Sunday, 24 June 2012

LIGHTHOUSE POSTCARD FROM FRANCE

The French Mediterranean city of Sète is located in the in the Hérault department, in the Languedoc-Roussillon region, in southern France. The 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. In February 1861, a taller lighthouse was built in the breakwater and guided ships until August 19, 1944 when it was destroyed during World War II. The present 31m (101 ft) round masonry tower with lantern painted red was built in 1948. It is a copy of the 1861 lighthouse and can be seen in the foreground of the postcard.
Another lighthouse can be seen on the hill in the background: it is the Mont Saint-Clair Lighthouse, a 23 m (75 ft) octagonal masonry tower with a lantern painted green. Built by the engineer Hermann-Guiche during three years, the lighthouse was first lit on April 23, 1903. The lantern is located at 93 m (305 ft) above sea level and its light reaches 29 nautical miles. 
The French Post issued on November 7, 2011 an art souvenir sheet celebrating the 150th anniversary of the birth of French sculptors Antoine Bourdelle (1861-1929) and Aristide Maillol (1861-1944). The philatelic piece presents two stamps reproducing two of their works: the 0,89 € “Centaure Mourant” by Bourdelle and the 1,45 € “Les Trois Nymphes” by Maillol. The “Dying Centaur” is a bronze sculpture from 1914 exposed in the garden of the Bourdelle Museum in Paris.
Born in Montauban in 1861, Émile Antoine Bourdelle entered the prestigious Ecole des Beaux-Arts de Paris in 1884. He became Rodin’s assistant and went on to teach many prominent artists such as Giacometti and Maillol. He was one of the pioneers of 20th century monumental sculpture and gained international success for his work Hercules the Archer. Bourdelle died at Le Vésinet, near Paris, on October 1, 1929 and was interred in the Cimetière du Montparnasse, Paris, France.

Saturday, 23 June 2012

LIGHTHOUSE POSTCARD AND COVER FROM GERMANY

The Amrum lighthouse is located in the southern part of the German island of Amrum, North Sea coast, very close to the Danish borderline (54°37′52.24″N 8°21′16.91″E). Built on a high dune, the red/white tower is 41.8 meters tall and its light reaches about 23.3 nautical miles. Constructions were taken up in 1873 and finished in November 1874. The Amrum Lighthouse was officially activated on January 1, 1875 and was the first German lighthouse to be erected in Nordfriesland. In 1936, the lantern was electrified and the tower got its red-white painting only in 1952, before that it was brown. The last keeper left the lighthouse in 1984 when it had become automated.
Germany has issued a set of lighthouse stamps depicting the diversity of German Leuchttürme since 2004. The envelope presents two lighthouses of the northeastern Baltic coast in the state of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern. The Greifswalder Oie Lighthouse is located on the small and tiny island of the same name and was first lit on October 1, 1855. The 39 m (128 ft) octagonal red brick tower and its 2-story square keeper's house illustrate the stamp issued on July 8, 2004.
Warnemünde Lighthouse is situated in a public square in downtown Warnemünde, on the estuary of the Warnow River. The 31 m (102 ft) round gray brick tower was first lit on October 18, 1898 and it can be climbed by tourists nowadays. The 45¢ stamp was released on July 3, 2008.