DE-1056199 240 - ая открытка

Country: Germany

Distance:  1,034 km

Travel time:  3 days

On postcard: Pfaffenhofen

Pfaffenhofen an der Ilm is a municipality in Bavaria, Germany, capital of the district Pfaffenhofen. It is located on the river Ilm, and had a population of 23,282 in 2004.

Composer Ralf Yusuf Gawlick was born here in 1969.



CZ-134595 239 - ая открытка

Country: Czech Republic

Distance:  833 km

Travel time:  5 days

On postcard: Loket

Loket  is a town of some 3 000 inhabitants in the Sokolov District in the Karlovy Vary region of the Czech Republic.

Loket means "elbow" in English. The town is named this due to the town centre being surrounded on three sides by the Ohře River, and the shape the river takes is similar to that of an elbow. The town centre itself features Loket Castle, a 12th century gothic castle. The town centre is a national monument and as such is preserved from modern developments.

The town plays host to an annual opera festival, which takes played in an open air amphitheatre with the castle as a backdrop, and also plays host to the Czech Motocross Grand Prix. Loket was also used to portray Montenegro in the 2006 James Bond film Casino Royale.



NL-789931 238 - ая открытка

Country: Netherlands

Distance:  1,170 km

Travel time:  7 days

On postcard: Rotterdam

Rotterdam is the second-largest city in the Netherlands and the largest port in the world. Starting as a dam on the Rotte river, Rotterdam has grown into a major international commercial centre. Its strategic location at the Rhine-Meuse-Scheldt delta on the North Sea and at the heart of a massive rail, road, air and inland waterway distribution system extending throughout Europe means that Rotterdam is often called the Gateway to Europe.

Located in the Province of South Holland, Rotterdam is in the west of the Netherlands and at the south of the Randstad. The population of the city proper was 603,425 in March 2010. The population of the greater Rotterdam area, called "Rotterdam-Rijnmond" or just "Rijnmond", is around 1.3 million people. Rotterdam is one of Europe's most vibrant and multicultural cities. It is known for its university (Erasmus), its cutting-edge architecture, its lively cultural life, its striking riverside setting, its maritime heritage and the Rotterdam Blitz.

But the essence of Rotterdam is its huge, modern port. The largest port in Europe and one of the busiest ports in the world, the port of Rotterdam was the world's busiest port from 1962 to 2004, at which point it was surpassed by Shanghai. Rotterdam's commercial and strategic importance is based on its location near the mouth of the Nieuwe Maas (New Meuse), one of the channels in the delta formed by the Rhine and Meuse on the North Sea. These rivers lead directly into the centre of Europe, including the industrial Ruhr region.


Settlement at the lower end of the fen stream Rotte (or Rotta, as it was then known, from rot, 'muddy' and a, 'water', thus 'muddy water') dates from at least 900 CE. Around 1150, large floods in the area ended development, leading to the construction of protective dikes and dams, including Schielands Hoge Zeedijk ('Schieland’s High Sea Dike') along the northern banks of the present-day Nieuwe Maas. A dam on the Rotte or 'Rotterdam' was built in the 1260s and was located at the present-day Hoogstraat ('High Street').

On 7 June 1340, Count Willem IV of Holland granted city rights to Rotterdam, which then had approximately 2000 inhabitants. Around 1350 a shipping canal, the Rotterdamse Schie was completed, which provided Rotterdam access to the larger towns in the north, allowing it to become a local transshipment center between Holland, England and Germany, and to urbanize.

The port of Rotterdam grew slowly but steadily into a port of importance, becoming the seat of one of the six 'chambers' of the Vereenigde Oostindische Compagnie (VOC), the Dutch East India Company.

The greatest spurt of growth, both in port activity and population, followed the completion of the Nieuwe Waterweg in 1872. The city and harbor started to expand on the south bank of the river. The Witte Huis or White House skyscraper, inspired by American office buildings and built in 1898 in the French Chateau-style, is evidence of Rotterdam's rapid growth and success. When completed, it was the tallest office building in Europe, with a height of 45 m (147.64 ft).

During World War II, the German army invaded the Netherlands on 10 May 1940. Adolf Hitler had hoped to conquer the country in just one day, but his forces met unexpectedly fierce resistance. The Dutch army was finally forced to capitulate on 14 May 1940, following Hitler's bombing Rotterdam and threatening to bomb other Dutch cities. The heart of Rotterdam was almost completely destroyed by the Luftwaffe; 900 civilians were killed and 80,000 made homeless. The City Hall survived the bombing. Ossip Zadkine later strikingly captured the event with his statue De Verwoeste Stad ('The Destroyed City'). The statue stands near the Leuvehaven, not far from the Erasmusbrug in the centre of the city, on the north shore of the river Nieuwe Maas.

Rotterdam was gradually rebuilt from the 1950s through the 1970s. It remained quite windy and open until the city councils from the 1980s on began developing an active architectural policy. Daring and new styles of apartments, office buildings and recreation facilities resulted in a more 'livable' city center with a new skyline. In the 1990s, the Kop van Zuid was built on the south bank of the river as a new business center.


'Rotterdam' is divided into a northern and a southern part by the river Nieuwe Maas, connected by (from west to east): the Beneluxtunnel; the Maastunnel; the Erasmusbrug ('Erasmus Bridge'); a subway tunnel; the Willemsspoortunnel ('Willems railway tunnel'); the Willemsbrug ('Willems Bridge'); the Koninginnebrug ('Queen's Bridge'); and the Van Brienenoordbrug ('Van Brienenoord Bridge'). The former railway lift bridge De Hef ('the Lift') is preserved as a monument in lifted position between the Noordereiland ('North Island') and the south of Rotterdam.

