Saturday, 30 April 2011

LIGHTHOUSE POSTCARD FROM USA

Near the border between North Carolina and Virginia coasts, the mighty Gulf Stream sweeps in close to the mainland. To avoid fighting its powerful current, captains steered their ships perilously close to land. To warn mariners to keep safe distance, US Lighthouse Board first lit on December 1, 1875 the Currituck Beach Lighthouse filling the remaining "dark space" on the North Carolina coast between the Cape Henry Lighthouse to the north and Bodie Island to the south. The light is located on the Outer Banks in Corolla, North Carolina and was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1973.
 The 162 ft (49 m) unpainted round red brick tower still holds the original first-order Fresnel lens and the Victorian style wood keeper´s house is under a complete three decades restoration process. A smaller dwelling on the north side of the light (probably the residence for a third keeper and his family) was restored and serves as visitor center and a museum shop. The lighthouse was automated in 1939. Visitors can climb the tower’s 214 steps during warm-weather months (from Easter through Thanksgiving). Winter months provide time for restoration and maintenance.
US Postal Service introduced its Celebrating Lunar New Year series in 2008 and in 2011 issued the fourth stamp on January, 22nd. The 44-cent stamp celebrates the Year of the Rabbit which begins on February 3, 2011 and ends on January 22, 2012. It depicts kumquats, which are eaten for luck and given as special gifts, a design of a rabbit and the Chinese character for "Rabbit."

The 2009 US Christmas stamp remembers a Christian image featuring Madonna and Sleeping Child, a painting by Italian artist Giovanni Battista Salvi, more commonly known as Sassoferrato. The 44-cent stamp was issued on October 20, 2009.

The 5¢ George Washington stamp was issued on February 22, 1966 as part of a large “Prominent Americans Series”, collection of 25 stamps that honored important individuals who played important roles in U.S. history. Thank you, Sarah and Aaron!

LIGHTHOUSE POSTCARD FROM GERMANY

 
The Roter Sand Lighthouse is located in the North Sea off the entrance to the Weser, about 10 km east of Wangerooge, Germany. This is one of the world's great waveswept lighthouses and the construction of the tower posed enormous difficulties; the first attempt failed when a storm overturned the incomplete caisson in October 1881. The 28 m (92 ft) round cast iron, brick lined tower painted with red and white horizontal bands was inaugurated in 1885. The light was downgraded in 1964, when Alte Weser took over its function as the landfall light for Bremerhaven and the light was finally deactivated in 1986. Since 1999, after a large restoration, the tower has been open for day tours and overnight stays.
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.
On November 11, 2010 the Deutsche Post issued a 0, 55 € commemorative stamp to highlight the Alpine World Ski Championships that took place in Garmisch-Partenkirchen from February 7 to February 20, 2011. The city previously hosted the same competition in 1978. The stamp shows a beautiful image of a ski racer competing in giant slalom. Thank you, Sabine.

Friday, 22 April 2011

COVER AND LIGHTHOUSE POSTCARDS FROM CROATIA

 Croatia issued on November 27th, 2006 two self-adhesive Christmas stamps depicting an altar stone screen “Nativity” from the parish church of St. Stephen in Luka Šipanska, painted in the 15th century by the Venetian painter Pantaleone.

The Croatian 2009 Europa stamp was issued on May 9th, 2009 presenting a beautiful se-tenant on Astronomy thematic. It was chosen images of parts of the Universe taken by the Hubble Telescope.
Murter and Kornati archipelago in Croatia consists of 189 islands, cliffs, reefs and rocks and it is one of the most beautiful areas on the Adriatic Sea. The islet of Prisnjak is only some 300 m from the western coast of the island of Murter. In 1886, a lighthouse was built on the islet in order to make it easier for captains to navigate in the Murter archipelago. It consists of a 15 m (49 ft) octagonal white stone tower and a ground floor stone keeper's house with a red tile roof. The house is available for vacation rental. The electricity is supplied from 220 V AC solar modules, while water is supplied from a cistern. The lighthouse has a system for water heating based on solar modules. It is automated and included into remote control system.
Thank you, Josip.

Thursday, 21 April 2011

LIGHTHOUSE POSTCARD FROM USA

My friend Bella sent a beautiful Florida postcard to my collection. On the envelope, the 98–cent definitive stamp issued on June 28, 2009, in the Scenic American Landscapes series, featuring a view of the Snake River at dawn in the Grand Teton National Park. Thank you, Bella.
The St. Marks Light is the second oldest light station in Florida, located on the east side of the mouth of the St. Marks River, on Apalachee Bay. The first lighthouse was built in 1831, but erosion forced the tower to be rebuilt with double walls in its present location in 1842. The 73 ft (22 m) white brick tower is attached to a 1-story brick keeper's house and rests on a 12 foot thick limestone base.  Eighty-five steps spiral up the brick tower to the lantern room, the first seventy-two are wood and the last thirteen are iron. The lantern room still contains the Fresnel lens installed in 1867, but its light was extinguished in 2000 and replaced by a modern solar powered light. The lighthouse is within the St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge, about 25 miles south of Tallahassee along the Gulf Coast of Florida.

Wednesday, 20 April 2011

2011 - STAMPS OF BRAZIL - 06

Brazilian Post issued on April 8th, 2011 the first stamp of the series “Brazilian Historical Cities” celebrating the 300th anniversary of the city of Mariana. In 1696, the news that gold had been found in the region of minas, today State of Minas Gerais, quickly spread in Brazil and reached Portugal. Thousands of people rushed to the region in search of wealth and then emerged the village of Nossa Senhora do Carmo.

