Sunday, 10 November 2013

A mixed bag from mid-October

968 – Anna -  Russia (RU-1830937) – The Kazan Kremlin – a World Heritage Site.
I was amazed that this card arrived intact.  It consisted of a card with a picture of the White Kremlin of Kazan and the Spass Tower.  Overlaying this was a translucent picture of the same scene taken many years earlier.

Built on an ancient site, the Kazan Kremlin dates from the Muslim period of the Golden Horde and the Kazan Khanate. It was conquered by Ivan the Terrible in 1552 and became the Christian See of the Volga Land. The only surviving Tatar fortress in Russia and an important place of pilgrimage, the Kazan Kremlin consists of an outstanding group of historic buildings dating from the 16th to 19th centuries, integrating remains of earlier structures of the 10th to 16th centuries.

The Kazan Kremlin complex represents exceptional testimony of historical continuity and cultural diversity over a long period of time, resulting in an important interchange of values generated by the different cultures. The site and its key monuments represent an outstanding example of a synthesis of Tatar and Russian influences in architecture, integrating different cultures (Bulgar, Golden Horde, Tatar, Italian, and Russian), as well as showing the impact of Islam and Christianity.

I like wildlife stamps and this one shows a  West Caucasian Tur (Capra caucasica) is a mountain-dwelling goat-antelope found only in the western half of the Caucasus Mountains range.

969 – 971 from the delightful Arianne in one of her wonderful envelopes and accompanied by a letter and some photos she took.  And the US postal service was kind enough not to frank all over it so the stamps are pristine. What more could one ask for from snail mail?

969 -  Saskatchewan - a prairie province in Canada.  It was first explored by Europeans in 1690 and settled in 1774, having been inhabited for thousands of years by various indigenous groups. It became a province in 1905.

970 - Basiliscus americanus

 (Arianne knows I like reptiles and amphibians.)

971 - The Kwakiutl are a Native American people inhabiting parts of coastal British Columbia and northern Vancouver Island. They are acknowledged masters of stagecraft, dramatic art, totem carving and dancing.

972 – Garry from Belarus (BY-1035306) sent this picture of St Peter and St Paul Church in Minsk and on the back he wrote a recipe for a poppy seed salad.

973 – Veronika from Germany (DE-24077048) sent me this World Heritage Site from her holiday.

 The medieval towns of Wismar and Stralsund, on the Baltic coast of northern Germany, were major trading centres of the Hanseatic League in the 14th and 15th centuries. In the 17th and 18th centuries they became Swedish administrative and defensive centres for the German territories. They contributed to the development of the characteristic building types and techniques of Brick Gothic in the Baltic region, as exemplified in several important brick cathedrals, the Town Hall of Stralsund, and the series of houses for residential, commercial and crafts use, representing its evolution over several centuries.

974 – My friend Eva in Morocco liked this so much she had difficulty parting with it but I am very pleased she did.  I love it.   

It is by W B Tholen and called “The Arntzenius Sisters”.   Willem Bastiaan Tholen( Amsterdam, 1860 - The Hague, 1931) was a Dutch painter, draftsman and printmaker with some connections to members of the Hague School and later associated with the Amsterdam Impressionism movement.

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