Monday, 22 March 2010


My friend Nathalie sent me two postcards from Belgium, one of them the tall Oostende"vuurtoren" (lighthouse, in Flemish). Belgium released four values depicting the current King Albert II (ascended to the throne in 1993) and the cover brings the Royal effigy issued on January 2nd, 2009. It is the € 1,15 value stamp for worldwide mail.
Belgium has a North Sea coast about 65 km (40 mi) long, all of it located in the Flemish-speaking province of West Vlaanderen (West Flanders). Oostende is a medium-sized Belgian city, a seaside resort (more than 9 km of fine sandy beaches) and a busy harbour. Located at the eastern side of the harbour entrance, the 58 m (190 ft) cylindrical tower was built between 1947 and 1949. The famous light is the fourth one in the history of Oostende and the third one on this location: an 1860 tower was destroyed here in World War I, and a 1925 tower was destroyed in World War II. The tower also named “Long Nelle” received its unusual color pattern (white with two sinusoidal blue bands around the upper section) in 1994.

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