The city centre is located on the northern bank of the Nieuwe Maas, although recent urban development has extended the center to parts of southern Rotterdam known as De Kop van Zuid ('the Head of South', i.e. the northern part of southern Rotterdam). From its inland core, Rotterdam reaches the North Sea by a swathe of predominantly harbor area.

Built mostly behind dikes, large parts of the Rotterdam are below sea level. For instance, the Prins Alexander Polder in the northeast of Rotterdam extends 6 meters below sea level, or rather below Normaal Amsterdams Peil (NAP) or 'Amsterdam Ordnance Datum'. The lowest point in the Netherlands (6.76 metres (22.2 ft) below NAP) is situated just to the east of Rotterdam, in the municipality of Nieuwerkerk aan den IJssel.

The Rotte river no longer joins the Nieuwe Maas directly. Since the early 1980s, when the construction of Rotterdam’s second subway line interfered with the Rotte’s course, its waters have been pumped through a pipe into the Nieuwe Maas via the Boerengat.


Rotterdam has the largest port in Europe, with the rivers Meuse and Rhine providing excellent access to the hinterland upstream reaching to Basel, Switzerland and into France. In 2004 Shanghai took over as the world's busiest port. In 2006, Rotterdam was the world's seventh largest container port in terms of Twenty-foot equivalent units (TEU) handled.

The port's main activities are petrochemical industries and general cargo handling and transshipment. The harbour functions as an important transit point for bulk materials and between the European continent and overseas. From Rotterdam goods are transported by ship, river barge, train or road. In 2007, the Betuweroute, a new fast freight railway from Rotterdam to Germany, was completed.

In 1872, the Nieuwe Waterweg ('New Waterway') opened, a ship canal constructed to keep the city and port of Rotterdam accessible to seafaring vessels as the natural Meuse-Rhine channels silted up. The canal proper measures approximately 6.5 kilometres (4.0 mi) from the western tips of its protruding dams to the Maeslantkering ('Maeslant Barrier'). Many maps, however, include the Scheur as part of the Nieuwe Waterweg, leading to a length of approximately 19.5 kilometres (12.1 mi).

In the first half of the twentieth century, the port's center of gravity shifted westward towards the North Sea. Covering 105 square kilometres (41 sq mi), the port of Rotterdam now stretches over a distance of 40 kilometres (25 mi). It consists of the city center's historic harbor area, including Delfshaven; the Lloydkwartier; the Maashaven/Rijnhaven/Feijenoord complex; the harbors around Nieuw-Mathenesse; Waalhaven; Vondelingenplaat; Eemhaven; Botlek; Europoort, situated along the Calandkanaal, Nieuwe Waterweg and Scheur (the latter two being continuations of the Nieuwe Maas); and the reclaimed Maasvlakte area, which projects into the North Sea.

The construction of a second Maasvlakte received initial political approval in 2004, but was stopped by the Raad van State (the Dutch Council of State, which advises the government and parliament on legislation and governance) in 2005, because the plans did not take enough account of environmental issues. On 10 October 2006, however, approval was acquired to start construction in 2008, aiming for the first ship to anchor in 2013.


Alongside Porto, Rotterdam was European Capital of Culture in 2001. The city has its own orchestra, the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra with its world famous musical director Yannick Nézet-Séguin, a large congress and concert building called De Doelen, plus many theatres (including the new Luxor theatre) and movie theatres. The Ahoy complex in the south of the city is used for pop concerts, exhibitions, tennis tournaments and other activities. A major zoo called Diergaarde Blijdorp is situated at the northwest side of Rotterdam, complete with a walkthrough sea aquarium called the Oceanium.

The city is home to the Willem de Kooning Academy and Piet Zwart Institute.

Rotterdam is currently going through a sort of renaissance, with some urban architecture projects, a nightlife, and many summer festivals celebrating the city's multicultural population and identity, such as the Caribbean-inspired "Summer Carnival", the Dance Parade, Rotterdam 666, the Metropolis pop festival and the World Port days. The city has a few venues for pop music like Rotown and Exit. The venue WORM focuses on experimental music and related cutting edge subcultural music. There are also the International Film Festival in January, the Poetry International Festival in June, the North Sea Jazz Festival in July, the Valery Gergiev Festival in September, September in Rotterdam and the World of the Witte de With. In June 1970, The Holland Pop Festival (which featured Jefferson Airplane, The Byrds, Canned Heat, It's a Beautiful Day, and Santana) was held and filmed at the Stamping Grounds in Rotterdam.

The self-image of the city is that of a no-nonsense workers' city. In that sense, there is a healthy competition with Amsterdam, which is often viewed as the cultural capital of the Netherlands. There is a saying: "Amsterdam to party, Den Haag (The Hague) to live, Rotterdam to work". Another one, more popular by Rotterdammers, is "Money is earned in Rotterdam, divided in The Hague and spent in Amsterdam". Another saying that reflects both the rivalry between Rotterdam and Amsterdam is "Amsterdam has it, Rotterdam doesn't need it".

Rotterdam has had a rich hiphop music scene since the early 1980s. It is also the home of Gabber, a type of hardcore electronic music popular in the mid-1990s, with hard beats and samples. Groups like Neophyte and Rotterdam Terror Corps (RTC) started in Rotterdam.

The main cultural organisations in Amsterdam, such as the Concertgebouw and Holland Festival, have joint forces with similar organisations in Rotterdam, via A'R'dam. In 2007 these organisations published with plans for co-operation. One of the goals is to strengthen the international position of culture and art in the Netherlands in the international context.


