Saturday, May 31, 2014

The Greek island of Crete

Greece counts 6.000 islands and islets scattered in the Aegean and Ionian Seas. About 200 are inhabited.

Agios Nikolaos is a coastal town on the island of Crete, the largest island in Greece. Crete is the fifth largest island in the Mediterranean Sea.

Each year, the Aegean Regatta is based at a different harbour and is a major sports and cultural event in the Archipelago.

Friday, May 30, 2014

Funchal, capital of Madeira

Funchal is the largest city and the capital of Portugal's Autonomous Region of Madeira.

“The city itself is nestled in a great natural amphitheatre, facing the blue Atlantic with a backdrop of dramatic mountains. Located in the stunning south of Madeira, on its sunniest coast amidst banana plantations and wonderful gardens where flowers bloom all year round in the shelter of the verdant mountains, it is an extremely lush, green and relaxed city by day but scratch Funchal’s surface and you will find it to have a vibrant and varied nightlife scene with multiple personalities. “

The self-adhesive stamp shows a waterfall along the trail to the Caldeirão Verde (green caldron in Portuguese) on the island of Madeira.

Thursday, May 29, 2014

St Thomas | US Virgin Islands

The  United States Virgin Islands (USVI) are a group of islands in the Caribbean. The USVI consist of the main islands of Saint Croix, Saint John, and Saint Thomas, along with the much smaller Water Island and many other surrounding minor islands.

The territory's capital is Charlotte Amalie, located on the island of Saint Thomas.

In 2012 the US Post Office issued a stamp picturing the Virgin islands flag. The last one released in the 60-stamp Flags of Our Nation series. 

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Buyuk Han in Lefkoşa | North Cyprus

The northern half of Cyprus’ capital Nicosia is known as Lefkoşa, a dizzying labyrinth of narrow, old streets. This part of the city is the capital and the largest city of Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus. Nicosia is the world's last divided capital after Berlin was unified. 

Buyuk Han, meaning ‘the Great Inn’, is the largest caravanserai on the island. It was built by the Ottomans in 1572. Buyuk Han is host to many tourists in Nicosia. Not only the cafes, but also various shops serve the visitors. Shawls, traditional handicrafts, paintings, pottery and carvings are among the many things on offer.

Part of a set of 4 stamps about old buses and motorbikes.

Monday, May 26, 2014

Little shop in Antananarivo | Madagascar

Antananarivo is the capital, largest city (with a population of about 1,6 million) and the economic center of Madagascar.

Jean Laborde (1805 – 1878) was an adventurer and early industrialist in Madagascar. Laborde built a complete industrial complex. Within 6 years, he had blast furnaces with waterwheel-powered draught producing cast iron etc.  

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Pitcairn Island

The Pitcairn Islands are a group of four volcanic islands in the southern Pacific Ocean. Only Pitcairn, the second largest island is inhabited.

The island is inhabited by the descendants of the Bounty mutineers and the Polynesians who accompanied them. With only about 56 inhabitants, originating from four main families, Pitcairn is the least populous national jurisdiction in the world.

Bounty Bay is dominated by a rocky outcrop known as Ship Landing Point. Its name serves a dual purpose being the point overlooking the HMAV Bounty's resting place, and the point where vessels head for when approaching the relative shelter of Bounty Bay.

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Uluru (Ayers Rock) | Australia

Uluru (also known as Ayers Rock) is probably Australia's most recognisable natural icon. It is one of the largest monoliths in the world. Made of arkosic sandstone, Uluru rises 348 metres above the desert floor.

Both Uluru and Kata Tjuta have significant meaning to Aboriginal people. They both form an important focus of their spiritual life. The park is jointly managed by its Anangu traditional owners (people of Aboriginal origin) and Parks Australia.

Thx Steve!

Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park | Australia

This park, formerly called Uluru National Park, features spectacular geological formations that dominate the vast red sandy plain of central Australia. Kata Tjuta (pictured on this card) are a group of 36 large domed rock formations located about 365 km of Alice Springs. The other major landmark is Uluru, commonly known as Ayers Rock.

Postage pre-paid

Thx Steve!

Friday, May 23, 2014

Tasmania's World Heritage Forests

The forests of Southern Tasmania contain the world’s tallest hardwood forests, with trees up to 100m tall. These forests are part of the Unesco World Heritage list since June 2013, inscribed under the name Tasmanian Wilderness.
The Abbott Government have asked the World Heritage Committee to consider removing 74,000ha of Tasmania's World Heritage forests when they meet in Doha in June 2014. The government asked to delist these forests so they can be logged and mined.

Australia Post celebrated the 88th birthday of Queen Elizabeth II with the release of one domestic base-rate (70c) stamp and one international rate ($2.60) stamp.

Thx Steve!

Thursday, May 22, 2014

The Aeolian Islands: Panarea

Panarea is the smallest and the lowest of the eight Aeolian islands, a volcanic  archipelago north of Sicily. The islands range in size from Panarea which is 34 km2 to Lipari which is 376 km2.

There are currently about 280 residents living on Panarea year-round; however the population increases dramatically in summer with the influx of tourists.

Martino Martini (1614 – 1661), an Austrian Jesuit missionary to the Chinese. His most important work was the Novus Atlas Sinensis, the atlas of China. 

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

A postcard sent from Gaza, Rock of Ascension

The Gaza Strip, a 25-mile long, 7-mile wide strip of land, is a self-governed entity on the eastern coast of the Mediterranean Sea at the border between Israel and Egypt.
The Chapel of the Ascension is a shrine located on the Mount of Olives; a site the faithful traditionally believe to be the earthly spot where Jesus ascended into Heaven forty days after his resurrection. It houses a slab of stone believed to contain one of his footprints.

