This is the "Antique Room" at the Arkhangelskoye Palace, ca. 1780s-1810s located not far outside of Moscow. It is a popular tourist destination and I read that it took some fifty years to build and decorate.
It looks like a lovely building done in the classical style.
The stamp on the flip side is from the Kremlin series. I've received this stamp before, and you can see it here.
It's always interesting when a postcard comes from one country but actually shows a scene or something particular from somewhere else entirely. I don't mind, only it would be fun to know the story behind the card (and every card has a story to tell, don't you think?). In this case the postcard came from a Postcrosser in Russia, but it shows a street scene in Vienna, Austria.
I have my own story concerning the subject shown on the card. Many years ago I lived in a little city outside of Vienna called Wiener Neustadt where I taught English in a high school. It was one of the best experiences I've ever had and I have many fond memories of living abroad for that year. I only wish I could travel like I once did (at the moment it is financial restrictions that keep me from going far away, but I am planning on traveling to San Francisco, California in August!).
The card shows the Hofburg Palace, by which I walked many, many times when I lived there. If I recall correctly there is a passageway nearby with little shops inside including one that specialized in petite point items. I even bought a ring there, though sadly no longer own it. In front of the Hofburg you can see the famous Fiaker carriages (alas never rode in one of those).
A view of the stamps on the flip side. They're all great, though I especially like the Christmas stamp (why does that snow seem so refreshing all of a sudden?--in the heat of summer!), and the woman on the right. I'm afraid I don't know who she is or what her fame is to call for a postage stamp, but she is lovely.
Not long ago I was sent a postcard of the Grand Duchess Anastasia, and now I have the rest of her family to add to my collection. Curiously it arrived yesterday along with another card from Russia, though this one took a mere 14 days (though it traveled an additional 1,500 miles). The card description: "The last Emperor of Russia: Nicholas II with his Family". The postcrosser who sent it lives in Kemerovo, Siberia, where she tells me in winter it is about -40C .
It had such a long way to come that it was sent in an envelope with a Kremlin series stamp.
I love vintage images, and was surprised by one in the mail today. It traveled 24 days and almost 8,000 miles to me from Kralerii (Karelia?), Russia (northern Russia--interestingly the Postcrosser speaks English and Finnish). The sender tells me it is an Easter card (not sure what it says on the front of the card).
This unusual postcard showed up in my mail last week from Russia. It is the Grand Duchess Anastasia Nikolaevna. I've had an interest in Russian history and the Romanovs for a while now. It's a bit sad to see such a pretty picture of her knowing what happened to her and her family (unless of course you believe in some of the conspiracy theories out there). Of course it is much more preferable to think of her having survived the assassination of her family and living somewhere afterwards happily, though maybe unlikely. In any case, I am happy to get this postcard of her, taken in 1913.
The stamps include another from the series of Russian headdresses. I'm not sure which stamp series the one on the left is from, but I like the little mail truck (at least that's what it looks like) on it. Mail related stamps--cool.
I've been participating in a few themed swaps on the Postcrossing forum, and this is the card which arrived for an "aerial view" swap with a Russian Postcrosser. She happens to live in Sochi, which will be hosting the 2014 Winter Olympics.
It would be interesting to see another postcard of the city closer to the time when the Olympics will be happening.
I'm a little surprised (though certainly not unhappily) to see a stamp already for the Sochi Games. It sounds like the stamps will be available to collectors by subscription. You can read more about stamps for those games here. I wonder if it is too late to get stamps for the 2012 Summer Olympics in London.
Of course it was nice to be able to get one from someone who lives in Sochi and on a lovely postcard.
I've heard of recipe postcards, but I had not seen one up close before, and then one appeared in my mailbox yesterday. I have not come across these locally, or in any of my online resources, so I'm happy to receive one. The recipe is for Blini (Russian Pancakes).
The recipe is similar to the kind of pancakes I am familiar with--a mixture of eggs, sugar, milk and salt. These seem far more exotic to me as they can be served with butter, sour cream, black or red caviar as well as fillet of sturgeon or salmon. And I'm used to a little butter and plain old maple syrup!
Everyday when a new postcard arrives (if I am so lucky to have a new postcard most days) I always wonder about who is on the other end and what their life is like so far away. A little mystery, but also a little glimpse of another world.
This week's Sunday Stamps theme is 'Women', in honor of International Women's Day which was celebrated this past Thursday March 8. A quick look through my postcard and letter bins netted me only this lovely stamp, so I'm going to have to interpret the theme very loosely.
I received a postcard last week from a Russian Postcrosser and found this stamp on the flip side. This is one of a series of stamps on Russian headdresses which was released last fall. This stamp depicts a girl's headband--European from Russia's North, middle of the 19th century.
For more 'Women' stamps click on over to Viridian's Postcard Blog.
This is a curious card. I only know it is from a Russian book. Unfortunately I don't know the name of the author or the title. Perhaps if someone happens by who can read Cyrillic they can help me out? I'm guessing it is a children's book.
Mystery solved: Thanks to Leo for confirming that this is indeed the cover of a (famous) children's book: Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll.
Another card from Russia came just a week too late for Valentine's Day. The sender tells me that the words on the front read "With Love". Very sweet card.
And the last card is a steam locomotive from Taiwan. The sender says this now only runs on the forest railway.