June 5, 2012

0237 SWEDEN (Gotland) - A church from 13th century

Gotland, considered by some historians the original homeland of the Goths, is Sweden's largest island and the largest island in the Baltic Sea. Its population is 57,221, of which about 22,200 live in Visby, the best-preserved medieval city in Scandinavia, reason for which has been named a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The church in the image isn't in Visby, but in Fleringe, located near of a couple of farms with a very small population (98 inhabitants).

The church was built of limestone in 13th century, more precisely the chancel and the nave was built between 1230 and 1240, and the tower in 1260. The sacristy was added probably shortly before the 1650. A major fire in 1676 led to some reconstruction work. The church's three original portals have Gothic coverages, and inside is completely arched. The nave four walled vaults are supported by a strong column, which is seen in left. A few frescoes have been preserved from the 1400s, and a remarkable ornamental decoration from the 15th century later part.

About the stamps
The stamps are canadian, because I received the postcard from Canada, not from Sweden. The first is part of a series of low-value definitives depicting beneficial insects, issued on October 19th, 2010. This is the second issue with such a theme, first being issued in 2007 (the golden-eyed lacewing, the cecropia moth, the convergent lady beetle, the northern bumblebee and the Canada darner), to which was added in 2009 a stamp with monarch caterpillar. The new series of 5 stamps contain:
• the paper wasp (4c)
• the assassin bug (6c)
• the large milkweed bug (7c)
• the dogbane beetle (8c) - it’s on the postcard
• the margined leatherwing (9c)

The second stamp, a comemorative one, was issued on July 10, 2009, and is dedicated to Captain Robert (Bob) Abram Bartlett (1875-1946), a Newfoundland navigator and Arctic explorer of the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

The third is one of the two issued on 10 January 2012 by Canada Post with the occasion of the Year of the Dragon, with de values of 61c (these from the postcard) and $1.80.

Ssender: xiaolu (postcrossing)
Sent from Toronto (Canada), on 12.01.2012

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