December 23, 2009

Stonecutters Bridge

Stonecutters Bridge straddles the Rambler Channel at the entrance to the Kwai Chung Container Port. The approaches from Stonecutters Island on the east and Tsing Yi Island on the west are located near Container Terminals 8 and 9, respectively, and the connection forms a major part of the section of Route 8 between Tsing Yi and Cheung Sha Wan. Construction commenced in 2004 for commissioning in December 2009 after completion of the bridge deck in April 2009. Hongkong Post issues a set of special stamps to recognize this new icon of Hong Kong.

The dual 3-lane bridge is 1,596 metres long with a main span measuring 1,018 metres, the second longest cable-stayed span in the world. Supported by 224 cables running from two circular tapered towers of almost 300 metres in height, the bridge provides a navigation channel with 73.5 metres vertical clearance and 900 metres horizontal clearance for the safe passage of mega container vessels.

The bridge design is based on the winning entry of an international bridge design competition organised by the Highways Department in 2000. The two towers are constructed of steel and concrete with a stainless steel skin covering the upper portion. This unique composite design gives the bridge a modern look, echoing Hong Kong’s image as a cosmopolitan city in Asia.

The stamps showcase the splendour of the bridge from various angles — an upward view of the lofty girders and the tower ($1.40); a long shot illustrating the architectural ingenuity of this magnificent structure ($2.40); a view from sea level of the hustle and bustle of the container port under the bridge ($3); and a bird’s eye perspective of the tower demonstrating the beauty of the stay cables unfolding fanlike along its length ($5). Against the azure sky and the sapphire sea, birds glide over the bridge which stands majestically across the channel, busy with land and marine traffic, presenting a harmonious integration of technology into the environment.

Stamp Issue: 2009-12-17

November 10, 2009

The 50th Anniversary of Diplomatic Relations between Korea and Brazil

This year marks the 50th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Korea and Brazil. Over the past half a century, the two countries have engaged in very active exchanges and cooperation in various areas such as the economic, social, and cultural fields. In celebration of this 50th anniversary, Korea Post and its Brazilian counterpart ECT (Empresa Brasileira de Correios e Telegrafos) are issuing a set of joint stamps featuring bridges, hoping that through these bridges, the two countries located at the opposite sides of the globe can connect together and take a leap forward with each other.

Opened in October 2009, the Incheon Bridge is 18.5km long. Is the longest bridge in Korea and World’s No. 6 in length. The bridge is composed of various types of bridges such as cable-stayed bridge, arch bridge, viaduct, and extra-dosed bridge. The main tower is 238.5m high, and the cable-stayed section of the bridge extends 800 meter to become the 5th longest cable-stayed bridge in the world. Connecting Incheon International Airport with Songdo International City in Incheon, the bridge is expected to contribute to balanced regional development of Korea and to serve as a gateway that connects Korea with the world.

Octavio Frias de Oliveira Bridge is highly lauded as a beautiful bridge in architectural and aesthetic terms. The main towers that cross in an X shape support two curved roads. Opened in 2008 as a cable-stayed bridge, it is 1,600m long and 138m high. Connecting Journalist Roberto Marinho Avenue with the Rio Pinheiros Highway, the bridge significantly contributes to reducing traffic congestion in the region by accommodating 8,000 or so vehicles per hour, and is largely responsible for transforming the region into a tourist attraction.

Stamp Issue: 2009-10-30

October 22, 2009

Inaguration of the Seto Ohashi Bridge

The Seto Ohashi Bridge connecting Honshu (mainland) and Shikoku (large island in the Seto Inland Sea) is inaugurated on April 10, 1988. The bridge is 9.4 kilometers long, made up of six branch bridge across 8 small islands. It is a two-storied bridge; the upper for automobiles and the lower for rail ways. The bridge seen from both ends is depicted on a se-tenant strip of four.

Stamp Issue: 1988-04-08

Opening of Oh-Naruto Bridge

The Oh-Naruto Bridge is in the Honshu-Shikoku Conjunction Route, build over the faumos whirlpools of the Naruto Straits. The bridge is 876 meters main spain and 1,629 meters long. This is the suspension bridge largest in Asia and the 10th largest in the world. As a road-railway bridge, it is the largest in the world.

Stamp Issue: 1985-06-07

October 7, 2009

Technical Monuments – Bridge Kráľová at Senec

The bridge over the Čierna Voda river, on the road from Krmeš to Kráľová , was built in 1904. This type of bridge has a skeleton of stone, filled out with burnt bricks, and an artistic stone railing designed like a balustrade. The bridge had its stone predecessor from the 18th century.

