The card game Bridge is one of the most popular games in the world. Biritch, or Russian Whist, is thought by some to be forerunner of the modern game.
Bridge clubs and federations are to be found worldwide and the game is considered to be a great stimulant for those wishing to improve their power of memory and concentration. It is also one of the unusual subjects to be found on postage stamps.
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Modelled on America’s “Liberty Bell”, the 10-ton “Bell of Freedom and Peace” featured on those stamps arrived at Schöneberg Town Hall (then in the Western Sector of Berlin) on October 21, 1950, having travelled from the United States via Bremerhaven and the military train station in Lichterfelde-West.
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The Phare de Ténès (1997 Algerian stamp above left) is the oldest lighthouse in Algeria. Built in 1861 on a rocky Mediterranean coastal site, the lighthouse rises to 57 meters above the sea. This lighthouse has withstood the two earthquakes that shook the region in 1954 and 1980. The other stamp shows the Phare du Cap Caxine, built 1868.
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The bird is adapted to live in the harsh high landscape of the Pyrenean mountain range from Navarre to Catalonia.
Its anatomy is unmistakable. This huge bird can reach wingspans of up to 2.80 metres. Its Spanish name, “quebrantahuesos” (bone-breaker) comes from its way of feeding. Among other things it feeds on bones which it drops from a height onto rocks to crack them into smaller pieces. It does this in areas known in Spanish as “rompederos”.
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The Hanseatic League, or Hanse, was formed as a northern European trading organisation, founded in the middle of the twelfth century in the north German city of Lubeck and continued as a powerful force for around 500 years. It grew to comprise a network of around 200 trading cities as far apart as London, England, in the west and Viliky Novgorod, Russia, in the east and during its lifetime had to protect its interests from interfering rulers, pirates and rival traders. The type of ship on the stamp above issued in 1977 is a Cog and it was the ship of choice for most Hanseatic League traders.
The Hanseatic League influenced the economic, political and cultural life in Europe for nearly four centuries.
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It can also be the subject of interest to the stamp collector as images of young animals are often printed on postage stamps.
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The stamps shown below were issued by the German state of Saarland which, following the Second World War, from 1947 to 1956 was a French-occupied territory (the “Saar Protectorate”) separate from the rest of Germany. You may notice two values shown on each stamp.
The reason being the postal tariffs were adapted to French postage rates – mail to France was to be franked at the domestic postage, mail to Allied-occupied Germany at the foreign tariff.
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The 5-stamp set shown top featuring film stars Charlie Chaplin, Greta Garbo, Marilyn Monroe and Jean Gabin was issued the German Bundespost in 2001. But the set originally printed included a stamp with a publicity shot of Audrey Hepburn, taken to advertise the 1961 film Breakfast at Tiffany’s.
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And there are hundreds!
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