Patron of Hanged Men

St. Coloman Church, Bavaria, Germany

St. Coloman Church, Bavaria, Germany

This postcard comes to me from Michael in Germany. This little pilgrim’s church in Schwangau, Germany is dedicated to Saint Coloman of Stockerau. He was an Irish pilgrim on his way to the Holy Land, when he was hanged in Stockerau, Austria in 1012 because he looked a bit funky and thus had to be a spy. He also could not give any account as to who he was or what he was doing, as he could not speak any German. Poor guy. He was later made a saint of the catholic church and he was declared the patron saint of hanged men, horned cattle and horses. He is invoked against plague, husbands by marriageable girls, hanging and gout. Now that all seems pretty cool but I have no idea what all that’s supposed to mean or how you invoke a dead person. Love the postcard though. Thanks Michael.

Dutch Formosa

Het Eyland Formosa

Het Eyland Formosa

This awesome postcard showing a Dutch map of the island of Formosa and the islands of Pescadores (now Penghu County) came to me all the way from Paoli in Taipei. The map is presumably of the Dutch period of ruling Formosa between 1624 & 1662. I cannot say that before I received this postcard I had ever heard of Formosa but let’s just say that the Republic of China, Chinese Taipei or more commonly, Taiwan, now has yet another name in my mind. It truly is amazing how much one can learn about the world through postcards! Thank you Paoli!

A Mouthful

National Academic Big Opera and Ballet Theatre of the Republic of Belarus

National Academic Big Opera and Ballet Theatre of the Republic of Belarus

From a Belarusian lady who calls herself “Mrs. Brownstone” on Postcrossing, I received this stunning postcard. This pretty building in the Belarus’s capital of Minsk has been home to Belarusian opera and ballet since 1933. Not only that but it has the longest official name of any building that I have ever seen. It’s called the “National Academic BIG Opera and Ballet Theatre of the Republic of Belarus.” I can only imagine a man coming home from work and asking his wife if she would like to go to the National Academic Big Opera and Ballet Theatre of the Republ… “Nevermind, it’s bedtime now.” But those Belarusians are a smart lot, in order to save precious time, they just call it Opierny Teatr. See, a lot of time saved!  The building does look inviting and with the many times I have been told to visit Belarus and being told which places I should see, I think an itinerary is certainly coming together!

Philippines at Last

The Phillipines

The Banaue Rice Terraces

From Jomanne in the Phillipines, I received another wonderful postcard of the rice fields in her country. Since this is my first postcard from his country, he wrote down, in the tiniest handwriting that I have ever seen, a number of interesting facts about the country. The Republic of the Philippines consists consists of 7107 islands and is home to 20 active volcanoes. She also tells me that the country is the only predominantly christian country in Asia and has 4 major cultural heritages, including: Asian, European, American and Mexican. He goes on to tell me that Filipinos are always among the happiest people in the world, of course, with such a beautiful country, who wouldn’t be? About the rice terraces he tells me that they were carved into the side of a mountain 2000 years ago with their hands and that if these terraces were put side-to-side, they would stretch across half the globe! This is certainly a stunning postcard to behold and of course, the Banaue rice terraces deserve their place as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Love it! Thanks Jomanne!