafront to Ronda de Sant Pere.
Despite several changes undergone in the 19th and early 20th century, many of the buildings date from Medieval times, some from as far back as the Roman settlement of Barcelona. Remains of the squared Roman Wall can be seen around Tapineria and Sots-Tinent Navarro to the north, Avinguda de la Catedral and Plaça Nova to the west and Carrer de la Palla to the south. El Call, the medieval Jewish quarter, is located within this area too.
The Barri Gòtic retains a labyrinthine street plan, with many small streets opening out into squares. Most of the quarter is closed to regular traffic although open to service vehicles and taxis.



New Hohenschwangau Castle





I bought these cards many years ago. I remember only a few things about this magnificent castle. The thing that stays more vivid in my mind is the huge kitchen!!

History of the origins of Neuschwanstein Castle

Ludwig II, King of Bavaria since 1864, addressed the following lines to the man he so greatly admired, Richard Wagner:
«It is my intention to rebuild the old castle ruin of Hohenschwangau near the Pöllat Gorge in the authentic style of the old German knights' castles, and I must confess to you that I am looking forward very much to living there one day (in 3 years); there 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».
Picture: Ideal design for Neuschwanstein Castle
Ideal design for Neuschwanstein Castle by Christian Jank, 1869

Feb 20, 2011

Kaiserin Sisi



I bought this postcard many many years ago in one of my trips to Germany. As I was very little back then, I remember looking at her pictures and portraits and being amazed. She looked ethereal. 

Elisabeth of Bavaria (24 December 1837 – 10 September 1898) was Empress of Austria and Queen consort of Hungary as the spouse of Franz Joseph I. As such, she held also the titles Queen consort of Bohemia, Queen consort of Croatia and others. From an early age, she was called “Sisi” by family and friends (not "Sissi" as in the film or in the animated series).
While Elisabeth had limited influence on Austro-Hungarian politics, she has become a historical icon. Elisabeth is considered to have been a non-conformist who abhorred conventional court protocol and at the same time a tragic figure; she has inspired filmmakers and theatrical producers alike.

Gerolstein


This beautiful postcard was sent by my postcard buddy Chris, from Germany!She writes me that  on the card there is a small part of Gerolstein city and that the hill in the back is called Munterley  You have a great view from up there! Vulkaneifel is the whole district.

Gerolstein is a town in the Vulkaneifel district in Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany. It is the seat of the like-named Verbandsgemeinde. Gerolstein is headquarters to a large mineral water firm, Gerolsteiner Brunnen. The town is also a climatic spa (Luftkurort).
One form of the name Gerolstein first cropped up in connection with the building of the Löwenburg (Castle Gerolstein) in 1115, which was then named as the Burg Gerhardstein. Nevertheless, as early as the Stone Age there is evidence of human habitation in the Buchenloch, a nearby cave. In the Bronze Age, the Dietzenley was used by the Celts as a flight castle. From Roman times, a temple and dwellings are known, and remnants are preserved.

Feb 19, 2011

How to determine the age of postcards

As I have already told you, recently my parents gave me their own collection of postcards, counting 400 more or less postcards!! Most of them are from the '80s and '90s, but there are many that are way older. Unfortunately most of them have no date on them, so I did a lot of reading on how to determine the age of postcards! I will now present you what I have found out. Feel free to comment and tell me more if you have knowledge of the subject!

As I have read, there are several Eras in Postcard manufacturing. Each era has different "marks" such as the color, the frame etc. I guess these eras may different in some countries, but in general they are these listed below:
  • Pioneer era [1861-1900]
The most easy way to determine a postcard of this era is to have an undivided back and they usually were printed with a stamp as part of the design, which was included in the price of purchase. Writing was not allowed on the stamp side, except for the address.  People often would write around the edge of  the card or even on the picture, as there was not much space for correspondence.
  • Private Mailing Card Era [1898- 1901]
Postcards from this era also have an undivided back, but they all have the inscription "Private Mailing Card", hence the name of the era.