Rotterdam has many museums. Well known museums are the Boijmans-van Beuningen Museum, the NAi (Netherlands Architecture Institute), the Volkenkundig Museum (foreign peoples and cultures), the Kunsthal (design by Rem Koolhaas),the center for contemporary art Witte de With, the Maritime Museum and the Brandweermuseum (Fire brigade museum). The Historisch Museum (Historical museum) has two buildings: the Dubbelde Palmboom and the Schielandshuis. Other museums include the tax museum and the nature historical museum. At the historical shipyard and museum Scheepswerf 'De Delft' the reconstruction of ship of the line Delft can be visited.

Architecture and skyline

In 1898, the 45 meter high-rise office building the White House (in Dutch Witte Huis) was completed, at that time the tallest office building in Europe. In the first decades of the 20th century, some influential architecture in the modern style was built in Rotterdam. Notable are the Van Nelle fabriek (1929) a monument of modern factory design by Brinkman en Van der Vlugt, the Jugendstil clubhouse of the Royal Maas Yacht Club designed by Hooijkaas jr. en Brinkman (1909), and Feyenoord's football stadium De Kuip (1936) also by Brinkman en Van der Vlugt. The architect J. J. P. Oud was a famous Rotterdammer in those days. During the early stages of World War II the center of Rotterdam was bombed by the Germans, destroying many of the older buildings in the center of the city. After initial crisis re-construction the center of Rotterdam has become the site of ambitious new architecture.

Rotterdam is also famous for its Kubuswoningen or cube houses built by architect Piet Blom in 1984. In addition to that there are many international well known architects based in Rotterdam like O.M.A (Rem Koolhaas), MVRDV, Neutelings & Riedijk and Erick van Egeraat to name a few.

Rotterdam houses several of the tallest structures in the Netherlands.

- The Erasmusbrug (1996) is a 790-meter (2,600 ft) cable stayed bridge linking the north and south of Rotterdam. It is held up by a 138 metres (453 ft) tall pylon with a characteristic bend, earning the bridge its nickname 'De Zwaan' ('the Swan').

- Rotterdam has the tallest residential building in the Netherlands: the New Orleans Tower (158.35 metres (519.5 ft)).

- Rotterdam is also home to the tallest office building 'Maastoren' (164.75 m (540.5 ft)) which houses Deloitte. This office tower surpassed the 'Delftse Poort' (160 m (520 ft)) which houses Nationale-Nederlanden insurance company, part of ING Group as tallest office tower in 2009.

- The city also houses the 186 metres (610 ft) tall Euromast, which has long been a major tourist attraction. It was built in 1960, initially reaching a height of 101 metres (331 ft); in 1970, the Euromast was extended by 85 metres (279 ft) to its current height.

Rotterdam has a reputation in being a platform for architectural development and education through the Berlage Institute, a postgraduate laboratory of architecture, and the NAi (Netherlands Architecture Institute), which is open to the public and has a variety of good exhibitions on architecture and urban planning issues.

Rotterdam is standing in the best European SkylineTop together with Frankfurt, London, Madrid, Paris, Warsaw and Moscow. Over 30 new highrise projects are being developed at the moment.

Two architectural landmarks are located in the Lloydkwartier: the STC college building and the Schiecentrale 4b.



GB-257261 237 - ая открытка

Country: United Kingdom

Distance:  1,575 km

Travel time:  9 days

On postcard: Warsash

Warsash is a village in southern Hampshire, England, situated at the mouth of the River Hamble, west of the area known as Locks Heath. Boating plays an important part in the village's economy, and the village has a sailing club. It is also home to the Warsash Maritime Academy, part of Southampton Solent University, which provides training for Merchant Navy Officers from around the world.

Warsash is in the borough of Fareham, and is part of the Fareham parliamentary constituency. The village lies in the Hook-with-Warsash parish, with the village of Hook.


Before the 19th century what is now known as Warsash was a number of separate hamlets; Warsash itself; Hook to the south at the mouth of the River Hamble; Newtown between Hook and Warsash and Chilling on Southampton Water. Hook was of earlier importance, as a 'dockyard' during the Hundred Years' War. At the end of this war Hook's importance declined, and for the next 300 years it, Chilling and Warsash continued as hamlets making livings from fishing and smuggling. Newtown had in addition a number of salterns.

Towards the end of the 18th century the land around Hook had been acquired by the Hornby family to form the Hook Estate. This new estate was bordered to the north by the existing Warsash House estate.

In 1807 the shipbuilder George Parsons, who had lost the lease of his former shipyard up-river at Bursledon, began construction of a shipyard at Warsash at a site where the present Shore Road was later built; all the buildings at the former Bursledon site, including a graving shed and a mould-loft, were dismantled and re-erected at Warsash. In partnership with his son John Parsons and grandson John Rubie, Parsons then built a number of vessels during the following four years, including four ships for the Royal Navy - the 18-gun brig-sloop HMS Peruvian in 1808, the 36-gun frigates HMS Theban and HMS Hotspur in 1809 and 1810, and the 38-gun frigate HMS Nymphe in 1812. Following George's death in 1812, his son and grandson built a further ship for the Navy - the 36-gun frigate HMS Laurel.

In the 19th century Warsash started to expand in size and importance when shipbuilding moved across the river from Hamble-le-Rice. Along the coast Newtown was also expanding, the salterns had expanded into a chemical works and an iron smelting industry had started. By the mid-19th century the two communities had been linked by road, with housing along these roads filling the open space to create one community.

