Tuesday, 31 August 2010

PREPAID ENVELOPE FROM FRANCE

This is a regional prepaid envelope issued in 2007 marking the 300th anniversary of the death of the Marquis de Vauban, French Marshall and military engineer. This series consists of five rectangular envelopes pre-stamped with the stamp “Vauban "(April 3, 2007). The envelope shows a view of the port of Camaret-sur-Mer and the Tour Vauban or Tour Dorée, a historic fortification built in 1669-94. In 2008, the Tour Dorée was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, as part of the "Fortifications of Vauban" group.
Jersey is the largest of the Channel Islands, located off the west coast of Normandy, France and is a British Crown Dependency. La Corbière Lighthouse is perched atop a rock just off the southwestern tip of Jersey in St. Brelade. It was lit on 24 April, 1874, for the first time, and was the first lighthouse in the British Isles to be built of reinforced concrete. The 19 m (62 ft) white concrete block tower was automated in 1976 and is one of the most photographed landmarks in Jersey, a popular tourist site for its panoramic views. A causeway links the lighthouse to shore at low tide and there is an alarm to warn visitors to clear the causeway as the tide rises. The lighthouse at La Corbière features on the Jersey 5 pound note and the Jersey 20 pence piece. Thanks a lot, Jean Pierre for my first Jersey postcard.

Monday, 30 August 2010

LIGHTHOUSE POSTCARDS FROM PORTUGAL

Portugal has a distinguished maritime history: Portuguese sailors launched and led the European age of discovery, and Portuguese ships “discovered” Brazil in 1500. It's not surprising that lighthouses have played an important role in Portuguese culture, and that they are treasured national monuments today. Thank you, José for these beautiful postcards to my collection.
Cabo da Roca (Cape Roca) is a cape which forms the westernmost point of both mainland Portugal and mainland Europe. The cape is in the Portuguese municipality of Sintra, west of Lisbon district. Cabo da Roca Lighthouse was first lit in 1772 atop a spectacular cliff that rises out of the Atlantic Ocean to approximately 140 metres above sea level. The 22 m (72 ft) square stone tower rises from a 1-story keeper's complex with its lantern painted red. In 1997 the town council of Sintra erected a plaque at the lighthouse that reads in part, "Cabo da Roca: Onde a terra se acaba e o mar começa" (Here ends the land and begins the sea), a line from the famous 16th century Portuguese poet Luís de Camões.
Cascais is a coastal town, a cosmopolitan suburb of the Portuguese capital, located 20 kilometers west of Lisbon. The former fishing village is nowadays, a popular vacation spot for both Portuguese and foreign tourists. The Santa Marta Lighthouse is located on the south point of land in Cascais, adjacent to a large marina. Built in 1868, it is a 20 m (66 ft) square masonry tower, covered with tiles, painted with blue and white horizontal bands and a red lantern. Adjacent to the lighthouse are the ruins of the 17th century Forte de Santa Marta. Located on the site of the fortress, the Santa Marta Lighthouse Museum preserves the historic lighthouse and is the first museum dedicated to the lighthouses of the Portuguese coast.

Sunday, 29 August 2010

LIGHTHOUSE POSTCARDS FROM ITALY

The Cavoli Island Lighthouse is a 37 m (121 ft) round masonry tower attached to a large 3-story, fortress-like keeper's house. La Isola dei Cavoli (Cavoli Island) is a rocky 40 hectare (100 acre) island about 800 m (1/2 mi) southeast of Capo Carbonara, in front of the port of Villasimius, Sardinia. The tower painted with black and white horizontal bands is located on the highest point of the island. The Cavoli Island is a research reserve administered by the Università di Cagliari and hosts a university scientific research centre.
Poste Italiane issued on October 10, 2008 a promotional stamp celebrating the “Italia 2009”, International Philately Festival. “Italia 2009” is a great philatelic festival held in Rome, at the Palazzo dei Congressi, from 21 to 25 October 2009. The stamp depicts the image La Bocca della Verità (in English, "the Mouth of Truth"), carved from Pavonazzetto marble, of a man-like face, and located in the portico of the church of Santa Maria in Cosmedin in Rome. The logo of the festival appears at the right corner of the stamp.

