Puzzle: Thatched Cottage

Size: 1000 pieces
Dimensions: 73cm x 48.5cm
Producer
: The Canadian Group, Sure-Lox, Photo Gallery 10 puzzle pack, #42610-72
Notes: Once more, no location is indicated by the puzzle producer.

In modern usage, a cottage is usually a modest, often cozy dwelling, typically in a rural or semi-rural location. However there are cottage-style dwellings in cities, and in places such as Canada the term exists with no connotations of size at all. In the United Kingdom the term cottage also tends to denote rural dwellings of traditional build, although it can also be applied to dwellings of modern construction which are designed to resemble traditional ones (“mock cottages”).

In certain places (e.g. Eastern Canada, Scandinavia and Russia) the term “cottage” can refer to a vacation/summer home, often located near a body of water. However, in the USA generally this is more commonly called a “cabin”, “chalet”, or even “camp”. [Wiki]

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Puzzle: Thatched Cottage

Size: 750 pieces
Dimensions: 59.7 cm x 39.4 cm
Producer:  The Canadian Group, Sure-Lox, Photo Gallery 10 puzzle pack, #42510-57
Notes: The puzzle producer has not once again indicated the location of the cottage.

Although thatch is popular in Germany, The Netherlands, Denmark, Belgium and Ireland, there are more thatched roofs in the United Kingdom than in any other European country. Good quality straw thatch can last for more than 45–50 years when applied by a skilled thatcher.

Over 250 roofs in Southern England have base coats of thatch that were applied over 500 years ago, providing direct evidence of the types of materials that were used for thatching in the medieval period.  Almost all of these roofs are thatched with wheat, rye, or a ‘maslin’ mixture of both. Medieval wheat grew to almost 1.8m tall in very poor soils and produced durable straw for the roof and grain for baking bread. [Wiki]

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Puzzle: Castle Mespelbrunn

Size: 750 pieces
Dimensions: 59.7 cm x 39.4 cm
Producer:  The Canadian Group, Sure-Lox, Photo Gallery 10 puzzle pack, #43550-26
Notes: Mespelbrunn Castle is a medieval moated castle on the territory of the town of Mespelbrunn, between Frankfurt and Wurzburg, built in a remote tributary valley of the Elsava valley, within the Spessart forest. One of the most visited water castles in Germany, it is frequently featured in tourist books.

In 1957 Mespelbrunn Castle was one of the locations of the German film Das Wirtshaus im Spessart (The Spessart Inn, 1958), based on a fairy tale by Wilhelm Hauff. [Wiki]

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Puzzle: Madrid, Spain

Size: 500 pieces, 1 missing
Dimensions: 37 cm x 52 cm
Producer:  GPC Puzzles, Regency Collection, #1550-08
Notes: The Plaza de Cibeles is a square with a neo-classical complex of marble sculptures with fountains that has become an iconic symbol for the city of Madrid. It sits at the intersection of Calle de Alcala (running from east to west), Paseo de Recoletos (to the North) and Paseo del Prado (to the south). Plaza de Cibeles was originally named Plaza de Madrid, but in 1900, the City Council named it Plaza de Castelar, which was eventually replaced by its current name.

The most prominent of the buildings at the Plaza de Cibeles is the Cibeles Palace (formerly named Communications Palace). The cathedral-like landmark was built in 1909 by Antonio Palacios as the headquarters of the postal service. This impressive building was home to the Postal and Telegraphic Museum until 2007 when the landmark building became the Madrid City Hall. [Wiki]

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Puzzle: Windsor Castle, Britain

