Monday, October 2, 2017

Poland


Warszawa - Saxon Palace / Tomb of the Unknown Soldier

Today I return to the Warsaw Uprising.  I started talking about it this year on August 1st, however the Uprising would last from August 1, 1944 through October 2, 1944 when the Poles surrendered and the city (both civilians and military) were evacuated.  The Germans then spent from then until January 1945 destroying what was left of the city while the Soviets sat on the other side of the river letting them.

The top photo shows part of the pre-war Saxon Palace (Palac Saski) a large palace built to honor the Saxon Kings of Poland (Poland, unlike most of Europe, had elected kings instead of a hereditary monarchy).

The Palace, like 80% to 90% of Warsaw, was destroyed by the Germans during the occupation.  There still are the massive Saxon Gardens, however, the palace has not been rebuilt. 

The only remaining part of the Saxon Palace that remains is the small archway in the bottom photo which has become the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.  The tomb houses the body of a young, unknown soldier from the Defense of Lwow (present day Lviv, Ukraine) during 1918-1919.  The sides of the columns list various battles that Poland fought dating back to the 900s including the Warsaw Uprising of 1944.

As the photo on the postcard doesn't necessarily give the idea of how large the Saxon Palace was, the Palace is the large building on both sides of the colonnade in this photo located below the large, Orthodox Alexander Nevsky Cathedral.  Below the colonnade you can see the Saxon Gardens and the large fountain in the circle.



Monday, August 7, 2017

Poland


Torun, Poland

This card features The Leaning Tower, The Old City Town Hall, The Raftsman's Fountain, and the Panorama of the city.

Friday, August 4, 2017

Poland


Warszawa Centrum

Various images of buildings showing damage from the Warsaw Uprising.  From left to right on the top: Swietokrzyska Street, The Palace of Culture (not existing at the time of the Uprising), The Prudential Building (the pre-war tallest building in the city and later known as Hotel Warszawa), Kierbedzia bridge, the central railway station, and Nowy Swiat Street.

The Prudential Building/Hotel Warsawa is still in existence; however, it is undergoing a rebuild to become a four-star hotel.  On August 28, 1944 the building was stuck with a two-ton German shell during the Warsaw Uprising.  The event was the subject of one of the famous photographs of the Uprising taken by Sylwester Braun, code name "Kris."

The Prudential Building hit by a shell, August 28, 1944 (Photolink)


Thursday, August 3, 2017

Poland


Warszawa - Zamek Krolewski

The Royal Castle of Warsaw.  Originally constructed from 1598 through 1619, the Royal Palace or Zamek, The castle was a prominent target of the Germans during the 1939 invasion for its symbolism.  The roof was removed to help decompensation of the building and after the 1944 Uprising the remains of the building were dynamited by the Germans leaving little more than a pile of rubble as they evacuated the city in January 1945. 

The building was rebuilt with donations from the US in between 1971 through 1984.

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Poland


Warszawa - Archcathedral Basilica of Saint John the Baptist.

Located in the heart of Old Town, the Cathedral of Saint John was heavily damaged after the Uprisin.  The Germans had detonated a tank in the building and then drilled holes and dynamited the rest of the building after the Uprising in their attempt to totally destroy the city. 

As one can see, it was rebuilt after the war, but in the style believed of it's 14th century appearance, not it's pre-war appearance.

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Poland


Warszawa - Rynek Starego Miasta

Warsaw, Old Town Marketplace

Today marks the 73rd anniversary of the beginning of the Warsaw Uprising.  Lasting from August 1, 1944 through October 2, 1944, the inhabitants of Warsaw fought to free Warsaw by the occupying German forces while the Soviet allies waited on the other side of the river giving no assistance. 

After the Uprising, the Germans forced everyone to leave the city while they stayed there until the end of January 1945 purposefully burning and destroying every building they could.  An estimated 80-90% of the city was destroyed during the war. 

This card shows the destruction to one side of the Old Town Market Square and what the buildings look like today. 




Thursday, July 20, 2017

Spain


One of seventeen bedrooms of the Palacio de los Chaves Mendoza has a terrace that gives a view of the rose garden and the medieval town of Trujillo. 

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Spain


Painted ceilings and walls, trompe l'oeil niches, and sculpted accessories in the dining room add to the surrealistic look of an apartment in Barcelona.

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Spain


Lined with painted benches and myriad plants in terracotta posts, the covered patio looks out onto the inner courtyard, the oldest part of Hacienda de Bujalmoro outside of Seville.

Monday, July 17, 2017

Spain


All over Spain, but especially in the south, courtyards filled with orange and palm trees are one of the strongest reminders of the influence of Moorish architecture.  All rooms open onto the courtyard, making it the center of the house.

Thus with today and the next three days we bring the packet of postcards that my friend Mark gave me of Spanish images to a conclusion.  I hope you've enjoyed them.

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Soviet Union


Moscow

The Krymsy Bridge over the Moskva River

The bridge was built in the 1930s under Josef Stalin and is the fourth bridge on the location.  It is also the only suspension bridge in Moscow.



Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Poland


The small portrait of Marie Sklodowska from the time of her studies at the Sorbonne, 1892.

Marie Sklodowska would become arguably one of the most famous and honored scientists of the twentieth century, if not all time.  The only individual, male or female, to receive two Nobel Prizes in the two different scientific disciplines, you may better know her as Marie Curie.

Monday, July 10, 2017

Poland


Łańcut

This card is of the Łańcut Castle, located in the town of the same name in the Subcarpatian area of Poland.  Built from 1629-1642.  The castle is a popular museum now.