Saturday, 28 August 2010

LIGHTHOUSE POSTCARD FROM NORWAY

Lista Lighthouse is the last lighthouse in Norway before the North Sea, near to the southernmost point of Norway. Lit is located about 800 m (1/2 mi) west of Vestbygd, a village in the municipality of Farsund. The first light station was established in the prominent cape in November 1836. The actual 34 m (112 ft) round granite tower was built in 1853 and its light reaches 17.5 nautical miles out to sea. A well-preserved 2-story keeper's house, a fog signal house and garage flank the unpainted dark gray stone tower. Approximately 60.000 visitors come to Lista Lighthouse all the year round, where the attractions include an information centre, a meteorological and an ornithological station, art exhibitions and small concerts. The tower is open daily over the Easter weekend and in June, July, and August.

Norway Post issued on April 17, 2009 a self-adhesive A-Priority Worldwide stamp featuring Kannesteinen, a rock found in of Vågsøy in Sogn og Fjordane county, Norway. The sea and the waves have been beating against this rock for thousands of years, skilfully sculpting it into its present shape. This 3-metre high rock is a very popular and easily accessible tourist attraction.

Friday, 27 August 2010

LIGHTHOUSE POSTCARD FROM USA

My friend Carl from Stevens Point, Wisconsin sent me a postcard of a Lake Michigan lighthouse located at the scenic Door Peninsula.
The Cana Island light is a lighthouse located on the 8.7-acre (35,000 m2) Cana Island (Lake Michigan) connected to the mainland by a low causeway, about 5 miles (8 km) northeast of Baileys Harbor, Wisconsin. First lit on the evening of January 24, 1870, the 81 ft (24.5 m) round white tower was built of brick, but in 1902, a steel cladding was added to the tower to protect it from storm and icy winter deterioration. There are 102 cast iron steps in the circular staircase leading to the watch room. The 1-1/2 story keeper's house is a museum open daily from May 8 to October 29.
The postcard brings a $ 0.44 First-class Mail International label.

LIGHTHOUSE POSTCARD FROM FRANCE

Belle-Île-en-Mer is a French island off the coast of Brittany (located about 13 km south of Quiberon) in the département of Morbihan, and the largest of Brittany's islands. The coasts are a mixture between dangerously sharp cliff edges on the southwest side, placid beaches and navigable harbours on the northeast side. Pointe des Poulains Lighthouse is located on a small islet just off the northwestern point of Belle-Île and was built in 1868. It is an 18 m (59 ft) square cylindrical masonry tower rising from the front of a 1-1/2 story stone keeper's house. The lighthouse was converted to solar power in 1999 and is an active aid to navigation: there are four lighthouses on the island.

The year 1960 saw independence sweep across much of Africa. Fourteen countries ceased to be French colonies: Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Congo, Cote d'Ivoire, Gabon, Madagascar, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Senegal, Chad and Togo. French Post marks the fiftieth anniversary of the independence issuing a stamp on July 15, 2010. The 0, 87 € stamp highlights the Franco-African relations (diplomatic, military, economic and cultural) and enhance the role and place of Africans in France. Thank you, Jean Pierre.

Thursday, 26 August 2010

LIGHTHOUSE POSTCARD FROM USA

Point Reyes is the windiest place on the Pacific Coast and the second foggiest place on the North American continent. Weeks of fog, especially during the summer months, frequently reduce visibility to hundreds of feet. The Point Reyes Headlands, which jut 10 miles out to sea, pose a threat to each ship entering or leaving San Francisco Bay. The historic Point Reyes Lighthouse warned mariners of danger for more than a hundred years. First lit on December 1, 1870 the lighthouse is located on the westernmost point of the Point Reyes peninsula, 19 miles (31 km) from the nearest town of Inverness, California. The 35 ft (10.5 m) 16-sided pyramidal cast iron tower is a twin of Cape Mendocino Light and is accessible by a short walkway (with 308 stone stairs) from the headland to the plateau. The Point Reyes Lighthouse was retired from service in 1975 when the U.S. Coast Guard installed an automated light. The Lighthouse Visitor Center offers exhibits and tours and seasonally, there are tours of the lantern room and evening lighting programs.


U.S. Post issued on June 21, 2007 the fourth series of U.S. lighthouse postage stamps featuring five lighthouses of the Pacific Coast. On the card two 41 cents lighthouses: Five Finger Lighthouse (Alaska) and St. George Reef Lighthouse (California). Thank you, Jan.

