Meiji Shrine, Tokyo


門 神 南 (神宫治明)

(That last part seems to be written backwards? I don’t know Japanese. My best guess is:)
South/Minami Gate (Meiji Jingu)

1921-1946

Google Maps.

After the emperor’s death in 1912, the Japanese Diet passed a resolution to commemorate his role in the Meiji Restoration. An iris garden in an area of Tokyo where Emperor Meiji and Empress Shōken had been known to visit was chosen as the building’s location.

Construction began in 1915 under Itō Chūta, and the shrine was built in the traditional nagare-zukuri style, using primarily Japanese cypress and copper. The building of the shrine was a national project, mobilizing youth groups and other civic associations from throughout Japan, who contributed labor and funding. It was formally dedicated in 1920, completed in 1921, and its grounds officially finished by 1926.

The original building was destroyed during the Tokyo air raids of World War II.
Wikipedia

Official website (uses Flash)

Monumental Cemetery, Pisa


PISA – Camposanto – Esterno lato meridionale (G. Pisano)

On back:
G. Barsanti e figli – Grandi gallerie di sculture – Pisa

Google Maps.
Image from Google Street View

The history of the Monumental Cemetery began in the 12th century, when Archbishop Ubaldo Lanfranchi (1108-78) brought back shiploads of holy dirt from Golgotha (where Christ was crucified) during the Crusades.

In 1278, Giovanni di Simone (architect of the Leaning Tower) designed a marble cloister to enclose the holy ground, which became the primary cemetery for Pisa’s upper class until 1779. In the 14th and 15th centuries, the walls of the Camposanto were decorated with frescoes by Taddeo Gaddi, Spinello Aretino, Benozzo Gozzoli, Andrea Bonaiuti, Antonio Veneziano, and Piero di Puccio.
Sacred Destinations.

Wikipedia.

Stock Exchange, Copenhagen


København — Børsen

On back:
Alex Vincent’s Kunsuorlag, Eneberettiget, No. 14

Postmarked 1911

Google Street View

From
The Old Stock Exchange dates back to 1625 and is one of the oldest buildings in Copenhagen. King Christian IV had realized the importance of increased trade and commerce, and so he had this grand building erected. At the time of its inauguration, the building had room for at least 40 market stalls. The Old Stock Exchange was then surrounded by water from three sides, so ships could unload their cargo directly at the wharf in front.

Roof turned to canon balls during war

The Old Stock Exchange was built in Dutch Renaissance style. King Christian IV had originally covered the roof with lead, but during the Swedish occupation of Copenhagen 1658-59, much of this lead was removed to produce cannon balls, and the holes in the roof were only partly covered with tin and tile. Not until the end of the 19th century was the building roofed with copper.

The four intertwined dragon tails of the dragon spire are topped by three crowns, symbolizing the Scandinavian empire (Denmark, Norway, and Sweden).

From Børsbygningen:
Børsen is one of the old buildings in Copenhagen and like Rosenborg Slot and Rundetårn, it is one of the buildings of which we remember King Christian IV. The building is built in Dutch renaissance style but is characterized by the King’s taste, like the garrets on the roof and the spire.

In 1618 Christian IV asked the engineer Johan Semb to construct a new part of town, Christianshavn, and a dam was made facing Amager on top of which, the first “Amagerbro” (today known as Knippelsbro) was built. Christian IV had realized the importance of trade and business and decided to make Copenhagen the great trade centre and grand city of the future. However, you cannot have a grand city without an exchange and in 1618 the King asked Lorenz van Steenwinckel to start building Børsen, where the dam facing Christianshavn is connected with land on Slotsholmen.
..
Børsen as a market place In the late 16th twenties, Børsen was taken into use by renting out booths for merchants. From the street you could enter the ground floor and visit 40 booths. The whole of Børsen’s first floor contained only one big room with rented booths in the centre and along the windows.
(More information and photos of rooms.)

Wikipedia

Sforza Castle, Milan


Milano – Torre Filarete
c.1910

Google Street View

Given its distinctive and recognisable shape, the tower, which owes its name to the architect Antonio Averulino, also known as il Filarete, has become a symbol of Milan. The tower that Averulino designed in 1452 was elegant and embellished with marble inserts, however his plans were executed by Lombard architects, who lacked the imagination of their Tuscan counterpart. Less than a century after its completion in 1521, the tower, which had been converted into a gunpowder magazine, collapsed. The current edifice is the result of a tireless study of the available documents and iconography, by Luca Beltrami, in order to reconstruct the tower as faithfully to the renaissance original as possible. Inaugurated in 1905, the Filarete tower was dedicated to King Umberto I, assassinated only 5 years earlier in Monza. Beltrami inserted a clock into the top cubic section of the tower, whose radiant sun motif was inspired by the Sforza coat of arms. In addition he commissioned Luigi Secchi to sculpt a statue of Saint Ambrose in late 14th century style for the niche, as well as a Candoglia marble bas-relief portraying Umberto I on horseback. Finally, in commemoration of the Sforza, Beltrami decided to add to the tower the painted coats of arms of Francesco, Galeazzo Maria, Gian Galeazzo, Ludovico il Moro, Massimiliano and Francesco II.
Castello Sforzesco (Official Website)

