Monday, 13 July 2009
Friday, 10 July 2009
Helsinki Cathedral (Finnish: Helsingin tuomiokirkko or Suurkirkko, Swedish: Helsingfors domkyrka or Storkyrkan) is an Evangelical Lutheran cathedral of the Diocese of Helsinki, located in the centre of Helsinki, Finland. The church was originally built as a tribute to the Grand Duke, Nicholas I, the Tsar of Russia and until the independence of Finland in 1917, it was called St. Nicholas' Church.
A distinct landmark in the scenery of central Helsinki, with a tall green dome surrounded by four smaller domes, the church was built in 1830–1852, in neoclassical style. It was designed by Carl Ludvig Engel, to form the climax of the whole Senate Square laid out by Engel, surrounded by a number of buildings all designed by him. The building has a Greek-cross plan (i.e. a square central mass and four arms of equal length), and is symmetrical in each of the four cardinal directions, each marked by a colonnade and pediment. Engel had intended to place a further row of columns on the west end to mark the main entrance (opposite the altar at the east end), but this was never realised. The building was later altered by his successor Ernst Lohrmann, whose four small domes make the architectural connection to the cathedral's model, Saint Isaac's Cathedral in St. Petersburg, even clearer. Lohrmann also erected two separately standing bell towers and zinc statues of the Twelve Apostles at apexes and corners of the roofline.
Today the cathedral is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Helsinki. Annually more than 350,000 people visit the church, some of them to attend religious events, but most are tourists. The church is in regular use for both worship services and special events such as weddings. The crypt was renovated in the 1980s by architects Vilhelm Helander and Juha Leiviskä for use for exhibitions and church functions. Helander was also responsible for the conservation repairs to the cathedral in the late 1990s.
Before the cathedral was built, in its place a smaller church stood, called the Church of Ulrika Eleonora. It was dedicated to its patroness, Ulrika Eleonora, Queen of Sweden. A facsimile of this church, made entirely from snow, was later constructed on the Senate Square in the early 2000s.
View Larger Map
Thank you Licia for that wonderful suprise:)
Taiwan is an island located in East Asia between the South China Sea and the East China Sea off the southeastern coast of mainland China. It is well-known as the major area under the effective jurisdiction of the Republic of China (ROC) since the Chinese Civil War in 1949, and today, the ROC itself is commonly known as "Taiwan".
Separated from the Asian continent by the 180-kilometre-wide Taiwan Strait, the main island of the group is 394 kilometres (245 mi) long and 144 kilometres (89 mi) wide. To its northeast are the main islands of Japan, and the southern end of the Ryukyu Islands of Japan is directly to the east; the Philippines lie to its south. It spans across the Tropic of Cancer and consists of steep mountains, covered by tropical and subtropical vegetation. Other minor islands and islets of the group include the Pescadores, Green Island, and Orchid Island among others; as well as the Diaoyutai Islands which are controlled by Japan since the 1970s and known as the Senkaku-shotō.
Since the end of the World War II in 1945, the island group has been under the administration of the Republic of China, which was then the de facto government of all China. The island group is, however, claimed by the People's Republic of China (PRC), which was established in 1949 on mainland China, displaced the ROC, and considers itself the successor state to the ROC.
Taiwan's rapid economic growth in the decades after World War II has transformed it into an advanced economy as one of the Four Asian Tigers. This economic rise is known as the Taiwan Miracle. It is categorized as an advanced economy by the IMF and high-income economy by the World Bank. Its technology industry plays a key role in the global economy. Taiwanese companies manufacture a large proportion of the world's consumer electronics, although most of them are made in their factories in mainland China.
View Larger Map
Montenegro is a country located in Southeastern Europe. It has a coast on the Adriatic Sea to the south-west and is bordered by Croatia to the west, Bosnia and Herzegovina to the northwest, Serbia to the northeast, Kosovo to the east and Albania to the south . Its capital and largest city is Podgorica, while Cetinje is designated as the Prijestonica (Пријестоница), meaning the former Royal Capital City..
The thousand-year history of the Montenegrin state begins in the 9th century with the emergence of Duklja, a vassal state of Byzantium. In those formative years, Duklja was ruled by the Vojislavljevic dynasty. In 1042, at the end of his 25-year rule, King Vojislav won a decisive battle near Bar against Byzantium, and Duklja became independent. Duklja's power and prosperity reached their zenith under King Vojislav's son, King Mihailo (1046-81), and his son King Bodin (1081-1101).. From the 11th century, it started to be referred to as Zeta. It ended with its incorporation into Raska, and beginning with the Crnojevic dynasty, Zeta was more often referred to as Crna Gora or by the Venetian term monte negro. A sovereign principality since the Late Middle Ages, Montenegro saw its independence from the Ottoman Empire formally recognized in 1878. From 1918, it was a part of various incarnations of Yugoslavia. On the basis of a referendum held on 21 May 2006, Montenegro declared independence on 3 June. On 28 June 2006, it became the 192nd member state of the United Nations, and on 11 May 2007 the 47th member state of the Council of Europe. On 15 December 2008, Montenegro presented its official application to the European Union, with the hopes of gaining EU candidate status by 2009.
This card is showing town Budva.
Budva (Montenegrin: Будва, Budva; Italian: Budua, Greek Βοδοα, Vòdhoa) is a coastal town in Montenegro. It has around 15,000 inhabitants, and is a centre of Budva municipality. The coastal area around Budva, called the Budvanska rivijera, is the centre of Montenegro's tourism, and is well known for its sandy beaches, diverse nightlife, and beautiful examples of Mediterranean architecture.