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Poland


Rzeszow

The central market square of Rzeszow.  Underneath the square is a series of tunnels used originally for cold storage by merchants and traders.  It is connected to a number of the buildings around the square.   

Monday, July 3, 2017

Poland


Torun, Poland

Church of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary

Saturday, July 1, 2017

Canada for Canada Day!


CA-625269

The Canadian Flag

The newly design flag was flown for the first time on February 15, 1965.

It is hard to imagine Canada having a flag other than the iconic red and white with a maple leaf in the center.  It seems almost...wrong.  

Happy Canada Day to all of my Canadian friends.  Enjoy this video of Oh....Canada as well.  It is mostly safe for work apart from maybe a couple of naughty words.


Oh, and this cute circa 2016 video by Canadian brewer Molson Canadian. a take on their famous "beer fridge video" series.


Friday, June 30, 2017

Spain


Framed by a wall of pale symmetrical bricks, a painted fresco of a religious figure stands in aplace of a window. 

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Spain


A bold coat of green paint helps to highlight the curved walls, original doors, and windows, and unusual proportions in a residence at La Pedrera a landmark apartment building in Barcelona designed by Antonio Gaudi. 

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Spain


Throughout Spain , palaces mirror the grandeur and majesty of Spanish architecture.  Here, Sagovia's Alcazar castle appears like a mirage at the edge of a field of high grass.



Spain


An arcade connects the entrance to the courtyard and outbuildings at the sprawling Baroque Hacienda Micones, an olive grower's estate near Seville.

Monday, June 26, 2017

Spain


Meticulously kept stables at the Cortigo San Andres, near Seville, are witness to the continuing tradition of horse training for which the area is known. 

Thus begins another week cataloging the Spanish postcards that my friend Mark gave me to put on the blog. 

Friday, June 23, 2017

Soviet Union


Moscow

Buildings in Kalinin Avenue

The road has since be renamed New Arbat Avenue

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Soviet Union


Moscow

Ensemble of the Novodevichy Convent

As of 2004, the Convent is now a UNESCO World Heritage site

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Soviet Union


Moscow

Presidium of the Academy of Sciences of the USSR (former P. Demidov's Neskuchny Palace)



Monday, June 19, 2017

Soviet Union


Moscow

Ukraina Hotel skyscraper

The hotel still exists.  It is now the Radisson Royal Hotel and was originally commissioned by Soviet dictator Josef Stalin.  It originally opened on May 25, 1957 and still for some purposes uses the older name Ukraina Hotel

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Poland


Warsaw, Freta Street

The church in the distance is the Church of the Holy Spirit.  During World War II the church was almost totally destroyed by the Germans.

Just on the left side of the postcard, where the pedestrians are on the sidewalk, is the birthplace and museum of Marie Curie.  The tall structure on the left side of the street just past the lamppost is Saint Hyacinth's Church.  During the Warsaw Uprising Saint Hyacinth's was used as a field hospital, making it a heavy target of German bombings.  Over 1,000 insurgents and civilians were killed there.

Monday, June 12, 2017

Thursday, June 1, 2017

Poland


Warszawa - Palac Kultury I Nauki

The Palace of Culture and Science in Warsaw was originally named after Josef Stalin.  After Stalin's death and destalinization, the building had Stalin's name removed.  It currently houses many offices, theaters, museums, a large auditorium, shops, and a swimming pool.

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Poland


Imperium kontratakuje  by Michal Ksiazek

A Polish film poster for the film The Empire Strikes Back

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

USA - Washington


Tree of Life

This card sold to benefit UNICEF is by the late Indonesian artist Iwan Tirta.  The card comes to me from my friend Valerie in Seattle, Washington.

Monday, May 29, 2017

Japan


JP-916995

Impression, Sunrise - Claude Monet

While this card comes from Japan, the painting is located at the Musee Marmottan Monet in Paris

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Poland


Torun

The Statue of Nicholas Copernicus

Copernicus (Mikołaj Kopernik in Polish) was the Polish astronomer who formulated during the Renaissance a model of the solar system where the sun, not the Earth, was at the center.  Born in Torun, Poland, on February 19, 1473, he is probably the most famous resident of the city and is one of the most famous scientists and astronomers in Polish history.

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Poland


Sw. Jan Pwel II

Saint Pope John Paul II (May 18, 1920 - Apr 02, 2005).born Karol Wojtyła, the first Polish Pope.

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Soviet Union


Moscow

The old building of the V. I. Lenin State Library (former P. Pashkov's house) Architect V. Bazhenov

The building is now part of the Russian State Library (after the national library went through de-Leninization after the fall of communism.)  The building was previously the Rumyantsev Museum, the first public museum in Russia, but was closed down by the Soviets in the 1920s.



Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Soviet Union


Moscow

The Arch of Triumph in Kutuzov Avenue (Sculptors I. Vitali, I. Timofeev, architect O. Bove)

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Soviet Union


Moscow

Monument of M. I. Kutuzov in front of the Panorama Museum of the Battle of Borodino (Sculptor N. Tomsky, architect, L. Golubovsky)

Monday, May 8, 2017

Soviet Union


Moscow

Monument of V. I. Lenin in October Square (sculptors L. Kerbel, V. Fedorov, architects G. Makarevich, A. Samsonov)

I cannot find out if this statue is still standing.  The October Square however was apparently renamed "Revolutionary Square" since the fall of the Soviet Union.  This card is dated 1989, only a few years before the fall of the Soviet Union.