Sunday, 28 March 2010

LIGHTHOUSE POSTCARDS FROM POLAND

My friend Paula sent me a cover and two views of the historic " Latarnia Morska Kołobrzeg" (in Polish, a lighthouse is a "sea lantern," latarnia morska).

Kołobrzeg is a city in north-western Poland located on the Parsęta River on the south coast of the Baltic Sea. The lighthouse is part of the history of Kolobrzeg, and lights are said to have been displayed here as early as 1666. In 1899 a new lighthouse was built here and it was a half-timbered, light construction, so it could have been easily deconstructed if necessary. A new brick lighthouse was built in 1909 and survived until the Second World War in such a shape. On 13th March 1945, the building was blown up by German sappers and almost immediately after the war its reconstruction began (1948).

The actual 26 m (85 ft) round cylindrical brick tower rises from a large round eighteenth-century fortification. Currently, the light of the beacon is electrically powered and there is a small museum in the lighthouse.

Saturday, 27 March 2010

LIGHTHOUSE POSTCARD FROM SPAIN

My friend Ignacio from Spain sent me this nice "Faro de Gorliz" postcard, my first Spanish light. Gorliz is a Spanish town located in the Biscay coast and one of the most important tourist centers of the province of Biscay. At Cape Villano (Cabo Billano), about 30 minutes north from downtown, a modern lighthouse marks the landscape atop a steep slope on Monte Ermua. The 21 m (69 ft) 10-sided cylindrical concrete white tower was built in 1991 as part of the Plan de Señales Marítimas 1985-89, a national plan to upgrade coastal aids to navigation.
On February 20, 2009 Correos de España issued a set of four stamps devoted to four of the main renewable energy technologies: hydropower, wind power, solar energy and geothermal energy. The 0,78 € value presents geothermal energy, a form obtained by tapping the heat of the earth, usually from kilometres deep into the Earth's crust. This energy takes the form of hot steam or hot water mixed with chemicals that come out as hot springs or geysers. The hot water or heat can arise naturally or be artificially pumped. Iceland is the main producer in Europe of geothermal energy.
The definitive series issued on January 2nd, 2008 depicts the portrait of the Spanish monarch Juan Carlos I. Since 1975 when Juan Carlos was proclaimed King, five different definitive series have been issued.

Monday, 22 March 2010

COVER AND POSTCARD FROM BELGIUM

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.

Tuesday, 16 March 2010

LIGHTHOUSE POSTCARD FROM RUSSIA

Murmansk is a city and seaport in the extreme north-west part of Russia, on the Kola Bay. A memorial in honor of the 85th anniversary of the city was opened near Lake Semyonovskoye in 2002. The memorial includes a 28 m (92 ft) hexagonal cylindrical tower, painted with red and white horizontal bands, the Lighthouse Monument. This lighthouse is not a genuine aid to navigation. There is a Memorial Hall in the basement part of the lighthouse, each wall of the hall is devoted to the memory of fishermen who perished at sea in peacetime, to sea transport workers, to military seamen, and to pilots of shipborne aviation. There is also a Memorial Book containing the names of those who did not return from the sea. These include the crew of the nuclear submarine Kursk, pride of the Northern Fleet, which sank with the loss of all 118 on board in the Barents Sea in 2000 - Russia's worst peacetime naval disaster and a tremendous blow to national pride.
On April, 1st, 2009 Russia issued a four-stamp souvenir sheet celebrating the 200th anniversary of birth of Nikolai Vasilievich Gogol (1809 – 1852), Russian novelist, humorist, and dramatist. The stamps present images and characters of Gogol’s plays and novels: the 9.00 RUB value features the old Cossack, Taras Bulba, from the historical religious novel by Gogol.
Russia issued an architecture series of four bridge stamps on August, 12, 2009 and the 6.00 RUB value on the postcard shows the railroad Sartakov bridge over the river Oka.
Thank you, Nastya!

Monday, 15 March 2010

BRAZIL - 2010 ISSUE PROGRAM

Brazilian Post will issue on March 24th this stamp related to the annual issue of Mercosur countries (Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay) and also a reference to the end of the 2001-2010 Culture of Peace Decade established by the United Nations General Assembly in 1998. The stamp pays tribute to the life and work of the pediatrics and public health physician Zilda Arns.

Dr. Zilda Arns lived to advocate and promote the rights of children, pregnant women and the elderly as well as to build a more just and fraternal society with less diseases and human suffering. She died tragically in the earthquake that devastated Haiti’s capital, Port-au-Prince, on January 12nd, 2010, right after having delivered a speech on how to save lives through simple, educational and preventive measures. She left her mark in Brazil’s history as the founder and coordinator of the Pastoral da Criança (Children’s Pastoral) and the Pastoral da Pessoa Idosa (Pastoral Care for the Elderly). On the stamp a picture of Zilda Arns, the logos of the Children’s Pastoral and Mercosur and the phrase "For an abundant life for all children".

