March 30, 2014

1039 CROATIA (Dubrovnik-Neretva) - Historical-town planning ensemble of Ston with Mali Ston, connecting walls, the Mali Ston Bay nature reserve, Stonsko Polje and the salt pans (UNESCO WHS - Tentative List)

The fertile fields and large protected bays of the south of isthmus of the Pelješac peninsula, where is located the municipality of Ston, favoured always the human settlements, as proved the archaeological excavations, which brought to light a variety of cultural layers since prehistory through antiquity, the Middle Ages to the present day. The sites of the Ston region, blended inseparably with the natural framework, make up a universal civilizational value and link between Nature and Man, and assert the regions and the 2000 years of its history.

Material traces of the early Iron Age have been found on the knolls surrounding Stonsko Polje, and are related to the Illyrian tribe of Plereia. A substantial heritage dates from the Roman period, even the name of Ston, Stagnum (marshland) in Latin. Late antiquity monuments include Early Christian sacral buildings. When the Slavs settled in the area, Ston became one of the principal settlements in Zahumlje. The late Middle Ages were distinguished by clashes between Zahumlje and Dubrovnik, concluded in 1333, when the last one acquired the peninsula. The scattered settlements were abandoned, instead the urban centres were developed. To protect its boundaries, the Dubrovnik Republic built the Great Wall, and the town which developed on the other side of the wall consisted of three zones: Ston, Mali Ston and Broce. Ston has retained the spatial layout, the street grid and the buildings planned by the architects from Dubrovnik in 14th century, when it was the second most important town in the Republic. As early as 1335 it was divided into 15 basic parts called desens (tenth parts), later subdivided into smaller units separated by straight street sections. In the 15th century a pentagonal defensive wall was built round the town.

The complex of the Ston salt pans is situated southwest of the town, and includes the salt fields and pans, access and communication facilities, and salt warehouses. Salt was a source of wealth for many coastal Illyrian communities, but its importance increased during Ragusan rule. The salt fields stretch from the north to the south, divided into rectangular pans, some of them producing white salt, others salt of a darker colour. The first two rows with eight rectangular pans each, many preserved in the original condition, carry carved Biblical names. The region also boasts a special natural property - the bay of Mali Ston - a special marine reserve with defined boundaries and a preserved environmental system. It is suitable for the intensive development of mariculture (fish and shellfish). The oysters of Ston are particularly famous.

About the stamp
The stamp is part of a series of three commemorative postage stamps (all with the same nominal value of 4.60 HRK) with the theme of edible mushrooms, designed by Nataša Odak and issued on September 3, 2013. These are first postage stamps on which according to the new Regulations on postage stamps the official title of the state is Hrvatska (Croatia) instead of the Republika Hrvatska (Republic of Croatia) which has been in use until now.
Parasol mushroom
• White and black truffle - it's on the postcard
Royal Bolete

Historical-town planning ensemble of Ston with Mali Ston, connecting walls, the Mali Ston Bay nature reserve, Stonsko Polje and the salt pans - UNESCO official website
Delicacies on postage stamps - Hrvatska posta official website

sender: Dragan Buškulić (direct swap)
sent from Rijeka (Croatia), on 18.08.2013

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