Postcodes in the United Kingdom

Postal codes used in the United Kingdom are known as postcodes. They are alphanumeric and were adopted nationally between 11 October 1959 and 1974, having been devised by the General Post Office. A full postcode is known as a "postcode unit" and designates an area with a number of addresses or a single major delivery point; the structure of a postcode is two alphanumeric codes, the first having between two and four characters and the second, three characters. First, one or two letters indicate the postcode area, followed by one or two digits signifying a district within that area; this is followed by a space and a number denoting a sector within said district, by two letters which are allocated to streets or sides of a street. Postcode areas are named for a major town or city but may be geographic in nature; each postcode area contains a number of post towns which are not themselves alphabetically denoted however each will constitute one postcode districts. The central part of the town or city the postcode area is named after will have the number one e.g. B1, LS1, M1, however other post towns within the area are either treated alphabetically - in London or geographically.

As a general rule, large post towns are numbered from the centre out such that outlying parts have higher numbered districts, but the disparate post towns within a postal area can be numbered based on various criteria. In particular, one cannot reliably infer the centrality of a postcode district within a postcode area from the postcode alone, as for instance SE1 covers a large part of Central London south of the Thames whereas SE2 covers Abbey Wood at the far end of the Elizabeth Line. See postcode area. Postcodes have been adopted for a wide range of purposes in addition to aiding the sorting of mail: for calculating insurance premiums, designating destinations in route planning software and as the lowest level of aggregation in census enumeration; the boundaries of each postcode unit and within these the full address data of about 29 million addresses are stored and periodically updated in the Postcode Address File database. The initial system of named postal districts, developed in London and other large cities from 1857, evolved towards the present form: in 1917 London was split into broad numbered subdivisions, this extended to the other cities in 1934.

Since the local government reorganisation of London in the 1960s, parts of Greater London lie outside the London postal area. These include large parts of the "TW", "KT", "SM", "CR", "HA", "UB" postcode areas, among a few others; as examples of the postcode system, the postcode of the University of Roehampton in London is SW15 5PU, where SW stands for south-west London. The postal town does not relate to a specific town, county or region. GL51 is one of the postcodes for the town of Cheltenham. Theoretically, deliveries can postcode alone; the London post town covers 40% of Greater London. On inception, it was divided into ten postal districts: EC, WC, N, NE, E, SE, S, SW, W, NW; the S and NE sectors were abolished. In 1917, as a wartime measure to improve efficiency, each postal district was subdivided into sub-districts each identified by a number. Since these sub-districts have changed little; some older road signs in Hackney still show the North East sector/district. Following the successful introduction of postal districts in London, the system was extended to other large towns and cities.

Liverpool was divided into Eastern, Northern and Western districts in 1864/65, Manchester and Salford into eight numbered districts in 1867/68. In 1917, Dublin—then still part of the United Kingdom—was divided into numbered postal districts; these continue in use in a modified form by the postal service of the Republic of Ireland. In 1923, Glasgow was divided in a similar way to London, with numbered districts preceded by a letter denoting the compass point. In January 1932 the Postmaster General approved the designation of some predominantly urban areas into numbered districts. In November 1934 the Post Office announced the introduction of numbered districts in "every provincial town in the United Kingdom large enough to justify it". Pamphlets were issued to each householder and business in ten areas notifying them of the number of the district in which their premises lay; the pamphlets included a map of the districts, copies were made available at local head post offices. The public were "particularly invited" to include the district

Bara, Syria

Bara or al-Bara is one of the former "Dead Cities" in northwestern Syria. It is located in the Zawiya Mountain 65 kilometres north from Hama and approx. 80 km southwest from Aleppo. Al-Bara is town in Ariha district. According to the Syria Central Bureau of Statistics, al-Bara had a population of 10,353 in the 2004 census; the settlement was established in the fourth century at an important trade route between Antioch and Apamea. Due to good location and excellent conditions to produce wine and olive oil, it flourished in the 5th and 6th centuries; when Muslims conquered the region and trading routes were disrupted and other Dead Cities were abandoned, Bara remained inhabited, most inhabitants remained Christians, the town became a seat of a bishopric subordinate of Antioch under Peter of Narbonne. In 1098, it was conquered by crusaders led by Raymond de Saint-Gilles; the town was retaken by Tancred a year later. In 1123, the town was reconquered by Belek Ghazi. In the 12th century, after a severe earthquake, the town was abandoned.