Sunday, 14 March 2010

LIGHTHOUSE POSTCARD FROM USA

My Californian friend Alexandra, living in the small state of Rhode Island (rich in lighthouses), sent me this nice sunset view of Narragansett Bay.
The Newport Harbor Light (also known as the Goat Island Light) is located on north end of Goat Island, which is part of the city of Newport, Rhode Island, in Narragansett Bay. The first lighthouse on Goat Island at the entrance to Newport Harbor was built in 1823, but the tower was relocated to Prudence Island in 1851, where it still operates today. The current light was constructed in 1842 a few yards off the coast of Goat Island and was connected to the island by a narrow dike. Automated in 1963, the 35 ft (10.5 m) octagonal granite tower remains an active aid to mariners and recreational boaters with its continuous green light. In 1988, the light was added to the National Register of Historic Places and in 2000 the Coast Guard leased the light to the American Lighthouse Foundation. ALF organized the Friends of Newport Harbor Light, and in 2006 an initial restoration of the lighthouse was completed.
On June 28, 2009, US Postal Service issued a 98–cent definitive stamp, in the Scenic American Landscapes series, featuring a view of the Snake River at dawn in the Grand Teton National Park. Located in northwestern Wyoming, Grand Teton National Park preserves a spectacular landscape rich with majestic mountains, pristine lakes and extraordinary wildlife. The abrupt vertical rise of the jagged Teton Range (the Grand Teton, at 4,197 m, is the tallest mountain) contrasts with the horizontal sage-covered valley and glacial lakes at their base, creating a scenery that attracts nearly four million visitors per year.

COVER AND POSTCARDS FROM FRANCE

Jean Pierre, my friend from Paris sent me a cover and lighthouse postcards to my collections. The French Post issued on November 23, 2009, two stamps celebrating 45 years of service of the helicopter cruiser "Jeanne d'Arc". The French Navy’s cruiser was commissioned on July 16, 1964 and has trained thousands of naval officers before retirement in 2010. The training ship could take on board eight helicopters and from its deck three helicopters could take off simultaneously. The stamps present the cruiser on the sea (in the background a world map) and the Jeanne’s crew.
This is the oldest and perhaps greatest of French lighthouses and one of the most famous lighthouses in the world: the Tour de Cordouan. The lighthouse is located 7 kilometres at sea, on a rocky tableland, at the mouth of the Gironde River and faces the Atlantic Ocean and the French coasts of Médoc and Charente-Maritime. It was designed by leading Paris architect Louis de Foix, who spent 27 years building the lighthouse from 1584 to 1611.

The 68 m (223 ft) unpainted light gray tower is an elaborate structure and includes 6 floors: on the first floor can be found the King’s Apartment (The King of France never came to Cordouan though). The chapel is on the second floor, the fourth and fifth floors are used as landings. Between the fifth and sixth floors is situated the lighthouse keepers’bedroom. On the sixth floor is the lantern. In 1645 the wood-fired lantern was blown off by a storm and replaced by a new lantern designed to burn whale oil. This was replaced in 1727 by a third lantern designed for charcoal. In 1823 Augustin-Jean Fresnel brought the first of his lenses to the tower, and here he perfected the lens designs that were soon in use around the world. The present lens was installed in 1854, during a thorough restoration of the tower ordered by Napoleon III. The lighthouse was not electrified until 1948. The light is still active and guided tours are available from Pointe de Grave.

Friday, 12 March 2010

LIGHTHOUSE POSTCARD FROM USA

Saybrook Breakwater Lighthouse is located near the picturesque town of Old Saybrook, at the mouth of the mighty Connecticut River, USA. The lighthouse started showing a fixed white light on June 15, 1886 and is also known simply as "Outer Light". The white cast iron tower stands at the west end of the breakwater and was automated in 1959. It is 49ft tall (14.5 m) with a lantern, watch room, 4 stories and a basement. It is mounted on a concrete caisson and surrounded by rip rap. This is the lighthouse seen on Connecticut's special license plates.
On July 23, 2009, the Postal Service continued its popular series of lighthouses stamps issuing five commemorative stamps. Two 44–cent stamps from the Gulf Coast Lighthouses series illustrate this card: Sabine Pass, Louisiana and Matagorda Island, Texas. The definitive stamp “American Clock” features an artistic rendering of the dial, or face, of a banjo clock. Constructed of brass and steel in 1805, the banjo clock depicted on the stamp has a painted iron dial and a mahogany case crowned by a brass eagle.

