December 12, 2017

1111, 1901, 2063, 2945, 3216 ROMANIA - The map and the flag of the country

1111 The map and flag of Romania

Posted on 23.06.2014, 18.09.2015, 22.11.2015, 11.02.2017, 12.11.2017
Located on the Lower Danube, at the north of the Balkan Peninsula (in which it is often framed, because of the historical and cultural similarities), on the western shore of the Black Sea, between Bulgaria, Hungary, Serbia and Ukraine, and having a border (which wouldn't have to exist) with Moldova, Romania forms a complex geographic unit centred on the Transylvanian Basin, around which the peaks of the Carpathian Mountains form a crescents. Beyond this zone, the plains of the south and east of the country, their potential increased by the Danube River and its tributaries, form a fertile outer crescent extending to the frontiers.

2063 The flag of Romania

Romania comprises a number of geographic regions, corresponding, completely or partially, to the historic regions whose names they share: Wallachia (consisting of Muntenia and Oltenia), Moldavia (only western Moldavia - the Hertza region is today in Ukraine, and eastern Moldavia, or Bessarabia, is divided between Moldova and Ukraine), Bukovina (only southern Bucovina - the north is today in Ukraine), Dobruja (only the north - the south of Dobruja, or Cadrilater, is today in Bulgaria), Transylvania, Banat (shared with Serbia and Hungary), Crişana (shared with Hungary), and Maramureş (only the south - the northern part is currently in Ukraine).

1901 Greetings from Romania (unofficial)

In Romania were discovered the Europe's oldest known remains they may have been among the first modern humans to have entered the continent (42,000-year-old, in the Cave With Bones). The Neolithic-Age Cucuteni area was the western region of the earliest European civilization, known as the Cucuteni-Trypillian culture. The earliest written evidence of people living in the territory of present-day Romania, the Getae, comes from Herodotus (c. 440 BC). Territories located north of the Danube were inhabited by Dacians, considered to have belonged to the Getae tribes, a branch of Thracians.

2945 Coat of arms of all county seats in Romania

After two devastating wars (101-102 and 105-106 AD), the Emperor Trajan annexed the southwestern parts of Dacia to the Roman Empire. During the 3rd century AD, with the invasions of migratory populations, the Roman Empire was forced to pull out of Dacia around 271 AD, the territory being invaded successively by Goths, Huns, Slavs, Gepids, Avars, Bulgars, Pechenegs, and Cumans. In the Middle Ages, Romanians, mostly known as Vlachs, lived in three distinct principalities: Wallachia, Moldavia and Transylvania. By the 11th century, Transylvania had become an autonomous part of the Kingdom of Hungary, and from the 16th century until 1711 was independent.

3216 The greater coat of arms of the
Kingdom of Romania (1922-1947)

In 16th century, after the Balkan peninsula and Hungary had become Ottoman provinces, Moldavia, Wallachia, and Transylvania entered under Ottoman suzerainty, preserving partial or full internal autonomy. In 1699, Transylvania became a territory of the Habsburgs' Austrian empire, and in 1775 the Habsburgs include in their empire the northwestern part of Moldavia, later called Bukovina. The eastern half of the Moldavia (Bessarabia) was occupied in 1812 by Russia. In 1859 Moldavia and Wallachia united under the name United Principalities.

December 11, 2017

3215 GERMANY (North Rhine-Westphalia) - Münster

Münster, the cultural centre of the Westphalia region, is situated on the river Aa, approximately 15km south of its confluence with the Ems in the Westphalian Bight, a landscape studded with dispersed settlements and farms, the so-called Münsterland. Its roots can be traced back to the 6th century, but the city officially came into existence in 793, when Frisian missionary Liudger founded the "Monasterium" cloister.

