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Swiss Postal Service 2003 Issue
Designed by Beat Kehrli

UNESCO World Heritage sites in Switzerland

The Swiss Postal Service will issue five new stamps that have a postage value of 90 chf each named "UNESCO World Heritage sites in Switzerland" on the 9th of September 2003. These new stamps depict five selected UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) World Heritage sites in Switzerland. An explaination of each stamp shown above is as follows:

  • Jungfrau-Aletsch-Bietschhorn (Top left) - a large area that straddles the border between the Cantons of Berne to the Lotschen and Baltschieder Valleys. The total area covers 539 square kilometers that contain unique animals, flowers and plants. The oldest trees in Switzerland, especially the Swiss pine, which can live up to 800 years, grow in the Aletsch Forest. The area also has major geological and glaciological process that can be trace back to 500 million years.
  • Three Castles Bellinzona (Top right) - three castles located in the valley at Bellinzona were built between the 4th, and 15th centuries. The Fortress of Castel Grande was built on a ridge of rock in the 4th century A.D.. In the 13th century the Dukes of Milan built the Castello di Montebello, and the 15th century the Castello di Sasso Corbaro was built. The three castles are the only remaining examples of mediaeval fortification in Switzerland.
  • Old City of Berne (Middle left) - this city was founded in 1191 by Duke Berchtold V. of Zahringen. In 1218 it became self-governing and developed into the biggest city state north of the Alps. After a fire in 1405, the city was rebuilt in stone, and construction of various new buildings such as the Berne Cathedral began. In the 16th century, the cityscape was made more attractive by the addition of some Renaissance fountains. The city is now the Federal Capital of Switzerland.
  • Abbey Precinct of St. Gall (Middle right) - it all began in 612 when a Irish monk named Gallus built his one room dwelling in the very spot where the Abbey Precinct of St. Gall now stands. Around 1719, the Alemannic priest Otmar founded a Benedictine monastery, which developed into a major spiritual center of Western civilization. Testimony to this period is to be found in the 800 documents kept in the Abbey's archives. Thousands of other documents are also stored their with some as old as 1000 years. The most valuable of all are the Irish-Celtic manuscripts and the Latin-German dictionary. The Abbey Library contains a total of 150,000 volumes.
  • Convent of Mustair (Bottom) - founded by Charlemagne and once know as the Benedictine Monastery of St. John in the 8th century. It was converted into a convent in the 12th century. In 1900, Swiss art historian discovered Carolingian murals above the Late Gothic arches of the convent church and in 1950 a unique cycle of murals from 800 A.D. were also discovered in the nave. The murals depict scenes from the life and work of Christ.

The "UNESCO World Heritage Site" stamps can be purchased as a single set, Set of 4 blocks, Collection sheet, 5 sheet of 6 stamps or each individual sheet of 6 stamps, FDC's with Blocks of 4, FDC's with single stamp, FDC's with single stamp sets, or in a folder. The size of each stamp is 33mm x 28mm and the size of each sheet is 192mm x 90mm. Each stamp will have a perforation size of 12 1/2 x 12 3/4. The stamps will be printed by Bundesdruckerei Berlin, Germany using the Offset 4 color printing process with white luminous fiber paper that is mat gummed.

UNESCO World Heritage Sheet

UNESCO World Heritage FDC Stamp


To order these stamps or to learn more go to www.swisspost.ch/philashop. Use the Universal currency conversion tool at www.xe.com/ucc/convert.cgi to convert currency.

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