March 22, 2017

2006, 2994 UNITED STATES (Missouri) - Missouri map

2006 Missouri map

Posted on 03.11.2015, 22.03.2017
Located in the Midwestern United States and bounded by Iowa, Illinois, Kentucky, Tennessee, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Kansas, and Nebraska, Missouri is nicknamed the "Show Me State", due to the skepticism of its inhabitants. The two largest rivers are the  Mississippi (which defines the eastern boundary of the state) and the Missouri (which flows from west to east through the state) essentially connecting the two largest metros of Kansas City (the largest city of the state) and St. Louis. The state's capital is Jefferson City.

2994 Missouri: 1. The Gateway Arch and the St. Louis skyline;
2. Country Club Plaza in Kansas City; 3. Ozark Mountains.

Missouri's geography is highly varied. Its northern part lies in dissected till plains and the southern portion lies in the Ozark Mountains, with the Missouri River dividing the regions. The state lies at the intersection of the three greatest rivers of North America, with the confluence of the Mississippi and Missouri Rivers near St. Louis, and the confluence of the Ohio River with the Mississippi north of the Bootheel. Located in the interior US, it generally has a humid continental climate with cold snowy winters and hot, humid, and wet summers, often experiencing extremes in temperatures.

2993 BELGIUM (Liège) - Stavelot

2993 Stavelot: 1. The Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps;
2. The Museum of the Racing Circuit in the Abbey of Stavelot;
3.  Amblève river.

Stavelot, a Walloon municipality located at the confluence of the rivers Amblève and Eau Rouge in the Belgian Ardennes, grew up around the Abbey of Stavelot, founded ca 650, out of what had been a villa, by Saint Remaclus, a Benedictine missionary bishop. It was for a long time, by its abbey, the chief place of a small abbey principality which disappeared in the political changes that followed the French Revolution. In 1830 it became part of Belgium. During the Battle of the Bulge, the last major German offensive campaign of WWII, the city was the scene of severe fighting.

March 21, 2017

2992 INDIA (Nagaland) - Ao Naga

2992 Ao man during Moatsü Mong festival

The Aos are one of the major Naga tribes of Nagaland, Northeast India. Their main territory is from Tsula (Dikhu) Valley in the east to Tsurang (Disai) Valley in the west in Mokokchung district. They were the first Naga tribe to embrace Christianity and by virtue of this development the Aos availed themselves to Western education that came along with Christianity. Racially the Aos are Mongolians, and is believed to have migrated from the far east 'through' Chungliyimti, in Tuensang district, where are still intact the six stones from which it is said that they emerged.

March 20, 2017

2991 CZECH REPUBLIC (South Moravia) - Lednice-Valtice Cultural Landscape (UNESCO WHS)

Between the 17th and 20th centuries, the ruling dukes of Liechtenstein transformed their domains in southern Moravia into a striking landscape. It married Baroque architecture and the classical and neo-Gothic style of the castles of Lednice and Valtice with countryside fashioned according to English romantic principles of landscape architecture. At 200 km2 , it is one of the largest artificial landscapes in Europe. It is described by UNESCO as "an exceptional example of the designed landscape that evolved in the Enlightenment and afterwards under the care of a single family."

2990 GERMANY (Rhineland-Palatinate) - Hambach Castle

Located on the mountain Schlossberg (literally Castle mountain; elevation: 325m) in the eastern outskirts of the Palatine Forest, near the urban district Hambach of Neustadt an der Weinstrasse, Hambach Castle ruled both as a protection castle and as a robber baron castle over the trade roads and the northern route of the Anterior Palatinate section of the Way of St. James. In late Carolingian Dynasty times and Ottonian dynasty times a castle of refuge was built there. Probably in the first half of the 11th century, a new castle was built inside the former estate.

