Monday, 27 December 2010

LIGHTHOUSE POSTCARD FROM SOUTH AFRICA

The lighthouse in the Donkin Reserve was built in 1861 on a hill behind the harbor of Port Elizabeth, South Africa. The original lighthouse had a height of 17 m (55 ft) but as the city grew, its lights decreased the effectiveness of the lighthouse, and so in 1932 the tower was substantially rebuilt. The octagonal tower raised to 26 m (86 feet tall) and four buttresses were added at that time, giving the tower an Art Deco design. The lighthouse was painted white with a red lantern dome and was attached to a 1-story keeper's house. Near the lighthouse is a sandstone pyramid built by the city’s founder, Sir Rufane Donkin, as a memorial to his wife, Elizabeth, after whom the city was named.
The light was decommissioned in 1973 and the keeper's house now houses the city's tourist information center. The tower, a popular tourist destination, has seven levels and is open for climbing. It is also the best place for an overall stunning view of the city and excellent photos.
South Africa Post Office issued on July 10th, 2009 a set of four stamps depicting the beauty of the country’s gemstones. The stamp shows the polished Rodochrosite gemstone, also known as the “Inca rose”. It ranges in color from pink to pale red to dark and brownish red due to the presence of manganese. It occurs as irregular sheets due to sedimentary deposits of a chemical origin in the manganese mines of N’Chwaning and Hotazel. The stones are sometimes faceted, but due to their softness, they are generally collected as crystal clusters. Thank you very much, Bruce.

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