Special stamp issued with Gotthard rock
In the second stamp issue of this year, Swiss Post is paying tribute to two major national events with a special stamp each: the opening of the Gotthard Base Tunnel, and the Swiss Wrestling and Alpine Festival. What is unique about the “Gottardo 2016” special stamp is that it was printed using real Gotthard rock ground into dust.
With a route length of 57 kilometres, the Gotthard Base Tunnel is the longest railway tunnel in the world, connecting the north of Switzerland to the south. It will open on 1 June 2016 with a public festival to celebrate. Roughly 28 million tonnes of material were removed from the mountain, of which around 15 kilos of Gotthard rock went to Swiss Post. The rock was ground into dust and then applied in this form to the 104 mm x 37 mm “Gottardo 2016” special stamp using a particular kind of printing with a special varnish. The two stamps featuring the bridge show the relief of the Saint-Gotthard Massif along with an Alpine panorama and the south and north portals. At each end of the tunnel stands an SBB locomotive, one in the colder north, depicted in blue, and the other in the warmer south, symbolized by the yellow.
Creatures of the night and wrestling folklore
The “Nocturnal animals” special stamps feature a night’s sky as dark as the Gotthard Base Tunnel. The stamps with face values of 0.85, 1, 1.50 and 2 francs depict four creatures of the night native to Switzerland: a brown owl, a garden dormouse, a large glow worm and a hedgehog.
An activity just as native to the Confederation but more folkloric is in full swing on another special stamp. For once, the tough guys are not Swiss wrestling in the sawdust ring, but on the small surface of a one-franc stamp. With this stamp, Swiss Post is paying tribute to the largest sporting event in Switzerland, and to the guys who, every three years since 1895, have wrestled for the title of king in late summer.
Europe is going green
“Think green – be green”: This is the theme of this year’s Europa stamps, issued by European postal administrations. The stamps are designed to increase awareness about environmental topics, bringing with them an underlying wake-up call: it is high time to protect our environment in order to ensure a better future for the generations to come. With the two one-franc stamps, Swiss Post too is taking further steps to raise awareness of this important topic among the public.
Closely linked to Europe is Lake Constance, to which three special stamps are also dedicated in the most recent stamp issue. As a so-called Euregio area, the Lake Constance serves as a point of connection between the three bordering countries of Switzerland, Germany and Austria. The Lake Constance region is a unique and diverse area characterized by abundant nature as well as large, vibrant cities such as Constance, Bregenz and St. Gallen. Part of the region’s special charm lies in its diversity, which is precisely what emanates from the three special stamps with a face value of 0.85 each.
Pro Patria: promoting cultural and social projects
As at this time every year, special stamps are issued by the Pro Patria foundation. These special stamps come with a surcharge. The money collected from the tax surcharge goes towards cultural and social projects in Switzerland. This year’s Pro Patria stamps feature Zug castle and Neu-Bechburg castle in Oensingen from the series “Fortresses and castles of Switzerland”, running from 2016-2018.
Motifs of the 2/2016 stamp issue – available and valid from 12 May 2016
- Gottardo 2016 – “Erstfeld” and “Bodio” special stamps at CHF 1
Besides the special stamps, Swiss Post is also paying tribute to the completion of the Gotthard Base Tunnel with a souvenir brochure. In its 38 pages, it tells the fascinating stories behind Gotthard, giving insight into the construction of the tunnel in the past and present. The fold-out panorama page and the “Gottardo 2016”, “100 years Lötschberg Railway” and “100 years Gotthard Railway” original stamps included inside make the brochure a valuable collectors’ item, not just for stamp collectors and railway enthusiasts.
- Nocturnal animals – special stamps “Brown owl” at CHF 0.85, “Garden dormouse” at CHF 1, “Large glow worm” at CHF 1.50, “Hedgehog” at CHF 2
- Swiss wrestling – special stamp at CHF 1
- Lake Constance – “Säntis and Romanshorn”, “Obersee”, “Untersee and Ermatingen” special stamps at CHF 0.85
- Europa Think Green – “Green” and “Think” special stamps at CHF 1
- Pro Patria – special stamps with surcharge “Zug castle” at CHF 0.85 + 0.40, “Neu-Bechburg Oensingen castle” at CHF 1 + 0.50