March 19, 2017

2989 NETHERLANDS (Aruba) - Charlie's Bar in San Nicolaas

Located at 19km southeast of Oranjestad and known as the island's Sunrise Side, San Nicolaas is Aruba's second largest city, with a population of 18,126. It was named after Nicolas van der Biest (1808-1873), who owned a big piece of the land there. Landowners were then addressed by their subordinates by their first names preceded by 'Shon' meaning 'master'. So he was called 'Shon Nicolas', as was the area. It is thought that the change from Shon Nicolas to San Nicolaas was due to the influence of Spanish.

March 18, 2017


The Kingdom of Wallachia (Czech: Valašské Kralovství) is a micronation founded in 1997 by the writer and photographer Tomáš Harabiš as an "elaborate practical joke". It was named after the region of Moravian Wallachia, a mountainous region located in the easternmost part of Moravia in the Czech Republic, near the Slovakian border. The name originated in the Vlachs, a historical term used for  Eastern Romance-speaking peoples in the Balkans and Eastern Europe. They migrated up along the Carpathians to Moravia between the 13th and 18th centuries.

2987 GERMANY (Bavaria) - Catholic Church of Assumption of the Virgin Mary in Bad Koetzting

Located in the Bavarian Forest, near the Czech border, Bad Kötzting (before 2005: Kötzting) has the charming character of a small town. The locals pride themselves with having one of the largest mounted religious processions in the world, the Kötztinger Pfingstritt. The Church of Assumption of the Virgin Mary is the center of a fortification with an outer wall, a trench and an inner fastening ring. First mentioned in 1179, it was expanded in 1737-1738, and the chancel and the tower were rebuilt in 1766-1769. The interiors are Baroque, with the high altar from 1771 and the pulpit from 1730. Only three ceiling frescoes have been preserved from the original five ceiling frescoes and were painted in 1930 by Josef Wittmann.

0367, 2868, 2986 CZECH REPUBLIC (Prague) - Historic Centre of Prague (UNESCO WHS)

0367 Prague - Old Town Square

Posted on 23.10.2012, 15.11.2016, 18.03.2017
One day, at the beginning of the new reign of laws, the aforesaid Libuše, excited by prophecy, with her husband Přemysl present and other elders of the people standing nearby, foretold thus: "I see a burg, whose fame touches the stars, situated in a forest, thirty stades distant from the village where the Vltava ends in streams. From the north the stream Brusnice in a deep valley strongly fortifies the burg; from the south a broad, very rocky mountain, called Petřín from petrae (rocks), dominated the place.

2986 Prague - Church of Mother of God before Týn

The mountain in the that spot is curved like a dolphin, a sea pig, stretching to the aforesaid stream. When you come to that place, you will find a man putting up the doorway of a house in the middle of the forest. From that event - and since even a great lord must duck under a humble threshold - the burg you will bild, you will call Prague (Praha, from prah, threshold). In this burg, one day in the future, two golden olive trees will grow up; they will reach the seventh heaven with their tops and glitter throughout the whole world with signs and miracles.

2868 Prague - Charles Bridge and city skyline on sunset

All the tribes of the land of Bohemia, and other nations too, will worship and adore them, against their enemies and with gifts. One of these will be called Greater Glory, the other, Consolation of the Army. More was to be said, if the pestilential and prophetic spirit had not fled from the image of God. Immediately passing into the primeval forest and having found the given sign, in the aforesaid place they built the burg of Prague, mistress of all Bohemia."

March 15, 2017

2985 SOUTH KOREA (South Jeolla) - Suncheon Bay - part of Southwestern Coast Tidal Flats (UNESCO WHS - Tentative List)

2985 Sunset at the tidal flats of Waon Village in Suncheon Bay

The Tidal Flats on the southwest coast of Korea, distributed in Gomso Bay, Yeoja Bay, and Hamhae Bay and the Sinan archipelagos, are unique macrotidal flats where typical embayed tidal flats turn into open-coast tidal flats during the monsoons. They have no barrier islands like other tidal flats in the Yellow Sea. During winter, strong waves create sand flats, while in summer, the mud flats expand as tidal currents overpower the waves. The seasonal change is very clear along the coastlines.