Groudle Glen, Isle of Man


The Water Wheel, Groudle Glen, Isle of Man

On the back is printed:
British Empire Exhibition
Manx Kiosk, London —– 192-
Having a good time here but expect to have a better when I meet you in the Isle of Man.

Issued by the Isle of Man (Official) Board of Advertising and Information Free from C. P. Clague, Secretary.

1920s. (British Empire Exhibition was 1924-25)

Google Maps.

From Isle of Man: Groudle Glen, via the Wayback Machine:
In the year 1890, an enterprising businessman by the name of Mr. Richard Maitby Broadbent who owned the Bibaloe Beg farm in Onchan, purchased the lease for the whole of the Groudle Glen area from The Howstrake Estate. At that time the glen was in its natural state with grass, ferns and very few trees, indeed when the glen first opened to the public it was known as “The Fern Glen of the Isle of Man”.

The development of the glen continued with trees being planted and the trademark rustic bridges built across the river. A pathway was made from the entrance beside the hotel to a rocky inlet approximately half a mile around the headlands. The inlet was a perfect natural bowl, sheltered from the winds and it was decided to use it to its full potential by creating a sea-lion pool. To achieve this, the inlet was dammed and closed off, so creating a lovely pool area in which to house not only the sea-lions but even a polar bear. …
Broadbent then hit on the idea of introducing yet another attraction, a narrow (two-foot) gauge railway to run from the inner glen to the sea-lion pool. The little railway was completed in 1896, using entirely local labour. Shortly after, Mr. Broadbent took delivery of a small locomotive, aptly named the “Sea-lion”, along with three small coaches, which had arrived from England. It was to be advertised in the local press and guide books as the world’s smallest railway.

The polar bears were retired during the Great War. Their keeper at the time, Mr. Fred Kelly who lived in the cottage, the ruins of which can still be seen at the lower entrance to the glen, he had been under instructions to shoot them, but was unable to face the task, however we do not know the final outcome. The second World War saw the closure of the pool, and the sea-lions released.

Unfortunately when the line reopened in 1946 the Groudle company suffered badly at the hands of what had become a new post-war phenomenon, vandals. With a landslide on the headland making it impossible for the trains to reach the pool and the added fact that the sea lions were not replaced, it was decided to close the line.

Water Wheel

The glen has a water wheel and wheelhouse, which were first operated in about 1895. The wheel provided power for the glen’s fairy lights, and water was pumped up the glen to the hotel at the top. Later in its life, it was to become a feature in a well known 1986 BBC TV series called ‘Lovejoy”.

Images on Wikipedia Commons (more recent photos)

Isle of Man: Things to do

Frigidarium, Baths of Caracalla, Rome


Stato attuale e restauro della grande sala “Frigidarium.
(Current state and restoration of the great “Frigidarium”)

On the back:
Les Thermes de Caracalla. A L’etat actuel et en restauration. De L’oeuvre recemment publiée. Par Le Chev. J. Ripostelli
La Grande Salle Avec Le Bassin Pour Les Bains. | D’eau Froide Frigidarium

(The Baths of Caracalla. At the current state and in restoration. From the newly published work* by the Chev. J. Ripostelli
The Great Room With The Basin For The Baths | Cold Water Frigidarium)
c.1910

Read moreFrigidarium, Baths of Caracalla, Rome

Brühl’s Terrace, Dresden


Treppe zur Brühl schen Terrasse

Steps to Bruhl’s Terrace. Google Street View

This is older postcard. It’s got the space for a message on the front and an undivided back, so before 1908, but I can do a bit better on the image at least.

First a brief history of the stairs (from WIkipedia because it gives the best summary I’ve so far come across).

After the Saxon defeat at the Battle of Leipzig and the occupation by Russian troops, military governor Prince Nikolai Grigorjevich Repnin-Wolkonski ordered the opening [of the terrace] to the public in 1814. He charged the architect Gottlob Friedrich Thormeyer with the building of a flight of stairs at the western end to reach the terrace from Castle Square and Augustus Bridge. The Brühl Palace was demolished in the course of the building of the Saxon Ständehaus in 1900.