Size: 750 pieces
Dimensions: 59.7 cm x 39.4 cm
Producer:  The Canadian Group, Sure-Lox, Photo Gallery 10 puzzle pack
Notes: Windsor Castle is a medieval castle and royal residence in Windsor in the English county of Berkshire, notable for its long association with the British royal family and for its architecture. The original castle was built after the Norman invasion by William the Conqueror. Since the time of Henry I it has been used by a succession of monarchs and is the longest-occupied palace in Europe. The castle’s lavish, early 19th-century State Apartments are architecturally significant, described by art historian Hugh Roberts as “a superb and unrivalled sequence of rooms widely regarded as the finest and most complete expression of later Georgian taste”. [Wiki]

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Puzzle: Springtime at Chambord

Size: 500 pieces
Dimensions: 48.26cm x 35.56cm
Producer:  The Canadian Group, Sure-Lox, Photo Gallery 10 puzzle pack
Notes: I have previously put together another puzzle of Chamboard Château, 1000: http://fingeringzen.com/puzzles/puzzle-chambord-chateau.

Chambord is the largest château in the Loire Valley; it was built to serve as a hunting lodge for François I, who maintained his royal residences at Château de Blois and Château d’Amboise. The original design of the Château de Chambord is attributed, though with several doubts, to Domenico da Cortona. Some authors claim that the French Renaissance architect Philibert Delorme had a considerable role in the château’s design, and others have suggested that Leonardo da Vinci may have designed it.  [Wiki]

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Puzzle: Butchart Gardens, Victoria

Size: 500 pieces
Dimensions: 48.26cm x 35.56cm
Producer:  The Canadian Group, Sure-Lox, Photo Gallery 10 puzzle pack
Notes: The Butchart Gardens is a group of floral display gardens in Brentwood Bay, British Columbia, Canada, located near Victoria on Vancouver Island. The gardens receive more than a million visitors each year. The gardens have been designated a National Historic Site of Canada due to their international renown. [Wiki]

According to the official site, the Butchart Gardens also have “One of only two known [Wollemi Pine] specimens in Canada to be planted outdoors, and at 10 feet it is likely the largest.” Each year over 1,000,000 bedding plants in some 700 varieties are used throughout the Gardens to ensure uninterrupted bloom from March through October. [Official Butchard Gardens site]

 

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Puzzle: Coombe Cottage, England

Size: 500 pieces
Dimensions: 48.26cm x 35.56cm
Producer:  The Canadian Group, Sure-Lox, Photo Gallery 10 puzzle pack
Notes: The only site containing any information about the Coombe Cottage that I could find, is the marketing site for the accommodations at the cottage itself:

Coombe Cottage is a delightful, 200 year-old traditional, end-terraced cottage with exposed beams and updated extensions overlooking farmland views. It is situated in the picturesque village of Goodleigh, to the east of the market town of Barnstaple, … in North Devon. [Coombe Cottage site]

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Puzzle: Thatched cottage, England

Size: 500 pieces
Dimensions: 48.26cm x 35.56cm
Producer:  The Canadian Group, Sure-Lox, Photo Gallery 10 puzzle pack
Notes: Thatching is the craft of building a roof with dry vegetation such as straw, water reed, sedge (Cladium mariscus), rushes, or heather, layering the vegetation so as to shed water away from the inner roof. It is a very old roofing method and has been used in both tropical and temperate climates.

Thatching methods have traditionally been passed down from generation to generation, and numerous descriptions of the materials and methods used in England over the past three centuries survive in archives and early publications.

In most of Europe and the UK, thatch remained the only roofing material available to the bulk of the population in the countryside, in many towns and villages, until the late 1800s. [Wiki]

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Puzzle: Castle, Germany

Size: 500 pieces
Dimensions: 48.26cm x 35.56cm
Producer:  The Canadian Group, Sure-Lox, Photo Gallery 10 puzzle pack
Notes:  Thanks to JLuecking’s comment below, I now know that this castle is the Castle of the Teutonic Order, and it is located on the Mainau Island, Lake Constance (Bodensee).

