The World On My Doorstep

An ever-expanding postcard blog

Bernkastel-Kues

 

Scan - Version 4This pretty card comes from Minona in Germany and shows the beautiful town of Bernkastel-Kues which is surrounded by vinyards! Minona actually works in the Cusanusstift (top right) nursing home – the oldest in Germany – which dates to 1557. Amazing! And what a stunning quaint little town! Germany has some real hidden treasures!

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Jane Austen’s House

 

Scan 5This lovely card comes from Richard in the UK and even had a Jane Austen stamp on it too! This museum in Hampshire celebrates the famous author, renowned for works such as Sense and Sensibility and Pride and Prejudice. In a time when women’s rights were virtually non-existent, Jane Austen worked hard to raise awareness of female social standing through her works and although she didn’t ever achieve much fame in her life time has gone on to be one of England’s most celebrated authors.

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LA’s Oldest Street

 

Scan 6This beautiful card comes from Igor in the USA and shows Avila Adobe, Los Angeles’s oldest street. He tells me that the city itself was founded in 1781 by the Spanish colonists and later became the Mexican capital of Alta before it became LA in 1847. Fascinating and so interesting to see some of the older American architecture which is so often overlooked in favour of the big, bright modern buildings. Thanks Igor!

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Dortmund

 

Scan - Version 2This awesome card, from Sandra, comes from Germany’s 8th largest city: Dortmund. Sandra tells me it is most famous for its football team Borussia Dortmund, but it is also full of historical and cultural buildings as can be seen from this card. Lovely multiview!

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Mexico City

 

Scan 1From David in Mexico comes this card of one of (in my opinion) the most fascinating cities in the world: Mexico City. Founded in 1521 on the pre-existing Aztec city of Tenochtitlan (built c. 1325), the city has an excitingly rich history and new sites and treasures are still being discovered there today. Here you can see El Castillo de Chapultepec (top right), (bottom left) La Torre Mayor and El Angel De La Independencia. Beautiful.

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Mount Taishan

 

Scan - Version 3This spectacular card comes from Bee in China and show Mount Taishan, which I am ashamed to admit I had not even heard of – which is why postcrossing is so great! The mountain was first inhabited during the Neolithic times and for the last 3000 years has been worshipped as a sacred spot, with countless local myths, legends and histories occurring there. In case you were wondering, there are about 6000 steps (carved from granite) if you fancy walking to the top! Amazing! And totally beautiful!

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Tsaritsyno Museum & Reserve

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From Kristina in Russia, I received this gem, way back in March. It shows a beautifully designed figured bridge in Tsaritsyno Museum and Reserve. Amazingly, this beauty can be found on the outskirts of Moscow. The bridge itself dates to 1776 but the estate itself dates back to the late 16th century when it belonged to the Tsar’s sister and gained its name. Beautiful, thanks for educating me Kristina!

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The Heads of an Old Man and a Youth

Scan 6This lovely card comes from Ellu in Italy and shows Leonardo Da Vinci’s Study of the Heads of an Old Man and a Youth, which dates to around 1495. Ellu has a love for this sort of art, so I love that she in turn shares in with me! Da Vinci used to do these studies to prepare for his elaborate final masterpieces. Fantastic card, thanks Ellu!

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A Package From India

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This lovely selection of cards comes from Som in India and depict some really lovely scenes of his country. First, my favourite, you can see Mirjan Fort in the district of Uttara Kannada which dates back to the sixteenth century and was renowned for its strategic importance. Its grounds spread over ten acres, encompassed by a large moat. Over the centuries it has survived many battles and been ruled by several dynasties. Next is a beautiful bright card showing my favourite flower – the sunflower – which are grown a lot in India for their importance as an oilseed crop. Next, the Red Fort in Delhi, a 17th century fort also encompassed by a water-filled moat. Its design is extremely extravagant and ornamental. Every year on Indian Independence Day (15 August), the national flag is hoisted up at the Red Fort by the Prime Minister who then broadcasts a speech from its ramparts. Next you can see an absolutely delicious looking card! Just look at it makes me hungry! Here you can see Panipuri – a popular street snack of fried crisps filled with tamarind water and masala, traditionally served one at a time in leaf-cups by venders. Finally, you can see an ornamental bronze Nataraja, or Lord of Dance, dating back to the Chola Dynasty. This is considered to be a depiction of the god Shiva, doing the cosmic dance of creation to prepare an old, tired universe for rebirth. A beautiful selection of cards, thank you so much Som! I have learned so much from researching them!

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A Traditional Valentine

Scan 5 - Version 3From the lovely Maura in the USA comes this cute Valentine’s card – definitely different in theme to the previous one! The history of Valentine’s Day is not easy to decipher. Although there were many martyred Valentines, it is thought that only two (or possibly three) actually relate to the Saint whose day is celebrated on February the 14th, the most famous being Priest Valentine of Rome. Whilst there are many myths and legends surrounding these saints, one thing is known for certain – they were killed for their beliefs by the Romans. It first became a day with connotations of love during the Early Middle Ages, but it was not until the Victorian times (so sweetly depicted in this card) that traditions of gift giving and courtship began to arise. Nowadays it is common to write Valentines cards which are often filled with ‘poetry’ or variants of the old ‘roses are red’ cliché, but did you know that the original of Roses are Red dated back to 1784 and is actually quite beautiful?

The rose is red, the violet’s blue,

The honey’s sweet, and so are you.
Thou art my love and I am thine;
I drew thee to my Valentine:
The lot was cast and then I drew,

And Fortune said it shou’d be you.

 

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