Friday, 28 December 2012

COVER AND LIGHTHOUSE POSTCARD FROM CANADA

The Queen Charlotte Islands (now known officially by the native name Haida Gwaii) lie off the northern coast of British Columbia, separated from Alaska to the north by the broad Dixon Entrance and from the British Columbia mainland to the east by Hecate Strait. Langara Island is the northernmost Island of the archipelago located approximately 45 km (28 mi) south of Alaska. 
The Langara Point Lighthouse was built in 1913 and is located atop a scenic bluff on the northwest corner of Langara Island (54° 15' 23" N, 133° 3' 29" W). The 7.5 m (25 ft.) hexagonal concrete 6-ribbed tower is a manned lighthouse and the original light, still in use today, is a first-order Fresnel lens (the only one of its size still in service in Canada).  The station is actively involved in numerous scientific projects for the World Meteorological Organization (W.M.O), the Canadian Wildlife Service, the Vancouver Public Aquarium, as well as water sampling and tsunami warning for the Institute of Ocean Sciences (I.O.S). Provides marine and aviation weather as well as seismograph service. This station's remote location makes it particularly important for Search and Rescue and communications.
Celebrating the Lunar New Year, the Canada Post issued a self-adhesive stamp on January 10, 2012 featuring a dragon, the fifth of 12 animals associated with the Chinese lunar calendar. The $1.80 (international rate) stamp is illustrated with the head of a roaring golden dragon and a Chinese graphic element representing the water.
The Canada Post issued on October 15, 2012 a set of three self-adhesive Christmas stamp s featuring Christmas cookies. The $1.80 value features a snowflake-shaped cookie, decorated with creamy sweet icing and a festive green ribbon.
A $1.80 stamp was released by Canada on April 5, 2012 to commemorate 100 years since the tragic sinking of RMS Titanic.  Titanic sank in the North Atlantic Ocean on 15 April 1912 after colliding with an iceberg during her maiden voyage from Southampton, UK to New York City. The stamp shows a full-color side illustration of the Titanic, at that time, the largest passenger steamship in the world. Marked on the map behind the ship are Southampton (England), Cape Race (Newfoundland) and Halifax (Nova Scotia)—all prominent locations in Titanic's story. Near the base of the stamp appears the house flag of the White Star Line (Titanic's owners).

Tuesday, 25 December 2012

LIGHTHOUSE POSTCARD FROM TAIWAN

The Matsu archipelago contains 19 islands located in the Taiwan Strait, far closer to China's southern coast than to Taiwan. Still, they are part of Taiwan politically. Matsu's geographical placement has necessarily made it a place first and foremost dedicated to military affairs, specifically defense of Taiwan from the People's Republic of China. Outside the military bases, Matsu is open to tourism.
Dongju (Dongjyu) Islet is 2.63 square kilometers and is at the southernmost end of the Matsu archipelago. Here it is the Dongjyu Lighthouse:  the 19.5 m (64 ft) round cylindrical granite tower constructed during the Ching Dinasty by English engineers. The lighthouse was first lit on August 8, 1872 and is located atop a hill on the northeastern point of the island.
Taiwan Postal Administration first issued a set of definitive lighthouse stamps in 1989, and released the second series in 1991. On July 28, 2010 four light stamps were issued and the postcard shows two of them: the NT$5 Wenkan Tui Lighthouse and the NT$10 Paisha Chia Lighthouse.

