05 April 2017

#1255 Armenia

Armenia (ArmenianՀայաստանtr. Hayastan), officially the Republic of Armenia (ArmenianՀայաստանի Հանրապետությունtr. Hayastani Hanrapetut’yun), is a sovereign state in the South Caucasus region of Eurasia. Located in West Asia on the "Armenian Highlands", it is bordered by Turkey to the west, Georgia to the north, the de facto independent Nagorno-Karabakh Republic and Azerbaijan to the east, and Iran and Azerbaijan's exclave of Nakhchivan to the south. The Republic of Armenia constitutes only one-tenth of historical Armenia.

About some facts written on the postcard:

Mesrop Mashtots (ArmenianՄեսրոպ ՄաշտոցLatinMesrobes Mastosius; 362 – February 17, 440 AD), also known as Mesrob the Vartabed, was an early medieval Armenian linguisttheologian, statesman and hymnologist. He is best known for having invented the Armenian alphabet c. 405 AD, which was a fundamental step in strengthening Armenian national identity. He was also the creator of the Caucasian Albanian and Georgian alphabets, according to a number of scholars and contemporaneous Armenian sources.

Aram Il'yich Khachaturian (RussianАра́м Ильи́ч Хачатуря́нArmenianԱրամ ԽաչատրյանAram Xačatryan; 6 June [O.S. 24 May] 1903 – 1 May 1978) was a Soviet Armenian composer and conductor. He is considered one of the leading Soviet composers.

Yura Movsisyan (ArmenianՅուրա Սարգիսի Մովսիսյան, born 2 August 1987) is an Armenian footballer who currently plays forward for Real Salt Lake in Major League Soccer. He represents Armenia internationally. He has played 35 international games with Armenia scoring 10 goals.

Hovhannes Tumanyan (ArmenianՀովհաննես Թումանյանclassical spelling: Յովհաննէս Թումանեան) (February 19 [O.S. February 7] 1869 – March 23, 1923) was an Armenian poet, writer, translator, literary and public activist. He is considered the national poet of Armenia.

Yerevan (ArmenianԵրևանclassical spelling: Երեւան) is the capital and largest city of Armenia as well as one of the world's oldest continuously inhabited cities. Situated along the Hrazdan River, Yerevan is the administrative, cultural, and industrial center of the country. It has been the capital since 1918, the thirteenth in the history of Armenia, and the seventh located in or around the Ararat plain.

Mount Ararat (TurkishAğrı Dağı; traditional ArmenianՄասիսMasis) is a snow-capped and dormant compound volcano in the eastern extremity of Turkey. It consists of two major volcanic cones: Greater Ararat, the highest peak in Turkey and the Armenian plateau with an elevation of 5,137 m (16,854 ft); and Little Ararat, with an elevation of 3,896 m (12,782 ft). The Ararat massif is about 40 km (25 mi) in diameter.

Scholars agree the biblical "mountains of Ararat" do not refer to specifically Mt. Ararat. Nevertheless, it has been perceived as the traditional resting place of Noah's Ark since the 11th century. It is the principal national symbol of Armenia and has been considered a sacred mountain by Armenians. It is featured prominently in Armenian literature and art and is an icon for Armenian irredentism. Along with Noah's Ark, it is depicted on the coat of arms of Armenia.

Lavash (ArmenianլավաշAzerbaijani and TurkishlavaşKurdishnanê loş‎; Persianلواش‎‎; Georgianლავაში), sometimes referred to as Armenian lavash, is a soft, thin unleavened flatbread made in a tandoor (called tonir in Armenian) and eaten all over the CaucasusWestern Asia and the areas surrounding the Caspian Sea. Lavash is one of the most widespread type of bread in ArmeniaAzerbaijanTurkey and Iran.

Thank you, Karina !

Sent on: March 25, 2017
Received on: April 3, 2017

#1254 Kosovo

The flag of the Republic of Kosovo was adopted by the Assembly of Kosovo immediately following the declaration of independence of the Republic of Kosovo from Serbia on 17 February 2008. The flag is the result of an international design competition, organised by the United Nations-backed Kosovo Unity Team, which attracted almost one thousand entries. The now-used design is a variant of one proposal designed by Muhamer Ibrahimi. It shows six white stars in an arc above a golden map of Kosovo on a blue field. The stars symbolise Kosovo's six major ethnic groups.

Before the declaration of independence, Kosovo was under the administration of the United Nations and used the UN flag for official purposes. The Serbian and Albanian populations had used their own national flags since the Socialist Yugoslavia period. The Serbs use a red, blue and white tricolor, which forms the basis of the current flag of Serbia. The Albanian population have used the flag of Albania since the 1960s as their nationality flag. Both flags can still be seen and used within Kosovo.