Monday, 8 March 2010

LIGHTHOUSE POSTCARD FROM CROATIA

Samanta sent me a postcard from the oldest Adriatic lighthouse, built in 1818 in Savudrija, Croatia. It is also the northernmost Croatian lighthouse located near the Slovenian border. The 29 m (95 ft) cylindrical cream-colored stone tower marks the southern entrance to the Gulf of Trieste and before World War II, the lighthouse was usually known by its Italian name, Punta Salvore. The light is located in the middle of a tourist zone, surrounded by hotels, restaurants and beaches. The 2-story principal keeper's house has two large apartments available for vacation rental and the stony beach in front of it, with a clear sea, is ideal for diving.
Croatian Post issued on September 14th, 2007 a set of three stamps presenting lighthouses along Croatia's crystal-clear Adriatic coastline. The 5 kn stamp value shows the Savudrija light located on the cape Bašanija near Savudrija. On October 30, 2007, Croatia issued three stamps of the series “Croatian Towns” and the 1,8 kn stamp value features the Parish church of Sv.Mihovil (St.Michael), one of the Omis's most important architectural heritage.

LIGHTHOUSE POSTCARD FROM NORTHERN IRELAND

Brian from Dublin sent me a nice postcard from a Northern Ireland lighthouse located at Rathlin Island. Six miles off the north Antrim coast and connected with the mainland by ferry, the island has spectacular settings and its cliffs play host to one of the biggest colonies of seabirds in the UK. One of the most unusual sights on Rathlin is the West Lighthouse. The lantern is set on a concrete pad built into a notch in a spectacular almost-vertical cliff. Rising behind the lantern is a square cylindrical tower 18 m (60 ft) high, attached at its upper end to a 2-story keeper's house set into another, higher notch. At this light station, the keepers climbed down to the light (it was made automatic in 1983). All buildings are painted white for best contrast against the dark cliff face. The lighthouse itself is inaccessible, but visitors can get close enough to take photos over the edge of the cliff.
On 11 February, 2010, Irish Post issued a stamp to celebrate the Chinese New Year which began on 14 February, 2010. This year is the year of the tiger which is the third sign in the cycle of the Chinese zodiac which consists of 12 animal signs. It is a sign of courage. The tiger is a natural born leader and symbolises power, passion and daring.

Friday, 5 March 2010

LIGHTHOUSE POSTCARD FROM ESTONIA

Estonia is a small country with a surprisingly long coastline, two large islands and countless small islands. To guard these coasts, Estonia has more than 70 lighthouses and a well-developed lighthouse administration. In Estonian, a lighthouse is a tuletorn (fire tower).
Kõpu lighthouse is undoubtedly the most famous tourist attraction on Hiiumaa island( the second largest island in Estonia). The 36 m (118 ft) massive square stone tower with pyramid-shaped base was constructed in 1531 and is believed to be the third oldest continually operating lighthouse in the world. The construction of this lighthouse was a remarkable feat considering the remoteness of the location and the lack of modern technology. Originally, a large fire burned atop the lighthouse and its appetite for wood resulted in the deforestation of a large part of Kõpu peninsula. . The brick top section of the tower was built in 1659. The Russian government took over operation of the tower from local authorities in 1805 and added a lantern in 1845. The lighthouse is open to the public and for a small fee you can walk to the top and enjoy a breathtaking view of the Baltic Sea as well as much of the island.

Year after year, Estonia Post issues stamps of the well-known lighthouse series and increases my thematic collection. The stamp issued on March 8, 2007 highlights Juminda lighthouse, a 24 m (79 ft) cylindrical concrete tower (upper half painted black, lower half white) built in 1931 and located at the tip of the Juminda peninsula. The Kopu lighthouse (the same on the postcard) is present at the stamp issued on February 25,2000. Thank you, Karin.

Monday, 1 March 2010

LIGHTHOUSE POSTCARDS FROM FRANCE

My French friend Morgane sent me lighthouse cards from Bretagne and part of them I have already posted here last February 9th. More lights: Phare de la Vieille (Vieille lighthouse) is a lighthouse in the département of Finistère on the northwest coast of France. Built between 1882 and 1887 on the rock known as la Gorlebella , it illuminates and improves the safety of the strait Raz de Sein. The 27m (89 ft) square granite tower is located in a remote position in rough seas. In 1995, it became the second to last French lighthouse to be automated, a process delayed due to the lighthouse keepers on the site refusing in protest to carry out the task.

La Perdrix lighthouse is located at the mouth of the Pont-l'Abbé river estuary, between Loctudy and Île Tudy in Brittanny, France. The 18 m (59 ft) octagonal concrete tower painted in a black and white checkerboard pattern was built in 1915. The Bureau des Phares et Balises planned to demolish the lighthouse, but the neighboring towns of Île Tudy and Loctudy intervened to take control of the lighthouse and maintain it at their expense as a daybeacon. In 2002 the towns restored the lighthouse and installed a replica lantern. The four ports of the Penmarc'h peninsula are specialized in langoustines fishing and constitute the largest fishery in France.