March 14, 2017

2984 SINGAPORE - Singapore Philatelic Museum

Housed in a building designed as an additional school building to Anglo-Chinese School (Oldham Hall) in 1906, the Singapore Philatelic Museum features postage stamps and related material from Singapore and other countries from the 1830s to present day. Presented in colourful, cosy and interactive exhibitions, the miniature pieces of art offer a window into Singapore and other parts of the world - with postage stamps featuring different aspects of history, culture, science and technology. The Singapore Philatelic Museum also houses the only operational colonial posting box in Singapore.

2983 ITALY (Veneto) - Venetian Arsenal - part of Venice and its Lagoon (UNESCO WHS)

2983 View of the Entrance to the Arsenal by Canaletto, 1732.

The Venetian Arsenal is a complex of former shipyards and armories clustered together in the city of Venice. Owned by the state, the Arsenal was responsible for the bulk of the Venetian republic's naval power during the middle part of the second millennium AD. It was "one of the earliest large-scale industrial enterprises in history". Its construction began around 1104, and became the largest industrial complex in Europe before the Industrial Revolution, spanning about fifteen percent of Venice. It is located in the Castello district of Venice, and it is now owned by the state.

March 12, 2017

2982 UNITED STATES (Florida) - Hollywood Beach in Florida

Located between Fort Lauderdale and Miami, Hollywood was founded in 1925, and grew rapidly in the 1950s and 1960s, being now the twelfth largest city in Florida, with 146,526 inhabitants (2013). The founder Joseph W. Young dreamed of building a motion picture colony on the East Coast of the United States and named the town after Hollywood, California, but frequent hurricanes have hindered its development in the first decades. Hollywood is a planned city. On Hollywood Boulevard is the Mediterranean-style Joseph Young Mansion, built around 1921, making it one of the oldest houses in Hollywood.

0963, 0964, 1907, 2931, 2981 ITALY (Sicily) - The map and the flag of Sicily

0963 The map of Sicily

Posted on 12.01.2014, 19.09.2015, 19.01.2017, 12.03.2017
Located in the extension of the tip of the Apennine peninsula, from which is separated only by the narrow Strait of Messina, Sicily is the largest island in the Mediterranean Sea. Its terrain is mostly hilly and intensively cultivated, but has also mountain ranges. The eastern coast is dominates by the Mount Etna, the largest active volcano in Europe, and the Aeolian Islands, in the Tyrrhenian Sea, to the northeast of mainland Sicily, exhibit also a volcanic complex, including Stromboli. With a population of slightly more than 5 million, it has only two metropolitan areas: the capital Palermo, and Catania.

2931 Images from Sicily (1)

For a long time the poorest region of Italy, with a social, economic and political life dominated by Mafia (Cosa Nostra), which led to massive waves of emigration, especially in Americas, in the last years Sicily had a regular growth, mainly due to the reforms in agriculture, the investments in industry and tourism development, so that today it is the eighth richest italian region in terms of total GDP. The earliest archeological evidence of human dwelling on the island dates from 8000 BC. At around 750 BC it was host to Phoenician and Greek colonies and for the next 600 years it was the site of the Greek-Punic and Roman-Punic wars, which ended with the destruction of Carthage.

2982 Images from Sicily (2)

After the fall of the Roman Empire, Sicily often changed hands, and during the early Middle Ages it was ruled in turn by the Vandals, Ostrogoths, Byzantines, Saracens and Normans. Later on, the Kingdom of Sicily lasted between 1130 and 1816, first subordinated to the crowns of Aragon, Spain, the Holy Roman Empire, and finally unified under the Bourbons with Naples, as the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies. Following the Expedition of the Thousand, a Giuseppe Garibaldi-led revolt during the Italian Unification process and a plebiscite, it became part of Italy in 1860. After the birth of the Italian Republic in 1946, Sicily was given special status as an autonomous region.