The ensemble was totally destroyed in February 1945 when the city centre was heavily hit by the Allied Bombing of Dresden during the end phase of World War II. Today, it has been rebuilt; the precise amount restored is difficult to say as a percentage, but in general one can say the emsemble looks very much the same today as it did in the past.

Read moreBrühl’s Terrace, Dresden

Rumeli Hisarı, Istanbul


CONSTANTINOPLE — Roumeli Hissar

Constantinople — also known as, amongst other things, Byzantium, New Rome, Kostantiniyye, Islambol, Stamboul, Astanih and (since c.1930 although also before) Istanbul

There is, as you might expect, some debate about the origin of the name Istanbul, but the dominant theory is that it’s a local corruption of the the Greek phrase eis tan polin “in the city” (Online Etymology Dictionary). Constantinople is, obviously, Constantine’s City.

Rumeli Hisarı was a 15th century fortress, built to the north of the city. Approximately here on Google Street View (the two main towers can be seen).

At the narrowest part of the Bosphorus, Sultan Mehmet the Conqueror ordered the great fortress of Rumeli Hisarı to be built on the European shore in order to control commercial and military traffic in preparation for the siege of Constantinople. He pitted his pashas (generals) against one another, daring them all to be the first to complete his particular tower and crenellated walls. The competition was fierce, and the huge fortress was completed in only four months.

Once completed, Rumeli Hisarı, along with Anadolu Hisarı on the Asian shore just opposite, controlled all traffic on the Bosphorus, and cut the city of Constantinople off from resupply by sea from the north. The mighty fortress’s useful military life was less than one year. Mehmet’s armines conquered the Byzantine capital several months later, and then there was no need for Rumeli Hisarı.
Turkey Travel Planner

The Rumeli Fortress (Rumelihisari) is located on the European (Rumeli) side of the Bosphorus. It was built by Mehmed II in four months beginning in the spring of 1452 across the waters from the Anatolian Fortress (Anadoluhisari or Güzelce Hisar) built by his grandfather Bayezid I (1389-1402). The aim was to establish control of the waterway at this narrowest point of the strait (660m) where ships would need to approach the shore to avoid the strong currents. A batallion of four hundred soldiers were stationed at the fortress (hisar) beginning in 1452, and prevented the passage of ships with canon fire during the siege of Constantinople. It is hence, also known as the Bogazkesen or the Controller of the Straits.
Archnet vis the WayBack Machine.

Church of the Nativity, Bethlehem


Hand writing says “Church of Saint George, Bethlehem”

No date clues on the card, but this website has the same images, so most likely 1910s.

Google Street View

Feuding monks at the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem don’t just cast the first stone—they stockpile rocks in anticipation of future altercations. Several holy men landed in the hospital two Christmases ago after a fight broke out over the dusting of church chandeliers. The occasional brawls at the 1,700-year-old basilica, believed to mark the birthplace of Jesus Christ, reflect the difficulty of housing three Christian denominations under a single roof.

And now that roof is rotting, threatening the structural integrity of the building. Parts of the wooden truss structure date to the 15th century, and holes in the timbers allow dirty water to drip upon the precious paintings and mosaics below. The problem has been worsening for decades, but the resident clerics—from the Greek Orthodox and Armenian Orthodox churches and the Franciscan order of the Roman Catholic Church—are jealous of each other’s claims of custody and have been unable to agree on a plan of action.
Endangered Site: Church of the Nativity, Bethlehem (Smithsonian Magazine)

The present Church of the Nativity is one of the earliest Christian structures. The original Basilica, erected in the 4th century by Emperor Constantine, was completely destroyed in the Samaritan Revolt of 529 A.D. It was replaced during the reign of Justinian (527-65) on the same site, by a larger Basilica, slightly different in plan and incorporating different parts of the original building. Evidence of the turbulent history of the church can be readily seen in the fabric of the building; for centuries it was one of the most fought-over of the Holy Places. It was only by chance that this building escaped destruction during the Persian invasion of A.D. 614. It was the only major church in the country to be spared. Later, the building was seized and defended by a succession of Moslem and Crusader armies; this explains the fortress-like appearance of the church’s exterior. This is also a common feature of most of the ancient religious buildings in the Holy Land. In the course of time, the complex was expanded by the addition of several chapels and monasteries belonging to different Christian Churches.
Church of the Nativity: History & Structure:

Sanctuary Bethlehem has virtual tour (I’d recommend using the on screen controls rather than the mouse), 3D models and a lot of information about various rooms, buildings, caves etc. (under Visit menu)

Wikipedia