3214 CYPRUS - Orange seller

Because it has a subtropical climate, Cyprus offers a full range of citrus fruit available almost all year around, but mainly on winter time, from October to June, with many of the popular varieties of oranges, lemons, grapefruit and soft citrus. Though oranges are good refreshment for summer, but during winter, many Cypriot parents want their children to eat oranges during winter to protect them from colds and influenza. The main varieties of oranges that grown in Cyprus, all of high quality, are Navel, Jaffa and Valencia.

December 8, 2017

1571, 3213 POLAND (Mazovia) - Palace of Culture and Science in Warsaw


Posted on 10.05.2015, 08.12.2017
With its 231m height (which includes a 43m high spire), the Palace of Culture and Science is the tallest building in Poland and the eighth tallest building in the European Union. Built in three years according to the design of the Soviet architect Lev Rudnev, almost entirely by 3500 workers from the Soviet Union, the structure was conceived as a "gift from the Soviet people to the Polish nation", and was completed in 1955. The building was originally known as the Joseph Stalin Palace of Culture and Science (Pałac Kultury i Nauki imienia Józefa Stalina), but in the wake of destalinization the dedication to Stalin was revoked.


Architecturally, it is a mix of Stalinist architecture, also known as Socialist Classicism, and Polish historicism inspired by American art deco skyscrapers. The monumental walls are headed with pieces of masonry copied from Renaissance houses and palaces of Kraków and Zamość. Currently it is the center for various companies, public institutions and cultural activities such as concerts, cinemas, theaters, libraries, sports clubs, universities, scientific institutions and authorities of the Polish Academy of Sciences.

December 7, 2017

3212 ROMANIA (Bucharest) - Postcrossing Meetup, Bucharest, 2 December 2017 - The Arch of Triumph in Bucharest

On December 1 1918, the National Assembly of Romanians of Transylvania and Hungary, consisting of representatives of the Romanians in Transylvania, Banat, Crişana, Satmar and Maramureş, convened in  Alba Iulia, decreed "the unification of those Romanians and of all the territories inhabited by them with Romania". Since 1990, the Great Union Day (which marks the unification not only of the mentioned regions, but also of Bessarabia and Bukovina with the Romanian Kingdom) was established as the National Holiday of Romania.

2839, 2950, 3211 ROMANIA (Maramureş) - Moroşeni

2839 Moroşeni from Şugatag village
in traditional clothes

Posted on 25.10.2016, 13.02.2017, 07.12.2017
Maramureş is a geographical, historical and ethno-cultural region situated along the upper Tisza River, and partitioned between Romania and Sub-Carpathian Ukraine after the WWII. With its picturesque countryside of small villages, rolling hills, pastures, and meadows full of wildflowers, Maramureş epitomizes all that the rural lifestyle encompasses. It is a small and unique location in the geographical heartland of Europe that has carefully and distinctively preserved the culture, traditions and lifestyle of a mediaeval (or even older) peasant past.

2950 Little girl from Maramureş

Little has changed in the centuries gone by. Families remain in the same villages as their ancestors. Traditional skills and crafts are passed down from generation to generation. Traditional hand-woven clothing continues to be practical. The church continues to be the soul of the village. Neighbours know one another and continue to lend a helping hand. The mystery of rural traditions unfolds before the visitor as a living museum that is at once within reach yet simultaneously beyond the grasp of the traveller.

3211 Maria

The traditional costumes of the Moroşeni, as the people of Maramureş call themselves, are impressive through beauty and simplicity, and each region has a local specific. For instance, the costume of the Land of Lăpuş is much more elegant and sobre. The defining elements of the women's clothing are: kierchief, white shirt with sleeves ended in cuffs and flounces, ample skirts, covered by the two aprons (zadii) with horizontal stripes (usually black alternating with red, yellow or orange). Over the shirt, women wear a jerkin (pieptar) richly decorated. Often have at neck collars of colored beads.

