Thursday, May 28, 2009

Postcard #15: City View of Istanbul, Turkey

A beautiful postcard from Turkey featuring a city view of the magnificent city - Istanbul. Istanbul is the largest city of Turkey with a population of over 12.6 million. It is located in the Bosphorus Strait and encompasses the natural harbour known as the Golden Horn. It is the only metropolis in the World which is located in two continents - Asia and Europe. The "Historic Areas of Istanbul" were added to the UNESCO World Heritage Sites List in 1985.

This real-posted postcard features Galata Bridge, New Mosque and Sulemaniye

The Galata Bridge.   The bridge shown on the postcard was called as Fourth Galalta Bridge.  It was built in 1912 AD by a German firm MAN AG for 350,000 gold liras. This floating bridge was 466 m long and 25 m wide. The fourth Galata Bridge was damaged badly in a fire in 1992 AD. The Galata Bridge spans the Golden Horn

Galata Bridge of today,  which is called Fifth Galata Bridge,  is a bascule bridge and it was constructed in 1994. It is 490 m long with a span of 80 m. The deck of the bridge is 42 m wide and has 3 vehicular lanes and one walkway in each direction.

The New Mosque.   The New Mosque can be seen in the top left corner of the postcard. The New Mosque or Mosque of the Valide Sultan is an Ottoman imperial mosque located on the Golden Horn at the southern end of Galata Bridge. The construction of the mosque started in 1597 AD but the construction was stopped due to various problems. The partially constructed structure of the Mosque was destroyed by a fire in 1660 AD and fell into ruins. The reconstruction started and the mosque was completed in 1663AD and inaugurated in 1665 AD. It is one of the best-known sights of Istanbul.

Suleymaniye Mosque.   The Suleymaniye Mosque (at the top-right corner of postcard) is also an Ottoman imperial mosque in Istanbul. It is the second largest mosque in the city. It was built on the order of Sultan Suleiman I (Suleiman the Magnificent). The construuction on the mosque started in 1550 AD and ended in 1557 AD.
Suleymaniye was later destroyed by a fire in 1660 AD (probably the same fire in which New Mosque was destroyed) and was restored later. In 1766 AD, a part of dome was destroyed due to an earth quake. Many repairs had overcome the initial decoration of the mosque. Even the colour scheme of the dome and various other parts was changed. The mosque was restored again in the middle of the 19th century.

During World War I, the courtyard was used as a weapons/ammunition depot and mosque suffered another huge fire when some of the ammunition got ignited. It was fully restored in 1956 AD. Suleymaniye is also one of the areas considered to be the part of "Historical Areas of Istanbul" which is one of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

The postmark shows that the postcard was sent on 21 October 1991 from Turkey. The stamps used on the postcard were issued in 1985 as a definitive series. However there are some over-prints on the stamps. Can some one give any information about these over-prints???

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Postcard #15: Kenya: Elephant Family

Hi friends!
Today I have to share a beautiful postcard from Kenya with you. This is my first postcard from Kenya. The postcard shows a herd of elephants moving from one place to another. The highlight of the photo is the way mother elephant is helping her child to movr forward. Pushing the baby with her trunk to transfer her enormous strength to the baby's legs. 

By the way, I absolutely adore these giant animals. My daughters also love elephants and our visit to the zoo is always incomplete without watching these animals closely. We have a pair of elephants in Islamabad Zoo and a pair (I think) in Lahore Zoo.