Amersfoort, city with a heart



This is a card of Amersfoort in the Netherlands. [NL-557891]

The historic inner city of Amersfoort has a Medieval pattern of streets and squares, where you will find over 380 monuments, from remarkable churches and museums to city walls and gates. A string of unique houses ‘muurhuizen’ is part of the heart shaped inner city. Just outside the old city walls you can relax in the ‘Zocherplantsoen’, a green area stretching alongside the city canals.

The many festivals and terraces on the squares in the city centre make Amersfoort an exuberant place to be. Various museums, galleries and other places of interest offer culture lovers lots of possibilities to enjoy themselves.

Feb 18, 2011

Red Church



This postcard was sent by Nadya from Belarus via postcarossing [BY-139693]. It shows the Catholic Church of Saints Simon and Helena at Minsk.

Church of Saints Simon and Helen, Minsk (Belarusian: Касцёл святых Сымона і Алены) also known as the Red Church (Belarusian: Чырвоны касцёл) is a Roman Catholic church on the Independence Square in Minsk, Belarus.
The church was built in 1905-1910. The construction was financed by Edward Woyniłłowicz, a prominent Polish and Belarusian civic activist. The church was named and consecrated in the memory of Woyniłłowicz's departed children Szymon (Simon) and Helena (Helen).
In 1923 the church was robbed by the Red Army and in 1932 it was closed down by the Soviet authorities and transferred to the State Polish Theatre of the BSSR. Before the Second World War the church was reconstructed into a film studio.
In 1941 the German occupation administration allowed the church to be used, but after the war it was closed down yet again.
In 1990 the building was given back to the Catholic Church. Since then it was renewed and became an important centre of religious, cultural and social life. It also became a centre for the revived Belarusian Greek Catholic Church. [wikipedia]

Feb 16, 2011

Osnabrück, the city of peace


This postcard was sent by Beatriz from Germany via postcrossing [DE-829757]. It shows Osnaburck, a small city in Germany.

As the centre of an economic region located in Lower Saxony and bordering on North Rhine Westphalia with about 700,000 inhabitants, Osnabrück has always played an important leadership role. Its existence as the 3rd biggest city of Lower Saxony is due to a long-sighted decision taken by Charlemagne more than 1,200 years ago. In 780 he founded a mission at an intersection of old trade routes.
Osnabrück achieved its place within the history of Europe as the venue of the Peace of Westphalia (1648). With around 163,000 inhabitants, Osnabrück is the economic and cultural centre of west Lower Saxony and the heart of the Osnabrück region. Its leisure value profits from the attractive location between the Teutoburger Wald mountains and Wiehengebirge hills with a large number of therapeutic baths nearby. Osnabrück is the only large German city situated in the middle of a nature park – the UNESCO Geopark TERRA.vita.

Island of St. Giulio

This postcard was sent by Rosanno from Italy via postcrossing [IT-123514]. It shows San Giulio, a small town oh the shores of lake Orta in Northern Italy.

According to the legend, the Island of St. Giulio was dominated by a big serpent that destroyed everything. But when St. Giulio, that had the power to command over the waves, the storms, the wild animals and the human beings, arrived near the lake , waving his hand he chased away the dangerous menacing animal.

He reached the Island journeying over the water on his cloak guided by his staff. The big reptile disappeared and St. Giulio, tired and near to his death, thought that the island was the right place to build his hundredth and last church dedicated to the Holy Apostles. The Island of San Giulio is today a place of great mysticism. Here was born on 962 William of Volpiano, during the siege to Queen Willa by Emperor Otto, King Berengario II's wife, who had taken the Island from the Bishop of Novara. The big central building was a Castle. The island was the governor 's seat that represented the bishop. On 1842 it was destroyed to build on it a seminary. Now there is a Benedictin monastery that helps giving more mistic power to a place that is by nature immersed in the silence.

Feb 15, 2011

Stonehenge | England



This amazing postcard from Stonehenge was sent by Serena from Great Britain via postcrossing [GB-202486]. It is a postcard of Stonehenge, a Unesco World Heritage Site.

