Monday, 30 January 2017

Mali: Djenné

On Friday I got my first postcard from Mali.

Mali is a country in West Africa bordering on Algeria, Niger, Burkina Faso, Côte d'Ivoire, Guinea, Senegal and Mauritania. The country became independent from France in 1960. Bamako is the country's capital. In 2012 an armed conflict broke out in northern Mali, in which Tuareg rebels declared the secession of a new state, Azawad.

The card shows one of the adobe buildings of Djenné. Djenné was once an important station of the trans-Saharan trade and a centre of Islamic scholarship. Since 1988 are the Old Towns of Djenné on the UNESCO World Heritage List, but since 2016 they are also on the List of World Heritage in Danger.

Timbuktu Manuscripts (issued 2015)
The Timbuktu Manuscripts are a large number of historically important manuscripts about art, medicine, philosophy, religion and science that have been preserved for centuries in private households in Timbuktu.

Thank You very much Mike!

Germany: Saarland from Papersisters

On Thursday I got a postcard from Germany.

It is Papersisters' German Landmark postcard of the Saarland. The Saarland is a state of the Federal Republic of Germany since 1957. Before that it was a French protectorate with its own money and stamps. In 1955 the inhabitants rejected the offered independence and chose to become a part of West Germany instead. It now borders on Rhineland-Palatinate, France and Luxembourg. By area it is the fourth smallest state of Germany and by population the second smallest. Saarbrücken is the capital and only big city of the Saarland. A famous sight of the state are the Völklingen Ironworks.

With a matching stamp:
50 years Saarland (issued 02-01-2007)
with a special postmark about the 60th anniversary of the Saarland

cover from Germany

On Thursday I got not only a postcard but also a cover from Germany.

Variable Value stamp (whole set) (issued 24-10-2008)

Inside were five postcards.

Two of them are from the Latvian Museum of National History. The Latvian Museum of National History was founded in Riga in 1869. It is the largest repository of Latvian material culture

The third card shows the Historical Museum of Łódź. Łódź is the third largest city of Poland and was once one of the most multicultural and industrial cities in Europe. The Historical Museum was opened in 1975 in the former residence of the manufacturer Izrael Kalmanowicz Poznański. It presents exhibits about the history of Łódź.

The fourth card shows Vessra Abbey. Vessra Abbey was founded in the 12th century and was turned into an agricultural estate after the Reformation. In 1975 it became home to the Museum of the History of Agriculture of the DDR and since 1990 it houses the Hennebergische Museum.

The last one shows the Silver Gallery in Geising. The Silver Gallery of Geising was operated for the first time in 1687. In 1960 it was opened as mining museum, but was closed in 1995.

Thank You very much Nicy!

Sunday, 29 January 2017

Japan: Minami Alps National Park

On Wednesday I got a postcard from Japan.

It shows the Minami Alps National Park. The Minami Alps National Park is located in the Akaishi Mountains and was established in 1964.

With a nice stamp:
8th Asian Winter Games (from set of five) (issued 19-01-2017)
with First Day Special Postmark
Between the 19th and the 26th February 2017 the 8th Asian Winter Games will be held in Sapporo and Obihiro. It is already the third time that Sapporo hosts the games. The postmark shows Ezomon, the mascot of the games.

Thank You very much Keiko!

Germany: Hamburger Bahnhof in Berlin

On Tuesday I got a postcard from Germany.

It shows the Hamburger Bahnhof in Berlin. The Hamburger Bahnhof was built between 1846 and 1847 as terminus of the Berlin-Hamburg Railway. Already in 1884 it was closed for the passenger traffic, but was still used for freight traffic. In 1906 it became home to the new Royal Museum of Building and Transport, which was closed after the station was badly damaged during World War II. Since 1996 the Hamburger Bahnhof houses the contemporary art collection of the National Gallery.

Variable Value stamp (from set of two) (issued 24-10-2008)

Thank You very much Mariel!

cover from Germany

On Tuesday I got not only a postcard but also a cover from Germany.

Ludwigslust Palace (from set of two) (issued 02-01-2015)
Treasures of German Museums (from set of two) (issued 02-01-2017)
with a special postmark showing Jean-Baptiste Oudry

Saturday, 28 January 2017

Germany: My Trip to Berlin

Last weekend I was in Berlin and there I bought some cards for my collection.

The Friedrichstadt-Palast is the largest and most modern show palace in Europe. It was opened in 1984.

The German Resistance Memorial Center is a museum about all elements of opposition and resistance to the Nazi Regime. It is housed next to the Federal Ministry of Defence in the Bendlerblock, where the leaders of the 20 July Plot were shot.

The Picture Gallery is an art museum. It houses one of the World's leading collections of European paintings from the 13th to the 18th century and the largest part of the art collection of the Prussian Cultural Heritage Foundation. It was opened in 1830.

The Berliner Philharmonie is a concert hall acclaimed for its acoustics and architecture. It was built between 1960 and 1963 and is a leading example of the Vineyard style.

The Bauhaus Archive collects art pieces, items, documents and literature about the Bauhaus and shows them to the public. It was founded in Darmstadt in 1960 and in 1964 Walter Gropius designed a suitable museum building for the fast growing collection, whose construction was prevented by Darmstadt's local politics. Berlin agreed to give a new home to the archive and the museum was finally opened in 1979, but without retaining much of Gropuis' design.

