среда, 9 декабря 2009 г.

On the 8-th of December after 14 days of travelling I got these 2 nice covers, sent from Poland. There are 2 stamps which continue the series of “The capitals of EU countries”. Now it’s complete! The other stamp represents "Polish traces in Europe". This time Polish Post issued the stamp, devoted to Jerzy Franciszek Kulczycki - the interpreter of Russian-Ukrainian origin which took part in one of Polish-Turkian war and awarded a sum of money and some packs of coffee. That's how he became the first European coffee house owner. 

Thank you very much, Andrzej!

Bratislava - the Castle 

Bratislava, in the past also known as Pressburg, Pozsóny or Posonium, is a formerly Hungarian city located on the Danube river. It became the capital city of Slovakia in 1918 following the breakdown of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. However, it wasn’t until 1993, following the hardships of war and the communist regime, that political changes occurred allowing the city to become the capital of the autonomous Slovakian state. 
Fortified outposts have been built on the Castle Hill since as early as 9th century as the city was on numerous occasions a target for raids (among others by the Tartars). The construction of the castle begun in the 12th century and the present shape of the building comes from the 18th century, when it was added with baroque features during the reign of Maria Theresa of Austria. The castle suffered serious damage during a fire in 1811 and wasn’t rebuilt again until the 1950s. Presently it houses, among others, the Museum of History.

Warsaw - the Castle Square

Although Warsaw was founded as early as in the 13th century, the significance of the city grew considerably when it became the capital of Poland and the home of the royal court (which had until then been located in Krakow) in 1596. King Sigismund III Vasa settled in the royal palace (which had formerly served as a castle and was rebuilt for that purpose) in the year 1611. The reign of Sigismund III Vasa and later on his son, Władysław IV Vasa, was a golden age for Warsaw, a time when the city flourished with rapid growth and development. 
The Castle Square depicted on the stamp opens the way to the Old Town. The column crowned with a sculpture of Sigismund III, whose construction was ordered by Władysław IV, was erected between 1643 and 1644. The Royal Palace, destroyed in World War II, wasn’t rebuilt until the 1970s. Both the palace and the entire Old Town are included in the UNESCO World Heritage List.

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