Stonehenge is a prehistoric, mysterious circle of upright stones in southern England. Construction on the great monument began 5,000 years ago; the famous stones that still stand today were put in place about 4,000 years ago.
The great age, massive scale and mysterious purpose of Stonehenge draw over 800,000 visitors per year, and several thousand gather on the summer solstice to watch the sunrise at this ancient and mystical site. The stones are aligned almost perfectly with the sunrise on the summer solstice, and it is almost unquestioned that Stonehenge was built as a spectacular place of worship.

Feb 14, 2011

Kemi

This one arrived today!! It was sent by Airi from snowy Kemi via postcrossing [FI-1015333].

Kemi is located in Sea Lapland (Meri-Lappi) in the middle of the Bothnian Arc that has a population of some 820,000.It is easy to come and fall in love with Kemi. You can reach it by air, rail or road - all roads lead to Kemi.  Kemi has the only deep-water harbour in Lapland so it is capable of addressing the needs of the business sector.

Trade, services, industry and cutting-edge technology
Kemi is the centre of trade and services in Sea Lapland. It houses the paper mills of Stora Enso and Metsä-Botnia and Outokumpu's Kemi mine. Digipolis - Kemi Technology Park offers top-flight expertise for use by the industrial sector. The city center has a number of special stores famous throughout the region so it also attracts people from far away areas.
A wealth of educational services and urban culture
Educational services are offered by Lappia Vocational College, Kemi-Tornio University of Applied Sciences, local workers' colleges and open colleges, and the Kemi unit of the University of Lapland and the University of Oulu. Kemi also has a theatre, city orchestra, regional art museum, indoor swimming pool, ice stadium, indoor football ground, golf course and a yachting centre. It is home to two world famous attractions - ice breaker Sampo and Kemi Snow Castle
Opportunities and faith in future
Kemi is an ideal place for companies, thanks to its excellent location and the availability of highly committed, skilled labour. The focus in Kemi is on high-quality living in an urban environment close to the sea.
Fennovoima's nuclear power plant project, Vapo's biofuel plant, YIT's Sarius tourism project, mining projects in Lapland and the extensions of the Outokumpu mine and steelworks ensure that the economy will keep flourishing and bring well-being and prosperity to the local people. [Kemi official site]

FACTS OF KEMI
Founded: 5.3.1869
Inhabitants: 
(31.12.2009)
22580
Area:  747 km2
Land area: 95 km2
Subregion:  Kemi-Tornio
Province: Lappi
Municipal tax: 20,75 %

Helsinki


This postcard was sent to me by Juha from Finland via postcrossing [FI-995738]. He writes that he lives with his wife, their dog and about 2300 people in a small village near Helsinki. I have visited Helsinki four or five years ago and I remember that Finns are very calm people. I was there only for four days, but I hope I will go again sometime :)

from the Varangians to the Greeks

This postcard was sent by Larisa from Smolensk, Russia, via postcrossing [RU-306026]. It shows the tower "Gromovaja" of the Smolensk fortress wall, the monument to architect F. S. Kon.

Smolensk is one of the ancient Russian towns. Having been founded on the ancient rout «from the Varangians to the Greeks», it is a contemporary to Kiev and Novgorod. By the time of the first reference about Smolensk in chronicles of Ustug (863), the town had already been a great town with plenty of people. The finds in the krivichies' settlements testify about the antiquity of Smolensk civilization. This settlements are known as burialmounds in Gnesdovo. As a result of archaeological excavations, an earthenware pot with the super-scription «gorouscha» was found. This superscription means «mustard». It is the oldest superscription made before the middle of the X century.
The Smolensk principality reached the apogee of its power in the XII century. Till now the unique monuments of temple architecture dominates the town. They are: Peter's and Paul's Churches, the Churches of the St. John the Theologian and of the Archangel Michael.
A power splash in architectural activity was in 1596–1602. These were the years when the famous Smolensk fortress wall, the creation of the architect Fyodor Kon, was erected.
For many centuries Smolensk played an important role in the defense of the Russian State. In difficult times of Mongolo-Tatar yoke the town Smolensk, «chosen by God» didn't surrender the enemy. It withstood the lethal onslaught of Lithuanians and Polish interventions, became a tough nut for Napoleon.
And even during the Great Patriotic War (1941–1945) the town fulfilled its historical mission as a shield on the way of the German-fascists army, which tried to annex Moscow. Smolensk got the title of the «Hero-town», which well-deserved crowned its glorious war history. [Smolensk]