Monday, 23 August 2010

ENVELOPE AND POSTCARD FROM FRANCE

The French Post issued on June 6, 2009 a series of ten special Regional prepaid envelopes (enveloppes Prêt-à-Poster), celebrating the 65th anniversary of the day of the Normandy landings (D-Day) - initiating the Western Allied effort to liberate mainland Europe from Nazi occupation during World War II. The envelope shows a picture of the landing on Omaha Beach June 6, 1944.
 France's Département du Finistère occupies the rugged western end of the peninsula of Bretagne (Brittany). Its dangerous coastline is crowded with lighthouses, more than in any other region of France. This card sent by my friend Jean Pierre illustrates some of the southern Brittany lighthouses: Pen-Men lighthouse (l'île de Groix), Penfret lighthouse (îles Glénan), des Poulains lighthouse, (Belle-Île-en-Mer , Sauzon), Goulphar lighthouse (Belle-Île-en-Mer, Morbihan), Kerdonis lighthouse (Belle-Île-en-Mer, Locmaria), La Teignouse lighthouse (Quiberon), Grands Cardinaux lighthouse (île de Hoëdic).

Saturday, 21 August 2010

LIGHTHOUSE POSTCARD FROM USA

Thank you, Traci for the nice postcard.
Starting in the mid 1800's, Coos Bay had become an important shipping point on the west coast of the United States. Cape Arago light station located on Chief's Island was first illuminated on November 1, 1866. The wooden tower remained in service for nearly forty-four years. However, sailor's demands for a better light and the threat of erosion meant the end of the first tower, and in 1909, the second wooden tower was lit. Seeking a more durable structure, the actual 44 ft (13.5 m) octagonal cylindrical tower was constructed of concrete in 1934. The lighthouse was deactivated on New Year's Day 2006 and the only surviving structures on the island today are the lighthouse and the high bridge constructed in 1889 to provide access to the island. The Chief’s Islands are located just off the coast about 3 miles (5 km) west of Charleston, Oregon.
The U.S. Postal Service honored the artistic innovations and achievements of a group of artists who moved the United States to the forefront of the international art scene with the release of the Abstract Expressionists commemorative postage stamps on March 11, 2010. The vibrant stamp features “La Grand Vallée” an opulent work by Joan Mitchell, American expressionist painter (February 12, 1925 - October 30, 1992).
On April 22, 2010, US Postal Service issued a 44–cent, Love: Pansies in a Basket commemorative stamp. The stamp features the image of a white woven cart filled with deep and light purple pansies and green foliage. The word “LOVE” adorns the left side of the stamp.

COVER AND LIGHTHOUSE POSTCARDS FROM NORWAY

My Norwegian friend Gro sent me five postcards from her country and I chose two nice views from the Lindesnes lighthouse post here.
Norway Post issued on February 6th, 2007 a set of three stamps “Motorsport - Winter Rally” celebrating the first time a round of the World Rally Championships was held in Norway. Rally Norway took place in midwinter conditions (during three days in February), on 18 spectacular stages totaling 1128 kilometres through forest and mountain areas between Kongsvinger and Lillehammer. The stamp presents the Ford Focus driven by the Norwegian Thomas Schie.
The lighthouse of Lindesnes stands on the southernmost point of the mainland of Norway. The first lighthouse in Norway was established in Lindesness on February 27, 1656, consisting of 30 tallow candles in the upper floor of a three-floor tower. The light was closed after only a few months. Two coal fires, in open grates placed directly on the ground, were lit on Feb 1, 1725. In 1822, a new lighthouse was built with a light that was fueled by gas and thirty-two years later a new lighthouse equipped with a Fresnel lens was built. In 1915, the lens was moved to a white conical new white tower (height 53 meters), with a new engine room and a fog signal.

The lighthouse has been designated a national lighthouse museum, and hosts various exhibitions relating to the development and history of lighthouses, maritime culture, etc. The underground hall below the lighthouse houses a cinema, exhibitions and a café. The complex also comprises an information centre/shop, a restaurant and a gallery.

