Friday, 2 December 2011

LIGHTHOUSE POSTCARD FROM FRANCE

For lighthouse enthusiasts like me, Brittany (Bretagne) is the paradise! The peninsula situated in the northwest of France, alongside the Atlantic Ocean has a rugged coastline, granite cliffs, dunes, white sandy beaches and numerous islands. All these natural landscapes are home of historic and wonderful lighthouses.
On the postcard four beautiful lighthouses of the Finistère Department: the black and white Phare du Créac'h at the northwestern tip of the Île d'Ouessant; the round stone Phare du Four located on a rock near Argenton; the red and white Phare des Pierres-Noires on an islet southeast of Île Molène; the square granite Phare de la Vieille on the rock of Gorlebella, in the strait Raz de Sein.
 On June 8, 2001 France issued a commemorative stamp (face value 3 FRF 0,46 €) paying homage to the remarkable Jean Vilar, theatre playwright and actor, thirty years after his death. Vilar created in 1947 the Avignon theatre festival, the famous annual festival known as one of the world's greatest art festivals. The portrait of Vilar is placed in front of the facade of the large medieval Gothic Palais des Papes in Avignon.
Since 1938, the French Federation of Philatelic Associations holds an annual philatelic event called Journée du timbre (Stamp Day) that takes place in many cities in a weekend in February or March. The event  was renamed Fête du Timbre (Stamp Festival) in 2000 and attracts stamp collectors searching the specific stamp issued on this occasion.
Cartoon characters and comics heroes were chosen as main subject from 1999 to 2009 to attract a young audience to stamp collecting. The 2001 stamp presents Gaston Lagaffe, the lazy office junior created in 1957 in the comic magazine Spirou. Gaston is very fond of animals and keeps several pets. On the 3 FRF stamp issued on January 26 Gaston appears accompanied by his hyperactive cat.

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