Connecticut State Capitol



This postcard was sent to my by Nancy from Connecticut via postcrossing [US-998203]. It shows the State Capitol at Hartford, which was built in 1877 of Connecticut Marble and is of modified French Gothic design.

The Connecticut State Capitol is located north of Capitol Avenue and south of Bushnell Park in the Connecticut capital of Hartford. The building houses the Connecticut General Assembly; the upper house, the State Senate, and lower house, the House of Representatives, as well as the offices of the Governor, Lieutenant Governor. The current building is the third capitol building for the State of Connecticut since the American Revolution.

Feb 12, 2011

Amalfi Coast


This postcard was bought by my mother many many years ago, when she was studying in Naples. It shows Amalfi Coast.

Declared one of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites for its undisputed beauty and the uniqueness of its natural landscape, the Amalfi Coast is the land characterised by the oxymoronic combination between mountain and sea, the farmer and the fisherman. The mountain, that thanks to the intense work of man, has been adapted to the demands of life over the ages. It plunges steeply into a sea, creating charming coves, deep fjords, cliffs, caverns, bays, natural arches and small pebble beaches; natural elements that have created, over the centuries, an enchanting, sinuous and seductive landscape: it is certainly not a coincidence that this area is known as the land of the Sirens, in the Homer's epic poem "Odysseus". Typical houses, painted in warm pastel colors, follow the natural slope of the foothills of Mounts Lattari, leaning against each other, creating a very picturesque landscape. From the characteristic terraces, built with dry stone walls, expands the intense scents of the lemon groves, the vineyards, the broom, the bright colors of bougainvillea which, combined with the smell of salt air, creates a unique sensory experience.
Amalfi was founded by the Romans in the IV century A.D. (in the coat of arms reads "ex Descendit patribus Romanorum"). The town became independent from the Byzantine Empire in 839, and proclaimed itself Maritime Republic (the first of the four most important ones with Pisa, Genoa and Venice). The core of its wealth was produced form the trade with the East. Amalfi reached its maximum splendor in the XI century with its powerful and agile fleet, with berths in the main ports of the Mediterranean. The Arsenal of masonry, used for the construction of the hulls of the galleys, are today two stone brick halls, divided by ten pillars. The sea front and the ancient port of Amalfi were swallowed by the sea, after an underwater landslide, caused by a powerful current of Libeccio in the night between 24 and 25 November 1343.
The local traditions narrate that the mariners of Amalfi were the first to use the compass during their voyages, identifying the name of the inventor Flavio Gioia
The present town, which lies on the higher grounds in the valley, features a series of white houses, most with barrel vault ceilings and built on terraces within a picturesque web of alleys and stairways.
The main monument and symbol of the city is the Cathedral of St. Andrew, preceded by an imposing staircase. The original structure is in Romanesque style, currently covered with sumptuous Baroque decorations. The polychrome façade, preceded by an elegant portico, is dominated by the mosaic tympanum, Christ's triumph, artwork of Domenico Morelli, whose proofs are still preserved in the hall, entitled to him, in the Town Hall. Inside the Cathedral preserves a wide selection of masterpieces: an elegant coffered ceiling with paintings of the XVIII century, a wooden crucifix of the XIII century, a mother of pearl cross from Jerusalem, the baptismal font (a basin of porphyry stone from an ancient Roman villa), two pillars of Egyptian granite from nearby Paestum that support the main arch, spiral columns and an Ambon of the XII century. In the crypt are preserved the relics of St. Andrew, from which, since 1304, exudes a dew, called "manna", which is collected in a glass bowl that for the locals has miraculous effects. [amalficoast]

