Saturday, 12 September 2020

My Trip to Paderborn

On Wednesday I was in Paderborn. It was the first time that I made a longer journey by train since Covid-19 started here in Germany in March. I spent more than twice as much time in the train on that day than I had in Paderborn, but it is still nice to be on the rail again. 

Paderborn is a big city in the German State of North Rhine-Westphalia. First mentioned in the late 8th century, it is named after the river Pader, which runs for its whole length of 4km through the city and which is thus the shortest fairly wide river in Germany. Shortly after the first mention a diocese was founded in the city. In 1930 it was promoted to an archdiocese. 

Paderborn Cathedral was my first place to go on my trip. It is the cathedral of the Archdiocese of Paderborn and dates back to the 13th century, although churches on the the same site have existed since the 8th century. Originally built in the Gothic style, the interior was replaced by Baroque artworks in the 17th century. It was destroyed during World War II, but later it was rebuilt. Already since the 9th century Paderborn is home to the remains of Saint Liborius of Le Mans. 

Located in a cloister's inner courtyard is the Window of Three Hares, which is one of the most famous features of the cathedral and actually even of the whole city of Paderborn. I saw it, but have to say that it is not really impressive.

The Imperial Palace of Paderborn might not be as impressive or famous as the cathedral, but it is actually an important place of European history. It was originally built by Charlemagne and became the site of the first Frankish imperial assembly on Saxonian territory in 777. Destroyed shortly after and quickly rebuilt, the important meeting took place in 799. In that year Charlemagne met Pope Leo III in Paderborn, who had to flee Rome, and here they might or might not have decided upon Charlemagne's imperial coronation one year later. Only the foundation walls of the Carolingian palace survived until this day, but an Ottonian-Salian palace was built later on nearly the same site, which admittedly was destroyed as well, but which was rebuilt in the 1970s. Today the reconstructed palace houses a museum about the site's history, which currently also houses a special exhibition about the Dead Sea's cultural history, a World's first as they say. Unfortunately the museum itself does not sell postcards, but luckily I found this one in a stationery shop. The card shows the reconstruction of the Ottonian-Salian palace and in front of it are parts of the Carolingian foundation walls.

After the imperial palace I also visited the Archiepiscopal Diocesan Museum, which is the oldest diocesan museum in the German-speaking World. It was founded in 1853 and houses one of the largest and most important collections of Christian art in Germany. The museum's building was originally designed by Gottfried Böhm, who got the Pritzker Prize in 1986, and was opened in 1975. However the building was more an artwork than a working museum and brought conservational problems due to climatic fluctuations and too much sun light, hence it was partially altered later on. I actually wanted to visit this museum first, but when I was at the entrance there was a quite long queue. I really did not expect that on a Wednesday afternoon, although it might be understandable, as the museum currently shows one of its big special exhibitions: Peter Paul Rubens and the Baroque in the North. Also when I returned later, the museum was still well-frequented, but there was no queue anymore. The exhibition deals with the Baroque changes of the Paderborn Cathedral and the influence Rubens had on them. Many loans from international museums are shown in the exhibition, which gives a good over view of the Baroque art starting from a Baroque altarpiece from Paderborn destroyed in World War II and recently restored. Surprisingly they even had postcards of artworks in the exhibition. The first one I bought shows the Baroque interior of the Paderborn Cathedral painted by an unknown artist with the Baroque altarpiece in the background. The second card shows a painting by Antonius Willemssens, who together with his brother also created the altarpiece for Paderborn.

The Town Hall of Paderborn is beside the cathedral the most famous sight of the city and a masterpiece of the Weser Renaissance. Back in 2006 it was voted as one of the most popular places of the Germans, during my trip however I only went by on my way from and to the train station.

Austria: Letter Box

Last Wednesday I got a postcard from Austria.

Let's look at the stamp first. It is the latest addition to a series of souvenir sheets showing Historic Mail Vehicles (issued 29-08-2020) and is dedicated to military mail in World War I. The sheet reproduces an old postcard from the war.

The card keeps the mail theme and shows a letter box.

Thank You very much Anita!

Tuesday, 8 September 2020

Austria: Gmunden

Last Monday I got three postcards from Austria.

One of them shows an aerial view of Gmunden. Gmunden is a city on the north shore of the Traunsee in the Salzkammergut in the Austrian State of Upper Austria. Especially during the time of the Austro-Hungarian Empire it was a popular place for the upper classes to spend the summer. It is also known for the Gmudner Keramik, a special type of pottery. 

Two definitives about accessories and ornaments of traditional costumes (issued 01-04-2020) were used on the card and got cancelled with two interesting postmarks. The left one celebrates the Millennial of the Traunkirchen Monastery and the right one shows a view of Gmunden with the note European Capital of Culture 2024. Both were used during the "phila"-Toscana.

Thank You very much Anita!

