The Brandaris Terschelling is a national treasure. The Brandaris, a lighthouse on the island of Terschelling, off the north coast of Holland, is the oldest in the Netherlands and is 420 years old.
Holland’s PostNL had a special reason to issue a stamp recently featuring this iconic tower, as last month the lighthouse was reopened, after a five-month period of renovation. This was necessary in order to optimise guidance for shipping on the Wadden Sea.
The first Brandaris was built in 1323, to mark the narrow opening between the small islands of Vlieland and Terschelling, for ships whose destination was Amsterdam. Good guidance for shipping was necessary, as from the Wadden Sea much of the coastline looked alike. Since 1323 the tower has been rebuilt many times because of the use of poor construction materials, combined with the effects of sea erosion. The tower, as it is today, dates from 1594 and this year celebrates its 420th anniversary.
PostNL Special Series
The Brandaris stamps are part of a special stamp series of the 25 most notable lighthouses in the Netherlands. PostNL decided to create the new series because this year is quite special regarding anniversaries for several lighthouses in the Netherlands. For example, the Texel Lighthouse (Texel is another island in the same region as Terschelling) is 150 years old and the lighthouse in Marken celebrates its 175th anniversary. Marken was formerly an island in the Zuiderzee, which, since the building of the Afsluitdijk – which dammed off the Zuiderzee and created what is now the freshwater lake, the Ijsselmeer – is now connected to the mainland by a causeway.