May 23, 2016
2570 FRANCE (Grand Est) - Alsace
Alsace is a cultural and historical region located on France's eastern border and on the west bank of the upper Rhine adjacent to Germany and Switzerland. The historical language of Alsace is Alsatian, a Germanic (mainly Alemannic) dialect also spoken across the Rhine, but today most Alsatians primarily speak French. It is an important wine-producing région, and also the main beer-producing region of France. The economic and cultural capital as well as largest city of Alsace is Strasbourg, the seat of several international organizations and bodies.
Alsace is famous for its high number of picturesque villages, churches and castles, in spite of severe destructions suffered throughout five centuries of wars between France and Germany. The traditional habitat of the Alsatian lowland consists of houses constructed with walls in timber framing and cob and roofing in flat tiles. During periods of war and bubonic plague, villages were often burned down, so to prevent the collapse of the upper floors, ground floors were built of stone and upper floors built in half-timberings to prevent the spread of fire.
On the other hand, during most of the part of its history, a great part of the region was flooded by the Rhine every year. Half-timbered houses were easy to knock down and to move around during those times (a day was necessary to move it and a day to rebuild it in another place). However, half-timbering was found to increase the risk of fire, which is why from the 19th century, it began to be rendered. In recent times, villagers started to paint the rendering white in accordance with Beaux-Arts movements. To discourage this, the authorities gave financial grants to the inhabitants to paint the rendering in various colors.
About the stamps
The first stamp is one of the two issued on April 29, 1968 for the theme Europa stamps 1968 - Key with CEPT in handle. It symbolize the opening of the door to a United Europe. Designer was Swiss Painter Hans Schwarzenbach.
The second stamp was issued on April 28, 1976 to mark the World Exhibition of the Youth Philatelic, JuvaRouen 76.
The third stamp, designed by Jean Pheulpin, was issued on October 23, 1967, to mark the Centenary of the birth of Marie Curie. Marie Skłodowska Curie (1867-1934), born Maria Salomea Skłodowska, was a Polish and naturalized-French physicist and chemist who conducted pioneering research on radioactivity. She was the first woman to win a Nobel Prize, the first person and only woman to win twice, the only person to win twice in multiple sciences, and was part of the Curie family legacy of five Nobel Prizes.
The fourth stamp, designed by Clément Serveau, was issued on April 4, 1966 to mark the International Chess Festival, which held in 1966 at Le Havre.
The last stamp, designed by Pierrette Lambert and depicting Spring, was issued on December 1, 1975 and is part of the series 1974-1975 - French Red Cross - Seasons, about which I wrote here.
Alsace - Wikipedia
Sender: Jean-Yves Gerlat
Sent from Montbonnot-Saint-Martin (Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes / France), on 23.04.2016