Friday, May 27, 2011
Tuesday, May 17, 2011
Thursday, May 5, 2011
|To view the high resolution images, click on the images above|
On 5 May 2011, the United Nations Postal
Administration (UNPA) issued a set of
commemorative stamps on the theme “World
Heritage—Nordic Countries” which includes
five Nordic countries plus the Struve Geodetic
44 cents: Iceland – Surtsey Volcanic Island
98 cents: Sweden – Drottningholm Castle
F.s. 0,85: Denmark – Kronborg Castle
F.s. 1,00: Finland – Suomenlinna Fortress
€ 0,62: Norway – Urnes Stave Church
€ 0,70: Struve Geodetic Arc
SPECIAL FIRST DAY CANCELLATIONS
On 5 May 2011, special first day hand-cancellations
for the “World Heritage—Nordic Countries” stamps were made available at United Nations Headquarters in New York, the Palais des Nations, Geneva, and the Vienna International Centre.
The same can be seen in the scanned FDCs'.
The stamps, in denominations of 44 cents, 98 cents, F.s. 0,85, F.s. 1,00, € 0,62 and € 0,70, measure 50 mm horizontally by 36 mm vertically, perforation to perforation. Perforation: 14 x 13 1/4.
The designs were adapted as stamps by Rorie Katz (United Nations).
The stamps were printed in offset by Joh. Enschedé Stamps Security Printers B.V. (Netherlands).
ABOUT THE ISSUE
Heritage is our legacy from the past, what we live with today and what we pass on to future generations. Our cultural heritage and our natural heritage are both irreplaceable sources of life and inspiration.
What makes the concept of World Heritage
exceptional is its universal application. World Heritage sites belong to all the peoples of the
world, irrespective of the territory on which they
The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) seeks to encourage the identification, protection and preservation of cultural and natural heritage around the world considered to be of outstanding value to humanity. This is embodied in an international treaty called the Convention Concerning the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage, adopted by UNESCO in
1972. The United Nations Postal Administration has chosen five Nordic countries, plus the Struve Geodetic Arc, for this year’s stamp issue.
98 cents Sweden – Drottningholm Castle
The royal domain of Drottningholm is located on Queen’s Island in Lake Mälaren, outside Stockholm. The island’s name acknowledges the closely interwoven history of the castle with the different queens of Sweden.
The ensemble of Drottningholm— castle, theatre, Chinese pavilion and gardens—is the best example of a royal residence built in the eighteenth century in Sweden and is representative of all European architecture of that period, heir to the influences exerted by the Château de Versailles on the construction of royal residences in western, central and northern Europe.
The changes and shifts in styles and fashions also affected the gardens: the French garden, which surrounds the complex, designed by Nicodemus Tessin the Younger in 1681 on the model of the Baroque park of Versailles, with bronze statues by Adriaen de Vries, hedges with surprising shapes, and flower-beds, bushes, waterfalls, fountains and artificial ponds; and the English garden, to plans by King Gustav III and the architect Adelcrantz, reflecting the new preference for a more lively and “picturesque” landscape.
With its castle, perfectly preserved theatre (built in 1766), Chinese pavilion and gardens, it is the finest example of an 18th-century north European royal residence inspired by the Palace of Versailles.
44 cents Iceland – Surtsey Volcanic Island
Surtsey, a volcanic island approximately 32 km from the south coast of Iceland, is a new island formed by volcanic eruptions that took place from 1963 to 1967. It is all the more outstanding for having been protected since its birth, providing the world with a pristine natural laboratory. Free from human interference, Surtsey has been producing unique long-term information on the colonization process of new land by plant and animal life. Since they began studying the island in 1964, scientists have observed the arrival of seeds carried by ocean currents, the appearance of moulds, bacteria and fungi, followed in 1965 by the first vascular plant, of which there were 10 species by the end of the first decade. By 2004, they numbered 60 together with 75 bryophytes, 71 lichens and 24 fungi. Eighty nine species of birds have been recorded on Surtsey, 57 of which breed elsewhere in Iceland. The island is also home to 335 species of invertebrates.
