September 17, 2013

0807 GREECE (South Aegean) - Delos (UNESCO WHS)

The island of Delos, located near the centre of the Cyclades archipelago, is, without doubt, one of the most important mythological, historical and archaeological sites in Greece, bearing traces of the succeeding civilizations in the Aegean world, from the 3rd millennium B.C. to the palaeochristian era. It had a position as a holy sanctuary for a millennium before Olympian Greek mythology made it the birthplace of Apollo and Artemis. Established as a culture center, Delos had an importance that its natural resources could never have offered. The island has limited water resources and no productive capacity for food, so even in 2001 it has a population of only 14 inhabitants. In 1990, UNESCO inscribed it on the World Heritage List, citing it as the "exceptionally extensive and rich" archaeological site which "conveys the image of a great cosmopolitan Mediterranean port".

One of its most important landmarks is the famous Terrace of the Lions (in the picture), erected and dedicated to Apollo by the people of Naxos just before 600 BCE. It consisted of a row of nine to twelve marble carved lions that faced eastward towards the Sacred Lake of Delos along the Sacred Way from Skardana Bay to the temples. The lions, with their mouths open as if roaring or snarling, were both meant to guard the sanctuaries and to inspire a feeling of divine fear among the worshippers. The way in which they were positioned is similar to the way sphinxes were set up along avenues in ancient Egypt. Today, only five of the original lions remain with remnants of three others and the headless body of another has been transported and put over the main gate of a Venetian arsenal.

About the stamps

The first stamp is part of the first set of the commemorative series National historical events of 1913, designed by Anthoula Lygka. The set, issued on February 22, 2013, was dedicated to the anniversary of 100 years since the release of Ioannina during the Balkan Wars (1912-1913), and contain three stamps:
• Epirus in the race (0.03 EUR) - it's on the other postcard
• Dash (0.55 EUR) - it's on the postcard
• Scene of battle (0.62 EUR)

The second series, 100 Years from the incorporation of Mount Athos in Greece, was released on October 3:
• Mount Athos surrenders to the Greek fleet (2.40 EUR)
• Chania (port) (0.72 EUR) - it's on the other postcard
• Map of Crete (c. 1676) (1.00 EUR)

The issue was close on December 2, with the series 100th anniversary of the unification of Crete with Greece.

The second stamp is part of the series Sailing tourism, designed by Marina Lasithiotaki and issued on June 4, 2013. The series contain six stamps, two with the face values A (it's on other postcard), and four with the face values 0.05 (it's on this postcard), 0.30, 0.47 and 3.00 EURO.

The third stamp is part of the series Award-winning Greek Cinema, created by Theano Venieri and issued on April 22, 2013. It ilustrates four of the most important greek films which have received prizes at ceremonies and festivals:
Voyage to Cythera / 1984 - Theo Angelopoulos (0.20 EUR)
Electra / 1962 - Michael Cacoyannis (0.30 EUR) - it's on this postcard
The Traveling Players / 1974 - Theo Angelopoulos (0.62 EUR)
The Ogre of Athens / 1956 - Nikos Koundouros (2.80 EUR)

Delos - Wikipedia 
Terrace of the Lions - Archaeologies of the Greek Past

sender: Milda Kriukaite (direct swap)
sent from Piraeus (Piraeus / Greece), on 22.08.2013

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