вторник, 5 мая 2009 г.

Cover from Poland

On the 15-th of April after just 7 (unimaginely quickly for Russian post!) days of travelling I got these 2 letters with beautiful stamps on them. All of them devoted to the capitals of the EU countries. You can see one of the most popular sight on each stamp. I know that poczta polska is going to issue one more seria this year. I'll be looking forward to it!
dziekuje, Andrzej!

Amsterdam - Rijksmuseum
The Netherlands' capital city is a harbour town founded in the 13th century. Its name means a dam on the Amstel river. The most extensive development of the town (as well as the whole Holland) was in the 17th century during the so called Golden Age i.e. when a network of canals creating the unique atmosphere of Amsterdam was dug.The building depicted on the postage stamp is the famous Dutch national museum - Rijksmuseum, built at the end of the 19th century in a mix of Gothic and Renaissance styles. It exhibits rich collections of art of the 15th - 19th century and the greatest collection of Dutch paintings of the 17th century. The museum is especially proud of its collection of the Rembrandt masterpieces with the famous "Night Watch" of 1642 among the best ones.

Athens - the Acropolis
The origin of Athens was the Mykines fortress of the 13th century BC erected on a limestone hill, further called Acropolis (Greek: akropolis - upper city). Later a city-state (polis) developed around Acropolis which transformed into a religious centre. After being destroyed by the Persians in the 5th century BC, Athens was reborn magnificently under the rule of Pericles. As a result of conquests, under the rule of Macedonia, Rome, and since the 15th century - Turkey, the city had fallen into decay. It became the capital city of the new Greece only in 1834. The Acropolis of Athens is today a popular destination for tourists and a symbol of the Ancient Greek civilization. The Parthenon depicted on the stamp was built in 447-432 BC, in honour of Athena Parthenos, patron of the city. Phidias, the most distinguished architect of the Ancient Greece was the designer of decorative elements of this Doric temple. Inside there was a gold and ivory huge Athena's statue presumably also sculpted by Phidias.

Copenhagen - the Royal Library
A fishing village Havn (Harbour) by the Oresund strait, founded at the beginning of the 11th century developed thanks to a castle built nearby and already in the 15th century it became the Danish capital - Kobenhavn (Harbour of Merchants), important commercial centre for the northern Europe.The stamp presents a photo of the newest part of the Royal Library - one of the biggest in Europe. It contains, among others, manuscripts of Karen Blixen, Hans Christian Andersen and Soren Kierkegaard. A new building called the Black Diamond (because of a black granite and dark glass used for its construction) was open for the public in 1999.

Prague - the Charles Bridge
Famous for the beautiful architecture Czech capital was established upon the joining of two cities of the early Middle Ages: Hradčany and Vyšehrad. The representative for ages seat of the Czech rulers was handed over in the 16th century to the house of Habsburg, and at the same time to be dominated by Vienna. Only the so called Czech National Revival in the 19th century restored the city's previous character. Prague was again the capital city in 1918 upon the creation of Czechoslovakia. In 1993 after the split of Czechoslovakia, the city became the capital city of the Czech Republic.The Charles Bridge (by 2nd half of the 19 century called the Stone Bridge or the Prague Bridge) connects two districts: Malá Strana and Staré Mesto. It is 515 meters long and approximately 9.5 meters wide. It was built in the 14th century (replaced the 12th century Judith Bridge destroyed by flood), by 1741 was the only bridge on the Vltava river. Its Gothic character has been emphasised by the towers protecting the bridge. The famous 30 statues of saints were added only in the times of baroque.

Vienna - the Parliament
Founded around 500 BC Vienna was originally a Celtic settlement, and later a Roman Vindobona. It constituted a northern edge of the Empire. In the Middle Ages Vienna was a capital city of the Habsburg dynasties. In the 16th and 17th century the city stopped attacks of the Ottoman armies. In the 18th century Vienna flourished and transformed into a cultural capital of Europe. A new European era was created here during the Congress of Vienna. Vienna has been the capital city of Austria since 1918.The building of the Parliament presented on the postage stamp is a place where both houses of the Austrian Federal Assembly have their sessions. It was created in 1874-1883 based on the design of a Danish architect Theophil von Hansen. The Pallas Athena fountain highlights its Neo-classical character.

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