December 30, 2012

0440 CROATIA (Zadar) - The Collegiate Church from Pag

Pag Island is a Croatian island,  with 60 km long and between 2 and 10 km wide, belonging to the north Dalmatian archipelago, located in the northern Adriatic Sea. The island is best known for its pungent Pag cheese (Paski Sir), and the delicious Pag lamb naturally flavoured with the salty grass that feeds the sheep, but also for its salt production, for the Pag lace. It is linked to the mainland by bridge as well as by ferry lines.

Pag Island manages a curious blend of modern and traditional culture. The town of Novalja in the north is known for its wild, beach-driven nightlife while other parts of Pag Town enthusiastically celebrates the local festivals that have endured for centuries. Pag Town is the largest town on the island (3,121 inhabitants) and is within easy reach of Zadar. It was established in the 15th century and the narrow, stone streets retain a distinctly medieval flavor. The mediaeval Pag emerged near the salterns where the abandoned Old Town used to be, 3 km south of the present location.

In 976, the Croatian king Stjepan Držislav took Pag from the Byzantine authority, and in 1244 Béla IV granted Pag the status of a free royal town. Ludovic I acknowledged the full autonomy of the town in 1376, but in the battles against Zadar (1394) it suffered a heavy devastation, and the inhabitants moved to the present location. In 1403, Ladislaus of Naples sold his share of Dalmatia, Pag included, to Venice and thus sentenced Pag to a centuries-long life under the Venetian rule. During WWII, a concentration camp was set up on the island by the Ustaše regime, which held about 8,500 people. When the Ustaše learned in 1941 that the island was to be transferred to Italian control, they killed all of the prisoners.

The Collegiate Church, Church of St. Mary (in the image), is a three-nave basilica with three apses. The front is decorated with a Gothic portal, a Renaissance rosette and unfinished figures of the saints. In 1466 Juraj Dalmatinac became supervisor of the construction works, while the building itself was carried out by his disciples. Finished not before the beginning of the 16th century; it was restored in the 18th century. The church accommodates valuable works of art: the altar painting Our Lady of the Rosary, a Gothic wooden cross from the 12th century, and the silver processional crucifix and reliquaries. The bell tower with its present height was erected in 1526.

About the stamp

The stamp was issued on November 24, 2011 in 100,000 copies with the occasion of New Year 2012. The artwork belongs to the 2011’s winner of the competition for the most beautiful visual art presentation of the theme of snowflakes’ dance, Barbara Tomorad, from the Elementary School Marija Bistrica in Marija Bistrica. Željka Čorak wrote in the stamp's presentation posted on the Hrvatska pošta official website: "Her colours are not the whiteness and blueness, her suggestion is neither stillness nor tranquillity. She has warmed up her background in brown and rosy tones; she has marked the orbits of dance by bright yellow and greenish spirals. The small stars are coloured, blue, red and all colours they can be, as if seen under coloured reflector rays on stage."

This is a post for Sunday Stamps #103, run by Viridian from Viridian’s Postcard Blog. The theme of this week is Anything you wish. Click on the button to visit Viridian’s blog and all the other participants.

Pag (town) - Wikipedia
Pag town - Croatia Traveller
The Island of Pag - Find-Croatia
New Year 2012 stamp - Hrvatska pošta official website

sender: Dragan Buškulić (direct swap)
sent from Rijeka (Croatia), on 23.08.2012

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