Feb 9, 2011

Pompeii

These are three postcards from Pompeii, the italian city which was destroyed and completely buried during a long catastrophic eruption of the volcano Mount Vesuvius spanning two days in 79 AD. The eruption buried Pompeii under 4 to 6 meters of ash and pumice, and it was lost for over 1,500 years before its accidental rediscovery in 1599. Since then, its excavation has provided an extraordinarily detailed insight into the life of a city at the height of the Roman Empire. Today, this UNESCO World Heritage Site is one of the most popular tourist attractions of Italy, with approximately 2,500,000 visitors every year.

Civil Forum of Pompeii

Pompeii may be the city most commonly linked to the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in AD 79, but the cataclysmic events of that year affected nearby towns just as violently: Herculaneum, Oplontis, and others. These towns were rich in architecture, advanced infrastructures, and exquisite works of art.  The artifacts found there tell a vibrant story of an ancient Roman society, advanced in many ways, which simply disappeared.  A generation after the eruption, Romans had gone back to their old way of life, and tales of Pompeii had become part of local folklore.  Underneath their feet lay the remains of homes and families, works of art and animals, that were so suddenly smothered by Vesuvius.

Tsoliades


This is one of my favorite postcards! It shows the Greek Presidential Guard, who are called Tsoliades (Τσολιάδες) or Evzones (Εύζωνες). They guard the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier (Άγνωστος Στρατιώτης) right down of the Greek Parliament.Until this day, when someone is very tall and handsome se say: "like tsolias at the Parliament" (σαν τσολιάς στ' Ανάκτορα").
Interesting fact: each white skirt is called fustanella and it has 400 pleats, representing the 400 years Greece was enslaved by Turkey.

Though the Presidential Guard is a predominantly ceremonial unit, all Evzones are volunteers drawn from the Hellenic Army's Infantry, Artillery and Armoured Corps. Prospective Evzones are usually identified at the Army Recruit Training Centers during Basic Training; there is a minimum height requirement of 1.86 meters to join, and the soldier must serve a minimum of 6 months with an operational Army unit before beginning Evzone training.

Feb 7, 2011

Barcelona of Gaudí

 
Antoni Plàcid Guillem Gaudí i Cornet (25 June 1852 – 10 June 1926) was a Spanish architect who worked during the Modernisme (Art Nouveau) period but became famous for his unique and highly individualistic designs regarded as beyond the scope of Modernisme. He is sometimes referred to, in English, by the Spanish translation of his name, Antonio Gaudí.


Antiparos island

This postcard was sent to my father by a friend from Antiparos. As his friend writes in the back of the card: "Here it is very nice. You can rent a donkey in order to get on the top of the mountain, which is called Petaloudas (it means Butterflies in Greek) "

The island of Antiparos, a summer resort ideal for peaceful and quiet vacations, located in the heart of the Cyclades Islands cluster, at a very close distance from the famous island of Paros, is 34 square kilometers and it is 12.5 kilometers by 5.5 kilometers (8 x 3 miles). The tallest peak is Prophet Elia (at 399 meters altitude) which is found in the center of the island. Mainly barren, the earth is volcanic in origin. In ancient times, the island was green but it seems that some intervening destruction of unknown nature changed all that. It's ancient name was "Oliaros", meaning forested island.
Endued with sheer natural beauty, the island of Antiparos throbs with golden sandy beaches, crystal clear waters and verdurous landscapes full of cedar trees, which shall captivate your sight, your soul and your heart. Above all, the breathtaking cave of Antiparos is the most interesting natural sightseeing of the whole island of Antiparos. [official site]

Alonissos


Another beautiful Greek island! This Alonissos (Greek: Αλόννησος). After Skiathos and Skopelos it is the third member of the Northern Sporades. It is 3 km (2 nm) E of the island of Skopelos. Alonissos is also the name of a village on the island, as well as the municipality that encompasses the island and the village.