The Italian constructors and stone-masons used some original Baroque material for its construction - mainly the stone balustrade. From the artistic point of view, this balustrade fully matches the fencing between the parsonage and the adjacent house. The bridge features Baroque and Art Noveau elements, but its style is best described as Neo-Baroque. Below the mansion was a wooden bridge till 1900. This bridge is a technical monument with artistic elements, secondarily registered as city planning and a historic monument. The bridge is set on four bearing rectangular pillars, spanning the river in three ellipsoid arks, the bridge-body ends in approximately 100 cm high pillars. Both ends of the bridge are filled with material from the road to the bank. The bridge is historic, associated with the Pálffy-clan in this location. The Pálffy-clan gradually allowed an extensive exemplary agricultural-industrial complex to be built - the modified mansion in Kráľová and the bridge connecting the closer surroundings on the right riverbank with the park and land behind the river on the left bank. Following the death of the last owner, Ján Pálffy, and the end of World War I, this complex started to be broken up: the land and parks were divided, and the bridge which was originally inside the mansion area ended up free standing. The original park-bridge became a road-bridge connecting the two local parts. The dimensions of the bridge: length - 4009 cm, bridge body width - 602 cm, road width - 470 cm, height of highest point above middle-ark - 680 cm.

The First Day Cover shows the Baroque stone bridge over the rivulet Sikenica in Bátovcie from 1780. The FDC Cancellation shows the Gothic bridge in Dravce.

Stamp Issue: 2007-09-05

October 5, 2009

Historical bridges - Wooden bridge in Kluknava

The wooden bridges were started to be built in the 13th century. Wood however remained the main building material till the 19th century. Only few of the noteworthy roofed wooden bridges, which were situated in Slovakia, were preserved.

The only preserved Slovak wooden covered bridge is the bridge across Hornád river in Kluknava in the local part called Štefanská Huta. It originated in 1832. Its construction is 27 m long and 3.4 m wide. The bridge in Kluknava was built for the transport of the building material for the factory construction in Štefanská Huta. It was never more seriously damaged, neither repaired.

The shingled covering and side boarding were renewed in 1832 - just hundred years after the bridge construction. In 1981 an extensive reconstruction of the bridge begun by its total dismantling. The bridge of Kluknava is according to the experts called the pride of the Slovak wooden covered bridges.

Stamp Issue: 2000-09-14

October 4, 2009

The Sturovo-Ostrihom Bridge

The Sturovo-Ostrihom Bridge, originally the Bridge of Maria Valeria, was built in 1895 as the third of the series of bridges dedicated to the Habsburg Dynasty at the Hungarian bank of the Danube river.

After the laying up because of destruction, the bridge was being reconstructed from 1919 up to 1927, but later ruined again at Christmas in 1944 as retraining German troops blew the three middle parts of the bridge up, whereupon the two supporting pillars were seriously damaged.
This war torso persisted at the Danube river for 56 years until the Slovak Republic and Hungary signed the international agreement on common restoration with the crucial financial help of EU.

The Sturovo-Ostrihom Bridge will enable constant connections across the border and contribute to the socio-economic development of contiguous Danube regions. At the same time, this work of renovation becomes a stable symbol of connecting and unifying of the European nations.

Stamp Issue: 2001-10-11

September 18, 2009

Anghel I. Saligny – 155 Years since his Birth

With the occasion of celebrating 155 years from the birth of a Romanian genius - Anghel I. Saligny, within the annual theme ROMANIAN POSTAGE STAMP DAY, Romfilatelia honors this event with the introduction into circulation of the postage stamps issue “Anghel I. Saligny – 155 Years since his Birth”.

The railroad line Adjud - Tg. Ocna with the first combined bridges in the country – highway and railway (1881-1882), the first grain silos in the world made of reinforced concrete in Braila and Galati (1888-1889), the bridge over Siret from Cosmesti (1888), the bridges complex in Fetesti-Cernavoda, the longest in Europe (1895), the arrangement of the harbor in Constanta (1889-1909), these are a few of the engineering works left by a famous Romanian: Anghel I. Saligny.

His father, Alfred Saligny, native from Alsacia has established before 1859 in Romania, Focsani, where he opened a boarding school – private education institution destinated to the young people whose parents with a high living standard wished their children to get consistent knowledges in the domains of literature and French language, in which he also had the position of teacher.

After the Union of the Romanian Principalities, the foreigners were asked to declare whether they wanted to become Romanian citizens, which Alfred Saligny done; so that his children as well: Anghel, Alfons and Sofia have acquired the Romanian citizenship.

One of the founders of the Romanian engineering, Anghel I. Saligny was born on 1854 at Serbanesti, in the county of Galati.

The primary school was attended at his father’s boarding school in Focsani. After finishing the secondary school in the same city, he attended the high school courses in Germany, Postdam together with his sister, Sofia.

In the period of 1870-1874 he studied the engineering within the Superior Technical School in Charlottenburg. He worked, under the supervision of professor G. Mahrtens, at the construction of the Cottbus-Frankfurt railway on Oder, and between the years 1877-1879, under the supervision of Gh. Duca, he worked at the construction of the Ploiesti-Predeal railway.
With the name of Anghel I. Saligny are related world premières in the field of construction engineering.

The most important work of the Romanian engineer, unanimously acknowledged, is the construction of the bridge complex at Fetesti-Cernavoda, which on its inauguration date was the longest bridge in Europe and the third in the world and also one of the metallic bridges with a wide opening in the world. In the accomplishment of this complex of bridges, Saligny has brought two great innovations: the new system of cantilever beams for the structure of the bridge and the use of soft steel instead of ball iron as construction material for the bridge decks.

