Monday, 25 July 2011

2011 - STAMPS OF BRAZIL - 13

The historical city of Ouro Preto celebrated its 300th anniversary on the last July 8th and our Post Office released on this day a commemorative stamp, the second issue of the Historical Cities series in 2011. Originally called Vila Rica, this city owes its origins to the discovery and exploitation of the gold and played a leading role in Brazil's history in the 18th century.
On July 8, 1711, Dom João V, King of Portugal created Vila Rica, merging all the villages located in the region of the Velhas River, at the foot of the monumental Itacolomi Peak. The tremendous wealth from gold mining brought a rapid growth of the city: Ouro Preto features the most authentic and homogeneous monuments of typical Baroque art of the colonial period in the Americas. In the closing years of the 18th century it became a centre of the movement for the emancipation of Brazil from the Portuguese colonial rule known as Inconfidência Mineira. Ouro Preto was declared a World Cultural Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1980.
Gold production in Ouro Preto in the 18th century is portrayed on the right-hand corner of the stamp. It shows a gold pan, the main tool used by miners for extracting gold from sediment, gold bars, gold dust kept in bags, and gold coins. In the background, one can see a group of houses with their roofs, with the Carmo church in the foreground. Above, against a blue background, one can see the imposing silhouette of the Itacolomi Peak, which in the past was used as a landmark by the first explorers. At the center, one can see the statue of Joaquim José da Silva Xavier – leading member of the  revolutionary movement for the emancipation of Brazil known as the Inconfidência Mineira.  On lower right-hand corner, one can see the Council Chamber and Prison building, built between 1784 and 1846, today, it hosts the Inconfidência Museum, with its rich and diversified collection.

Sunday, 24 July 2011

LIGHTHOUSE POSTCARD FROM USA

Located in the heart of Florida's Gold Coast the city of Pompano Beach houses the beautiful Hillsboro Inlet Lighthouse, on the north side of Hillsboro Inlet. The light marks the northern limit of the Florida Reef, an underwater coral formation on the lower east coast of the state.
 The pyramidal tower was built at Russel Wheel & Foundry Co in Detroit, Michigan, and was shipped via Lake Erie, Lake Michigan, Illinois and Mississippi River, to the Gulf of Mexico on a 4,000 nautical-mile trip. The 137 ft (42 m) octagonal pyramidal skeletal tower with a central cylinder was assembled and erected in 1906 and first lit on March 7, 1907. Electrified in 1932 and fully automated in 1974, the lighthouse is considered one of the most powerful lights in the world with a beam that can be seen 28 miles (45 km). The nine-foot diameter Fresnel Lens stopped rotating due to a failure of the electric drive mechanism in 1992. After hard work and expensive repairs the original 2nd order Fresnel lens was relit on August 18, 2000.
The American author and humorist Mark Twain is honored in the Literary Arts stamp series on a $0.44 stamp released on June 25, 2011. Twain (1835-1910) is most noted for his novels, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer (1876), and its sequel, Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (1885), the latter often called "the Great American Novel." The stamp shows Twain as an older man; the steamboat in the background evokes a way of life along the Mississippi River that played a huge role in many of Twain's works, as well as in his own life.

On February 10, 2011 U.S. Postal Service issued a commemorative stamp recognizing the centennial of the birth of Ronald Reagan (1911-2004), America's 40th President. The $0.44 stamp is part of a three-stamp series dedicated to honor three stars of the American cinema: Reagan, Gregory Peck and Helen Hayes.

On April 11, 2011 the US Postal Service issued a 20-cent definitive stamp featuring a portrait of George Washington, first president of the United States. Thank you, Jean Pierre.

