Sep 20, 2015

Big Torii Itsukushima Aki | Japan

This is one more amazing find of the car boot sale. It is a postcard of Big Torii Itsukushima Aki in Japan. You can see a modern postcard of this shrine and some more information here.

On the back of the postcard there is a stamp of Nagasaki and the date 26 November 1925.

In Japan, official postcards were introduced in December 1873, shortly after stamps were introduced to Japan. Return postcards were introduced in 1885, sealed postcards in 1900, and private postcards were allowed from 1900.

Dervish Dancer in Salonica | Greece

Today I went to a car boot sale and had some amazing finds! My favorite one is this postcard of a Dervish Dancer in Salonica, Greece.

A dervish or darvesh (from Persian درویش, Darvīsh via Turkish, Somali: Daraawiish, Arabic: درويش‎, Darwīš) is someone treading a Sufi Muslim ascetic path or "Tariqah", known for their extreme poverty and austerity. His focus is on the universal values of love and service, deserting the illusions of ego to reach God. In most Sufi orders, a dervish is known to practice dhikr through physical exertions or religious practices to attain the ecstatic trance to reach Allah. [wikipedia]

The publisher of this postcard is Gilbert Baudinière, a french publisher who published postcards up until 1918, when he started publishing novels and poems. So this postcard was published 0n 1918 the latest.

Sep 19, 2015

Josef Lada [part 01] | Czech Republic

As I wrote in my previous post, lately a lot of old Czechoslovakian postcards came to my possession. Apart from the Krtek ones, many of them belong to Josef LadaIllustrator, painter, scenographer and writer Josef Lada was born on December 17th, 1887 in Hrusice, a small village in central Bohemia, not far from Prague. He grew up in the poor family of a local shoemaker, in house no. 15. The family also had a small piece of land, where they could grow vegetable for their own need.

Krtek, the Mole [part 01] | Czech Republic

Lately a large number of old postcards came to my possession. Among them there are a lot with Czechoslovakian stamps [so I guess the cards were sent between 1918 and  1993] and most of the cards depict Krtek [the Mole]. All the cards are written in Czech [which I don't speak] so it took a lot of research to find out who this cute little guy is.

The Mole (in the Czech original called Krtek, or, for little mole, Krteček; Slovak Krtko) is an animated character in a series of cartoons, created by Czech animator Zdeněk Miler in 1956. Since its inception, the cartoon won itself an enormous popularity in many Central European countries, as well as India, China, Kazakhstan, Russia and Japan, due its distinct lack of dialogue.

Krtek was first seen in 1956 in Prague, when Miler wanted to create a children's cartoon about how flax is processed. He wanted a strong Disney influence to the cartoon by choosing an animal for the leading role, and decided to pick a mole after stumbling over a molehill during a walk. The first film called "Jak krtek ke kalhotkám přišel" ("How the mole got his trousers") was released in 1956. Production for further episodes started in 1963 and since then, around 50 episodes have been created.

The first episode of the cartoon was narrated, but Miler wanted the cartoon to be understood in every country of the world, so he decided to use his daughters as voice actors, reducing the speech to short non-figurative exclamations in order to express the mole's feelings and world perception. They also became the bottleneck of the creation process as they were the ones who got to see the whole film first, thus Miler was able to decide whether the message of the movie was able to get to children or not. [wikipedia]

It took me a long time to realize it, but when I draw Krtek, I was drawing myself.

— Zdeněk Miler

The two ones you see here are - I think - from 'The Mole and the Car [Krtek a autíčko]' episode.


Astypalaia | Greece

This postcard was sent by some very dear friends who traveled in the Greek island of Astypalaia, which means Old City in Greek. Astypalaia (Greek: Αστυπάλαια), called in Italian Stampalia and in Ottoman Turkish İstanbulya (استانبوليه), is a Greek island with 1,334 residents (2011 census). It belongs to the Dodecanese, an island group of twelve major islands in the southeastern Aegean Sea. The island is 18 kilometres (11 miles) long, 13 kilometres (8 miles) wide at the most, and covers an area of 97 km2. Along with numerous smaller uninhabited offshore islets (the largest of which are Sýrna and Ofidoussa), it forms the Municipality of Astypalaia. Astypalaia is part of the Kalymnos regional unit.