At the museum's shop of the Bauhaus Archive I bought a special postcard showing the director's office at the Bauhaus Weimar, which finally completes my collection of German UNESCO World Heritage Sites. ^___^

I also bought postcards showing the Masters' Houses and the Bauhaus in Dessau. The Bauhaus and its Sites in Weimar and Dessau are since 1996 on the UNESCO World Heritage List.

The Olympiastadion Berlin was built for the 1936 Summer Olympics. Today it is used as venue for international football matches and concerts. It is also the home ground of Hertha BSC.

The Museum Island is one of the most important museum complexes in the World. Built between 1824 and 1930 it is home to the Old Museum, the New Museum, the Old National Gallery, the Bode Museum and the Pergamon Museum. The Museum Island is since 1999 on the UNESCO World Heritage List.

The Arsenal is the oldest still existing building on Unter den Linden. Since 1990 it houses the German Historical Museum, one of Germany's largest history museums.

The Bebelplatz is a public square on the south side of the Unter den Linden. Two famous buildings on the square are the Saint Hedwig's Cathedral and the Berlin State Opera. In May 1933 around 20000 books were burned on the square, when it was the site of one of the infamous Nazi book burning ceremonies.

The Saint Hedwig's Cathedral was built between 1747 and 1773 as the first Catholic church built in Prussia after the Reformation. It is the seat of the Archbishop of Berlin and a Basilica minor.

The Berlin State Opera was built between 1741 and 1743 and was back then the largest opera house in Europe.

Charlottenburg Palace is the largest palace in Berlin. It was commissioned by Sophie Charlotte of Hanover and was built between 1695 and 1703. Currently there are plans to house the Hohenzollern Museum in the palace.

The Abgeordnetenhaus (left building) became home of the Prussian House of Representatives in 1899 and in 1919 the Communist Party of Germany was founded there. Since 1993 it houses the state parliament of Berlin.

Just over the way, but divided by the Inner German Border for many years, lies the Martin Gropius Bau (right building), a famous exhibition hall.

The photo was taken in 1989.

The Museum of Film and Television Berlin is a museum about the entire span of German film and television history. It was opened in 2000.

At the shop of the Museum of Film and Television Berlin I also bought two postcards about Metropolis.

Metropolis is a German expressionist epic silent science-fiction drama film. It was directed by Fritz Lang, aired in 1927 and is regarded as a pioneering work of the science-fiction genre in movies. Already short after the premiere it was changed and shortened and for many years attempts were made to reconstruct it. Finally in 2010 the film was 95% restored and shown on large screens in Berlin and Frankfurt. Metropolis is part of the Memory of the World Programme of the UNESCO.

Malaysia: George Town

Last Saturday I got three postcards: two from Malaysia and one from Thailand.

The cards from Malaysia show George Town. George Town was founded by the British East India Company in 1786 as one of the first British settlements in South East Asia. It was once an important trading post between Asia and Europe and is today known for its multi-cultural heritage with unique architecture, cuisine and culture. The city is today also the capital of the Malaysian State of Penang and Malaysia's second largest town. George Town and Melaka, the Historic Cities of the Straits of Malacca, are since 2008 on the UNESCO World Heritage List.

Year of the Rooster (two from set of three) (issued 10-01-2017)
with First Day Special Postmark

Thank You very much Siew Lan!

Thailand: Chicken Family

Last Saturday I got three postcards: one from Thailand and two from Malaysia.

The card from Thailand shows roosters, hens and chicks.

With great matching stamps:
Year of the Rooster (issued 01-01-2017)
with First Day Special Postmark

Thank You very much Cherry!

Thursday, 26 January 2017

United Kingdom: Captain AC Green's Battle of Jutland commemorative medal

Last Thursday I got three postcards from the United Kingdom.

One of them is a stamp card of 2016's World War I Centenary issue. It shows Captain AC Green's Battle of Jutland commemorative medal, one of many unofficial medals struck to commemorate the battle. 

The Battle of Jutland was fought between the 31st May and 1st June 1916 near the coast of Denmark's Jutland Peninsula. It was the largest naval battle and the only major encounter between the British Royal Navy's Grand Fleet and the Imperial German Navy's High Seas Fleet during World War I. It formed a part of a larger German strategy to break the British blockade against Germany and to allow German naval vessels to access the Atlantic. Fourteen British and eleven German ships were sunk with a great loss of life. But although more ships and sailors were lost on British side, they were able to prevent the German plans. In German it is known as Skagerrakschlacht (Battle of Skagerrak).

With a great related stamp:
Queen's Head
World War I Centenary (from set of six) (issued 21-06-2016)
Vera Brittain was born in 1893 in Staffordshire. At the beginning of World War I her younger brother Edward applied for a commission and in 1915 Vera trained as a nurse. In June 1918 she wrote To My Brother, a poem about Edward’s bravery in the Battle of the Somme two years before. Four days later Edward was killed and Vera was devastated by his death. She died in 1970.
with a special World War I postmark

Thank You very much Kwanjira!


To My Brother

Your battle-wounds are scars upon my heart
Received when in that grand and tragic 'show' 
You played your part, 
Two years ago, 

And silver in the summer morning sun 
I see the symbol of your courage glow -- 
That Cross you won 
Two years ago. 

Though now again you watch the shrapnel fly, 
And hear the guns that daily louder grow, 
As in July 
Two years ago. 

May you endure to lead the Last Advance 
And with your men pursue the flying foe 
As once in France 
Two years ago.