Budva is 2,500 years old, which makes it one of the oldest settlements on the Adriatic sea coast.
Thank you dear Ana (Anagahan) for this wonderful suprise:)
View Larger Map
Wednesday, 8 July 2009
Romania is a country located in Southeastern and Central Europe, North of the Balkan Peninsula, on the Lower Danube, within and outside the Carpathian arch, bordering on the Black Sea. Almost all of the Danube Delta is located within its territory. It shares a border with Hungary and Serbia to the west, Ukraine and the Republic of Moldova to the northeast, and Bulgaria to the south.
The territory's recorded history includes periods of rule by Dacians, the Roman Empire, the Kingdom of Hungary, and the Ottoman Empire. As a nation-state, the country was formed by the merging of Moldavia and Wallachia in 1859 and it gained recognition of its independence in 1878. Later, in 1918, they were joined by Transylvania, Bukovina and Bessarabia. At the end of World War II, parts of its territories (roughly the present day Moldova) were occupied by the USSR and Romania became a member of the Warsaw Pact. With the fall of the Iron Curtain in 1989, Romania started a series of political and economic reforms. After a decade of post-independence economic problems, Romania made economic reforms such as low flat tax rates in 2005 and joined the European Union in January 1, 2007. While Romania's income level remains one of the lowest in the European Union, reforms have increased the growth speed. Romania is now an upper-middle income country economy.
Romania has the 9th largest territory and the 7th largest population (with 21.5 million people) among the European Union member states. Its capital and largest city is Bucharest , the 6th largest city in the EU with 1.9 million people. In 2007, Sibiu, a city in Transylvania, was chosen as a European Capital of Culture. Romania also joined NATO on March 29, 2004, and is also a member of the Latin Union, of the Francophonie of the OSCE and an associate member of the CPLP. Romania is a semi-presidential unitary state.
These two beautiful cards are from Markus:)I love them.They are perfect:)Tack ,Markus.Jag älskar dig:)
Some facts about Åland now.
The Åland Islands form an archipelago in the Baltic Sea. It is situated at the entrance to the Gulf of Bothnia and forms an autonomous, demilitarized, monolingually Swedish-speaking administrative province, region and historical province of Finland. It is the smallest province of Finland, comprising 0.5% of Finland's population and 0.49% of land area.
The islands consist of the main island Fasta Åland (literally "Firm Åland"), where 90% of the population resides, and an archipelago to the east that consists of over 6,500 skerries and islands. Fasta Åland is separated from the coast of Sweden by forty kilometres (twenty-five miles) of open water to the west. In the east, the Åland archipelago is virtually contiguous with the Finnish Archipelago Sea. Åland's only land border is located on the uninhabited skerry of Märket, which it shares with Sweden.
Due to Åland's autonomous status, the powers exercised at the provincial level by representatives of the central state administration in the rest of Finland are largely exercised by the Government of Åland in Åland.http://maps.google.com/maps?ie=UTF8&ll=60.183867,20.267029&spn=0.61728,2.8125&t=p&z=9
View Larger Map
Monday, 6 July 2009
Patagonia is a geographic region containing the southernmost portion of South America. Located in Argentina and Chile, it comprises the southernmost portion of the Andes mountains to the west and south, and plateaux and low plains to the east. The name Patagonia comes from the word patagón used by Magellan to describe the native people whom his expedition thought to be giants. It is now believed the Patagons were actually Tehuelches with an average height of 1.80 m (~5'11") compared to the 1.55 m (~5'1") average for Spaniards of the time.
To the east of the Andes, it lies south of the Neuquén River and Colorado rivers, and, to the west of the Andes, south of (39°S), excluding the Chiloé Archipelago. East of the Andes the Argentine portion of Patagonia includes the provinces of Neuquén, Río Negro, Chubut, Santa Cruz, and Tierra del Fuego, as well as the southern tips of the provinces of Buenos Aires, Mendoza and La Pampa. The Chilean portion embraces the southern part of the region of Los Lagos, and the regions of Aisén and Magallanes. It excludes those portions of Antarctica claimed by both countries.The Magellanic Penguin, Spheniscus magellanicus, is a South American penguin, breeding in coastal Argentina, Chile and the Falkland Islands, with some migrating to Brazil. It is the most numerous of the Spheniscus penguins. Its nearest relatives are the African Penguin, the Humboldt Penguin and the Galápagos Penguin.
Magellanic Penguins are medium-sized penguins which grow to be 61-76 cm (24-30 in) tall and weigh between 2.7 kg and 6.5 kg (5.9-14.3 lbs), with the males being larger than the females and weight dropping while each parent nurtures its young.
Adults have black backs and white stomachs. There are two black bands between the head and the breast, with the lower band being in an inverted horseshoe shape. The head is black and has a broad white border running from behind the eye, around the black ear-coverts and chin, and joining on the throat. Chicks and juveniles are grey-blue on their backs, with a more faded grey-blue color on their chest. In the wild, Magellanic Penguins can live up to 25 years, while ages of 30 years have been reached in captivity.
Young birds usually have a blotched pattern on their feet, with this 'blotching' fading as they age. Older birds of over ten years usually have solid black feet.
Like the other species of penguins, the Magellanic Penguin has very rigid wings used to 'fly' under water.