Saturday, 29 May 2010

Kõpu Lighthouse, Estonia

The last (but not least!) postcard of today comes from my postcard pal Rita in Estonia.

Kõpu Lighthouse (Kõpu tuletorn in Estonian) is one of the best known symbols and tourist sights on the Estonian island of Hiiumaa. It is one of the oldest lighthouses in the world, having been in continuous use since its completion in 1531.

The lighthouse marks the Hiiu sandbank and warns ships away from the shoreline. Light from Kõpu Lighthouse can be used for navigation as far as 26 nautical miles (48 km) away, although in 1997 a radar lighthouse largely took over its role as navigation aid.

The lighthouse is built at the top of the highest hillock of Hiiumaa island, Tornimägi (68 metres). The height of the building itself is 36 metres, and the light is 102.6 metres above sea level, making it the highest coastal light on the Baltic Sea.

The stamp is from a set of 2 stamps issued in 2010. They belong to the 'Europa' series, this year's theme is children's book illustrations. This stamp features an illustration by Jüri Mildeberg. The Estonian postal services website was quite helpful in that I found out more about children's books in Estonia. :) This is what the website says:

"The middle of the 19th century can be regarded as the beginning of the Estonian literature for children although secular stories for children had been published before, notably by Friedrich Gustav Arvelius in 1782 and by Otto Willem Masing in 1795. The author of the first Estonian book of fiction for children is Carl Körber and that of the first poetry book Johann Voldemar Jannsen. Like everywhere else, Estonian children`s books often have very beautiful and imag-inative illustratsions and some of the illustrators have won inernational acclaim, Vive Tolli and Jaan Tammsaar being perhaps known the best."

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