Wednesday, 19 December 2012

COVER AND LIGHTHOUSE POSTCARD FROM GERMANY

Heligoland is a small German archipelago in the south-eastern corner of the North Sea, 46 kilometers (29 mi) off the German coastline, consisting of two islands:  Hauptinsel (main island) and the Düne.  In 1811, when Heligoland was under British rule, the first lighthouse on the island had been built by Trinity House. The construction of the new lighthouse had been ordered by the Prussian administration in 1902. This lighthouse was in service from 1902 until April 18, 1945, when the tower was destroyed by the Royal Air Force during a bombing raid.
The present lighthouse was actually built in 1941 as an antiaircraft observation tower; somehow it escaped the bombing and survived to be converted into a lighthouse in 1952. The 35 m (115 ft.) square 9-story steel and concrete building was first lit on May 24, 1952.  It features the strongest light on the German North Sea coast with a range of 28 nautical miles (52 km). The top of the building is also crowded with communications and radar antennas. The top of the building is also crowded with communications and radar antennas. The building serves as a ship traffic control center.  54°10′54.6″N 7°52′56.5″E
Germany released on February 3, 2011 a joint issue celebrating 150 years of German - Japan friendship depicting UNESCO World Heritage sites in both countries. 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.
The 0, 55 € stamp issued on January 2, 2012 illustrates a view of the Kieler beach in the Jasmund National park. The Jasmund National Park is a nature reserve in the Jasmund peninsula, in the northeast of Rügen island in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Germany. It is famous for the largest chalk cliffs of Germany, the so called Königsstuhl.  These cliffs are up to 161 m high above the Baltic Sea.
Five hundred years ago Raphael, the great master painter of the Renaissance, was commissioned by Pope Julius II to paint the Sistine Madonna. Today, the oil painting is one of the most famous works of art in the world. It belongs to the Gemäldegalerie Alte Meister in Dresden. To mark the 500th birthday of this altarpiece, Deutsche Post and Vatican postal authorities released on March 1st, 2012 a beautiful souvenir sheet showing the masterpiece.

Monday, 17 December 2012

LIGHTHOUSE POSTCARD FROM POLAND

Świnoujście is a city and seaport on the Baltic Sea located in the extreme north-west of Poland, close to the German border.  Stawa Młyny is one of the symbols of Swinoujscie, as part of the official logo of the city. The 11 m (36 ft) round cylindrical brick tower is a navigation beacon in the shape of a windmill (53° 56.0' N  014° 17.0' E). Built in 1873, it is located at the end of the west breakwater at the mouth of the Świna River.  The front (seaward) side of the white tower has four large white windmill vanes, but they do not turn in the wind.  Every year at the first weekend of August Świnoujście celebrates its major event - The Sailing Ship's Parade – when it is possible to watch the majestic sailing ships and smaller sailing vessels going out into the open sea in parade formation.
The Polish Post Office issued on 15 June 15, 2007 a set of four stamps depicting lighthouses on the Polish Baltic Sea coast. In Polish, a lighthouse is a "sea lantern," latarnia morska, plural latarnie morskie.  The 3.55 zł stamp shows the Hel lighthouse, a 40 m (131 ft), eight-sided brick tower built in 1942, at the end of the Hel peninsula, which guides ship traffic entering the Gulf of Gdańsk. 

Sunday, 2 December 2012

LIGHTHOUSE POSTCARD FROM SPAIN

One of the oldest and most historic lighthouses of Spain, this light was built in 1817 by the engineer Pery y Guzmán at the entrance to Malaga's harbor (36°42′50.93″N  4°24′52.47″O). The 37 m (121 ft) round masonry tower rises through the center of a 2-story keeper's house and is known affectionately as La Farola. It was damaged by an earthquake on Christmas Day 1884, and it was relit only in 1917 after a large reformation and refurbishment.  During the Spanish Civil War, on August 28, 1936, La Farola was deactivated by order of the Navy and received an earth-colored paint, with dark and light patches to camouflage. Nevertheless, it was seriously damaged during the war, because of which had to be rebuilt in 1939.
The Spanish Post Office issued on September 17, 2012 a set of four 0, 85 € stamps dedicated to the work of Pedro del Hierro, famous Madrid-born designer in haute couture. This "Spanish Fashion" series, which has been in circulation since 2007, features four of his creations as part of the tribute to commemorate the couturier’s official retirement in 2011. The stamp shows a party dress which is part of 25 dresses donated to the Madrid Costume Museum collection.
The King Juan Carlos I was proclaimed king of Spain in 1975 and since 1976, Correos de España has been issuing different definitive series featuring the portrait of the king. The value 0, 01 € is part of the definitive series issued on January 2, 2008. Thank you, Jean Pierre!