Krakow and Centennial Hall, Wroclaw

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Two Polish UNESCO sites for you today, both from Martuchaa on the Postcrossing forum:

UNESCO-centennial-hall

First is the Centennial Hall in Wroclaw, also known as the Hala Ludowa (People’s Hall). The hall was built in 1911-1913 out of reinforced concrete. The hall was called the Centennial Hall because it was built to honor the centennial of Napoleon’s defeat at the Battle of Leipzig. The Hall is very large. The dome is 75 feet (23 meters) high and it seats 7,000 people. The Hall was listed on the UNESCO list in 2006.

UNESCO-cracow2

Next is the Wawel Castle in Krakow. Wawel Castle was built on Wawel Hill under the reign of Casimir III the Great in the 14th century. It was the home of the Polish kings for many centuries. Wawel Hill has been inhabited for almost 50,000 years; the small settlement on Wawel Hill eventually spread to become the city of Krakow, Poland’s second largest city. The Historic Center of Krakow, including the Castle, was listed on the UNESCO list in 1978.

Martuchaa used a very appropriate stamp on the cards, depicting Pope John Paul II, the first Polish pope, who was born in Wadowice, about 30 miles from Krakow, and who was the Archbishop of Krakow before becoming the Pope:

POLAND-pope2

This stamp was a joint issue by Poland and the Vatican, released in March 2014.

Stash clearing: Animals from Asia

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Welcome to part 2 of my animal-card stash-clearing. Today are animal cards from Asia! See the previous installment, animal cards from Europe.

pandas

These pandas are from a forum swap with bjsusu, way back in February 2013.

primates-malaysia

This card shows stamp designs of Malaysian primates. It was sent by hafsah in Malaysia.

CN-1178619

And finally, penguins, an official Postcrossing card. This card was sent from China.

The card from Malaysia had a new to me stamp:

MALAYSIA-woo

They appear to commemorate wood products.

Fun with Flags Friday

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Happy Friday, everyone! Today we will have some Fun with Flags, with two national flag cards and one other flag:

indonesia-flag

First is the flag of Indonesia, from Postcrossing forum member shinta. The flag is called the Sang Merah-Putih, which means “the red and white.” It is based on a flag from the 13th century Majapahit Empire, but was officially adopted on August 17th, 1950, when Indonesia gained its independence from the Netherlands.

macedonia-flag

Next is the flag of Macedonia, from Postcrossing forum member animak. This flag was adopted in 1995 after a dispute with Greece over the use of the Vergina star on Macedonia’s old flag. Greece obtained an international copyright of the Vergina star after designating it an official Greek symbol. Greece then imposed an economic blockade on Macedonia until it changed its flag to the one seen here.

flag-cornwall

Finally, the flag of Cornwall, in England, another potentially contentious flag. The sender, Mallory, writes that many Cornish people fly the flag at their house or garden, but some people from other parts of the country can take offense. She doesn’t offer an explanation why, and I can’t offer my own, either. The flag is known as St. Piran’s flag, after St. Piran, a 6th century abbot who is the patron saint of Cornwall.

Here are the new stamps from the cards:

MACEDONIA-1998

A Macedonian stamp from 1998.

INDONESIA-paudni

And a set of three Indonesian stamps from 2014.

Two views of Riga, Latvia

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Today I have two views of Riga, the capital of Latvia and a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1997.

UNESCO-riga

This postcard shows a modern view of Riga. It was sent by Oleksa via the Postcrossing forum.UNESCO-riga2

This second card is a panoramic card and shows how Riga looked in 1572. The card is a reproduction of a copperplate by Franz Hogenberg, a 16th century artist. This card comes as an official Postcrossing card.

Riga was a member of the Hanseatic League and prospered in the 13th through 15th centuries. Its historic center was inscribed on the UNESCO list because of the many preserved buildings from different time periods and styles, notably the medieval buildings and 19th century Art Nouveau and Jugendstil buildings.

These are the stamps from the cards:

LATVIA-pope

The leftmost stamp shows Pope John Paul II. The stamp in the middle is one issued for Christmas in 2006.LATVIA-christmas

And this stamp is a Christmas stamp from 2012.

 

Stash clearing: Animals from Europe

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I have an incredible stash of un-blogged postcards, they come in faster than I can scan them and find something to say about them. So here is the first in a three-part series of back-logged animal postcards from various continents. Today we will do Europe, next Asia, and we’ll wrap it up with the Americas.

tortoise

The tortoise comes first because it is a card I have been meaning to feature for a long time (more than a year). Isn’t it a great card? It comes from eisdrache on the Postcrossing forum. I would like to collect more tortoise cards, but I only have this one.

bird-stamps

This card is a more recent swap, from Belarus. It features many different birds on stamps that have been released in the last 20 years.

RU-2571494

This is an official Postcrossing card from Russia.

chamois

This is a card showing chamois in the Tatra National Park of Slovakia. The chamois is a small goat-antelope animal. They are good runners and jumpers. Chamois cleaning cloths were traditionally made of chamois hide leather.

IE-73668

This is an official Postcrossing card from Ireland, showing some Irish sheep.

RU-2292435

This wolf is an official Postcrossing card from Russia.

PL-728382

And finally, this card of this woman and her dog comes from Poland.

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Foods of Belarus and Ukraine

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Today I have three official Postcrossing cards, two from Belarus and one from Ukraine, showing some cuisine from those countries.