Thank you, Amy !

Sent on: March 29, 2017
Received on: April 3, 2017

#1253 Luxembourg

The Bock (LuxembourgishBockfiels) is a promontory in the north-eastern corner of Luxembourg City's old historical district. Offering a natural fortification, its rocky cliffs tower above the River Alzette which surrounds it on three sides. It was here that Count Siegfried built his Castle of Lucilinburhuc in 963, providing a basis for the development of the town which became Luxembourg. Over the centuries, the Bock and the surrounding defences were reinforced, attacked and rebuilt time and time again as the armies of the BurgundiansHabsburgs, Spaniards, Prussians and French vied for victory over one of Europe's most strategic strongholds, the Fortress of Luxembourg. Warring did not stop until the Treaty of London was signed in 1867, calling for the demolition of the fortifications. Ruins of the old castle and the vast underground system of passages and galleries known as the casemates continue to be a major tourist attraction.

The first tunnels for the underground defences below the old castle were dug out during the Spanish period in 1644. Extensions were made by the French engineer Vauban under Louis XIV in 1684 but it was from 1737 to 1746 that the Austrians completed the extraordinary complex of underground passages and galleries known as the casemates. With a total length of 23 km (14 mi) and depths of up to 40 m (130 ft), they accommodated 50 cannons and a garrison of 1,200 men. In addition, they had underground facilities for housing equipment and horses as well as workshops, kitchens, bakeries and slaughterhouses. When the surface fortifications were dismantled in 1875, most of the underground defences remained largely untouched, 17 km (11 mi) of passageways remaining. In 1994, the casemates were added to the list of UNESCO's world heritage sites, attracting some 100,000 visitors a year.

Thank you. Anne !

Sent on: March 28. 2017
Received on: March 31, 2017

#1252 New Zealand

Mount Ngauruhoe is an active stratovolcano or composite cone in New Zealand, made from layers of lava and tephra. It is the youngest vent in the Tongariro volcanic complex on the Central Plateau of the North Island, and first erupted about 2,500 years ago. Although seen by most as a volcano in its own right, it is technically a secondary cone of Mount Tongariro.

Date of Inscription on the List of UNESCO WHS: 1990
Extension: 1993

Thank you, Sybil !

Sent on: March 10, 2017
Received on: March 31, 2017

30 March 2017

#1251 Belarus

The national flag of Belarus (BelarusianСцяг БеларусіSciah BielarusiRussianФлаг БеларусиFlag Belarusi) is a red and green flag with a white and red ornament pattern placed at the staff (hoist) end. The current design was introduced in 2012 by the State Committee for Standardization of the Republic of Belarus, and is adapted from a design approved in a referendum in May 1995. It is a modification of the 1951 flag used while the country was a republic of the Soviet Union. Changes made to the Soviet-era flag were the removal of symbols of communism (the hammer and sickle and the red star) and the reversal of the colors of the ornament pattern, from white-on-red to red-on-white. Since the 1995 referendum, several flags used by Belarusian government officials and agencies have been modeled on this national flag.

Thank you, Alena !

Sent on: March 26, 2017
Received on: March 29, 2017

#1250 Germany

Miltenberg is a town in the Regierungsbezirk of Lower Franconia (Unterfranken) in BavariaGermany. It is the seat of the like-named district and has a population of over 9,000.

Thank you, Dagmar !

Received on: March 29, 2017

28 March 2017

#1249 Greenland

The flag of Greenland was designed by Greenland native Thue Christiansen. It features two equal horizontal bands of white (top) and red with a large disk slightly to the hoist side of centre. The top half of the disk is red, the bottom half is white. The entire flag measures 18 by 12 parts; each stripe measures 6 parts; the disk is 8 parts in diameter, horizontally offset by 7 parts from the hoist to the centre of the circle, and vertically centered.

To honour the tenth anniversary of the Erfalasorput, the Greenland Post Office issued commemorative postage stamps and a leaflet by the flag's creator. He described the white stripe as representing the glaciers and ice cap, which cover more than 80% of the island; the red stripe, the ocean; the red semicircle, the sun, with its bottom part sunk in the ocean; and the white semicircle, the icebergs and pack ice. The design is also reminiscent of the setting sun half-submerged below the horizon and reflected on the sea. In 1985, the public was made aware that Greenland's flag had exactly the same motif as the flag of the Danish rowing club, HEI Rosport, which was founded before Greenland's flag was chosen. It is not clear whether this is a case of plagiarism or just a coincidence, but the rowing club has given Greenland permission to use their flag.

Thank you, Arnold !

Sent on: March 21, 2017
Received on: March 28, 2017