Saturday, 23 July 2011

2011 - STAMPS OF BRAZIL - 12

The Brazilian Postal Administration issued on July 6th, 2011 a souvenir sheet paying homage to the Tijuca National Park, a mountainous fragment of the Atlantic Rainforest biome in the city of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. It is the world's largest urban forest, covering some 32 km² (12.4 mi²) and is currently the most visited national park in Brazil, with over two million visitors a year.
Created on July 6, 1961, the park situated in the heart of a metropolis with a population of about six million people, provides many environmental services such as maintenance of water sources, erosion control, flood alleviation, mitigation of thermal variations, local climate regulation and reduction of pollution.
The souvenir sheet highlights typical fauna and flora species of the park: the violet-capped woodnymph (Thalurania glaucopis), the green-headed Tanager (Tangara seledon), the hairy dwarf porcupine (Coendou insidiosus) and the orchid Hadrolaelia lobata, which is the symbol of the Tijuca National Park, an endemic species threatened by extinction. On the upper left corner, one can see the logo of the International Year of Forests and the logo of the World Philatelic Exhibition “Brasiliana 2013” can be seen on the right.

Friday, 22 July 2011

LIGHTHOUSE POSTCARD FROM GERMANY

Warnemünde (means Warnow mouth) is a sea resort and city situated on the Baltic Sea in the northeast of Germany at the estuary of the river Warnow. The city is a centre of maritime traffic and is known for its historic lighthouse located in a public square near the west bank of the river.
The postcard shows the 12 m (40 ft) round metal tower built in 1998 and painted red with a white horizontal band between the galleries. This lighthouse is located on the east mole at the entrance to the river Warnow. There is a similar green lighthouse on the west mole and both are locally known as Die Zwillinge (the twins).
Germany released on February 3, 2011 a joint issue celebrating 150 years of German - Japan friendship depicting UNESCO World Heritage sites in both countries. Germany issued two stamps and Japan a souvenir sheet with ten stamps. The 0, 75€ German stamp presents the landmark of Regensburg, the Cathedral of St. Peter, the main and the greatest Gothic cathedral in Bavaria. Although the building works started as early as 1260, it was only finished in the 19th century. Thanks a lot, Renate.

LIGHTHOUSE POSTCARD FROM FRANCE

The French port of Sète was built by Colbert in 1666, as the Mediterranean entrance of the Canal du Midi. The Môle Saint Louis, built in 1669, is the historic breakwater mole sheltering the port and the canal entrance.  The first light station in Sète was constructed by Vauban in 1684. The original tower was rebuilt a few years later when the mole was extended; that tower served until a taller lighthouse was built in February 1861. The present lighthouse is a copy of the 1861 lighthouse, which was destroyed on August 19, 1944 during World War II. The 31 m (101 ft) round white masonry tower is located at the end of the mole.
 The International Year of Chemistry 2011 is a worldwide celebration of the achievements of chemistry and its contributions to the well-being of humankind. Under the unifying theme “Chemistry—our life, our future,” it aims to raise awareness of chemistry among the general public and to attract young people into the field, as well as to highlight the role of chemistry in solving global problems.
The year 2011 will coincide with the 100th anniversary of the Nobel Prize awarded to Madame Marie Curie, the Polish–French physicist–chemist famous for her pioneering research on radioactivity.

Curie was the first woman to be awarded a Nobel Prize (Physics 1903) and the first person honored with two Nobel Prizes (Chemistry 1911). The official launch ceremony of the IYC 2011 took place on 27–28 January in Paris at the headquarters of the United Nations Educational Scientific & Cultural Organization (UNESCO). The French Post issued on January 28, 2011 a beautiful 0, 87 € stamp celebrating Madame Curie and the Year of Chemistry.

Friday, 8 July 2011

2011 - STAMPS OF BRAZIL - 11

In partnership with the United Nations Organization, the International Network for the Prevention of Elder Abuse - INPEA - declared June 15 as World Elder Abuse Awareness Day. Every year, this date is marked by events held all over the world for the purpose of mobilizing and sensitizing society to the need to address the issue of elder abuse. This year, Brazilian Post Office takes another step to prevent elder abuse issuing a commemorative stamp on June 15th.
To symbolize protection, solidarity and respect for the elderly, the stamp depicts an elderly couple under an umbrella emblazoned with the words love, respect, dignity and care, which are indispensable to raise awareness against violence to that class of people. Above the protective umbrella are the words assault, indifference, disrespect and violence, represented in the form of water droplets, which are repelled and thus do not reach the elderly who are protected from the storms of actions that hinder their happiness, integrity and quality of life.

