Wednesday, 9 September 2009

Wordless Wednesday 008: Königsschloβ

Königsschloβ Neuschwanstein
Royal Castle Neuschwanstein

Royal Castle, Neuschwanstein, Germany
Sent by Miriam
Dated 24 April 2009
Postmarked Briefzentrum 85

According to Miriam, this castle was the inspiration for the Disney logo, the Sleeping Beauty castle at both Disneyland Park and the Hongkong Disneyland. Thanks, Miriam.

Friday, 4 September 2009

Postcard Friendship Friday 017: The Red Square in Moscow

Red Square, Moscow, Russia
Sent by Elena
Dated 11 March 2009

The Red Square in Moscow is arguably one of the most famous in the world. It is the oldest and most historical in Moscow, and home to some of Moscow's famous landmarks. One of these, perhaps the most recognisable landmarks, because of its brightly-colored spiraling onion domes, is St. Basil's Cathedral. Commissioned by Ivan the Terrible and built on the edge of Red Square between 1555 and 1561, St. Basil's Cathedral is one of the most beautiful Russian Orthodox monuments.

Legend has it that on completion of the church the Tsar ordered the architect, Postnik Yakovlev, to be blinded to prevent him from ever creating anything to rival its beauty again. (He did in fact go on to build another cathedral in Vladimir despite his ocular impediment!) The cathedral was built to commemorate Ivan the Terrible's successful military campaign against the Tartar Mongols in 1552 in the besieged city of Kazan. Victory came on the feast day of the Intercession of the Virgin, so the Tsar chose to name his new church the Cathedral of the Intercession of the Virgin on the Moat, after the moat that ran beside the Kremlin. The church was given the nickname "St. Basil's" after the "holy fool" Basil the Blessed (1468-1552), who was hugely popular at that time with the Muscovites masses and even with Ivan the Terrible himself.


Other famous landmarks shown in the postcard are Lenin's Mausoleum, the State Historical Museum (foreground), the Resurrection Gate (front, right), part of the Red Square (next to the Resurrection Gate, the tower with the clock), and the GUM Department Store, an elegant turn-of-the-century shopping mall catering to Moscow's nouveau riches (left, just behind the State Historical Museum).
Images by Freepik