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Polen / Poland / Polska

 

 Warschau / Warsaw:  Palace of Culture and Science


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This postcard shows the Palace of Culture and Science in Warsaw (PCN).  It is the tallest building in Poland.
Construction started in 1952 and lasted until 1955. A gift from the Soviet Union to the people of Poland, the tower was constructed, using Soviet plans. The architecture of the building is closely related to several similar skyscrapers built in the Soviet Union of the same era, most notably the Moscow State University.
The inhabitants of Warsaw commonly use nicknames to refer to the palace, notably   Pekin (Beijing in Polish, because of its abbreviated name P-KiN (Palac Kultury i Nauki),   Pajac ("clown", a word that sounds close to Palac),   Stalin's syringe or even the   Russian Wedding Cake.
Since Soviet domination over Poland ended in 1989, the negative symbolism of the building has much diminished.
The building hosted a concert by the Rolling Stones in 1967.
Today, the building serves as an exhibition centre and office complex. It is 231 metres tall (including the spire) and has 42 floors. Now it houses cinemas, theatres, museums, offices, book stores and a conference hall.

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The Presidency of the Council of the European Union is the responsibility for the functioning of the Council of the European Union that rotates between the member states of the European Union (EU) every six months.
POLAND takes over the presidency of the European Union in the second half of 2011 (juli 1 - december 31). It is the first time for Poland. The Polish Post has celebrated this event with the emission of above stamp.
The stamp of 3 PLN pictures the Polish symbol for the European Union, the tab (upperpart) shows joy, symbolic flags and stars.


 

 

 

Warsaw: Plac Zamkowy / Castle Square


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This postcard gives a characteristic view on the Castle Square in Warsaw.
On the left side on this picture, we see Sigismund's Column, first erected in 1644.  This column and statue commemorate King Sigismund III Vasa, who in 1596 had moved Poland's capital from Kraków to Warsaw.
On the right side we see the Royal Castle, originally the residence of the the Polish monarchs since the 16th century.  In later centuries the castle was plundered and devastated by various enemies. In the 20th century the castle became the presidential office.
Today it is a national monument and it is listed as a national museum. Together with the old town it is a registered UNESCO World Heritage Site.
In the background on the left the roof and typical front wall of the Cathedral Basilica (Archcathedral) of the Martyrdom of St.John the Baptist can be seen.  Originally built in 14th century and completely rebuilt after World War II.


 

Warschau:  Mermaid Statue


Kaart ontvangen van Jola

Warschau is de hoofdstad van Polen. Het is echter niet de oudste stad van het land. Honderden jaren geleden was Krakau de woonplaats van de Koningen.
In de tweede wereldoorlog werd Warschau zwaar beschadigd. Het oude centrum van de stad ("Stare Miasto") werd evenwel in oude stijl herbouwd en dat staat dan ook op de Werelderfgoedlijst van de UNESCO.

Deze kaart toont een standbeeld op de oude marktplaats in Warschau. Het betreft hier een zeemeermin, die ook in het stadswapen van de stad is afgebeeld.  Hoewel Warschau 300 kilometer van de zee ligt, is op haar stadswapen toch een zeemeermin te zien.
Ze houdt een zwaard en schild vast en boven op het embleem staat de kroon van de vroegere koningen.
In 1609 werd het eerste document over het zeemonster met het bovenlichaam van een vrouw en met een zwaard in haar klauwen. Ze woonde in de Vistule, de brede rivier die door Warschau stroomt.
Ze verdedigde als het ware de omgeving. De inwoners van Warschau zijn erg trots op hun stad die heel vaak werd aangevallen. En de zeemeermin zie je dan ook op bussen, trams, taxi’s, tijdschriften, gebouwen, enz.
Er zijn ook andere standbeelden van de sirene in de diverse parken.

The origin of the legendary figure is not fully known. The best-known legend, by Artur Oppman, is that long ago two of Triton's daughters set out on a journey through the depths of the oceans and seas. One of them decided to stay on the coast of Denmark and can be seen sitting at the entrance to the port of Copenhagen. The second mermaid reached the mouth of the Vistula River and plunged into its waters. She stopped to rest on a sandy beach by the village of Warszowa, where fishermen came to admire her beauty and listen to her beautiful voice. A greedy merchant also heard her songs; he followed the fishermen and captured the mermaid.

Another legend says that a mermaid once swam to Warsaw from the Baltic Sea for the love of the Griffin, the ancient defender of the city, who was killed in a struggle against the Swedish invasions of the 17th century. The mermaid, wishing to avenge his death, took the position of defender of Warsaw, becoming the symbol of the city.

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Twee verschillende postzegels zijn hier geplakt.
Ze zijn uit 1997 en 1999 en behoren tot de langlopende serie van Poolse landhuizen.