By the end of 19th century the lack of threat from the French had sent the shipbuilding industry into decline. The iron and chemical works were also declining. The main sources of income for the area were the burgeoning strawberry growing industry and traditional fishing and agriculture. Alongside these industries grew businesses providing refreshments and services to visitors to the area, especially those of the new leisure sailing pursuits. At the crossroads in the centre of the village there is an unusual clock tower built around 1900, an example of the prosperity the leisure industry brought.

St Mary's

The parish church, St Mary's, dates from 1871. The old vicarage site on Osborne Road has been redeveloped and new houses erected. In 2000, local sculptor Ian G Brennan was commissioned to produce a bas-relief carving to be fitted above the entrance to the vestry. The finished piece is made of lime-wood and shows various landmarks of the village and a large dove of peace. The approach to the church (Church Road) was previously an undeveloped laurel avenue. Many of the hedges have been replaced by fences or walls but several are still flourishing. At the end of the road the mounting block still survives, at the site of the old avenue gates.

Hamble-Warsash Ferry

Warsash is the eastern landing-place for the ferry crossing the River Hamble from Hamble-le-Rice. The ferry was once an important link in a historic route between Portsmouth and Southampton. The ferry now provides a link in local, national and international footpaths such as the Solent Way and cycle routes such as National Cycle Route 2.



CH-89382 236 - ая открытка

Country: Switzerland

Distance:  1,250 km

Travel time:  4 days



The Katajanokka prison (now a Best Western hotel), Suomen tasavalta

Famous building in Katajanokka is the former district prison of Southern Finland. The old prison dates back to 1837, and functioned as a prison till 2002. The prison underwent an extensive interior renovation to convert the cells of the prison into hotel rooms, with sets of two or three cells combined to make up the current hotel rooms. The Best Western Premier Hotel Katajanokka opened in May 2007 with 106 guest rooms. Renovations cost a reported 15 million euro. As a historic building, strict limits were imposed on the redevelopment due to the strict regime of protection for historically significant buildings that is in effect in Finland. Thus, as a hotel, the exterior of the building has been preserved, as has the central corridor of the old prison and even the old prison wall. A restaurant at the lowest level of the hotel has attempted to keep much of the character of the old prison alive, and is called the "Jailbird Restaurant". However, an actual former prisoner told a Finnish newspaper that the supposed "prison cutlery" is very different from what the prison actually used: for example, prisoners never drank out of tin cups.



FI-1179082 235 - ая открытка

Country: Finland

Distance:  819 km

Travel time:  30 days



DE-1049637 234 - ая открытка

Country: Germany

Distance: 1,076 km

Travel time:  4 days

On postcard: Augsburg

Augsburg is a city in the south-west of Bavaria, Germany. It is a university town (German: 'Universitätsstadt') and home of the Regierungsbezirk Schwaben and the Bezirk Schwaben. Augsburg is an urban district and home to the institutions of the Landkreis Augsburg. It is, as of 2008, the third-largest city in Bavaria with a population exceeding 264,000 citizens. After Neuss and Trier, Augsburg is Germany's third oldest city.
Augsburg is the only German city with its own legal holiday, the Augsburger Hohes Friedensfest, celebrated on August 8 of every year. This gives Augsburg more legal holidays than any other region or city in Germany.


The city was founded in 15 BC by Drusus and Tiberius as Augusta Vindelicorum, on the orders of their stepfather Emperor Augustus. The name "Augusta Vindelicorum" means "Augusta of the Vindelici". This garrison camp soon became the capital of the Roman province of Raetia.

Early development was due to a 400-year affiliation with the Roman Empire, especially because of its excellent military, economic and geographic position at the convergence of the Alpine rivers Lech and Wertach, and with direct access to most important Alpine passes. Thus, Augsburg was the intersection of many important European east-west and north-south connections, which later evolved as major trade routes of the Middle Ages.

Around 120 AD Augsburg became the capital of the Roman province Raetia. Augsburg was sacked by the Huns in the 5th century AD, by Charlemagne in the 8th century, and by Welf of Bavaria in the 11th century, but arose each time to greater prosperity.

Historical spellings of the name of the city include "Ausburch" and "Ausbourch."

Augsburg Confession

Augsburg was decreed an Imperial Free City on March 9, 1276. Augsburg also held its own bishop at this time. With a strategic location as intersection of trade routes to Italy, it became a major trading centre. Augsburg produced large quantities of woven goods, cloth and textiles. Augsburg became the base for the Fugger banking empire, who donated the Fuggerei part of the city devoted to housing for needy citizens in 1516 and remains in use today.

In 1530, the Augsburg Confession was presented to the Holy Roman Emperor at the Diet of Augsburg. Following the Peace of Augsburg in 1555, after which the rights of religious minorities in imperial cities were to be legally protected, a mixed Catholic–Protestant city council presided over a majority Protestant population; see Paritätische Reichsstadt.

Thirty Years' War

Religious peace in the city was largely maintained despite increasing Confessional tensions until the Thirty Years' War (1618–1648). In 1629, Ferdinand II issued the Edict of Restitution, which restored the legal situation of 1552 which again curtailed the rights of the Protestant citizens. The inequality of the Edict of Restitution was rescinded when in April 1632, the Swedish army under Gustavus Adolphus captured Augsburg without resistance.

In 1634, the Swedish army was routed at nearby Nördlingen. By October 1634, Catholic troops had surrounded Augsburg. The Swedish garrison refused to surrender and a siege ensued through the winter of 1634/35 and thousands died from hunger and disease. According to J. N. Hays, "In the period of the Swedish occupation and the Imperial siege the population of the city was reduced from about 70,000 to about 16,000, with typhus and plague playing major roles."