Mainau is an island in Lake Constance (on the south shore of the Überlinger See near the city of Konstanz, Baden-Württemberg, Germany). It is maintained as a garden island and a model of excellent environmental practices. [Wiki]

The Castle of the Teutonic Order is the architectural focal point on the island and a splendid setting for various occasions. It is the heart of the Mainau island and where the Bernadotte family lives. The Castle of the Teutonic Order was designed by Johann Caspar Bagnato and built under his supervision (1739 – 1746). Despite limited finances, he created an architecturally well-balanced, symmetrical harmonious castle. The arms of the two wings open out in the shape of a horse-shoe towards the mainland; whilst the back of the building faces the lake. [Mainau site]

A castle (from Latin castellum) is a type of fortified structure built in Europe and the Middle East during the Middle Ages by European nobility. Scholars debate the scope of the word castle, but usually consider it to be the private fortified residence of a lord or noble. This is distinct from a palace, which is not fortified; from a fortress, which was not always a residence for nobility; and from a fortified settlement, which was a public defence – though there are many similarities among these types of construction. Usage of the term has varied over time and has been applied to structures as diverse as hill forts and country houses. Over the approximately 900 years that castles were built they took on a great many forms with many different features, although some, such as curtain walls and arrowslits, were commonplace. [Wiki]

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Puzzle: Easter Island, Chile

Size: 100 pieces
Dimensions: 23.17cm x 26.35cm
Producer: RoseArt, National Geographic series
Notes: Easter Island is a Polynesian island in the southeastern Pacific Ocean, at the southeasternmost point of the Polynesian triangle. A special territory of Chile that was annexed in 1888, Easter Island is famous for its 887 extant monumental statues, called moai, created by the early Rapanui people.

The name “Easter Island” was given by the island’s first recorded European visitor, the Dutch explorer Jacob Roggeveen, who encountered it on Easter Sunday 1722, while searching for Davis or David’s island. [Wiki]

Moai are monolithic human figures carved from rock on the Chilean Polynesian island of Easter Island between the years 1250 and 1500. Nearly half are still at Rano Raraku, the main moai quarry, but hundreds were transported from there and set on stone platforms called ahu around the island’s perimeter. Almost all moai have overly large heads three-fifths the size of their bodies. The moai are chiefly the living faces of deified ancestors. The statues still gazed inland across their clan lands when Europeans first visited the island, but most would be cast down during later conflicts between clans. [Wiki]

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Puzzle: Country Living by Thomas Kinkade

Size: 1000 pieces
Dimensions: 69cm x 51cm
Producer: Ceaco
Artist:
Thomas Kinkade
Notes:
“In the country, wildflowers grow in profusion. To me, these bluebonnets, scotch broom and wild poppies symbolize the abundant blessings of Country Living; these are the tangible pleasures that surround you day in and day out where the air is pure and the sun is bright. This scene might be found any place where the hills and valleys are alive with nature’s harmony – the Texas hill country, the Smoky Mountains, the rolling Cascades, or even my native Sierra foothills.” [Thomas Kinkade, on the puzzle box]

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Puzzle: Feeding the Geese by Nicky Boehme

Size: 1000 pieces, 1 missing
Dimensions: 73cm x 48.57cm
Producer: The Canadian Group, Sure-Lox, #44714-2
Artist:
Nicky Boehme
Notes: 
There are three living genera of true geese: Anser, grey geese, including the domesticated goose and the Swan Goose; Chen, white geese (often included in Anser); and Branta, black geese, such as the Canada goose.

The term goose applies to the female in particular while gander applies to the male in particular. Young birds before fledging are called goslings. The collective noun for group of geese on the ground is a gaggle; when in flight, they are called a skein, a team or a wedge; when flying close together, they are called a plump.

