Sunday, August 1, 2010

CZECH REPUBLIC – FDC from Vodochody, Czech Republic to Braga, Portugal

FDC with stamp from the issue ‘Beauties of our Country: Klatovy’ issued on 16 of June of 2010, posted on July, 26 2010.
Two definitive stamps in the back of the cover.
(Special thanks to my friend Jirí Gýra)

Beauties of our Country: Klatovy
Klatovy is a town on the Drnový brook, nestled on a gentle hillside surrounded by forest hills. The entrance gate to the West Šumava Mountains used to be a tiny village on the ancient trade road leading from Bavaria to Bohemia. A town was established in the location in 1262-1273 by King Přemysl Otakar II. In the 15th century it was a Hussite fortress, heavily suffering in the 17th century during the Thirty Years' War. In the mid-17th century, the town started flourishing under the auspices of the Jesuit order, builder of the main town church and the Jesuit College. In the mid-18th century Klatovy already became a regional capital. The town centre is a mixture of modern architecture with historical buildings, featuring different styles from gothic, through renaissance, up to baroque and empire. The symbol of the town is the renaissance Town Hall with the late gothic Black Tower, offering a beautiful view of the town and the remote Šumava hilltops. The five-floor tower with 226 steps is 81.6m high. The Jesuit baroque pharmacy, White Unicorn, with the original 1773 equipment, protected as one of the UNESCO scientific and technical monuments, is another major sight on the main Klatovy square. Other historic sights include the Town Hall, part of the town fortifications, the White Tower of the gothic Virgin Mary's Birth church, the catacombs and mummies under the Jesuit church of the Immaculate Conception and St. Ignatius. The catacombs received the first bodies in the early 1670s. The sophisticated ventilation system maintains an optimum temperature for preserving the mummies. The visitors can see thirty mummified bodies in coffins with glass lids. The Jewish cemetery and synagogue in the north of the town are presently used for purposes other than religious. Klatovy is also famous for its carnations whose tradition of growing dates back to 1813.

Date of Issue: 16. 06. 2010
Face value: 12 CZK Dimensions: 26 x 40 mm
Stamps per Sheet: 8
Number in set: 2
Stamp designer: Jan Maget
Stamp engraver: Bohumil Šneider
Printer: Česká Pošta
Print technology: recess print from flat plates

Inside the envelope two Czech Republic EUROPA mint stamps from 2009 and 2010.

The Association of European Public Postal Operators PostEurop declared "Astronomy" as this year's common theme for the postage stamp issue EUROPA. At the initiative of professional astronomers associated in the International Astronomical Union the year 2009 was proclaimed by the UNESCO as the International Year of Astronomy under the auspices of the UN. This event is closely related to the 400th anniversary of use of astronomical telescope by Galileo Galilei. At an international conference the Czech Republic will commemorate also the 400th anniversary of publication of a Kepler's major work Astronomia Nova. The astronomer, mathematician, physicist and astrologer, Johannes Kepler (1571-1630), was a man of significance not only for the Czech environment. In 1600 he came to Prague already as a convinced follower of Koperník's system. At the Emperor Rudolf II's court he became a colleague of Tycho Brahe and after the latter's death (1601) he took the position of the emperor's mathematician and astronomer. Kepler who was convinced of a harmonious structure of the world believed that the grouping of planets into specific geometrical figures has an extraordinary impact on the world events. On basis of data obtained by Brahe he calculated the elliptic orbit of the planet Mars and formulated the first two of his famous laws which regulate the motion of planets. The results were published in 1609 in his work Astronomia Nova. In 1612 Kepler left Prague for Linz where in 1618 he formulated his third law on planetary circulation. J. Kepler belongs to the major astronomers of the 17th century. He dealt with geometry, observed the explosion of a supernova, improved and constructed astronomical telescope. He as the first man actually calculated the so-called Bethlehem star. He found that it was the three-times repeated conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn in Pisces in 7 BC that was the "star of Bethlehem". Such unique phenomenon which as a matter of course could not escape general curiosity gave birth to the "comet".

(Source Češka Pošta)

EUROPA 2010: Children's Book - Karel Čapek - Dášeňka
This year's central theme for the annual EUROPA issue, announced by the Association of European Public Postal Operators PostEurop, is Children's Book. Dášeňka aneb život štěněte (Dashenka, or the Life of a Puppy) by Karel Čapek is one of the best known and most popular Czech books, not only with children. Karel Čapek was born in Malé Svatoňovice. His brother, Josef Čapek, was a famous writer, painter and photographer. Dashenka is an example of their frequent cooperation. After his studies, Karel worked as a tutor to the son of Count Lažanský, but soon took the position of a journalist, editing several newspapers: Národní listy, Nebojsa, Lidové noviny. He left the latter in 1921 as a protest against the sacking of his brother Josef by the paper's board. For the next two years he was a dramaturg at the Vinohradské Theatre. He was the first president of the Czech PEN Club in 1925-1933. He married his long-time friend, Olga Scheinpflugová, almost at the end of his life. After 1938 he became the target of political attacks. He spent the last years of his life in Stará Huť by Dobříš where he is still commemorated by a monument. He died of pneumonia, several months before his planned arrest by the Gestapo. Dashenka, or the Life of a Puppy is a book more than 70 years old. Iris, Dashenka's mother, was a wire-haired terrier living with Čapek. The book describes Dashenka's birth and early life until the day when she is carried away by her new owners, and a number of other stories (Stories for Dashenka, On Dogs' Habits, On People, etc.). The stories are accompanied by photographs of Dashenka, made by Josef Čapek. Karel Čapek wrote a large number of books, the major including War with the Newts, R.U.R., The White Disease, Krakatit, etc.

(Source Češka Pošta)

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