Saturday, June 18, 2011

Kaunas, Lithuania

This is an official card, LT-93764. It's kind of confusing that Lithuania is "Lietuva" in Lithuanian. I always see that and think Latvia. Kaunas is the second-largest city in Lithuania. According to legend, Kaunas was founded by Romans fleeing the wrath of the emperor Nero.

The card shows Kaunas' Old Town neighborhood. It sits at the confluence of the Nemunas and Neris rivers. I believe the white towers on the left side are the Kaunas Town Hall. The shorter tower with the red roof in the middle of the card is Kaunas Cathedral Basilica, and the large tower in the middle belongs to Vytautas' the Great Church of the Assumption of the Holy Virgin Mary, both dating to approximately 1400. Vytautas the Great vowed to build a church next to the river that he swam across to escape from a defeat in battle. It has suffered flooding, burning by French troops in 1812, and being used as barracks in World War I. It's hard to tell from Wikipedia, but I think it now serves its original purpose as a Catholic church.

On the left is a stamp from 1997. On the right is a 2009 stamp from a set of two on the topic of astronomy, this one showing Galileo.

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