Geese are monogamous, living in permanent pairs throughout the year; however, unlike most other permanently monogamous animals, they are territorial only during the short nesting season. Paired geese are more dominant and feed more, two factors that result in more young. [Wiki]

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Puzzle: Montréal – The City Character

Size: 513 pieces
Dimensions: 54cm x 38cm
Producer
: Buffalo Games, Inc., ©1991 Descartes, Inc.
Notes: The City Character Jigsaw Puzzle: The jigsaw puzzle you are holding is one of the most unique on the market today. It is a historical perspective of a great North American city. On it you will find the landmarks, businesses, neighborhoods, and people which give this city its singular flavor and personality. This puzzle celebrates the character of the city and is both a challenging jigsaw puzzle and an unmatched souvenir. Designs are available for over thirty cities and we are addint more all the time.

City Character Jigsaw Puzzles are currently available for:

Atlanta
Austin
Baltimore
Boston
Buffalo
Chicago
Cincinnati
Cleveland
Columbus
Dallas
Dayton
Denver
Detroit
Erie
Houston
Indianapolis
Kansas City
Las Vegas
Los ANgeles
Miami
Minneapolis
Montreal
New Orleans
New York City
Niagara Falls
Philadelphia
Phoenix
Pittsburgh
San Francisco
San Antonio
St. Louis
Toronto
Washington

[Puzzle box]

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Puzzle: Mansion and garden

Size: 1000 pieces
Dimensions: 73cm x 48.5cm
Producer
: The Canadian Group, Sure-Lox, Images series, #43670-14
Notes: A mansion is a very large dwelling house. U.S. real estate brokers define a mansion as a dwelling of over 740 square meters. A traditional European mansion was defined as a house which contained a ballroom and many bedrooms. Today, however, there is no formal definition beyond being a large and well-appointed house.

In the Roman Empire, a mansio was an official stopping place on a Roman road, or via, where cities sprang up, and where the villas of provincial officials came to be placed. The Scots word “manse” originally defined a property large enough for the Minister of the parish to maintain himself, but a mansion is no longer self-sustaining in this way (compare a Roman or medieval villa). ‘Manor’ comes from the same root — territorial holdings granted to a lord who would remain there — hence it can be seen how the word ‘Mansion’ came to have its meaning. [Wiki]

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Puzzle: Grand Place, Brussels, Belgium


Size
: 1000 pieces
Dimensions: 73cm x 48.6cm
Producer
: Sure-Lox, Classic Treasures series, #41610-42
Notes: The Grand Place or Grote Markt About this sound listen is the central square of Brussels. It is surrounded by guildhalls, the city’s Town Hall, and the Breadhouse.

In the 10th century, Charles, Duke of Lower Lorraine constructed a fort on Saint-Gery Island, the furthest inland point at which the Senne river was still navigable. This was the seed of what would become Brussels. By the end of the 11th century, an open-air marketplace was set up on a dried-up marsh near the fort that was surrounded by sandbanks. The market was called the Nedermerckt, or Lower Market.

Every two years in August, an enormous “flower carpet” is set up in the Grand Place for a few days. A million colourful begonias are set up in patterns, and the display covers a full 24 by 77 metres (79 by 253 ft), for area total of 1,800 square metres. The first flower carpet was made in 1971, and due to its popularity, the tradition continued, with the flower carpet attracting a large number of tourists. [Wiki]

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Puzzle: Cholmondeley Castle


Size
: 1000 pieces
Dimensions: 73cm x 48.5cm
Producer
: Sure-Lox, The Canadian Group
Notes: Cholmondeley Castle is a country house in the civil parish of Cholmondeley, Cheshire, England. It is surrounded by a 7,500 acres estate.