0964 The flag of Sicily (1)

As in the rest of Italy, the official language is Italian (even if the most people are bilingual and speak also Sicilian, a distinct and historical Romance language) and the primary religion is Roman Catholicism. In its long and tumultuous history, it received a variety of different cultures, each of them contributing to the island's culture, particularly in the areas of cuisine and architecture. It's the reason for that it has a rich and unique culture, many poets, writers, philosophers, intellectuals, architects and painters having roots on the island.

0964 The flag of Sicily (2)

The flag of Sicily (which is also its coat of arms) was first adopted in 1282, after the successful Sicilian Vespers revolt against the king Charles I of Sicily. It is characterized by the presence of the triskelion (trinacria) in its middle, the (winged) head of Medusa and three wheat ears. The three bent legs allegedly represent the three points of the triangular shape of the island. The present design became the official public flag of the Autonomous Region of Sicily on 4 January 2000. The flag is bisected diagonally into regions colored red and yellow, red representing the municipality of Palermo, yellow representing Corleone, which in medieval times was an agricultural city of renown. The triskelion appears also on the flag of the Isle of Man.

March 11, 2017

2981 ROMANIA (Sibiu) - On the road on Hârtibaciu Valley

The Hârtibaciu is a river in the Transylvania historical region of Romania, which develops in the South Carpathians and flows into the Cibin, a tributary of the Olt River. King Géza II of Hungary settled the initial Transylvanian Saxon colonists along the Hârtibaciu (Harbach), who established many towns along the river. In Romania, as in many other regions of the world, peasants have used since ancient times cattle and buffalo for traction. But a team as the one from the postcard, formed of two animals of different species (an ox and a buffalo) is rare. Obviously, the stronger animal is disadvantaged.

1650, 2980 THAILAND (Bangkok) - Wat Pho, the Temple of the Reclining Buddha

2980 Wat Pho

Posted on 11.06.2015, 11.03.2017
Named after a monastery in India where Buddha is believed to have lived, Wat Pho (known also as the Temple of the Reclining Buddha), is a Buddhist temple in Phra Nakhon district, Bangkok, directly adjacent to the Grand Palace. Prior to the temple's founding, the site was a centre of education for traditional Thai medicine, and statues were created showing yoga positions. An enormous Buddha image from Ayuthaya's Wat Phra Si Sanphet was destroyed by the Burmese in 1767; King Rama I (1782-1809) incorporated its fragments to build a temple to enlarge and renovate the complex. The temple was restored and extended in the reign of King Rama III, and again in 1982. It is also known as the birthplace of traditional Thai massage.

1650 Reclining Buddha of Wat Pho

The complex consists of two walled compounds bisected by Soi Chetuphon running east-west. The northern one is where the reclining Buddha and massage school are found, and the southern one (Tukgawee) is a working Buddhist monastery with monks in residence and a school. Outside the temple, the grounds contain 91 chedis (stupas or mounds), four viharas (halls) and a bot (central shrine). The temple has sixteen gates around the complex guarded by Chinese giants carved out of rocks. These statues were originally imported as ballast on ship trading with China. The outer cloister has images of 400 Buddhas out of the 1200 originally bought by king Rama V. In terms of architecture, these are varied in different styles and postures, but these are evenly mounted on matching gilded pedestals.

2086, 2979 POLAND (Łódź) - Children from Łowicz in traditional dress

2086 Children from Łowicz in traditional dress (1)

Posted on 30.11.2015, 11.03.2017
The Łowicz region corresponds with the area of the former Łowicz Duchy, which nowadays covers the best part of Łowicz District. People from this region began to wear the charcteristic striped fabric in the 20's and 30's of the 19th century. A crimson background covered with verical sets of stripes dominated till the end of that century, then an orange background appears and the stripes are varied. In the inter-war period clothes are mainly navy blue and green.

2979 Children from Łowicz in traditional dress (2)

In the 19th century women from Łowicz region wore creased skirts made of striped woollen cloth, pleated aprons, bodices and jackets. In the 20th century bodices were more and more often made from black velvet and sewn together with the skirts, embroidered with threads and beads giving a splendid display of roses surrounded by other smaller flowers and leaves. The sleeves with embroidered cuffs were extremely baggy.