F.s. 1,00 Finland – Suomenlinna Fortress
In the history of military architecture, the Fortress of Finland (Suomenlinna) is an outstanding example representative both of the general fortification principles of the period and of its specific characteristics.
In 1747, when Finland was part of the Swedish realm, the Diet in Stockholm decided to build a fortress to serve as the main base for the armed forces stationed in Finland. A group of islands close to Helsinki were chosen to be the site of the fortress, which was to be called Sveaborg, the “Fortress of Sweden”, and construction began in 1748. The purpose was to link and fortify several islands so that entry into the city’s harbour could be controlled.
One of the main reasons for building Sveaborg was to help Sweden counter the ambitions of Russia, whose principal military base in the Gulf of Finland was Kronstadt, commissioned by Peter the Great to protect the city of St. Petersburg and as the home port of a new Russian Navy to challenge Swedish maritime power in the eastern reaches of the Baltic Sea. Following Finland’s independence (1918), the name was changed a final time to Suomenlinna (Fortress of Finland).
Located on islands off Helsinki, Suomenlinna is a unique historical monument and one of the largest maritime fortresses in the world. Its history is closely entwined with that of Finland and the Baltic region.
F.s. 0,85 Denmark – Kronborg Castle
Located on a strategically important site commanding the Sund, the stretch of water between Denmark and Sweden, the Royal castle of Kronborg at Helsingør (Elsinore) is of immense symbolic value to the Danish people and played a key role in the history of northern Europe in the sixteenth to eighteenth centuries. Construction began on this outstanding Renaissance castle in 1574, and its defenses were reinforced according to the canons of the period’s military architecture in the late seventeenth century. It has remained intact to the present day. It is world-renowned as Elsinore, the setting of Shakespeare’s Hamlet.
€ 0,70 Struve Geodetic Arc
The Struve Arc is a chain of survey triangulations stretching from Hammerfest in Norway to the Black Sea, through 10 countries and over 2,820 km. These are points of a survey, carried out between 1816 and 1855 by the astronomer Friedrich Georg Wilhelm Struve, which represented the first accurate measuring of a long segment of a meridian. This helped to establish the exact size and shape of the planet and marked an important step in the development of earth sciences and topographic mapping. It is an extraordinary exam-ple of scientific collaboration among scientists from different countries, and of collaboration between monarchs for a scientific cause. The original arc consisted of 258 main triangles with 265 main station points.
The Struve Geodetic Arc World Heritage site consists of 34 of the original station points established by Struve and his colleagues between 1816 and 1851—four points in Norway, four in Sweden, six in Finland, one in Russia, three in Estonia, two in Latvia, three in Lithuania, five in Belarus, one in Moldova and four in Ukraine. These marks take different forms: small holes drilled in rock surfaces, and sometimes filled with lead; cross-shaped engraved marks on rock surfaces; solid stone or brick with a marker inset; rock structures (cairns), with a central stone or brick, marked by a drilled hole; single bricks; and specially con-structed “monuments” to commemorate the point and the arc.
€ 0,62 Norway – Urnes Stave Church
The stave churches constitute one of the most elaborate types of wood construction which are typical of northern Europe from the Neolithic period to the Middle Ages.
Christianity was introduced into Norway during the reign of St. Olav (1016-1030). The churches were built on the classic basilical plan, but entirely of wood. The roof frames were lined with boards and the roof itself covered with shingles in accordance with construction techniques which were widespread in Scandinavian countries.
Among the roughly 1,300 medieval stave churches indexed, about 30 remain in Norway. Urnes Church was selected to represent this outstanding series of wood buildings for a number of reasons. Its antiquity, the exemplary nature of its structure, outstanding quality of its sculpted monumental décor, wealth of liturgical objects of the medieval period and excellent conservation and location all make it an exceptional monument.