Nine Years' War

In 1686, Emperor Leopold I, formed the League of Augsburg, termed by the English as the "Grand Alliance" after England joined in 1689: a European coalition, consisting (at various times) of Austria, Bavaria, Brandenburg, England, the Holy Roman Empire, the Palatinate of the Rhine, Portugal, Savoy, Saxony, Spain, Sweden, and the United Provinces. It was formed to defend the Palatinate from France. This organization fought the War of the Grand Alliance against France in the Nine Years War.

Augsburg's peak boom years occurred during the 15th and 16th centuries thanks to the bank and metal businesses of the merchant families Fugger and Welser, who held a local near total monopoly on their respective industries. Augsburg's wealth attracted artists seeking patrons and rapidly became a creative centre for famous painters, sculptors and musicians notably birthplace of : the Holbein painter family, the composer Leopold Mozart and the playwright Berthold Brecht. Rococo became so prevalent that it became known as “Augsburg style” throughout Germany.

Industrial Revolution Revival

In 1806, when the Holy Roman Empire was dissolved, Augsburg lost its independence to become part of the Kingdom of Bavaria. In 1817 Augsburg became an administrative capital of the Oberdonaukreis, then administrative capital in 1837 for the district Swabia and Neuburg.

During the end of the 18th century, Augsburg's textile industry again rose to prominence followed by the connected machine manufacturing industry.


Augsburg was historically a militarily important city due to its strategic location. During the German re-armament prior to World War II, the Wehrmacht enlarged Augsburg's one original Kaserne (barracks) to three: Somme Kaserne ((housing Wehrmacht Artillerie-Regiment 27)); Arras Kaserne ((housing Wehrmacht Infanterie Regiment 27)) and Panzerjäger Kaserne (housing Panzerabwehr-Abteilung 27 (later Panzerjäger-Abteilung 27). Wehrmacht Panzerjäger-Abteilung 27 was later moved to Füssen.

The Reichswehr Infanterie Regiment 19 was stationed in Augsburg and became the base unit for the Wehrmacht Infanterie Regiment 40, a subsection of the Wehrmacht Infanterie Division 27 (which later became the Wehrmacht Panzerdivision 17). Elements of Wehrmacht II Battalion of Gebirgs-Jäger-Regiment 99 (especially Wehrmacht Panzerjäger Kompanie 14) was composed of parts of the Wehrmacht Infanterie Division 27. The Infanterie Regiment 40 remained in Augsburg until the end of the war, finally surrendering to the United States.

The three Kaserne changed hands confusingly between the American and Germans, finally ending up in US hands for the duration of the Cold War.

During World War II, one subcamp of the Dachau concentration camp was located outside Augsburg, supplying approximately 1300 forced labourers to local military-related industry, most especially the Messerschmitt AG military aircraft firm headquartered in Augsburg.

In 1941 Rudolf Hess without Hitler's permission secretly took off from a local airport and flew to Scotland to meet the Duke of Hamilton, and crashed in Eaglesham in an attempt to mediate the end of the European front of World War II and join sides for the upcoming Russian Campaign.

In 1945, the U.S. Army occupied the heavily bombed and damaged city. (see Bombing of Augsburg in World War II). An American military presence in the city started with the 11th Airborne Division, followed by the 24th Infantry Division, U.S. Army Seventh Corps Artillery, 701st Military Intelligence Brigade and finally the 66th Military Intelligence Brigade, which returned the former Kaserne to German hands in 1998. Originally the Heeresverpflegungshauptamt Südbayern and a Officers' caisson existed on or near the location of Reese-Kaserne, but was demolished by the occupying Americans. The former Wehrmacht Kaserne became the three main US barracks in Augsburg: Reese;, Sheridan and FLAK. US Base FLAK had been an anti-aircraft barracks since 1936 and US Base Sheridan "united" the former infantry barracks with a smaller Kaserne for former Luftwaffe communications units.

City Nicknames

While commonly coined Fuggerstadt (Fuggers' city) due to the Fuggers residing there, within Swabia it's also often referred to as Datschiburg: which originated sometime in the 19th century refers to Augsburgs favorite sweet: the Datschi made from fruit, preferably prunes, and thin cake dough. The Datschiburger Kickers charity football team (founded in 1965) reflects this in its choice of team name.



CZ-128665 233 - ая открытка

Country: Czech Republic

Distance: 771 km

Travel time:  33 days



LV-43728 232 - ая открытка

Country: Latvia

Distance: 89 km

Travel time:  21 days

On postcard: Liepāja

Liepāja historical variant: Libau, is a republican city in western Latvia, located on the Baltic Sea directly at 21°E. It is the largest city in the Kurzeme Region of Latvia, the third largest city in Latvia after Riga and Daugavpils and an important ice-free port. As of 1 January 2011, Liepāja had a population of approximately 83,000.

Liepāja is known throughout Latvia as "The city where the wind is born", possibly because of the constant sea breeze. A song of the same name (Latvian: Pilsētā, kurā piedzimst vējš) was composed by Imants Kalniņš and has become the anthem of the city. The reputation of Liepāja as the windiest city in Latvia has been further endorsed as the biggest wind power plant in Latvia (33 Enercon wind turbines) was constructed nearby.