The initial landmark of Mariana is the year 1711, when, on April 8, Dom João V, King of Portugal raised the village to the category of a town. Following orders from Portugal, an administrative and judiciary framework was set up in the town on July 4, 1711 and in a short time the town became the main trade and education center of the state of Minas Gerais. The town became the converging point of the gold mining movement and a prosperous urban center. In 1745, the town of Nossa Senhora do Carmo was raised to the category of a city called Mariana as a tribute to Queen Maria Ana D’Austria, Dom João’s wife. Mariana became the first capital of Minas Gerais.
On its lower left corner, the stamp portrays the Saint Francis of Assisi church, which was built between 1762 and 1794, and the Our Lady of Carmo church, which began to be built in 1783 and whose construction finished in the following century. Located in the Minas Gerais square, these two churches seem to talk to each other. At the center of the stamp, one can see the Maria Fumaça locomotive, which connects Mariana to Ouro Preto and the pillory, full of elements: a globe (Portuguese maritime conquests), a scale (justice), a sword (conviction) and the Portuguese coat of arms. On the lower right corner, one can see the Chamber House and Jail built in the second half of the 18th century, which have preserved the features and history of a period marked by wealth and power.

Monday, 18 April 2011

LIGHTHOUSE POSTCARD FROM RUSSIA

Tanya from Belarus sent me this postcard to my lighthouse collection. This beautiful sunset image shows the lighthouse located on the breakwater of the harbor at Sochi, Russia.  The 16 m (52 ft) round masonry tower (painted red with one white horizontal band) stands at the mouth of Sochi River, exactly where its muddy water enters the Black Sea.
On June 10th, 2008 Belarus Postal Administration issued two definitive stamp series: five fauna stamps and eight flower stamps. On the postcard we can see two mammals: the 300 BYR hare (Lepus europaeus) and the 400 BYR wolf (Canis lupus).
The garden flowers depicted on the stamps are the 30 BYR petunia (Petunia hybrida) and the 50BYR narcissus (Narcissus hybridus).

Friday, 8 April 2011

2011 - STAMPS OF BRAZIL - 05

The Brazilian Post issued on April 2nd, 2011 a postage stamp to commemorate the centenary of Guarani Football Club. This is yet another club to be celebrated as part of the Series: Football Clubs - The Road to the 2014 World Cup. Guarani Football Club was founded in the city of Campinas, in the state of São Paulo, on April 2, 1911.  As the years went by, Guarani Football Club became the most important professional football club in all Brazil that was not seated in a state capital. Guarani was the first club from the countryside of Brazil to win the National Brazilian Championship in 1978. The club’s nickname is “Bugre” (a popular term for an indigenous Brazilian); and its mascot is an indigenous person.
In the foreground, the stamp shows the logo used to commemorate the centenary of Guarani Football Club, with a design that is based on the Club’s official emblem with the addition of a golden outline, the centenary year and a golden pennant containing the words 100 years. In the background, there is a representation of the moment that Guarani won the Brazilian Professional Football Championship in 1978, which took place in Guarani’s home ground the club’s important victories: the gold star represents the 1978 Brazilian Championship, and the silver star represents the Silver Cup (Second Division Championship) which it won in 1981. Green is used as this is the club’s color.

LIGHTHOUSE POSTCARD FROM NORWAY

The Eigerøy Lighthouse was erected in 1853-54 and first lit on November 16, 1854. It is Norway's first cast-iron light tower, prefabricated at Baerums Verk steel-works, and stands on an island, about 12 km (7.5 mi) west of Egersund. Cast iron towers proved eminently suitable for Norwegian weather and maritime conditions. The 33 m (108 ft) round cast iron tower is attached to a 2-story service building and painted red with one white horizontal band. At the top of the tower is still the great first-order lens from 1897. Automated in 1989, Eigerøy is fully operational and is open to visitors who have access to the lamp room after climbing 134 steps. The lighthouse is excellent for a day trip, by car or by boat and is open on Sundays during the summer.
Norway Post issued on April 17, 2009 its famous year’s tourist stamps, depicting natural phenomena and engineering skills in a set of six stamps named “National Tourist Routes”. On the postcard, we can see the Pot Rock (Kannesteinen) on Vågsøy Island: a beautiful and unique natural rock formation located on the farm of Nord-Oppedal and definitely one of the major tourist attractions in this area.

Sunday, 3 April 2011

LIGHTHOUSE POSTCARD FROM ESTONIA

Vormsi Island is Estonia’s fourth largest island. The island is located in northwestern Estonia at the Gulf of Finland and was historically inhabited by coastal Swedes. This is the reason for many of the place names end in "by" which is the Scandinavian word for town. Located about 2 km (1.2 mi) west of the town of Saxby, the 24 m (79 ft) round cast iron tower was built in 1871.

Estonia is a small country in the Baltic region of Northern Europe and has more than 100 lighthouses along its coastline. It is a paradise for lighthouse (tuletorn in Estonian) collectors like me because Eesti Post issues annually a lighthouse stamp since 1995.
Estonia issued on September 25th, 1996 a 2.50 Kr stamp celebrating the 125th Anniversary of Vaindloo Lighthouse. The 17 m (56 ft) round cast iron tower is located on the Vaindloo Island in the northernmost point of Estonia, situated sixteen miles north of the mainland. The stamp shows at its background a map with the lighthouse location. The light stamp issued on April 22, 2010 depicts the pyramidal wooden Suurupi Front Lighthouse, a well-known historic landmark that survived 150 years about 20 km west of the capital Tallinn.