LIGHTHOUSE POSTCARD FROM USA

Biloxi Lighthouse is a 61 ft (18.5 m) white cast iron tower located in the median of Highway 90, at the foot of Porter Street in Biloxi, Mississippi. Built in 1848, it is the second-oldest cast iron lighthouse in the U.S. and became the last standing of the more than ten lighthouses originally built to mark the Mississippi coastline. The keeper's houses were destroyed by Hurricane Camille in 1969. Although the lighthouse survived the Hurricane Katrina, which caused so much devastation in Biloxi and the surrounding Gulf Coast in 2005, its interior brick lining was damaged and required extensive repair. On February 19, 2010, a rededication ceremony was held for a gleaming white Biloxi Lighthouse that had just undergone a $400,000 makeover, during which the tower was rewired, the interior brick lining was rebuilt, new exterior lighting was installed, and the decorative metal fence surrounding the base of the tower was restored.

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.
Thank you, Jeremy for the nice postcard.

Friday, 20 August 2010

LIGHTHOUSE POSTCARD FROM TAIWAN

The Modouyu lighthouse is situated on Modouyu Island, a tiny islet at the extreme northern end of the Penghu Islands, about 12 km (7.5 mi) north of Paisha. This historic tower built in 1902 is Taiwan's tallest lighthouse: the 40 m (131 ft) round cast iron tower is painted with black and white horizontal bands. Since the waters between Modouyu and Jibeiyu is a deep water abrasion platform, submerged reefs are everywhere, even where the water is less than 1m deep, hence the numerous accounts of shipwrecks. This area was once called the "Dangerous Penghu Bermuda Reef-striking Area ". The island does not have electricity and all electricity comes from the three generators to keep the lighthouse running. Modouyu tower is the only lighthouse that has a reservoir built inside it to store the rainfall.
On November 3rd, 2007 Taiwan Post issued a bird series of four definitive stamps featuring migratory birds found in different part of the island. The NT$12.00 stamp presents the Siberian Rubythroat (Luscinia calliope), a winter migratory bird (length of about 16 centimeters) which has a red throat edged with a narrow black and then a broad white border. It also has a strong white supercilium.
Thank you, my friend Yu-Jun.

Sunday, 15 August 2010

PREPAID ENVELOPE FROM FRANCE

This is a regional prepaid envelope issued on January 7, 2007 from the Series "Ports of Britain". This series consists of five rectangular envelopes pre-stamped with the stamp “La Pointe du Raz " (2003). The envelope shows a view of the port of Trinité sur Mer and the Pont de Kerisper (Kerisper bridge) which leads to Saint-Philibert. Thank you, Jean Pierre.

Saturday, 14 August 2010

LIGHTHOUSE POSTCARD FROM SWEDEN

Örskär is a Swedish island and lighthouse station located north of Gräsö on the Uppland coastline. Örskär is the second lighthouse to be built in Sweden and currently is a well-preserved light station. The first tower was constructed of wood in 1687, but was burned down in 1737. The present lighthouse was built in 1739 by the royal architect, Carl Hårleman, who also built the royal palace in Stockholm. The 33 m (108 ft) 2-stage stone tower is painted white with one black horizontal band on each stage. The lower stage is octagonal and the upper stage is round.

Swedish Post Office issued on May 13, 2010 a commemorative three-stamp miniature sheet celebrating the wedding of Victoria, Crown Princess of Sweden, and Daniel Westling. The wedding took place on 19 June 2010. More than 1200 guests including royalty and statesmen from various countries were invited to the wedding ceremony which took place at Stockholm Cathedral. Following their wedding the Duchess and Duke of Västergötland moved to Haga Palace. Thank you, Miriam for the beautiful postcard.

LIGHTHOUSE POSTCARD FROM USA

Tamara sent me a multiview postcard with nine lighthouses and one lightship from the state of Oregon.
The U.S. state of Oregon is located on the Pacific coast north of California. Almost all of its coastline is steep and scenic, and the lighthouses are generally built on spectacular headlands. Protected harbors are very scarce. In all, there are 12 lighthouses, two of them built privately. In addition, the lightship Columbia is preserved at Astoria.
The 5–cent definitive American Toleware stamp features a black toleware coffeepot decorated with red flowers; purple forget–me–nots; and yellow, green and orange leaves, from the Winterthur Museum in Delaware. Curators at Winterthur believe that it was manufactured in Philadelphia between 1850 and 1875.

The 44–cent special stamp “Celebrate!” issued on June 10, 2009 helps to acknowledge a host of happy occasions, from birthdays to engagements to anniversaries and more. When good times call for good wishes, this stamp will add a touch of cheer to special greeting cards and gift-bearing packages.
On April 22, 2010, US Postal Service issued a 44–cent, Love: Pansies in a Basket commemorative stamp. The stamp features the image of a white woven cart filled with deep and light purple pansies and green foliage. The word “LOVE” adorns the left side of the stamp.