In the 18th century Hugh Cholmondeley, 1st Earl of Cholmondeley had created gardens around the house, both kitchen gardens and orchards to provide food for the household, and also pleasure gardens. The pleasure gardens would have been formal in style as they were laid out by George London. The ironworker Jean Tijou produced an iron entrance gate to the gardens, but this was moved to Houghton Hall in Norfolk by the 4th Earl. John van Nost designed a fountain for the garden. The garden also contained a bowling green and an aviary. The 4th Earl brought in William Emes to redesign the garden who, according to the fashion of the day, buried London’s work under a landscape park. [Wiki]

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Puzzle: Chateau Fontainebleu, France


Size
: 1000 pieces
Dimensions: 73cm x 48.6cm
Producer
: Sure-Lox, The Canadian Group, Impressions series
Notes: The Palace of Fontainebleau, located 55 kilometres from the centre of Paris, is one of the largest French royal chateaux. The palace as it is today is the work of many French monarchs, building on an early 16th century structure of Francis I. The building is arranged around a series of courtyards. The city of Fontainebleau has grown up around the remainder of the Forest of Fontainebleau, a former royal hunting park.This forest is now home to many endangered species of Europe.

The palace introduced to France the Italian Mannerist style in interior decoration and in gardens, and transformed them in the translation. The French Mannerist style of interior decoration of the 16th century is known as the “Fontainebleau style”: it combined sculpture, metalwork, painting, stucco and woodwork, and outdoors introduced the patterned garden parterre. The Fontainebleau style combined allegorical paintings in moulded plasterwork where the framing was treated as if it were leather or paper, slashed and rolled into scrolls and combined with arabesques and grotesques. Fontainebleau ideals of female beauty are Mannerist: a small neat head on a long neck, exaggeratedly long torso and limbs, small high breasts—almost a return to Late Gothic beauties. [Wiki]

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Puzzle: Drakensberg Mountains


Size
: 1000 pieces
Dimensions: 73cm x 48.5cm
Producer
: Sure-Lox, The Canadian Group
Notes: The Drakensberg (“the Dragon Mountains”) is the highest mountain range in Southern Africa, rising to 3,482 metres in height. In Zulu, it is referred to as uKhahlamba (“barrier of spears”), and in Sesotho as Maluti (also spelled Maloti). Its geological history lends it a distinctive character amongst the mountain ranges of the world. Geologically, the range resembles the Simien Mountains of Ethiopia.

The mountains are capped by a layer of basalt approximately 1,400 meters thick, with sandstone lower down, resulting in a combination of steep-sided blocks and pinnacles.

The high treeless peaks of the Drakensberg (from 2,500 m upwards) have been described by the World Wildlife Fund as the Drakensberg alti-montane grasslands and woodlands ecoregion. These steep slopes are the most southerly high mountains in Africa, and being further from the equator provide cooler habitats at lower elevations than most mountain ranges on the continent. The high rainfall generates many mountain streams and rivers, including the sources of the Orange River, southern Africa’s longest, and the Tugela River. These mountains also have the world’s second-highest waterfall, the Tugela Falls (Thukela Falls), which has a total drop of 947 metres. The rivers that run from the Drakensberg are an essential resource for South Africa’s economy, providing water for the industrial provinces of Mpumalanga and Gauteng, which contains the city of Johannesburg. [Wiki]

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Puzzle: Forest Floor


Size
: 500 pieces
Dimensions: 48.26cm x 35.56cm
Producer: Sure-Lox, The Canadian Group
Notes:
A forest, also referred to as a wood or the woods, is an area with a high density of trees. These plant communities cover approximately 9.4 percent of the Earth’s surface (or 30 percent of total land area), though they once covered much more (about 50 percent of total land area). Although forests are classified primarily by trees, the concept of a forest ecosystem includes additional species (such as smaller plants, fungi, bacteria, and animals) as well as physical and chemical processes such as energy flow and nutrient cycling.

A typical forest is composed of the overstory (canopy or upper tree layer) and the understory. The understory is further subdivided into the shrub layer, herb layer, and also the moss layer and soil microbes. In some complex forests, there is also a well-defined lower tree layer. Forests are central to all human life because they provide a diverse range of resources: they store carbon, aid in regulating the planetary climate, purify water and mitigate natural hazards such as floods. Forests also contain roughly 90 percent of the world’s terrestrial biodiversity. [Wiki]

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