October 28, 2012

0370 NETHERLANDS (Netherlands / North Holland) - Marken, a place that time forgot

Marken Peninsula, until 1957 an island in what nowdays is called the IJsselmeer (Lake IJssel), a shallow artificial lake in the central Netherlands, is famous for its characteristic wooden houses, but also for the distinctive folk practices it developed over the centuries, isolated from the Dutch mainland. Since more than a hundred years, Marken and its inhabitants (now about 2,000) are the focus of interest for folklorists and ethnographers, who regard the small fishing town as a relic of the traditional native culture.

First draw attention the houses, almost all of them built on wooden poles on the hills called 'werven', to stay dry in case of floodings. Other remarcable structures are Paard van Marken (Horse of Marken), a monumental lighthouse that rises from the easternmost point of the peninsula, dates from 1839, and the Marker Museum, built in six historical fisherman's houses and devoted to the fine and decorative arts, handicrafts and folk costume.

As can be seen in the postcard, the local women still wear their traditional costumes, even if most of them are 60's or even older. The costumes differ for special ocasions like Pentecost (Whit Sunday), this wear is told to be the most beautifull, wedding, Koninginnedag (Queensday) in which there are orange accents and funeral wear. In a little house named Kijkhuisje Sijtje Boes were kept the period furniture and decor that its owner, Sijtje Boes, bedecked it with. It doubles as a souvenir shop, the oldest in Marken, which the entrepreneurial Ms. Boes founded in the early 1900s.

About the stamps

The first stamp is part of a series dedicated to the anniversary of 100 years of organised Philately in Netherlands. This set, issued on September 5, 1984, comprise of three stamps:

• One eye, armed with a magnifying glass, intently watching a stamp. The design seeks to evoke the tension that every philatelist feeling in the examination of his stamps. (50 +20 ct) - it's on the postcard
• An open cut and folded letter sent from Germany to Egypt, sent to Belgium and the Netherlands, and finally returned to Germany in 1909. The letter has a German stamp and postage stamps from Egypt, Belgium and the Netherlands. The illustrated letter is a good example of a "stray letter". (60 +25 ct)
• A number of philatelists in action. The photo was taken in 1949 at a meeting of a stamp club in Lochem. The designer wanted to show that the thus philately in the course of time are not substantially changed in character. (70 +35 ct)

The second stamp belongs to a series issued on March 26, 1985, and depicting places of worship from Netherland:
• St. Martin's Cathedral, Zaltbommel (50 +20c)
• Winterswijk Synagogue (60 +25c)
• Doopsgezinde Church, Bolsward (65 +25c)
• St. John Cathedral, 's-Hertogenbosch (70 +30c) - it's on the postcard

The third stamp was issued on 1984 with the occasion of 400th Death Anniversary of William of Orange (24 April 1533 – 10 July 1584), also known as William the Silent.

This is a post for Sunday Stamps #94, even if only the first stamp fits with the theme of this week, Stamps depicting hobbies. Click on the button to visit Viridian’s blog and all the other participants.

Marken - Wikipedia
Marken Travel Guide - Trav Buddy
Day Trip to Marken, North Holland - About.com
Filacenco - Postzegels
Netherlands Stamp Catalogue - Stampedia

sender: Wilma van Vegten (direct swap)
sent from Leiden (Netherlands), on 09.09.2012
photo: Henk van der Leeden


  1. I've been to the IJssel but didn't make it to the island. Nice idea behind the philately stamps.

  2. I am glad to see another stamp about philately as a hobby! Thank you for participating.

  3. The Dutch stamps I have are very mundane despite me having worked there quite a bit. At least I can say I have been to Leiden. Good to see the philately stamp.

  4. I like the philately stamp - though i don't think I hold the magnifying glass quite so close to my eye!
    I have been to Marken (and Volendam) It is like stepping into a tine warp.

  5. I love the two elderly ladies! I nearly showed philately stamps from the Netherlands too, but they were different ones.