The Coat of Arms of Liepāja was adopted four days after it gained city rights on 18 March 1625. These are described as: "on a silver background, the lion of Kurzeme with a divided tail, who leans upon a linden (Latvian: Liepa) tree with its forelegs." The flag of Liepāja has the coat of arms in the center, with red in the top half and green in the bottom.



The original settlement at the location of modern Liepāja was founded by Curonian fishermen of Piemare and was known by the name Līva (from the name of the river Līva on which Liepāja was located, which in turn originated from the Livonian word Liiv meaning "sand"). The oldest written text mentioning the name is dated 4 April 1253. The Livonian Order under the aegis of the Teutonic Order established the settlement as the village of Liba(u) in 1263. In 1418 the city was sacked and burned by the Lithuanians. During the 15th century, a part of the trade route from Amsterdam to Moscow passed through Līva and it was known as the "white road to Lyva portus". By 1520 the river Līva had become too shallow for easy navigation, and this negatively influenced on the development of the city.

Duchy of Courland and Semigallia

In 1560, Gotthard Kettler loaned all the Grobiņa district including Liepāja to Albert, Duke of Prussia for 50,000 guldens. Only in 1609 after the marriage of Sofie Hohenzollern, princess of Prussia, to Wilhelm Kettler did the territory return to the Duchy. During the Livonian War, Liepāja was attacked and destroyed by the Swedes. In 1625, Duke Friedrich Kettler of Courland granted the town city rights, which were affirmed by King Sigismund III of Poland in 1626. The name Liepāja was mentioned for the first time in 1649 by Paul Einhorn in his work "Historia Lettica". Under Duke Jacob Kettler (1642–1681), Liepāja became one of the main ports of Courland as it reached the height of its prosperity. In 1637 Courland colonization was started from the ports of Liepāja and Ventspils. Jacob was an eager proponent of mercantilist ideas. Metalworking and ship building became much more developed and trading relations developed not only with nearby countries, but also with Britain, France, the Netherlands and Portugal. In 1697–1703 a canal was cut to the sea and a port was built. In 1701, during the Great Northern War, Liepāja was captured by Charles XII of Sweden, but the end of the war saw the city in Polish possession. In 1710 an epidemic of plague killed about a third of the population of Liepāja. In 1780 the first Freemasonry lodge "Libanons" was set up in the port of Liepāja by Provincial Grandmaster Ivan Yelagin on behalf of the Provincial Lodge of Russia and was registered with a number 524 in the Grand Lodge of England.

Russian Empire

Courland passed to the control of the Russian Empire in 1795 during the third Partition of Poland and became the Courland Governorate of Russia. Growth during the nineteenth century was rapid. During the Crimean War when the Royal Navy was blockading Russian Baltic ports, the busy yet still unfortified port of Liepāja was briefly captured on 17 May 1854 without a shot being fired, by a landing party of 110 men from HMS Conflict and HMS Amphion. In 1857 the engineer Jan Heidatel developed a project to reconstruct the port of Liepāja. In 1861–1868 the project was realized – including the building of a lighthouse and breakwaters. Between 1877–1882 the political and literary weekly newspaper Liepājas Pastnieks was published – the first Latvian language newspaper in Liepāja. In the 1870s the rapid development of Russian railways, the 1871 opening of the Libava-Kaunas and the 1876 Liepāja-Romny railways ensured that a large proportion of central Russian trade passed through Liepāja. By 1900, 7% of Russian exports were passing through Liepāja. The city became a major port of the Russian Empire on the Baltic Sea, as well as a popular resort. On the orders of Alexander III Liepāja was fortified against possible German attacks. The Libava fortress was subsequently built around the city, and in the early 20th century a major military base was established on the northern edge, including formidable coastal fortifications and extensive quarters for military personnel. As part of the military development a separate military port was excavated. This area became known as Kara Osta (War Port) and served military needs throughout the twentieth century. Early in the twentieth century the port of Liepāja became a central point of embarkation for immigrants traveling to the United States. By 1906 the direct service to the United States was used by 40,000 migrants per year. Simultaneously, the first Russian training detachment of submarine navigation was founded. In 1912 one of the first water aerodromes in Russia was opened in Liepāja. By 1913, 1738 ships entered Libava with 1,548,119 tones of cargo passing through the port. The population had increased from 10,000 to over 100,000 within about 60 years.

World War I

During World War I, German dirigibles bombed Liepāja in January, 1915. Liepāja was occupied by the German army on May 7, 1915; in memory of this event, a monument was constructed on Kūrmājas prospect in 1916 (destroyed in 1919). On 23 October 1915, the German cruiser SMS Prinz Adalbert was sunk by the British submarine HMS E8, 37 kilometers west of Liepāja. In 1915, Liepāja's local government issued its own money – Libava rubles.

During the war, the words of The Jäger March were written in Liepāja by Heikki Nurmio.


After the war, when the independent state of Latvia was founded, Liepāja became the de facto capital of Latvia for six months when the interim government of Latvia, headed by Kārlis Ulmanis, fled from Riga on a ship "Saratov". In 1918 Libava was renamed Liepāja. In 1935 KOD (Latvian: Kara ostas darbnīcas) started to manufacture the light aircraft KOD-1 and KOD-2.