COVER AND LIGHTHOUSE POSTCARD FROM NETHERLANDS

The 2008 Dutch Christmas stamps present a different design of those traditional images associated with Christmas and New Year. Issued on November 18, the 10 self-adhesive stamps show a city view from above compounding an original mosaic of buildings and people. On the streets parents have their child in each hand; people talk to each other and wish each other happy new year. Christmas symbols like the bell, the fire, the tree and the candle are represented at the buildings and the city is also decorated with monumental Christmas cards and envelopes. The face value of stamps and other lettering are displayed on the pavement of the streets and are thus part of the illustration.
The port of Den Helder lies at the northern tip of Western Friesland, between the Waddenzee and the open North Sea, opposite the island of Texel. Den Helder is known as a naval town - which is not surprising, considering it is home to the country's main naval base, the Royal Netherlands Naval College and the Dutch Navy Museum.
Huisduinen is a village located just 2 km west of Den Helder where is located the tallest cast iron lighthouse in Europe: the 63.5 m (208 ft) 17-floor red tower Lange Jaap (“Long John”), first lit on April 1st, 1878. The 18 m (59 ft) square brick building on the postcard is a 5-story channel traffic control tower located about 600m (0, 4 mile) far from the Lange Jaap.

COVER FROM GERMANY

Built in 1886/87 to serve as a leading light to ships through the Wurster arm of the Weser estuary, Obereversand Lighthouse was decommissioned in 1923 due to the River Weser became more and more silted. By the 1990s, the foundation of the tower was undermined and in danger of collapse. In 1999, a preservation society was formed to work with the national park service for relocation and restoration of the lighthouse. In early 2003, the lighthouse was ingeniously lifted off its foundations and barged to the harbor of Dorum, where it was installed on a new foundation just offshore and fully restored.
The 34 m (112 ft) square cast iron tower is mounted on a square skeletal foundation with an external stairway providing access to the gallery and lantern room. The lighthouse was relit on August 14, 2004 and is a touristic attraction on the waterfront at Dorum.

Germany released on February 3, 2011 a joint issue celebrating 150 years of German - Japan friendship depicting UNESCO World Heritage sites in both countries. Germany issued two stamps and Japan a souvenir sheet with ten stamps. The 0, 75€ stamp presents the landmark of Regensburg, the Cathedral of St. Peter, the main and the greatest Gothic cathedral in Bavaria. Although the building works started as early as 1260, it was only finished in the 19th century.

Friday, 1 July 2011

COVER AND LIGHTHOUSE POSTCARD FROM GREECE

 Athos is a small and narrow mountainous peninsula in the Greek region of Macedonia, where lies Mount Athos with its steep and densely forested slopes reaching up to 2,033 meters. A World Heritage Site, it is home of twenty Eastern Orthodox monasteries (which are presently inhabited by some 1,400 monks) and forms a self-governed monastic state within the sovereignty of the Hellenic Republic. It is also known as Agion Oros in Greek (meaning Holy Mountain in English).
Since 2008, the Hellenic Postal Service issues stamps for postal use only at the two post offices of Mount Athos. The first set of five stamps was issued on the 16th of May 2008 and was followed by several others in 2008 and 2009. Since May 2008, the Mount Athos Monastic Community started issuing its own stamps and that year released five sets of five stamps depicting the Athonian monasteries. The 2, 42€ stamp shows the Holy Monastery of Konstamonitou issued on November 7, 2008.
Chania is the second largest city of Crete and lies along the north coast of the Greek island. In 1212 A.D. the Venetians conquered Crete. Then they decided to build a new city on the remains of ancient Kydonia. They built the port and a lighthouse was established around 1570.

In 1830 England handed Crete over to Egypt. The 26 m (85 ft) round cylindrical stone tower was built by the Egyptians in 1864, at the end of the breakwater mole on the east side of the entrance to the harbor. Its magnificent cylindrical shape with unpainted white stones remembers a minaret with an internal stairway that leads to a balcony with a glass tower. In 2006 a thorough restoration was carried out and the lighthouse is a landmark at this charming historical city.