 

Warsaw: Freta street


Kaart ontvangen van Magdalene

Warsaw is the largest city and capital of Poland. It is located on the Vistula River, roughly 260 km from the Baltic Sea.
The card shows Freta Street (ulica Freta). Freta is a busy street with lots of pedestrians and many good but not so expensive restaurants and pubs.
In one of the houses in this street Marie Curie (1867-1934) was born at the end of nineteenth century. She was the only person who has received two Nobel prizes (one from physics, the other from chemistry), and the first woman to receive these prizes. She discovered Rad (which started the development of radiation as a science) and Polon (which she named after Poland). The house is now a museum.

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The 10GR-stamp is from 2001 and belongs to a longlasting series of manor houses in Poland.
The 30GR-stamp from 2005 shows the Silezisch Theater  (Teatr Slaski) in Katowice.
The 2Zt-stamp shows the Cathedral of Gniezno; this stamps is from 2002 and part of a series of 3.


Krakau



Kaart ontvangen van Artur

Krakau (Pools: Kraków) is na Warschau en Lodz de grootste stad van Polen (756. 441 inwoners, 2008). De stad ligt aan de Wisla (Duits: Weichsel) in het zuiden van Polen. 
Het is de voormalige hoofdstad van Polen (tot 1609) en is één van de belangrijkste cultuursteden van Midden-Europa. Het wordt daarom wel het "Florence van Polen" genoemd, en is volgens velen één van de mooiste steden van Europa.
De stad kwam als één van de weinige steden in Polen bovendien ongeschonden de Tweede Wereldoorlog door. Het stadscentrum staat op de Werelderfgoedlijst van de UNESCO.
Op bovenstaande kaart is het centrum van de stad, de grote markt (Rynek Glowny), afgebeeld. Links de Mariakerk en rechts de Lakenhal (Sukiennice).


Kaart ontvangen van Halina

Op deze kaart wordt de Wawel (natuurlijke heuvel) bij nacht afgebeeld. De Wawel ligt aan de rivier de Wisla. Veel oude historische gebouwen staan op deze heuvel. Hier afgebeeld aan de linkerkant de Kathedraal en aan de rechterkant de Burcht.

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Halina stuurde de kaart met deze prachtige postzegels. Bedankt Halina!


 

Krakau / Cracow:  Barbakan / Barbican


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The Kraków barbican (Polish: barbakan krakowski) is a barbican – a fortified outpost once connected to the city walls. It is a historic gateway leading into the Old Town of Kraków, Poland. The barbican is one of the few remaining relics of the complex network of fortifications and defensive barriers that once encircled the royal city of Kraków, in the south of Poland. It currently serves as a tourist attraction and venue for a variety of exhibitions.

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Drie postzegels van 5 Gr. met onderwerp Sandomierz. Sandomierz in zuid-oost Polen is een charmante kleine stad vol met historische monumenten. De stad stamt uit de 12e eeuw. Afgebeeld het gemeentehuis (Town Hall) en de ingang van een van de vele historische kerken.
De postzegels van 10 Gr. en 50 Gr. zijn uit een langlopende serie met afbeeldingen van indrukwekkende boerderijen en landhuizen.

The stamp of 1.55 Zl is a Christmas stamp: "Bog sie Rodzi".
"Bóg się rodzi" (English: "God Is Being Born") is a Polish Christmas carol, with lyrics written by Franciszek Karpiński in 1792.
Its stately melody (the composer has not been established) is traditionally known to be a coronation polonaise for Polish Kings dating back as far as during the reign of Stefan Batory in the 16th century. The carol is regarded by some as the National Christmas hymn of Poland, and, for a short time, it was also considered a national anthem, for instance by poet Jan Lechoń. It has also been called "One of the most beloved Polish Christmas carols".


 

 

Gdansk: Main Town Hall on Dlugi Targ (long market)


Kaart ontvangen van Natalie

Gdansk is Poland's principal seaport situated on the Baltic coast. Historically Gdansk was a member of the Hanseatic League.
A lot of the old buildings are of the Dutch style. The Town Hall spire, with a guilded statue of King Sigismund II Augustus of Poland on its pinnacle (installed in 1561) dominates Long Market skyline.
The exact date of the creation of the Town Hall is unknown. It is assumed that construction started in the 14th century.
At present, exhibitions presenting Gdansk history are held at the Town Hall. The splendid building also performs reception functions.
During the tourist season (in the spring and summer), the sightseeing gallery of the tower is open to tourists, and at around 50m high the tower provides a great view of Gdansk.
The specific atmosphere of Gdansk is also created by its bells. In 2000 a new outstanding 37-bell carillon was installed in the town hall tower The carillon was built by the Dutch bells and carillon manufacturer, Royal Eijsbouts in Asten.

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The four postage stamps are all from series with typical Polish buildings.
The 50Gr and 1.55Zl stamps present famous manor houses.
The 5Gr stamp depicts historical monuments in the city of Sandomierz in south-east Poland.
The 30Gr stamp shows the Silezisch Theater in Katowice.


