Pirita, Estonia


Pirita
Postmarked 1925
Publisher: “M T S”

Google Street View.

The Pirita district evolved around a convent built in the fifteenth century whose remarkable ruins characterise the area even today. The two-kilometre sandy beach, shores of the Pirita River, river valley, and coastal pine forest complete with an adventure park are ideal places for physical activity and leisure. The yacht harbour and restaurant on the mouth of Pirita River embody the carefree flow of life in Pirita.
Visit Tallin

A bit further out from Kadriorg is another district that provides an escape from the downtown bustle – Pirita. The sprawling district is actually within Tallinn’s boundaries, only a 10 – 15 minute ride from the city centre. When you get here though, you’d never believe you were in the same universe as the rest of Tallinn; suddenly you’re surrounded by dense forest, fresh air and, best of all, the blissful sound of silence. When most Tallinners think of Pirita, they think of the popular beach, which can get packed with thousands of nearly naked bodies on any sunny weekend. But there’s much more to Pirita than suntan lotion and bare skin. The region has a history that goes back at least as far as the early 15th century, when the now-famous Pirita convent was founded on the banks of the Pirita River. Pirita stayed fairly rural through the centuries, but after World War II, partitions of land were given out to Estonians to build homes on, and Pirita began to evolve into the residential district it is today.
In Your Pocket

Budapest, Hungary


BUDAPEST. — Letkep. –  Totalansicht.
[Budapet – View]
Dated 1913

Google Street View (approximate).

The 19th century was dominated by the Hungarian struggle for independence and modernisation. The national insurrection against the Habsburgs began in the Hungarian capital in 1848 and was defeated one and a half years later, with the help of the Russian Empire. 1867 was the year of Reconciliation that brought about the birth of Austria-Hungary. This made Budapest the twin capital of a dual monarchy. It was this compromise which opened the second great phase of development in the history of Budapest, lasting until World War I. In 1849 the Chain Bridge linking Buda with Pest was opened as the first permanent bridge across the Danube and in 1873 Buda and Pest were officially merged with the third part, Óbuda (Old Buda), thus creating the new metropolis of Budapest. The dynamic Pest grew into the country’s administrative, political, economic, trade and cultural hub. Ethnic Hungarians overtook Germans in the second half of the 19th century due to mass migration from the overpopulated rural Transdanubia and Great Hungarian Plain. Between 1851 and 1910 the proportion of Hungarians increased from 35.6% to 85.9%, Hungarian became the dominant language, and German was crowded out.
Wikipedia.

Duck Reach Power Station, Launceston, Tasmania


Electric Power House, Launceston
Postmarked 1918
Publisher: Valentine

Google Street View.

Duck Reach Power Station was the first publicly owned hydro-electric plant in the Southern Hemisphere, and provided the Tasmanian city of Launceston with hydro-electric power from its construction in 1895 to its closure in 1955.

The Duck Reach Power Station first operated on a trial basis on the evening of the 10th of December 1895, when it was used to illuminate some of Launceston’s streets using arc lights. On the 1st of February 1896, the hydro-electric power system was officially switched on, remaining in operation until 1955.
Wikipedia

The generating station was situated about 40 feet (12m) above the level of the river. It was quite a substantial erection, with 18 inch (460mm) stone walls and an iron roof. Originally it had only one storey with a gallery running along the side to facilitate access to the machinery. It was 105 feet (32m) in length and 24 feet (7m) wide with a height of 22 feet (6.7m) to the ridge line, large enough to hold nine or ten turbines.

At that time it only contained eight turbines; five for arc lighting and three for incandescent 1 lighting. On 12th February 1895 the Launceston Municipal Council accepted the tender of Mr J.T. Farmilo to build the station at a cost of £1 488.9.6, the contract to last 17 weeks. Because of the nature of the country (being very rocky) a large amount of heavy work was required to build the station. The contractor was required to secure a firm foundation and form subterranean passages under the building for the water to pass after running through the turbines.
Duck Reach


Electric Power Station Launceston Tasmania
Postmarked 1910
Publsher: Spurling & Son, Launceston

Aswan from Elphantine, Egypt


ASSOUAN, General View
c.1910
Pubished: Lichtenstern & Harari, Cairo (1902-1912)

Google Street View.

Elephantine is an island on the Nile, forming part of the city of Aswan in Upper Egypt. . . . Known to the ancient Egyptians as ꜣbw (Elephant), the island of Elephantine stood at the border between Egypt and Nubia. It was an excellent defensive site for a city and its location made it a natural cargo transfer point for river trade. This border is near the Tropic of Cancer, the most northerly latitude at which the sun can appear directly overhead at noon and from which it appears to reverse direction or “turn back” at the solstices. . . . According to ancient Egyptian religion, Elephantine was the dwelling place of Khnum, the ram-headed god of the cataracts, who guarded and controlled the waters of the Nile from caves beneath the island. He was worshipped here as part of a late triad of Egyptian deities. . . . Most of the present day southern tip of the island is taken up by the ruins of the Temple of Khnum. These, the oldest ruins still standing on the island, are composed of a granite step pyramid from the Third Dynasty and a small temple built for the local Sixth Dynasty nomarch, Heqaib. In the Middle Kingdom, many officials, such as the local governors Sarenput I or Heqaib III, dedicated statues and shrines into the temple.
Wikipedia.