The main post office in Gaza is located at Omar al-Mukhtar Street (see postmark). The stamp pictures an olive tree.

Monday, May 19, 2014

St. Peter's Square | Rome

St. Peter's Square or Piazza San Pietro, was created in the 17th century by Bernini, a prominent Roman architect. The square is a massive plaza located directly in front of St. Peter's Basilica in the Vatican City, the papal enclave surrounded by Rome. 

Friday, May 16, 2014

Gunung Mulu National Park | Malaysia

Gunung Mulu National Park is located on the island of Borneo in the State of Sarawak in Malaysia. The park is dominated by Gunung Mulu (Mount Mulu), a 2,377 m-high sandstone pinnacle, hence the name of the park.

It is famous for its limestone karst formations. Features include enormous caves, vast cave networks, rock pinnacles, cliffs and gorges. The park is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

A matching stamp!

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Kernavė Archaeological Site | Lithuania

Kernavė is a small town in the southeast of Lithuania, well known for the historical and archeological site. The site was included into UNESCO World Heritage list in 1994.

Built in 1796, the Klaipėda Lighthouse is one of the first lighthouses erected on the coast of the Baltic Sea.

Monday, May 12, 2014

Cathédrale Notre-Dame d'Amiens | France

Amiens is a city in northern France, about 120 km north of Paris. It is home to the largest Gothic cathedral in France, which is twice the size of Notre Dame cathedral in Paris. The cathedral dates back to the 13th century. The Amiens cathedral is on the World Heritage List.

In 2014 French Post issued a set of 12 stamps about the signs of the Zodiac. Scorpio is the eighth sign of the zodiac.

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Collegiate Church, Castle, and Old Town of Quedlinburg

Quedlinburg is a medieval town, more than a 1000 years old, located in the district of Harz, Germany. The medieval court and the old town of Quedlinburg are part of the UNESCO world heritage list since 1994.

Cahedral of St Peter,  Regensburg Germany.

Friday, May 9, 2014

Castle of the Teutonic Order in Malbork | Poland

The Castle of the Teutonic Order in the Polish city of Malbork is one of the largest castle in the world by surface area, and the largest brick building in Europe.

The castle is a classic example of a medieval fortress. It was built in Prussia by the Teutonic Knights, a German Roman Catholic religious order of crusaders. At the conclusion of WWII, the city of Marienburg (Malbork) and castle became (again) a part of Poland.

Malbork Castle is a World Heritage Site.

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Diocletian's Palace, Split | Croatia

The ruins of Diocletian's Palace, built between the late 3rd and the early 4th centuries AD, can be found throughout the Croatian city of Split.

This palace is today the heart of the inner-city where all the most important historical buildings can be found. There are many attractions within the palace, but the most viewed is the Saint Duje Cathedral (Saint Dujam).  Thx Mirna!

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Coimbra | Portugal

Coimbra is a city in Portugal. The historical university buildings have been classified as World Heritage by UNESCO in 2013. The buildings can be seen on this postcard (upper part with the tower).

(left) Sé Nova Catedral, the New Cathedral of Coimbra is the current bishopric seat of the city of Coimbra.

(right) Sé Velha, the Old Cathedral of Coimbra, one of the most important Romanesque Roman Catholic buildings in Portugal.

Monday, May 5, 2014

Iglesia El Salvador, Ubeda | Spain

Úbeda is a town in the province of Jaén in Spain. Strolling around the old buildings, churches, palaces and plazas in the cities centre, is like walking around an enormous open-air musuem. Ubeda is just a 2 hour drive away from Granada.

In 2003, the centre of Úbeda was added to the UNESCO World Heritage List together with the centre of Baeza, a neighbouring town. 

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Bulguksa Temple | 불국사 South Korea

Bulguksa Temple, meaning "Temple of the Buddha Land" is a Buddhist temple in the North Gyeongsang province of South Korea. The temple was built in 528 during the Silla Kingdom. Once the wooden buildings completely burnt down to the ground. Although much-restored, it is still an important example of Silla architecture and is home to no less than seven Korean national treasures.

In 1995, Bulguksa was added to the UNESCO World Heritage List together with the Seokguram Grotto, which is located four kilometers to the east.

Three more stamps from the department of tiny stamps.

Saturday, May 3, 2014

Cathedral of Our Lady, Antwerp

The Cathedral of Our Lady is a Roman Catholic cathedral in Antwerp, Belgium. The cathedral is on the list of World Heritage Sites. It is one of the ‘Belfries of Belgium and France’.

The Belfries of Belgium and France are 56 bell-towers, built between the 11th and 20th centuries. They are mostly found in town centers, and connected to the local town hall or church. At their time, the Belfries represented the growing importance of cities. 

The Royal Meteorological Institute of Belgium (IRM) celebrated its 100th anniversary in 2013. For this occasion Belgian post issued four thermo sensitive stamps depicting the four seasons of the year.

The foliage of the trees on the stamps is green if you puts a finger on the stamp and heat it up, the green layer disappears showing the tree in one of the four seasons. This stamp depicts summer. 

Friday, May 2, 2014

Churches and Convents of Goa: Basilica of Bom Jesus

Old Goa is a historical city in the Indian state of Goa. The remains of the city are a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The churches and covenants of Old Goa are remnants of the existence of Portuguese rule in the area. The 16th and 17th centuries saw the construction of several cathedrals and churches, including Basilica of Bom Jesus, Goa's most famous Jesuit church.

(left) Dr. B.R. Ambedkar (1891 – 1956) The first Minister for Law in free India, and shaped the country’s Constitution.
(middle) Chelat Achutha Menon (1913 – 1991) was the Chief Minister of Kerala state for two terms.
(right) Shrine Basilica of Our Lady of Health in Vailankanni


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