In Greek mythology, Astypalaia was a woman abducted by Poseidon in the form of a winged fish-tailed leopard. The island was colonized by Megara or possibly Epidaurus, and its governing system and buildings are known from numerous inscriptions. Pliny the Elder records that Rome accorded Astypalaia the status of a free state. [wikipedia]

Kremlinology | Russia

I received these postcards from Nastasia from Russia via postcrossing [RU-3960696]. The first one shows the view of the Kremlin in 1913. The second one shows popular festivities on Red Square marking the coronation in May 1896.

The Moscow Kremlin (Russian: Моско́вский Кремль, tr. Moskovskiy Kreml), usually referred to as the Kremlin, is a 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 the kremlins (Russian citadels) and includes five palaces, four cathedrals, and the enclosing Kremlin Wall with Kremlin towers. The complex serves as the official residence of the President of the Russian Federation.

The name Kremlin means "fortress inside a city", and is often also used as a metonym to refer to the government of the Russian Federation in a similar sense to how the White House is used to refer to the Executive Office of the President of the United States. It had previously been used to refer to the government of the Soviet Union (1922–1991) and its highest members (such as general secretaries, premiers, presidents, ministers, and commissars). "Kremlinology" refers to the study of Soviet and Russian politics. [wikipedia]

The Confucius Temple of Kaohsiung | Taiwan

This lovely postcard was sent by Ming Jung from Taiwan via postcrossing [TW-1697292]. It shows the Confucius Temple of Kaohsiung. She writes: "Taiwan's total area is about 14400 square miles. It is shaped like a leaf that is narrow at both ends. It lies off the Southeastern coast of mainland Asia, across the Taiwan Start from China - an island on the western edge of the Pacific Ocean."

The Confucius Temple of Kaohsiung (Chinese: 高雄孔子廟; pinyin: Gāoxióng Kǒngzǐ Miào) is a temple dedicated to the memory of Confucius near Lotus Lake, Zuoying District, Kaohsiung, Taiwan. The temple was originally constructed in 1684, and renovated during the Qing dynasty. However, during the Japanese colonial period, the temple fell into disuse and disrepair. Only the Chongh Sheng shrine remained intact, and can be seen on the west side the Old City Elementary School. A new temple was constructed in 1977, now on the northwest corner of Lotus Lake. The new design was based on the Liu Song dynasty temple design as well as the design of the Qufu Temple of  Confucius. [wikipedia]

Sep 18, 2015

New Orleans | USA

This postcard was sent by Suzanne from the USA via postcrossing [US-3589883].

New Orleans (French: La Nouvelle-Orléans) is a major United States port and the largest city and metropolitan area in the state of Louisiana. The population of the city was 343,829 as of the 2010 U.S. Census. The New Orleans metropolitan area (New Orleans – Metairie – Kenner Metropolitan Statistical Area) had a population of 1,167,764 in 2010 and was the 46th largest in the United States. 

The city is named after the Duke of Orleans, who reigned as Regent for Louis XV from 1715 to 1723, as it was established by French colonists and strongly influenced by their European culture. It is well known for its distinct French and Spanish Creole architecture, as well as its cross-cultural and multilingual heritage. New Orleans is also famous for its cuisine, music (particularly as the birthplace of jazz), and its annual celebrations and festivals, most notably Mardi Gras, dating to French colonial times. The city is often referred to as the "most unique" in the United States.

New Orleans is located in southeastern Louisiana, straddling the Mississippi River. The city and Orleans Parish (French: paroisse d'Orléans) are coterminous. The city and parish are bounded by the parishes of St. Tammany to the north, St. Bernard to the east, Plaquemines to the south, and Jefferson to the south and west. Lake Pontchartrain, part of which is included in the city limits, lies to the north and Lake Borgne lies to the east.

Before Hurricane Katrina, Orleans Parish was the most populous parish in Louisiana. It now ranks third in population, trailing neighboring Jefferson Parish and East Baton Rouge Parish. [wikipedia]

Sep 16, 2015

Seebrücke in Ahlbeck | Germany

This postcard was sent by Sina from Germany via postcrossing [DE-4540900]. It shows the Seebrücke in Ahlbeck. Ahlbeck is part of Heringsdorf, a seaside resort in Germany on the island of Usedom in the Baltic Sea. It is situated right next to the border with Poland and the city of Świnoujście (Swinemünde in German), both are freely connected by a street and by 12 km (7 mi) of beach promenade.