Gdansk: Fontanna Neptuna (Neptunus Fontein)


Kaart ontvangen van Aleksandra

In het centrum van de Poolse stad Gdansk (bij Dlugi Targ = Long Market) staat de opmerkelijke Neptunusfontein. Dit monument, dat omstreeks 1549 moet zijn gemaakt en in 1633 werd omgebouwd tot een fontein, behoort tot de mooiste van Europa. Het bronzen beeld van Neptunus, de zeegod, symboliseert de verbondenheid van Gdansk met de zee.
Dit beeld was zo belangrijk dat het tijdens de tweede wereldoorlog werd verborgen om beschadiging te voorkomen. Pas in 1954 kwam het weer te voorschijn.

Neptune's Fountain, in the center of Dlugi Targ (the Long Market) has grown to be one of Gdansk's most recognizable symbols. The bronze statue of the Roman god of the sea was first erected in 1549, before being aptly made into a fountain in 1633. Like the city he represents, Neptune has had a storied history, himself - dismantled and hidden during World War II, old Neptune didn't come out of hiding until 1954 when he was restored to his rightful place in the heart of the city, reminding us of Gdansk's relationship to the sea.



Poznan: Old Town Square


Kaart ontvangen van Alice

This postcard shows the Town Square in Poznan. Poznań is a city on the Warta river in west-central Poland, with a population of 556,022 in June 2009. It is among the oldest cities in Poland, and was one of the most important centres in the early Polish state, whose first rulers were buried at Poznań's cathedral. It is sometimes claimed to be the first capital of the kingdom of Poland.
Poznań is an important centre of trade, industry, and education, and hosts regular international trade fairs. It was the host city for the United Nations Climate Change Conference in December 2008, a key stage in the creation of a successor to the Kyoto Protocol.

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De postzegel toont de kerk van het Paulinerklooster op de Jasna Gora (lichte berg) van Czestochowa. In deze barokke kloosterkerk bevindt zich de "zwarte madonna van Czestochowa", een icoon van de maagd Maria uit 1384 (?).

The town Czestochowa is known for the famous Pauline monastery of Jasna Góra, which is the home of the Black Madonna painting, a shrine to the Virgin Mary. Every year, millions of pilgrims from all over the world come to Częstochowa to see it.
Pope John Paul II, a native son of Poland, prayed before the Madonna during his historic visit in 1979, several months after his election to the Chair of Peter. The Pope made another visit to Our Lady of Częstochowa in 1983 and again in 1991.


 

Poznan: Town Hall


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Poznan Town Hall or Ratusz is a building in the city of Poznan in western Poland, located in the Old Market Square (Stary Rynek) in the centre of the Old Town neighbourhood. It served as the city's administrative building until 1939, and now houses a museum.
The town hall was originally built in the late 13th century following the founding of the medieval city in 1253; it was rebuilt in roughly its present-day form, in mannerist style, with an ornate loggia, by Giovanni Battista di Quadro in 1550–1560. The display of mechanical fighting goats, played out daily at noon above the clock on the front wall of the building, is one of the city's main tourist attractions.

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The nice stamp (emission of 25 march, 2011) is from a series of 2 devoted to Easter; One stamp with an Easter Chicken (not on this card) and one stamp with the Easter Bunny.
Designer is Jan Konarzewski. The Easter chicken was printed 20 million times, the Easter Bunny only 2 million times.


 

Ksiaz Castle


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Ksiaz (German: Schloss Fürstenstein) is a castle in Silesia, Poland near the town of Walbrzych. It was built in 1288-1292 under Bolko I the Strict.
The castle has been owned by (among others) Duke Bolko II, Agnes von Habsburg, King Wenceslaus IV of Bohemia, Janko z Chociemic, Birka z Nasiedla, Hans von Schellendorf, Konrad I von Hoberg.
The castle was occupied by the Red Army in 1945, when most artifacts were lost or destroyed.
(info for Wikipedia).

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The postage stamp is one from a longlasting series of permanent stamps with pictures of manor houses in Poland.


 

Gniesno Cathedral


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Griezno was the first capital of Poland in the period 966-1039. Then Krakau took over.
The most prominent object in the city is the 14th-century Gothic Cathedral which also contains the tomb of Saint Adalbert,  the first bishop of Prague.  The Cathedral witnessed the coronation of the first five Polish Kings.

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Four stamps on this card:
1. A manor house, from a series of permanent postage stamps.
2. The monastery in Sieradz, a town on the Warta River in central Poland.
3. Sigismund II Augustus (1520-1572) was King of Poland and Grand Duke of Lithuania. This emission of September 15, 2008,  memorates 450 years of Polish Post (1558-2008).   Inscribed next to the portrait of Zygmunt II August is the wording of the privilege conferred upon Prosper Prowana, a courtier of Italian descent and supervisor of the established new postal system on the route from Cracow to Venice to manage new affairs in Italy.
4. This stamp is showing Karol Wojtyla (1920-2005) as Pope Johannes Paulus II (1978-2005). John Paul II has been acclaimed as one of the most influential leaders of the 20th century.