World War II

The ports and human capital of Liepāja and Ventspils were targets of Joseph Stalin and part of the reason for the signing of the Molotov-Ribbentrop pact. In 1940 upon annexation by the Soviet Union, private property was nationalized and many thousands of former owners were arrested and deported to Siberia; and thousands also fled to North America, Australia and western Europe. In 1941 Liepāja was among the first cities captured by the 291st Division of Army Group North after Nazi Germany began the war with the Soviet Union. The local Jewish population, which had numbered about 7,000 before the war, was virtually exterminated by German Nazis and Latvian collaborators. Most of these mass murders took place in the dunes of Šķēde north of the city. Fewer than 30 Jews remained alive in Liepāja by the end of the war. Film footage of an Einsatzgruppen execution of local Jews was taken in Liepāja. During the period 1944–1945 Liepāja was within the "Courland Pocket" and was only recaptured by the Soviet army on 9 May 1945. World War II devastated the city, most of the buildings and industrial plant were destroyed.

Latvian SSR

On 25–29 March 1949, a second mass deportation to Siberia occurred from Liepāja. In 1950 the monument to Stalin was erected on Station square (Latvian: Stacijas laukums) but was dismantled in 1958. During 1953–1957 the city center was reconstructed under the direction of architects A. Kruglov and M. Žagare. In 1952–1955 the Liepāja Academy of Pedagogy building was constructed under the direction of A. Aivars. In 1960 the Kurzeme shopping centre was opened. During the Soviet occupation, Liepāja was a closed city and even nearby farmers and villagers needed a special permit to enter the city. The Soviet military set up its Baltic naval base and nuclear weapon warehouses there; The Beberliņš sandpit was dug out to extract sand used for constructing underground warehouses. The port was completely closed to commercial traffic in 1967. One third of the city was taken up with a Soviet naval base with 26 thousand military staff. In Liepāja the 14th Submarine Squadron of the USSR's Baltic Fleet (Russian: 14 эскадрилья ЛиВМБ ДКБФ, call sign "Комплекс") was stationed with 16 submarines (Types: 613, 629a, 651); as was the 6th group of Rear Supply of the Baltic Fleet, and the 81st Design Bureau and Reserve Command Center of the same force. In 1971 the script of the one of the most popular Soviet comedies, Gentlemen of Fortune, was written in Liepāja by Georgi Daneliya. In 1977, Liepāja was awarded the Order of the October Revolution for heroic defense against Nazi Germany in 1941. In Liepāja 5 people were awarded the honorary title Hero of Socialist Labor – Anatolijs Filatkins, Artūrs Fridrihsons, Voldemārs Lazdups, Valentins Šuvajevs and Otīlija Žagata. Because of the rapid growth of the city's population, a shortage of apartment houses became an issue. To resolve this, most of the modern Liepāja districts – Dienvidrietumi, Ezerkrasts, Ziemeļu priekšpilsēta, Zaļa birze and Tosmare – were built. The majority of these blocks were constructed of ferro-concrete panels in standard projects designed by the state Latgyprogorstroy Institute (Russian: Латгипрогорстрой). In 1986 the new central city hospital in Zaļa birze was opened. In 1979 a part of the film Moonzund was filmed in the town.


After Latvia regained independence, Liepāja has worked hard to change from a military city into a modern port city (now marked on European maps after the secrecy of the Soviet period). The commercial port was re-opened in 1991, and in 1994 the last Russian troops left Liepāja. Since then, Liepāja has engaged in international co-operation, has been associated with 10 twin and partner cities and is an active partner in several co-operation networks. Facilities are being improved as the city hosts Latvia's largest naval flotilla, the largest warehouses of ammunition and weapons in the Baltic states, and the main supply centre of the Latvian army. At the beginning of the 21st century many ambitious construction projects were planned for the city, including building the NATO military base, the biggest amusement park in the Baltic states – Baltic Sea Park – and a modern concert hall, "Lielais Dzintars"; but most of these projects have not been realised due to economic and political factors. On the other hand, some of the earlier planned projects were completed. Liepāja's heating network was renovated in cooperation with French company Dalkia and Russian company Gazprom. In 2008 the Cabinet of Ministers of Latvia decided to build the coal cogeneration 400 MW power plant near Liepāja. In 2006, Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands, a direct descendant of Jacob Kettler visited Liepāja.



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Country: Ireland

Distance: 1,794 km

Travel time:  4 days

On postcard: Ireland

Ireland is an island to the northwest of continental Europe. It is the third-largest island in Europe and the twentieth-largest island on Earth. To its east is the larger island of Great Britain, from which it is separated by the Irish Sea.

Politically, the island is divided between the Republic of Ireland, which covers just under five-sixths of the island, and Northern Ireland, a part of the United Kingdom, which covers the remainder and is located in the northeast of the island. The population of Ireland is approximately 6.4 million. Just under 4.6 million live in the Republic of Ireland and just under 1.8 million live in Northern Ireland.

Relatively low-lying mountains surrounding a central plain epitomise Ireland's geography with several navigable rivers extending inland. The island has lush vegetation, a product of its mild but changeable oceanic climate, which avoids extremes in temperature. Thick woodlands covered the island until the 17th century. Today, it is the most deforested area in Europe. There are twenty-six extant mammal species native to Ireland.

A Norman invasion in the Middle Ages gave way to a Gaelic resurgence in the 13th century. Over sixty years of intermittent warfare in the 1500s led to English dominance after 1603. In the 1690s, a system of Protestant English rule was designed to materially disadvantage the Catholic majority and Protestant dissenters, and was extended during the 18th century. In 1801, Ireland became a part of the United Kingdom. A war of independence in the early 20th century led to the partition of the island, creating the Irish Free State, which became increasingly sovereign over the following decades. Northern Ireland remained a part of the United Kingdom and saw much civil unrest from the late 1960s until the 1990s. This subsided following a political agreement in 1998. In 1973, both parts of Ireland joined the European Economic Community.

