четверг, 26 ноября 2009 г.

Cover from Poland

On the 11-th of November after 7 days of travelling I got this awesome cover from Poland. It continues the series of the EU capitals. I do like the stamps devoted to the cities, so these stamps will find their own place in my collection. Thank you very much, Andrzej!

Here is some information about the stamps:

Brussels - Grand Place

Brussels is more than the capital city of Belgium. It is the capital city of the entire European Union and also the home of numerous important international institutions, including the headquarters of NATO. Founded in the 9th century, during the Middle Ages Brussels grew to become the most significant city in the Duchy of Brabant, a centre of trade and craftsmanship. Its present inhabitants fall into two linguistic groups - the Flemish and the French group. Other than in the rest of the country, which is divided into Flanders and Wallonia, in Brussels both languages are used democratically. 
The Grand Place compound is the centre of the city from the point of view of history, geography and trade. It contains a city hall erected in gothic style (Hôtel de Ville), the Royal House (16th century palace presently housing the City Museum) and historical tenements dating back to the 17th and the 18th century. It is widely considered that the only competitor for Grand Place as the most beautiful place of its kind in Europe is St. Mark’s Square in Venice. 

Helsinki - the National Museum 

The city of Helsinki was established in 1550 as a centre of trade. At that time it was a Swedish city, located at the mouth of the river Vantaa. In 1640 it was moved to its present location at the Gulf of Finland. The city suffered on numerous occasions due to Russian raids and natural disasters. Following a fire in 1808 it was rebuilt to resemble Petersburg, and it became the capital city of Finland in 1917. The city, with its picturesque location, is famous for a unique harmony between architecture and landscape. Among its countless monuments, most of which date back to the 19th century, are the St. Nicolas’s Cathedral, the city hall and the presidential palace. The National Museum edifice featured on the postage stamp was constructed in 1910 and is crowned with a slender tower, making it resemble a cathedral. 

Nicosia - the Famagusta Gate 

Although formally an EU Member State, Cyprus is part of Asian territory. Its capital city, Nicosia (Gr. Lefkosia), was in 1974 divided into a Turkish zone occupying the northern part and a Greek zone in the south of the city. The division reflects a centuries old conflict between the local inhabitants. The ancient name of the city was Ledra, and later on Leukosia. It had been the bishop’s residence since the 4th century, and in the 12th century it became the capital city of the island which then changed in 1489 when it was conquered by the Venicians. Since 1570 it had been ruled by the Ottoman Turks and in 1878 Nicosia became the capital city of Cyprus, a British colony. Finally, in 1960 it was renamed the capital of the Republic of Cyprus. The traces of Nicosia passing from under one rule to another are visible in the city’s monuments. 
The Famagusta Gate, dating back to the second half of the 16th century, is one of the three gates constituting a system of Venician fortifications surrounding the city (the wall is 4.5 kilometres long). It was designed by Giulio Savorgano to resemble a similar Venician gate located in Iraklion on the island of Crete. Presently the interiors of the gate serve as a venue for concerts and exhibitions.

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