Two major attractions include the famous "Seebrücke" or Pier, and a railway museum. Ahlbeck has scenic houses and mansions in the German Gründerzeit style of resort architecture. The bathing resort "Ostseetherme" is a popular tourist attraction. Close to it, there is an architecturally noteworthy observation tower with a lift. [wikipedia]

This stamp brought back a lot of memories. It shows Ludwigslut Palace [Schloss Ludwigslut in German], a place I visited a long long time ago with my family. It is a stately home or schloss in the town of Ludwigslust, Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, northern Germany. It was built as a hunting lodge, rebuilt as a luxurious retreat from the ducal capital, Schwerin, then became for a time (1765–1837) the center of government. It was the "joy" of Prince Christian Ludwig, the son of the Duke of Mecklenburg-Schwerin, hence the name Ludwigslust. [wikipedia]

Philippina "Pina" Bausch | Germany

This postcard was sent by Ingrid from Germany via postcrossing [DE-4540617]. It shows Wohnhaus in Schinkelstrasse in Halle [Saale]. Unfortunately I couldn't find any information about it. [Note added on 19.09.2015] Ingrid very kindly sent me  a message with this very interesting information: 

'The collection of extraordinary "New buildings" within the city Halle / Saale was a project of the "Kunsthalle Villa Kobe" which was unfortunately closed for economic reasons 2012. There is a catalog in which all the "new buildings" are listed, probably with background information, unfortunately only in libraries. Ronald Kunze (Hrsg.): Architektursalon. Neue Bauten in Halle (Saale). Halle 2002'

On the stamp you can see Philippina "Pina" Bausch (27 July 1940 – 30 June 2009), who was a German performer of modern dance, choreographer, dance teacher and ballet director. With her unique style, a blend of movement, sound, and prominent stage sets, and with her elaborate collaboration with performers during the development of a piece (a style now known as Tanztheater), she became a leading influence in the field of modern dance from the 1970s on. She created the company Tanztheater Wuppertal Pina Bausch (de) which performs internationally. [wikipedia]

Chaturbhuj temple | India

This beautiful postcard was sent by Ajay from India via postcrossing [IN-157492]. It shows Chaturbhuj temple. Chaturbhuj temple (Devanagri: चतुर्भुज मंदिर) is dedicated to Lord Vishnu. The name Chaturbhuj (Devanagri: चतुर्भुज) is a derived from Sanskrit words चतु: = four and भुजा = arms, which literally means One who has four arms; and refers to Lord Vishnu.

The temple is Date-able to CIRCA 1100 A.D. This temple is also known as Jatakari (Devanagri: जटकारी) Temple on the name of the village Jatakari (Devanagri: जटकारी), where it is located. Yasovarman of the Chandela Dynasty built the temple at Khajuraho. [wikipedia]

The stamps show the Old Seminary in Kottayam, Samrat Ashoka and the Intenational Day of Yoga.

Sep 13, 2015

Derbarl Yerrigan | Australia

This postcard shows the Swan River in Perth, Western Australia. Its Aboriginal Noongar name is the Derbarl Yerrigan. The Swan River estuary flows through the city of Perth. Its lower reaches are relatively wide and deep, with few constrictions, while the upper reaches are usually quite narrow and shallow.

The Swan River drains the Avon and coastal plain catchments, which have a total area of about 121,000 km2. It has three major tributaries, the Avon River, Canning River and Helena River. The latter two have dams (Canning Dam and Mundaring Weir) which provide a sizeable part of the potable water requirements for Perth and the regions surrounding. The Avon River contributes the majority of the freshwater flow. The climate of the catchment is Mediterranean, with mild wet winters, hot dry summers, and the associated highly seasonal rainfall and flow regime.

The Avon rises near Yealering, 100 km southeast of Perth: it meanders north-northwest to Toodyay about 90 km northeast of Perth, then turns southwest in Walyunga National Park – at the confluence of the Wooroloo Brook, it becomes the Swan River.

The Canning River rises not far from North Bannister, 100 km southeast of Perth and joins the Swan at Applecross, opening into Melville Water. The river then narrows into Blackwall Reach, a narrow and deep stretch leading the river through Fremantle Harbour to the sea.

The Noongar believe that the Darling Scarp is said to represent the body of a Wagyl (also spelt Waugal) – a snakelike being from Dreamtime that meandered over the land creating rivers, waterways and lakes. It is thought that the Wagyl created the Swan River.