Irish culture has had a significant influence on other cultures, particularly in the fields of literature and, to a lesser degree, science and education. A strong indigenous culture exists, as expressed for example through Gaelic games, Irish music and the Irish language, alongside mainstream Western culture, such as contemporary music and drama, and a culture shared in common with Great Britain, as expressed through sports such as soccer, rugby and golf, and the English language.



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Country: Japan

Distance: 8,310 km

Travel time:  7 days

On postcard: Hirose River

Hirose River is a tributary of the Natori river. It runs 45 kilometer in the Sendai city.



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Country: Estonia

Distance: 468 km

Travel time:  3 days

On postcard: Tallinn



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Country: Germany

Distance: 618 km

Travel time:  5 days

On postcard: Berlin Victory Column

The Victory Column is a monument in Berlin, Germany. Designed by Heinrich Strack after 1864 to commemorate the Prussian victory in the Danish-Prussian War, by the time it was inaugurated on 2 September 1873, Prussia had also defeated Austria in the Austro-Prussian War (1866) and France in the Franco-Prussian War (1870–71), giving the statue a new purpose. Different from the original plans, these later victories in the so-called unification wars inspired the addition of the bronze sculpture of Victoria, 8.3 meters high and weighing 35 tonnes, designed by Friedrich Drake. Berliners, with their fondness for giving nicknames to buildings, call the statue Goldelse, meaning something like "Golden Lizzy".

The Victory Column is a major tourist attraction to the city of Berlin and opens daily: 9:30 a.m. – 6:30 p.m. (April – October), and 9:30 a.m. – 5:30 p.m. (November – March). There is no lift.

History, design, and influences

Design and dimensions

Built on a base of polished red granite, the column sits on a hall of pillars with a glass mosaic designed by Anton von Werner.

The column itself consists of four solid blocks of sandstone, three of which are decorated by cannon barrels captured from the enemies of the aforementioned three wars. The fourth ring is decorated with golden garlands and was added in 1938–39 as the whole monument has been relocated. The fourth ring in the column has a meaning, similarly to the original 3 rings. The fourth ring was added by Hitler after the Battle of France ended.

The relief decoration was removed at the request of the French forces in 1945, probably to prevent Germans from being reminded of former victories, especially the defeat of the French in 1871. It was restored for the 750th anniversary of Berlin in 1987 by the French president at that time, François Mitterrand. However, several sections remain in France.

Designers and architects

Werner designed the original hall of pillars with a glass mosaic.

The foundation is decorated with four bronze reliefs showing the three wars and the victorious marching of the troops into Berlin. They were created by

Location and relocations

The Victory Column originally stood in Königsplatz (now Platz der Republik), at the end of the Siegesallee (Victory Avenue). As part of the preparation of the monumental plans to redesign Berlin into Welthauptstadt Germania, in 1939, the Nazis relocated the column to its present site at the Großer Stern (Great Star), a large intersection on the city axis that leads from the formerBerliner Stadtschloss (Berlin City Palace) through the Brandenburg Gate to the western parts of the city. At the same time, the column was augmented by another 7.5 meters, giving it its present height of 66.89 meters. The monument survived World War IIwithout much damage. The relocation of the monument probably saved it from destruction, as its old site - in front of the Reichstag, at exactly 1500 meters, (one Roman mile), from the proposed new north-south triumphal way of the Nazis in line with the Imperial Victory Avenue in the Tiergarten - was destroyed by American air raids in 1945. Without a British-American veto, the French would have dynamited the monument after the war.

Surrounded by a heavily trafficked street circle, the column is accessible to pedestrians through four tunnels, built in 1941 to plans by Albert Speer who likewise increased the width of the road between it and the Brandenburg Gate and designed the new Germania which was scheduled for construction after the victory obtained in the war. Via a steep spiral staircase of 285 steps, the physically fit may, for a small fee, climb almost to the top of the column, to just under the statue and take-in the spectacular views over the Tiergarten including the Soviet War Memorial, 1946, in line with the Nazi proposed north-south triumphal way by Speer and Hitler.

Cultural references

The column is featured in Wim Wenders' film Wings of Desire (1987) as being a place where angels congregate.[2] In the 1989 film Das Spinnennetz (directed by Bernhard Wicki, based on the fragmentary novel of the same name by Joseph Roth), Ulrich Mühe as protagonist Leutnant Lohse partakes in a 1920s plot to bomb the Victory Column, but being a right-wing spy among the communist plotters, he foils their plans.

The golden statue atop the column was featured in the music video to U2's 1993 "Stay (Faraway, So Close!)" and inspired Paul van Dyk's 1998trance music hit, "For an Angel"; the column was also featured in his music video during the Love Parade in 1998. "El Ángel" in Mexico Citybears a more than passing resemblance to the Berlin victory column, while both echo the earlier examples of the victory column crowned by an angel, notably the Alexander Column in Saint Petersburg. In the 18th episode of "Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex 2nd Gig", Batou is stationed on the monuments shoulder. it is here that Batou notices a young girl who talks to the statue, addressing it as "Angel." The Victory Column is meant to represents the girl's absent father, the episode's main criminal and multinational terrorist, Angel's Feathers.

The Victory Column served as the location for Barack Obama's speech in Berlin during his visit to Germany on July 24, 2008. The choice of site was somewhat controversial in Germany as it symbolises German war victories in the past and is still seen as a Nazi symbol. Obama talked about cooperation between the United States and Europe in the speech and ended his speech with these lines: "With an eye toward the future, with resolve in our hearts, let us remember this history, and answer our destiny, and remake the world once again."

The column also lends its name to a Berlin magazine for the LGBT community.