Thursday, January 7, 2016

Yamchun Fortress, Tajikistan

Happy Happy New Year everyone and welcome to the first blog post for 2016 (with cards from 2015 btw)! Hope you had a great New Year's Eve (mine was more than cool I must say :P) and that after all those feasts and all you are slowly getting back to reality - I am having a hard time with that, since getting back to reality after being out of the country is always tough and this time it seems even tougher than usual....but what can I do...oh yeah, some of you already know about the whereabouts of mine for the New Years...the others will hopefully find out soon :)

And lest not forget, to all celebrating Christmas today, Merry Christmas! (I'm from that part of the world too but as you probably know, I've never really been so much into it :))

And well, even though the year has like just began and with the bunch of non-working days there have been not many chances for my postman to delight me....there are still a few gems I received last year that I can hardly wait to post around here, and one of them is right here...there ain't a better way to start the year than posting a brand new country, now is there? :D



And yep, this is my very first written and stamped card from Tajikistan!! Wohhooo!! And that's thanks to my Norwegian fairy Sissel who again took an amazing trip and sent me a bunch of cards...and oh, one of those is a real jaw-dropping for collectors :D But I will keep you in the dark for a while more...i'm not being evil, I just dont want you to get a jealousy overdose right now :D


As for the card...here you can see the Yamchun Fortress, which is probably the most impressive and eldest monument in Wakhan, built on the top of the cliff overlooking the valley. It is thought to have been the greatest defense fortification in the ancient Wakhan. (Wakhan btw is along the border of Tajikistan and Afghanistan). The fortress dated to 3-1 century BC and had thick stone walls and round watchtowers. According to a local legend, the fortress was built by kings - brothers Qakhkaha and Zangibor. The fort played a key role on the great Silk Road leading from Pamir to Bactria, India, Iran and back, controlling the traffic, cargo and security in the region.
The fort is triangular in shape and divided into 3 sections. The first section includes citadel with bastion and barracks. This section was surrounded by wall and strengthens with round towers. Two other sections are open grounds for combat operations. Every ground was surrounded by thick stone walls and fortified by 36 towers. The outside walls are 2 meters wide while inner walls are 50-60 cm wide. The towers were built in chess order and with small negative angle to improve visibility at fortress basement. Gun slots exist both on the outside and inside walls which suppose to increase defense capability. The building materials must have been delivered from remote locations, since metamorphic rock, granite and slate rocks, biotite pieces and other forms of mica are not found in the close neighborhood.

There is a video on YouTube about this, from a man who is on spot and showing you the fort from a close view....take a look at it





the stamp is from a set of 3 issued in 2013, titled "Mobile communications of Tajikistan"

(please note the eco-label on the card...one doesn't get to see that often on postcards)

and just a random fact about this card -  for some reason someone at the PO or elsewhere wrote Норвегиа under Macedonia...and that's Norway...I don't what they were thinking and how Macedonia translated to Norway, or maybe my karma is that influential :D Eventually they crossed out Norway and wrote Macedonia...but it somewhat startles me that out of all the countries in the world they could have gone wrong with, they picked Norway :P



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