BY-939649

This first card comes from Belarus and shows many different dairy products, like cheese and cream, as well as some eggs. It was sent by a woman named Lera, who writes that she has been cooking a lot recently and trying out new recipes.

BY-1062527

This next card is also from Belarus and shows a cold soup type dish, which I think is made with cucumbers and yoghurt. Google Translate was not helpful with the writing on the back of the card, my best guess is that it is called a ‘holodnichka.’

UA-493367

Finally, this sausage is from Ukraine. The sender writes that it is cooked in a special oven at high heat, and served with rye bread, garlic, and onion.

Here are the stamps from the cards, in reverse order of how the cards were presented.

UKRAINE-acorn

BELARUS-intarsia BELARUS-939649en

The dairy card from Belarus came with its own decorative envelope.

Four New State Maps

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Today I have four new map cards for my U.S. map card collection, all thanks to Erin via the Postcrossing forum. Now I have only four missing state map cards: Rhode Island, Alaska, Maine, and Kansas.

USA-NDmap

USA-NVmap USA-MAmap USA-KYmap

Erin has been to all 50 states, with North Dakota being the last one she hadn’t visited until a recent road trip (where she bought the North Dakota map card).

Now that I am nearly finished with collecting the maps, I have started on collecting state flag cards. So far I have only four.

Erin used unique stamps on the cards:USA-puppies

From left to right: George Washington Carver, Elizabeth Blackwell (first woman physician), and a 13¢ stamp of a kitten and a puppy

USA-performing-arts

Coral Reefs 15¢ (depicting Chalice Coral in American Samoa); John McCormack 20¢

USA-hummingbirg

This is the postcard rate (34¢) stamp issued this year, depicting a hummingbird.

USA-apollo

And finally, a 10¢ stamp from 1975 depicting the Apollo and Soyuz space missions, and a 20¢ stamp honoring Eleanor Roosevelt.

UNESCO in the United States

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Today I have three American UNESCO sites, one new to my UNESCO collection.

UNESCO-cahokia

First, the new UNESCO card! This card shows the Cahokia Mounds in Illinois. In the 11th century, Cahokia was a large city — one of the largest cities in the world. It was built and inhabited by the native peoples who were part of the Mississippian culture. The tallest mound at the site is Monk’s Mound, which is 100 feet (30 meters) high.

The  site was listed on the UNESCO list in 1982. The card was sent by Glisten on the Postcrossing forum.

UNESCO-grand-canyon2

The next card comes as an official Postcrossing card. It shows the Grand Canyon in Arizona, a UNESCO site since 1979.

UNESCO-independence-hall-3

And finally, another official Postcrossing card showing Independence Hall in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Independence Hall was the site where the the Declaration of Independence was signed, and where the Constitution of the United States was debated on and drafted. The Hall was also listed as a UNESCO site in 1979.

Interestingly, both of the official Postcrossing cards used the same stamp:

1963 March

This stamp was released in 2013 to commemorate the 1963 March on Washington, an important event during the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s.

USA-2014-flag

And Glisten used this new 2014 stamp depicting some stylized stars and stripes.

Giant’s Causeway and Skellig Michael

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I have two new UNESCO sites, one from Ireland and one from Northern Ireland, both from Postcrossing forum member cursus_honorum.

UNESCO-skellig-islands

Skellig Michael is one of the Skellig Islands in the Atlantic Ocean and has been a UNESCO site since 1996. It is notable as the site of an early Christian monastery, founded sometime between the 6th and 8th centuries CE. The island remained occupied until the 12th century CE. The monastery is perched on the top of the island, which rises 714 feet (218 meters) out of the ocean. Shown here are the beehive shaped cells that were part of the monastery.

UNESCO-giant's-causeway

The second card shows the Giant’s Causeway, part of the northeast coast of Northern Ireland. The coast is formed of about 40,000 columns of basalt rock, the result of an ancient volcanic eruption. Most of the columns are hexagonal, but some have more than six sides. The tallest columns are 39 feet (12 meters) tall. The Giant’s Causeway has been on the UNESCO list since 1986.

cursus_honorum sent both of these cards written and stamped, so I have two new Irish stamps to show you:

IRELAND-postal

On the left is a Europe stamp from 2013 showing a postal worker and his van. On the right is a stamp from 2014 showing a stained glass depiction of St. Patrick, one of the patron saints of Ireland.

Fort Sumter and a South Carolina map

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Today I have a new state map and a new National Parks Service card, both from South Carolina!

USA-SCmap

First, there is this South Carolina map from Erin on the Postcrossing forum. This is the first South Carolina map card I have received. It shows the different counties of the state, and some sand dollars. NM-fort-sumter

The second card shows Fort Sumter National Monument in Charlestown, South Carolina. This card comes from darkestperu, also on the Postcrossing forum. On April 12, 1861, the opening battle of the American civil war was fought here. The battle ended with the occupation of the Fort by the Confederates, who held the Fort until February 1865. South Carolina had been the first state to secede from the United States a few months prior to the battle.

Darkestperu used one of the 33¢ apple postcard stamps from 2013. Erin used a more unusual stamp, depicting Franklin Roosevelt and Winston Churchill endorsing the Atlantic Charter. The stamp was released just 20 days before my birthdate, in 1991.

USA-atlantic-charter

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