Tangier

 This postcard was sent to my aunt on 20 December 1970 from Tanger. It shows Casbah and the new town.


Tangier, preferred, or Tangiers (Amazigh: Tanja, archaic Berber name: Tinji, Arabic: طنجة) is a city in northern Morocco with a population of about 700,000 (2008 census). It lies on the North African coast at the western entrance to the Strait of Gibraltar where the Mediterranean meets the Atlantic Ocean off Cape Spartel. It is the capital of the Tangier-Tétouan Region and of the Tangier-Assilah Prefecture within that region.

Morraine Lake


This postcard was sent to my parents by some friends who had moved to Canada on 27 May 1982. By that time my mother was on her 6th month of pregnancy to me!! This card shows Moraine Lake at Banff National Park at Alberta, Canada.

In the back it says: "Morraine Lake is unquestionably the emerald gem of the Canadian Rockies in the Valley of the Ten Peaks. The area abounds in spectacular views and is a very worth while trip for the visitor - only ten miles via paved road from Lake Luise. "

Stony river

I don't know which year this postcard was sent, but I read in the back that it was sent to my father by the Briggs family [Nike, Linda, June and Ray]. It shows Parque Agua Azul [Blue Water Park] in Guadalajara, Mexico.

Guadalajara is the capital of the Mexican state of Jalisco, and the seat of the municipality of Guadalajara. The city is located in the central region of Jalisco in the western-pacific area of Mexico. With a population of 1,564,514 it is Mexico's second most populous municipality. The Guadalajara Metropolitan Area includes seven adjacent municipalities with a reported population of 4,328,584 in 2009, making it the second most populous metropolitan area in Mexico, behind Mexico City.

Feb 6, 2011

Swansea | Wales


This multi view postcard was send to my father by a friend of his on 26 September 1975. You can see on the card the Clinic Centre, Victoria Park, Castle Gardens and Town Centre.

Swansea (Welsh: Abertawe, "mouth of the Tawe") is a coastal city and county in Wales, United Kingdom. Swansea is in the historic county boundaries of Glamorgan. Situated on the sandy South West Wales coast, the county area includes the Gower Peninsula and the Lliw uplands. Swansea is the second most populous city in Wales after Cardiff and the third most populous county in Wales after Cardiff and Rhondda Cynon Taf. During its 19th century industrial heyday, Swansea was one of the key centres of the world copper industry, earning the nickname 'Copperopolis'. To the East of St. Helen's is Victoria Park, containing bowling greens and tennis courts. For younger children, there are swings to play on. Victoria Park contains the Patti Pavilion, which serves as a village hall, and is a venue for village fêtes, pantomime, and other theatrical entertainment, as well as music gigs. [wikipedia]

Sokoto

This postcard was sent on 20 August 1973 from Evi to my aunt. It shows a woman selling decorated pots at Sokoto, Northern Nigeria. In the back it says: "Nigeria, the most populous single African nation on the continent of Africa, lies on the west coast and has a rich tradition and culture closely connected with her religious beliefs and the rites and practices related to them. Traditional religion has given the people a heritage of culture and tradition which is still noticeable despite later influence by Islam and Christianity. The agriculture, music, art, craft, language and economies of the country still bear traces of this influence. "

I have never been to Nigeria, let alone Africa, but I really want to. I am very fascinated by African culture and music. Lets hope I will be able to visit Africa one day!!

Box of surprise

What a nice day yesterday!! Although it is only February, the sun was shining. We even sit outside with friends and had coffee!! After a very beautiful day, I went by my parents' home to see them for a while. There, my mother said she had a present for me and she gave me an old box covered in dust. As I opened it [almost felt like I was opening my Christmas present], I saw about 400 postcards!! This couldn't get any better!! Most of them are from Greece [about 250] and the rest are from all over the world [about 150]! Some of them are of great importance to me, as they were sent by my GreatGranmother to my father or from my Grandfather to my Grandmother! It will take a lot of time to upload them, but I will sure try!!