December 1, 2017

3210 VIETNAM (Red River Delta) - Vietnam Fine Arts Museum

3210 Vietnam Fine Arts Museum -
Two Girls and a Child, by Tô Ngọc Vân

Just across the street from the Temple of Literature, Vietnam Fine Arts Museum can be easily spottedfrom afar. Like many other buildings that house museums in Hanoi, it was built in the 1930s as a Girl School for Indochina high-ranked officers. In 1966, it officially became Vietnam Fine Arts Museum where store many of Vietnamese artistic essences. It displays not only paintings, ceramics and lacquers created by modern Post-war artists but many of its contents date back as far as pre-historic and feudalism time.

November 30, 2017

3209 GERMANY (Berlin) - Tramcar Class TM36 Number 3587 at Machnower Schleuse

The Berlin tramway is one of the oldest tram networks in the world having its origins in 1865 and is operated by Berliner Verkehrsbetriebe (BVG), which was founded in 1928. It is notable for being the third-largest tram system in the world, after Melbourne and St. Petersburg. Berlin's streetcar system is made up of 22 lines that operate across a standard gauge network, with almost 800 stops and measuring almost 190km in route length and 430km in line length.

November 29, 2017

3208 ETHIOPIA - Mount Ziqualla

Located at 85km East from Addis Ababa, Mount Ziqualla is an extinct volcano rising to 600m above sea level and dominating the western part of the Rift Valley. The crater harbours a lake about 100m below the rim. All outer slopes of the volcano are steep and often dissected by deep gullies. The natural vegetation, mainly forest, only remains inside the crater and in a few deep gullies below the summit, however in former times the whole mountains would have been mainly forested.

November 28, 2017

3207 GERMANY (Berlin) - Berlin Cathedral after the bombing of May 25, 1944

Berlin Cathedral is located on Museum Island in the Mitte borough, and has never been a cathedral in the actual sense of that term since it has never been the seat of a bishop. The current building was finished in 1905 and is a main work of Historicist architecture of the "Kaiserzeit". At 114m long, 73m wide and 116m tall, it was much larger than any of the previous buildings and was considered a Protestant counterweight to St. Peter's Basilica in Vatican City.

November 27, 2017

3206 CHINA (Hong Kong) - Double-deck tramcar in front of Western Market

Hong Kong Tramways, which has served the territory since 1904, covers the northern parts of Hong Kong Island. Owing to strong passenger demand, the first double-deck tramcar was introduced in 1912. It had an open top design, fitted with garden-type seats. The first class occupied the upper deck and one-third of the lower deck. Ten new tramcars were constructed, and 18 were rebuilt from single deck cars.

3205 GERMANY (Brandenburg) / POLAND (Lubusz) - International Postcrossing Meetup, Frankfurt (Oder) & Słubice, November 4, 2017

Frankfurt (Oder), also Frankfurt an der Oder, is a town in Brandenburg, located on the Oder River, on the German-Polish border directly opposite the town of Słubice, which was part of Frankfurt until 1945, when the Oder was designated Germany's eastern border. The Oder Bridge (in the postcard) connects the two cities. On November 4, 2017 there tooke place an international Postcrossing meetup with the theme "Bridges connecting...", the main organizer being Holger Kaufhold.

November 23, 2017

3204 FRANCE (Bourgogne-Franche-Comté) - Settons Lake

Built between 1854 and 1861 to regulate the flow of the Yonne River and make it easier to float wood along the river to Paris, Settons Lake lies at the heart of the Morvan Massif, near Montsauche-les-Settons, at an elevation of 586 m. Protected by a unique granite dyke, this 367-hectare lake, long of 3.5km, wide of 2km and with a maximum depth of 6m, lies between quiet, wooded banks planted with pine trees and larches.

November 22, 2017

3203 SINGAPORE - Haw Par Villa

A diorama from Haw Par Villa - The spider spirits in the form
of beautiful women; they kidnapped the monks and forced him
to make love with them.