Austria: Zugspitzarena

Last Monday I got three postcards from Austria.

One of them shows the Tyrolean Zugspitzarena. The Zugspitze is the highest mountain in Germany and is located directly at the Austrian-German border, which runs over its western summit. Three cable cars run to the top of the mountain. The first of them was the Tyrolean Zugspitze Cable Car, which was built in 1926. 

A special postmark about the Bicentenary of the First Ascent of the Zugspitze was used on the card. One definitive about accessories and ornaments of traditional costumes (issued 01-04-2020) and a stamp about Herbert Brandl (issued 25-06-2020) got cancelled with this postmark.

Thank You very much Anita!

In Germany a prepaid cover was issued on 6th August to celebrate the bicentenary. It shows Josef Naus, who led the first ascent, and also commemorates the 90th anniversary of the Bavarian Zugspitze Railway.

Austria: Chanterelles

Last Monday I got three postcards from Austria.

One of them shows Chanterelles. The Chanterelle is a species of mushroom growing in Europa. Due to its characteristic colour and shape it is easy to distinguish from mushrooms with potential toxicity and is typically harvested from late summer to late fall. In Austria and also in Germany the Chanterelle is among the most popular edible mushrooms. In Austria it is called Eierschwammerl, while here in Germany they are known as Pfifferlinge.

A wonderful matching stamp (issued 28-08-2020) with its special postmark was used on the card. This is supposed to be the first stamp in a series about Austrian mushrooms. The definitive showing a herbarized lady's slipper (issued 15-01-2008) was used as well.

Thank You very much Anita!

Japan: Minamisanriku

Last Friday I got a postcard from Japan.

It shows the Hikoro-no-sato Silk Museum in Minamisanriku. Minamisanriku is a town in Miyagi Prefecture. It is a resort town and relies heavily on tourism and commercial fishing. The area of present-day Minamisanriku has suffered from the effects of tsunami since ancient times including in 869,1896, 1933, 1960 and 2010. The 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami roughly destroyed 95 percent of the town. The town was the site of the first field hospital established by an outside nation offering assistance following the disaster. The Hikoro-no-sato Silk Museum tells the story of the silk production in the area, which was the birthplace of the sericulture in Sendai Domain. 

One of the twenty Autumn Greetings stamps (issued 21-08-2020) with the related special postmark was used on the card.

Thank You very much Keiko!

Friday, 4 September 2020

Austria: Kunsthaus Graz

Last Tuesday I got three postcards from Austria.

One of them shows the Kunsthaus Graz. The Kunsthaus Graz was built as part of the European Capital of Culture celebrations in 2003 and shows art from the 1960s and onwards as part of the Universalmuseum Joanneum, but only shows the art and does not collect it. The building was designed in the style of the Blobitecture and quickly became a landmark of Graz. Often it is called Friendly Alien. 

The Kunsthaus Graz is shown on this new matching stamp. It was issued on 20th August 2020 and is part of a stamp series on modern architecture.

Thank You very much Anita!

Austria: Mirabell Garden

Last Tuesday I got three postcards from Austria.

One of them shows the Mirabell Garden in Salzburg. The Mirabell Garden was laid out under Prince-Archbishop Johann Ernst von Thun from 1687 onwards. In the geometrically-arranged garden there are mythology-themed statues and sculptures of ancient heroes. Emperor Franz Josef I opened the garden to the public and today they are among the most popular attractions in Salzburg. I visited the garden a few years ago and actually planned to go there again this year, however on my day in Salzburg the weather was too bad to visit a garden. 

While I was in Salzburg the Salzburg Festival was underway. Although I did not saw any opera or such, I visited the state exhibition about the festival in the Salzburg Museum, so it is very special to get a postmark about this year's festival. Also in general I like this postmark very much. Two matching stamp were used. The left is the official stamp about the Centenary of the Salzburg Festival (issued 21-01-2020) and the right one is a personalised stamp about the same theme, which shows the same scene with Jedermann and Death as the postmark.

Thank You very much Anita!

Austria: Puch Moped

Last Tuesday I got three postcards from Austria.

One of them shows an old advertising for Puch mopeds. Puch is a manufacturing company located in Graz. It was founded in 1899 and produced automobiles, bicycles, mopeds and motorcycles. Later it became a subsidiary of the large Steyr-Daimler-Puch conglomerate. The mopeds produced by Puch were especially popular in the 1970s and 1980s, but although the production ended in 1985 they retain a popularity until today.

A matching stamp showing a Puch moped owned by the Austrian Post was used on the card. It was issued on 8th August 2020 and got a postmark from Eisenerz, a city in Styria where a big motorcycle enduro event is held every year.

Thank You very much Anita!