LIGHTHOUSE POSTCARD FROM GERMANY

Today this tower is one of the best-known symbols of East Frisia. Thank you, Kamila for the card.
The Pilsum Lighthouse was built in 1891 in order to provide a beacon for the Emshörn channel on Germany's North Sea coast. It is located on a dyke near the village of Pilsum in the East Frisia region, state of Lower Saxony, Germany. The 11 m (36 ft) round cylindrical cast iron tower has guided ships through the narrow channel since 1915. In the First World War its light was extinguished in order that enemy ships could not navigate the route. Maintained between the World Wars as a daybeacon, the lighthouse was effectively abandoned at the start of World War II because the channel was changed. In 1973, the exterior was restored and painted with its present red and yellow horizontal bands pattern. In early 2005, after some previous restorations, the lighthouse was reactivated with a new 60 cm (24 in) lens: the light was displayed through a window at the top of the tower.
On July 2nd, 2009 German Post issued a 55 cent stamp celebrating the 600 years of uninterrupted teaching and research at University of Leipzig. Founded on December 2, 1409 by Frederick I, Universität Leipzig is one of the oldest universities in Europe and the second-oldest university in Germany.

In 2010, Germany celebrates the bicentenary of the Museum of Natural History in Berlin and a commemorative stamp issued on January 2nd, 2010 remembers the date. It one of the world's largest and most important museums of its kind. More than a half million people visit its exhibitions per year, which focus the history of the earth and life, the diversity of life and meteorite research. The 0, 45 € stamp features the 14 meters high dinosaur skeleton and items of the zoological collection.

Friday, 13 August 2010

LIGHTHOUSE POSTCARD FROM NORTHERN IRELAND

Thank you, Crys for the nice view of this Irish light.
Blackhead Lighthouse is located atop a spectacular vertical cliff on a sharp headland at the northern entrance to Belfast Lough, about 4 km (2.5 mi) north of White Head, Northern Ireland. This magnificent tower is a proud example of Ireland's maritime heritage and was built in 1902, in the glory days of Belfast's shipping. The 15.5 m (51 ft) octagonal cylindrical granite tower is attached by a covered walkway to 2-story keeper's house. Additional keeper's houses and other buildings are available for vacation rental. The lighthouse was automated in 1979 and remains as impressive and powerful a navigation aid as ever.
On May 13th, 2010 Royal Mail issued a set of twelve stamps called “Britain Alone “dedicated to all British people who stood proud and defiant against the Axis powers in the dark days of 1940. The 67p stamp is a tribute to the Air Raid Wardens: a volunteer responsible for air raid safety sets the ‘black out clock’ ready for ‘Lights Out’. Air raid wardens or air-raid wardens had the task of patrolling the streets during blackout, to ensure that no light was visible. Other duties included helping to police areas suffering bomb damage and helping the householders. ARP wardens were trained in fire-fighting and first aid, and could keep an emergency situation under control until official help arrived.

Tuesday, 10 August 2010

COVER AND LIGHTHOUSE POSTCARD FROM JAPAN

My friend Kayoko sent me my first Japanese lighthouse postcard inside of a nice cover.
On April 1st, 2010 Japan Post issued a miniature sheet named “festival of our hometown” and presents the festival Suwataisya Onbasira Sai. The 50 yen stamp depicts a Suwataisya shrine in Nagano prefecture.
The Anime Hero/Heroine Series postage stamps were launched in 2005 with the first installment featuring Pokémon. Fullmetal Alchemist is the 13th in the series, released on June 14, 2010 by Japan Postal Service. Fullmetal Alchemist is a Japanese manga series written and illustrated by Hiromu Arakawa which in 2003 was turned into a TV anime series. The miniature sheet includes 10 stamp designs, each one with a face value of 80 yen. The stamp on the envelope presents the character Edward Elric.

In Japanese, the word for a lighthouse is tōdai or toudai. This 14 m (46 ft) octagonal cylindrical steel tower is located at the harbour of Takamatsu, Shikoku island, Japan. The red lighthouse located at the end of a 500 m (1650 ft) pier has a nickname; the Seto Marker. It is the world's first lighthouse made of glass bricks. The entire lighthouse shines red when it gets dark: the glass tiles light in unison with the main light in the lantern.