The estuary is subject to a microtidal regime, with a maximum tidal amplitude of about one metre, although water levels are also subject to barometric pressure fluctuations. [wikipedia]

Sep 5, 2015

Krasnopresnenskaya metro station | Russia

This beautiful postcard was sent by Anastasia from Moscow via postcrossing [RU-3960707]. It shows Krasnopresnenskaya metro station in Circle Line, which opened on March 14, 1954. Anastasia writes: "Hello from Moscow! The Moscow Metro ranks with the world's largest subways and enjoys worldwide renown thanks to its 'underground palaces' - stations decorated like luxurious palatial halls!"

Krasnopresnenskaya (Russian: Краснопре́сненская) is a Moscow Metro station in the Presnensky District, Central Administrative Okrug, Moscow. It is on the Koltsevaya Line, between Kiyevskaya and Belorusskaya stations. Krasnopresnenskaya was designed by V. Yegerev, M. Konstantinov, Felix Novikov, and I. Pokrovsky and opened on 14 March 1954. The station has red granite pylons with white marble cornices and 14 bas-reliefs by N. Shcherbakov, Yu. Pommer, Yu. Ushakov, V. Fedorov, and G. Kolesnikov. Eight of the bas-reliefs depict the events of the Russian Revolution of 1905 and the other six show scenes from the Russian Revolution of 1917. Statues of Vladimir Lenin and Joseph Stalin originally stood at the end of the platform, though these had been removed by the early 1960s. Later, the passage to Barrikadnaya was built in the same location.

The station's round vestibule is located on the south side of Krasnaya Presnya street, between Druzhinnikovskaya and Konyushkovskaya streets. A sculpture by A. Zelinsky entitled "Combatant" is located in front. [wikipedia]

Sep 2, 2015

Goes | Netherlands

This postcard was sent by Anja from Goes via postcrossing [NL-3117511].

Goes is a municipality and a city in the southwestern Netherlands on Zuid-Beveland, in the province of Zeeland. The town of Goes has approximately 27,000 residents. Goes was founded in the 10th century on the edge of a creek: de Korte Gos (the Short Gos). The village grew fast, and in the early 12th century it had a market square and a church devoted to Mary Magdalene. In 1405 Goes received city rights from William, Duke of Bavaria, by his right as count of Holland, and in 1417 it was allowed to build town walls. The prosperity of the city was based upon the cloth industry and the production of salt. In the 16th century Goes declined. Its connection to the sea silted up and in 1554 a large fire destroyed part of the city.

Although The Netherlands were neutral in the First World War, seven bombs hit Goes and Kloetinge, due to an error by a British airplane. A house in Magdalenastreet in Goes was destroyed and one person killed. Goes did not suffer extensive damage during the Second World War, but was under German occupation until 1944.

Goes did not experience much population growth until the 1970s and 1980s. Then, the city grew fast because of new districts like Goese Meer, Oostmolenpark, Overzuid and Ouverture being constructed. Goes is now the fourth largest economic centre in Zeeland. New districts are in preparation, amongst them Goese Schans, Mannee and Aria, where 3,000 new houses are to be built.

Goes is twinned with Panevėžys, Lithuania. [wikipedia]

Wrocław | Poland

This beautiful postcard was sent by Ula from Poland via postcrossing [PL-1107101]. She writes: "Welcome to Poland! I live in Wroclaw, capital city of lower Silesia. We have beautiful river Odra, the second longest river in Poland, with 200 bridges and footbridges! In my city feel the spirit of the past! Happy Postcrossing!"

Everyone loves Wrocław (vrots-wahf) and it’s easy to see why. Though in some ways it’s a more manageable version of Kraków, with all the cultural attributes and entertainment of that popular destination, the capital of Lower Silesia also has an attractive character all its own.
Having absorbed Bohemian, Austrian and Prussian influences, the city has a unique architectural and cultural make-up, symbolised by its magnificent market square. Wrocław’s location on the Odra River, with its 12 islands, 130 bridges and riverside parks, is idyllic, and the beautifully preserved ecclesiastical district is a treat for lovers of Gothic architecture.
But Wrocław is not just a pretty face. It is Poland’s fourth-largest city and the major industrial, commercial and educational centre for the region; virtually everything in southwestern Poland starts, finishes or is taking place in Wrocław. At the same time it’s a lively cultural centre, with several theatres, some major festivals, rampant nightlife and a large student community. [Lonely Planet]