In the beginning of the 20th century, a modern village of the same name arose near the site of the ancient town and till today it has grown to the size of a small town. Ruins are the most extensive of all Dead Cities and are scattered among fields, olive groves and orchards. Among many others, one can distinguish remains of at least five churches, three monasteries, several villas, two pyramidal tombs and one underground tomb. Simeon Citadel and Dead Cities, Suggestion to have al-Bara recognized as a UNESCO world heritage site, in 2006, as part of "Simeon Citadel and Dead Cities"-project. Syria Gate Tens of pictures of this dead city


Kunstschutz is the German term for the principle of preserving cultural heritage and artworks during armed conflict during the First World War and Second World War, with the stated aim of protecting the enemy's art and returning after the end of hostilities. It is associated with the image of the "art officer" or "art expert"; the Allies instituted a Monuments, Fine Arts, Archives program tasked with identifying, securing and returning stolen art after the war. The Germans' lack of respect for the international Hague Conventions on land warfare created in 1899 and 1907, which had included the protection of cultural property, led to international shock at the burning of Leuven University Library in Belgium and the bombardment of Reims Cathedral in France, both in 1914. To counter the protests, counterbalance the destruction, redeem itself in the eyes of international agencies and regain its image as the land of culture par excellence, German propaganda created the principle of Kunstschutz; the principle allowed Germany to experiment with new formulas for saving and developing cultural heritage and originated many fertile initiatives.

Clemen, professor of art history at the University of Bonn and inspector of monuments in the Rhineland, was one of the principle's first instigators. A German soldier'saved' cultural objects in Saint-Quentin, though these were only returned in 1998, a painting removed from Douai museum was returned only in 2000 after it was discovered at a sale in Switzerland; the museum at Metz has put on an exhibition on the activities of its former German curator, the archaeologist Johann Baptist Keune, in protecting the artistic heritage of the Moselle during the conflict. After assuming power in 1933, Hitler and other nazis started anti-semitic policies designed to degrade and humiliate German Jews, their aim was to exile or murder their victims, steal their worldly possessions, including any artwork such as paintings and prints, as well as furniture, books, carpets and so on. Adolf Hitler was an unsuccessful artist, denied admission to the Vienna Academy of Fine Arts. Nonetheless, he thought of himself as a connoisseur of the arts, in Mein Kampf he ferociously attacked modern art as degenerate, including: Cubism.

When in 1933 Hitler became Chancellor of Germany, he enforced his aesthetic ideal on the nation. The types of art that were favoured amongst the Nazi party were classical portraits and landscapes by Old Masters those of Germanic origin. Modern art that did not match this was dubbed degenerate art by the Third Reich, all, found in Germany's state museums was to be sold or destroyed. With the sums raised, the Fuhrer's objective was to establish the European Art Museum in Linz. Other Nazi dignitaries, like Reichsmarschall Hermann Göring and Foreign Affairs minister von Ribbentrop, were intent on taking advantage of German military conquests to increase their private art collections; the art dealers Hildebrand Gurlitt, Karl Buchholz, Ferdinand Moeller and Bernhard Boehmer set up shop in Schloss Niederschonhausen, just outside Berlin, to sell the near-16,000 cache of paintings and sculptures which Hitler and Göring removed from the walls of German museums in 1937–38. They were first put on display in the Haus der Kunst in Munich on 19 July 1937, with the Nazi leaders inviting public mockery by two million visitors.

Propagandist Joseph Goebbels in a radio broadcast called Germany's degenerate artists "garbage". Hitler opened the Haus der Kunst exhibition with a speech, at the end of which saliva fell out of his mouth in rage. In it he described German art as suffering "a great and fatal illness". Hildebrand Gurlitt and his colleagues did not have much success with their sales because art labelled "rubbish" had small appeal. So on 20 March 1939 they set fire to 1,004 paintings and sculptures and 3,825 watercolours and prints in the courtyard of the Berlin Fire Department, an act of infamy similar to their earlier well-known book burnings; the propaganda act raised the attention. The Basel Museum in Switzerland arrived with 50,000 Swiss francs to spend. Shocked art lovers came to buy. What is unknown after these sales is how many paintings were kept by Gurlitt, Buchholz and Boehmer and sold by them to Switzerland and America – ships crossed the Atlantic from Lisbon – for personal gain. While the Nazis were in power, they plundered cultural property from every territory.

This was conducted in a systematic manner with organizations created to determine which public and private collections were most valuable to the Nazi Regime. Some of the objects were earmarked for Hitler's never realized Führermuseum, some objects went to other high-ranking officials such as Hermann Göring, while other objects were traded to fund Nazi activities. In 1940, an organization known as the Einsatzstab Reichsleiter Rosenberg für die Besetzten Gebiete, or ERR, was formed, headed for Alfred Rosenberg by Gerhard Utikal; the first operating unit, the western branch for France and the Netherlands, called the Dienststelle Westen, was located in Paris. The chief of this Dienststelle was Kurt von Behr, its original purpose was to collect Jewish and Freemasonic books and documents, either for destruction, or for removal to Germany for further "study". However, late in 1940, Hermann Göring, who in fact controlled the ERR, is