Feb 5, 2011

The lipstick and the powder box


I bought these postcards a few years ago on my trip to Berlin along with the one that shows only the old, destroyed church. It is truly a unique sight. If I remember correctly, Berliners call it "broken tooth". The church is located at the Breitscheidplatz, the center of former West-Berlin. It is still the commercial center of Berlin, with the Kurfürstendamm shopping street and Europa Center near by.

The Protestant Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church (in German: Kaiser-Wilhelm-Gedächtniskirche, but mostly just known as Gedächtniskirche) is located in Berlin on the Kurfürstendamm in the center of the Breitscheidplatz. The original church on the site was built in the 1890s. It was badly damaged in a bombing raid in 1943. The present building, which consists of a church with an attached foyer and a separate belfry with an attached chapel, was built between 1959 and 1963. The damaged spire of the old church has been retained and its ground floor has been made into a memorial hall. 

Feb 4, 2011

Laufen an der Salzach


This postcard was sent to me a while ago from Norbert from Germany via postcrossing [DE-782022]. Although on the card it says: "Laufen an der Salzach", river Salzach is nowhere to be seen :(

Laufen is a municipality on the southeastern border of Bavaria with Austria. Laufen, situated inside the Salzach river bend lies directly across the river from the Austrian town of Oberndorf, where the carol "Silent Night" was first performed at St. Nicola church by the school master Franz Gruber and the young priest Joseph Mohr in 1818.

Feb 3, 2011

Culture Matters

If you are in Athens these days there is a very interesting photographic exhibition presenting Monuments/Sites of World Cultural Heritage of UNESCO in regions of Balkan Peninsula named "Culture Matters" held at Michael Cacoyiannis Foundation. In the officail site of the exhibition says:

The exhibition CULTURE MATTERS presents images of a journey to 18 monuments/sites of world cultural and natural heritage from 18 different countries of Southeastern Europe that form part of the cultural heritage and are considered of ecumenical value by the Wold Cultural Committee.


CULTURE MATTERS is an initiative of the Austrian Government.

The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) seeks to encourage the protection and preservation of cultural and natural heritage around the world considered to be of outstanding value to humanity. The Cultural heritage sites presented in the exhibition belong to all people of the region, Europe, world, irrespective of the territory on which they are located.

Official opening of the Exhibition: 4 February 2011 at 19:30

Feb 2, 2011

Long Wall of Ten Thousand Li

This postcard of the Great Wall of China was sent to me by Lucas from Shanghai as a Private Swap.



Known to the Chinese as the 'Long Wall of Ten Thousand Li', the formidable defensive structures built to ward off invasion of the Celestial Empire by barbarians is called the Great Wall or the Wall of China by Europeans. The principle of these extraordinary fortifications goes back to the Chunqiu period (722-481 BC) and to the Warring States period (453-221 BC).
The construction of certain walls can be explained by feudal conflicts, such as that built by the Wei in 408 BC to defend their kingdom against the Qin. Its vestiges, conserved in the centre of China, antedate by many years the walls built by the Kingdoms of Qin, Zhao and Yan against the northern barbarians around 300 BC. Beginning in 220 BC, Qin Shi Huang, the founder of the Empire of the Ten Thousand Generations, undertook to restore and link up the separate sections of the Great Wall which had been built in the 3rd century BC, or perhaps even earlier, and which stretched from the region of the Ordos to Manchuria.

Frozen Novosibirsk

This beautiful nightview of Novosibirsk in Russia was sent to me by my postcardpal Valerie :) The last card I sent her was from Metsovo and I was writing to her that it was really cold because it was -2C. She writes me back that she laughed with that because at that time it was -38C at Novosibirsk!! I cannot even imagine how they can live at so low temperatures!!!!




Novosibirsk (Russian: Новосиби́рск) is Russia's third-largest city, after Moscow and Saint Petersburg, and the largest city of Siberia with a population of 1.4 million (2010). It is the administrative center of Novosibirsk Oblast as well as of the Siberian Federal District. The city is located in the south-western portion of the federal district and occupies an area of 477.2 square kilometres (184.2 sq mi).