Haw Par Villa is a theme park which contains over 1,000 statues and 150 giant dioramas depicting scenes from Chinese mythology, folklore, legends, history, and illustrations of various aspects of Confucianism. Originally called Tiger Balm Gardens, it was built in 1937 by the Burmese-Chinese brothers Aw Boon Haw and Aw Boon Par, the developers of Tiger Balm, as a venue for teaching traditional Chinese values. They moved their business from Burma to Singapore in 1926 and purchased the site in 1935.

November 21, 2017

3202 UNITED STATES - Martin Luther King Jr. (1929-1968)

Martin Luther King Jr. was an American Baptist minister and activist who became the most visible spokesperson and leader in the Civil Rights Movement. He is best known for his role in the advancement of civil rights using the tactics of nonviolence and civil disobedience based on his Christian beliefs and inspired by the nonviolent activism of Mahatma Gandhi. King has also become a national icon in the history of American liberalism and American progressivism.

November 19, 2017

2599, 3183, 3186, 3190, 3195, 3201 SLOVENIA (Slovene Littoral) - Piran and its inhabitants

Posted on 07.06.2016, 29.10.2017, 31.10.2017, 05.11.2017, 12.11.2017, 19.11.2017
Located in southwestern Slovenia on the Gulf of Piran on the Adriatic Sea, Piran is one of the three major towns of Slovenian Istria. The town has much medieval architecture, with narrow streets and compact houses. It was heavily influenced by the Venetian Republic and Austria-Hungary, therefore the monuments differ greatly from those in inner parts of Slovenia. The Piran town walls were constructed to protect the town from Ottoman incursions.

3183 Piran - Fisherman square, next to the town's inner port (mandracchio)

Inhabited at the beginning by Illyrian Histri tribes, the Piran peninsula was incorporated into the Roman Empire in 178 and 177 BC and settled in the following years with rural homes (villae rusticae). Incursions of Avars and Slavs at the end of the 6th century, prompted the Roman population to withdraw into easily defensible locations such as islands or peninsulas. This started local urbanisation and by the 7th century, under Byzantine rule, Piran had become heavily fortified.

3186 Piran - Fisherman repairing a fishing net

Despite the defences, the Franks conquered Istria in 788 and Slavs settled in the region. By 952, Piran had become a part of he Holy Roman Empire. During the 13th century Venice decided that it would like to have full control of the salt pans surrounding Piran, and launched a short successful war in 1282. Venetian rule lasted for over 500 years, only coming to an end in 1797 at the hands of Napoleon, but the Austrians invaded shortly thereafter, in 1813.

3190 Piran - The crier informed the townspeople about all
the important events.

At the end of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th century, Piran was an Austro-Hungarian city with over 12,000 inhabitants, larger than the nearby Koper. It was a flourishing market and spa town with good transport connections. After WWI all of Istria came under the rule of Italy, which neglected the region leading to significant decline. Following WWII, Piran became part of Yugoslavia in 1954. It gained independence as part of the Republic of Slovenia in 1991.

3195 Piran - At the well

The municipality is bilingual, both Slovene and Italian are official languages. According to the Austrian language census of 1910, there were 7,379 inhabitants in the town proper, 95.97% Italians and 0.09% Slovenes. In the surrounding countryside, included within the municipal limits, the population was mixed, both Italian and Slovene, with some villages (such as Sveti Peter and Padna) which were almost entirely Slovene, and others (such as Sečovlje and Seča) that were almost exclusively Italian-speaking.

3201 Piran - Housewives washing laundry at the well

As a whole, the 85.1% of the population of the Piran municipality were Italian speakers, and 15.2% were Slovenes. In 1945, the town proper had 5,035 inhabitants, 91.32% Italian and 8.54% Slovene speakers. In 1956 there were 3.574 inhabitants, 67.6% Slovene and 15.5% Italian. After 1947, the ethnic composition changed radically due to the exodus of Italians to Italy and their replacement by Slovene settlers, both from other areas of Slovenian Istria and from interior areas of the country.