Sunday, 13 March 2011


France issued two beautiful Europa stamps on May 2nd, 1994 as part of the common European theme “Great discoveries”. The 2,80F multicolored stamp remembers the discovery of HIV virus by the group of scientists and doctors, headed by Luc Montagnier at the Pasteur Institute in Paris in 1983. In 2008, the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine was awarded to Montagnier for the discovery of HIV.
Marianne is one of the most prominent symbols of the French Republique, represents France as a state and its values of Liberty and Reason. On the cover there is a dark grayish brown Marianne stamp (face value 0, 05 €) issued on July 1st, 2008.

Also known as the Grand Phare, Ras el Tin Lighthouse was constructed in 1842 by the engineer Mohamed Mazhar Pasha, and was first lit in 1848. The 55 m (180 ft) round cylindrical stone tower is located at the tip of the Ras El Tin peninsula and marks the entrance to the western harbor of Alexandria. This early photo shows a tower built with exposed stones which, during the renovation of 1919, was plastered and painted in horizontal black and white stripes. In 1954 it was converted to electricity and in 2000 an elevator was installed to reach the lantern room.  The lighthouse is located within the headquarters of Egyptian Navy as well as the presidential palace of Ras el Tin, which are restricted areas accessed only by a special security permission.

Alexandria is famous for its legendary great lighthouse The Pharos, one of the seven wonders of the ancient world. The lighthouse stood on the small Pharos Island for almost 13 centuries. There are six lighthouses still existing in Alexandria.

Jean Pierre sent me this photographic print of the lighthouse at Port Said, Egypt. This is the tallest lighthouse in Africa, built in 1886 by the French architect François Coignet, who used reinforced concrete at the 59 m (194 ft) octagonal tower. It is located in downtown Port Sa'id, on the west side of the entrance to the Suez Canal. Nothing of original Port Said remains except for the lighthouse pushed to the interior of the city and rendered useless through the gradual silting of the port.  Inactive since 1997 the lighthouse of Port Said has been officially registered as a monument in January 2011.

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