I'm a little surprised I haven't had more swap requests through the official postcrossing site since I changed my preferences to "yes, I'm interested in direct swaps", considering I get them all the time on the forum, despite pointing out in my signature that I'm NOT interested. (Can't people read?!?) Anyway, the following card is the first I received via a swap through the official site since changing the status. Isn't it beautiful?!
The card shows the Chinese Garden in the Lower Park of Peterhof Palace in St Petersburg, Russia. Peterhof is actually a series of palaces and gardens, laid out on the orders of Peter the Great. These Palaces and gardens are sometimes referred as the "Russian Versailles". The palace-ensemble along with the city centre is recognised as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Annoyingly, I couldn't find much information about the Chinese Garden or the red house. Any help would be greatly appreciated!
The stamp on the right is from a set of 3 stamps issued in 2008, representing Archeological Heritage of Russia, this stamp showing a metal plate featuring deer. The one next to it is from a set of 5 stamps issued in 2009, commemorating the 200th Anniversary of the Birth of N.V. Gogol (1809-1852), this stamp showing "Tarars Bulba" (1835). The small stamps are from a set of 15 definitive stamps issued in 2008, showing animals. Here you can see the Hare and Fox.