Year of the Dragon Stamps from Singapore

Usually I do not show too many mint stamps here, as I have a separate blog for them, but sometimes some stamps need to be shown here as well, either because I just want to show them or because they are for a collection I organise on these blog. This stamp set from Singapore, which arrived last Tuesday as part of a stamp order, is from the second category. It is about the Year of the Dragon and was issued on 5th January 2012. Use the labels to see other Lunar New Year stamps in my collection or go here to see the rest of my stamp order on my stamp blog. 

Wednesday, 2 September 2020

cover from the USA

Last Friday I got a cover from the USA.

Look at all these wonderful stamps! The two left one are joint issues with European countries, the first with Switzerland for the country's 700th anniversary (issued 22-02-1991) and the second with France for the Bicentenary of the French Revolution (issued 14-07-1989). Next are four very interesting stamps, which also deal with European history, Christopher Columbus this time. For the World's Columbian Exposition in Chicago in 1893 the USA issued their first commemorative stamps known as Columbians. One hundred years later these sixteen stamps were reproduced almost exactly only with an altered date in the upper right corner. They were issued on 22nd May 1992 in six souvenir sheet as a joint issue with Italy, Spain and Portugal. Last but not least is a Bison for environmental protection (issued 20-07-1970). 

In the cover were three US souvenir sheets (1, 2, 3) and a postcard.

The card shows the Bandelier National Monument in New Mexico. The Bandelier National Monument preserves the homes and territory of the Ancestral Puebloans of a later era in the Southwest dating between 1150 and 1600. The national monument was created by President Woodrow Wilson in 1916 and is named for Adolph Bandelier, a Swiss-American anthropologist, who researched the cultures of the area and supported preservation of the sites. The infrastructure of the site was created in the 1920s and 1930s. During World War II the monument area was closed to the public for several years, as the lodge was used by the personnel working on the Manhattan Project at Los Alamos to develop an atom bomb. On the backside a cancel from the site was applied.

Thank You very much Sam-Quito!

France: Châlons-en-Champagne

On 14th August I got a postcard from France.

It shows again various views of Châlons-en-Champagne. As a reminder, Châlons-en-Champagne is a city in the Grand Est region, the capital of the Marne department and is home to two famous Gothic churches. 

A different special postmark was used on this card. This is the normal special postmark from the philatelic shop. The last time an outdated one was used, because there were problems to find this one in the post office. The second stamp about the 300th anniversary of the Naval Hydrographic and Oceanographic Service (issued 25-05-2020) was used.

Thank You very much William!

Tuesday, 1 September 2020

Austria: Going am Wilden Kaiser

On 12th August I got two postcards: one from Austria and one from France.

The card from Austria shows Going am Wilden Kaiser, where I spent my summer holidays. Going am Wilden Kaiser is a village in the Austrian State of Tyrol. In recent years it developed into a popular tourist destination with hiking in the summer and skiing in the winter. Also it became famous due to the Austrian-German TV show Der Bergdoktor. The village church, shown on the card, is one of the most impressive rococo churches in Tyrol. 

I used the stamp about the Centenary of the Piber Federal Stud (issued 04-07-2020) on the card and got it cancelled in Kitzbühel. Also I applied a cancel from Going's church, which is part of the Route of Saint Jacob in Tyrol.

France: Bar-le-Duc

On 12th August I got two postcards: one from France and one from Austria.

The card from France shows various views of Bar-le-Duc. Bar-le-Duc is a commune in the Grand Est region and the capital of the Meuse departement. At some point it became the seat of a county, which in 1354 became the Duchy of Bar. The duchy remained independent until 1480, when it became a part of Lorraine. During World War I it was the assembly point for essential supplies going to the besieged city of Verdun in 1916. The route linking Bar-le-Duc and Verdun is known as Voie Sacrée, Sacred Way. 

One of two stamps about the 300th anniversary of the Naval Hydrographic and Oceanographic Service (issued 25-05-2020) was used on the card. It got cancelled with the special postmark from the philatelic shop in Bar-le-Duc.

Thank You very much William!

Monday, 31 August 2020

Germany: St Antony Iron Works in Oberhausen

On 11th August I got my first postcard after my holidays. The mail that arrived between then and today I will show in the next days. Hopefully I will be up to date next week. "Luckily" not much mail arrived in these days anyway.

The first card came from Germany and shows the St Antony Iron Works in Oberhausen. The St Antony Iron Works was founded in 1758, after bog iron had been discovered. It is known as Cradle of the Ruhr Industry, as it was the first iron works which was founded in the Ruhr Area. The furnace was lit for the last time in 1842 and the foundry was closed in 1877. Afterwards the most buildings were destroyed. What survived until today is since 2008 a part of the LVR Industrial Museum.

The normal definitive about the Cornflower (issued 01-07-2019) was used, but the postmark is quite interesting. It got the Covid-19 postmark from the mail sorting centre 46 in Duisburg. For some reason however that one is longer than the other ones I got. Unfortunately I do not know why.

Thank You very much Marcel!