The island of Elephantine rises out of the waters in the middle of the river. It has always been an object of wonder for travelers, and a certain Henry Light, sailing up the Nile from Cairo in 1814, described it as ”a scene composed of water, rocks, and buildings, which latter had the additional effect of being formed of cupolas, minarets, mosques, and ruins, interspersed amongst plantations of lofty palm-trees, and surrounded by mountains of deep red or sandy hue, on the tops and sides of which were other ruins of convents, churches and mosques.” Much of this scene remains. Elephantine still emerges from the water like a hallucination, upon it the now sparse ruins of the ancient city of Abu that once housed the frontier fortress of Egypt.
New York Time Magazine: Afloat on the Ancient Nile (2 October 1988)

Native Boats, Kolkata, India


View of Native Boats on Hooghly, Calcutta
c.1910

Wikipedia Commons: Boats in West Bengal

“I was born on the banks of the Madhumati (a river in present-day Bangladesh),” said Biswas. “I am familiar with all the rivers of East Bengal. My father was a merchant and we used to own boats. As a child, I have seen boat races in East Bengal. If we were to step back in time by only a hundred years, in Bengal, for transport, for business, there was no option other than boats. You will find the term ‘nou-sadhan’ in many texts about Bengal.”

“This is riverine country,” said Biswas. “What we know and think of as Bengal is actually a large river delta.” Bhattacharyya explained further: “You will find different kinds of rivers in Bengal, from the shallow, rapid streams of North Bengal, to the Hooghly of Kolkata, with its slow and stately gait.”You will find different kinds of rivers in Bengal, from the shallow, rapid streams of North Bengal, to the Hooghly of Kolkata, with its slow and stately gait.” Each kind of river demands a specific boat. “If I were to go to a boat-maker today and ask him to make me a boat, the first question he would ask me is, on what river would the boat operate,” said Bhattacharyya. The dinghy, commonly seen at the ghats of Kolkata, works fine in the waters of the Hooghly, whose current is weak. “But it would be useless in North Bengal because a dinghy cannot travel against the current due to its shape.”
Quartz India: Inside a boat museum preserving eastern India’s disappearing river traditions

Kapellbrucke, Lucerne, Switzerland


LUZERN – Kapellbrücke
Postmarked 1902

Google Street View.

The Kapellbrücke (literally, Chapel Bridge) is a covered wooden footbridge spanning the river Reuss diagonally in the city of Lucerne in central Switzerland. Named after the nearby St. Peter’s Chapel, the bridge is unique in containing a number of interior paintings dating back to the 17th century, although many of them were destroyed along with a larger part of the centuries-old bridge in a 1993 fire. Subsequently restored, the Kapellbrücke is the oldest wooden covered bridge in Europe, as well as the world’s oldest surviving truss bridge. It serves as the city’s symbol and as one of Switzerland’s main tourist attractions.

Part of the bridge complex is the octagonal 34.5 m (113 ft) tall (from ground) Wasserturm, which translates to “water tower,” in the sense of ‘tower standing in the water.’ The tower pre-dated the bridge by about 30 years.
Wikipedia.

Lucerne is especially well-known for its wooden bridges. Today, the Chapel Bridge runs from the New Town on the southern bank of the Reuss to the Rathausquai in the medieval Old Town, zigzagging as it passes the impressive Water Tower. Lucerne’s landmark is considered to be Europe’s oldest covered bridge. It was built in 1332 and was originally a part of the city fortifications. The pictorial panels, which were incorporated in the 17th century, contain scenes of Swiss history as well as the Lucerne’s history, including the biographies of the city’s patron saints, St. Leodegar and St. Maurice. Lucerne’s water tower is a powerful yet attractive construction. This octagonal tower – over 34 meters high (111.5 ft.) – was built around 1300 as part of the city wall and used as an archive, treasury, prison and torture chamber.
Switerland Tourism


On back:
Luzern. Inneres der Kapellbrücke.
Publisher: Emil Goetz, Luzern


Bridge in 1996 (photo by me).

Gorges of Rhumel, Constantine, Algeria


CONSTANTINE. – Gorges du Rhummel. – Les Voutes Naturelles.
1910s
Publisher: Levy Sons & Co. (1895-1919)

Google Street View (general location)

Constantine – a city not so much built as draped, clinging to ravines and peaks that soar above the river Rhumel (Malek Haddad, Algerian poet born in 1927 in Constantine). Once known as Cirta, the capital of the Kingdom of Numidia more than 2000 years ago, the city was given its current name in 313AD by Emperor Constantine the Great. While it was at the crossroads of civilisation for centuries, it remains an unknown city to many. Constantine is renowned for its topography – a mountainous setting rising 649m above sea level. Over millennia the Oued Rhumel (Rhumel River) has carved deep ravines and gorges through the landscape, leaving rocky outcrops on which the city is built and creating a natural fortress that was easy to defend. Bridges connect the peaks and outcrops, creating spectacular vistas where the buildings seem to merge with the cliffs.
ASA Cultural Tours

Golden Horn, Istanbul


Constantinople. Corne d’or.

Google Street View.

The Golden Horn is a major urban waterway and the primary inlet of the Bosphorus in Istanbul, Turkey. As a natural estuary that connects with the Bosphorus Strait at the point where the strait meets the Sea of Marmara, the waters of the Golden Horn help define the northern boundary of the peninsula constituting “Old Istanbul” (ancient Byzantium and Constantinople), the tip of which is the promontory of Sarayburnu, or Seraglio Point. This estuarial inlet geographically separates the historic center of Istanbul from the rest of the city, and forms a horn-shaped, sheltered harbor that in the course of history has protected Greek, Roman, Byzantine, Ottoman and other maritime trade ships for thousands of years.
Wikipedia.