The bridge that until 1976 will wear the name of King Charles I (renamed afterwards Eng. Anghel Saligny) has been built between the years 1890-1895. It has been inaugurated on September 26th 1895 by the Romanian monarch who wished to drive in the last silver rivet.

Being fully convinced of the durability of the bridge, Anghel I. Saligny stayed with the workers in a boat, under the bridge, while the first merchandise set of cars and a train with guests specially arrived from Bucharest passed upon it.

The complex of bridges, with a length of almost 4090 m, is formed of the bridge over the Danube (with an openings of 190 m and other four openings of 140 m, near a viaduct with 15 openings of 60 m, at 30 m over the Danube waters) and the bridge over the river arm Borcea (with three openings of 140 m, a viaduct with 11 openings of 50 m and a viaduct with 34 openings of 42 m).

18 centuries after the construction of the bridge of Apolodor in Damask, the banks of the Romanian Danube were again united by the bridge of Anghel I. Saligny.

Another two constructions of Anghel Saligny have been world-wide awarded, i.e. the reinforced steel silos in Braila and Galati. The silos, projected and constructed by Saligny in 1888 and 1889 had the capacity of 25000 tons of grains and the dimensions of 30 x 120 m at the base and 18 meters height. The walls of the hexagonal cells of the silos have been carried out in world premiere as well, of ground manufactured pieces, with form of plates. The prefabrication of the ground plates, the bracing and joint corners, the welding of the metallic bars and the mechanization on the assembling have represented another world - wide priorities.

A work which also bears the engineering signature of Saligny is the setting up of the Constanta harbor, which has been carried out between the years of 1889-1909. At the Constanta harbor, Saligny introduced for the first time in Romania the piles and the etched copper - plates made of reinforced concrete in the harbor constructions.

Today, in Romania when we speak about poetry, we say Eminescu, when we speak about sculpture we look towards Brâncusi, when we speak about music we hear the strings of Enescu´s violin, when we are in the plane which carries us over the clouds we think of Vuia and Coanda, and when we speak about bridges and cross over the Danube to the Romanian beaches, we remember Anghel Saligny.

Stamp Issue: 2009-07-30

August 27, 2009

40 Years of Diplomatic Relations Singapore-Philippines

To commemorate the 40th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Singapore and the Philippines, Singapore Post and Philippines Post will release a joint stamp issue featuring five significant bridges in Singapore and the Philippines. The theme, ‘Bridges’ is chosen to signify the strong, multi-faceted ties between both countries.

The 80-cents stamp depicts the Henderson Waves and Alexandra Arch, bouth found along the Southern Ridges, were opened in May 2008. Presently Singapore's highest pedestrian bridge, standing at 36m above the Henderson Road. The Henderson Waves connects Mount Faber Park to Telok Blagah Hill Park, while the smaller bridge Alexandra Arch, connects Kent Ridge Park to Telok Blagah Hill Park via the Flora Walk.

The Cavenagh Bridge built in 1868, featured on the $0.65 stamp is the oldest bridge on the Singapore River. Built to commemorate the 50th Anniversary of the founding of the Crown Colony of the Straits Settlement, it was converted to a pedestrian bridge.

The Bamban Bridge
featured on the 1st local stamp, crossing the Sacobia-Bamban River system, along the MacArthur Highway between Mabalacat, Pampanga and Bamban, Tarlac, is one of the modern and sleek-looking bridges in the Philippines. The bridge’s arch has a span of 174 metres and contains 1,400 tons of steel. Completed around 1998, it is the longest bridge of its type in the world.

The Marcelo Fernan Bridge
depicted on the $1.10 stamp is an extradosed cable-stayed bridge located in Metro Cebu. It spans across Mactan Channel connecting Cebu Island to Mactan Island. Opened in August 1999. The bridge has a total length of 1237 metres with a centre span of 185 metres. This bridge is one of the widest and longest bridge span in the Philppines, and is named after Senator Marcelo Fernan from Cebu City.

Stamp Issue: 2009-08-28

July 13, 2009

Indonesia Suramadu Bridge

Suramadu Bridge
is a 5,438 m long bridge connecting Java Island and Madura Island. Considered as a longest bridge in Indonesia so far, Suramadu Bridge becomes a new landmark of Indonesia, especially East Java Province. Officially started in 2003, the construction is undertaken simultaneously on all of its three parts, both Surabaya and Madura side as well as central part comprising approach bridge and main bridge. Suramadu Bridge is inaugurated by President of the Republic of Indonesia Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono on 10 June 2009.

Stretched across Madura Strait, this bridge consists of three parts, namely causeway, approach bridge and main bridge. The bridge provides four 3.5 m width two-ways lines and two 2.75 m width emergency lines. Special line for motorcycle rider is available along the outer side of the bridge. Two causeways connect the bridge with the land across the shallow water at both sides. The 672 m long approach bridges link causeways with the main bridge. The main bridge is made up using cable stayed construction supported by twin towers erected 143 m high. The bridge allocates 35 m high free space above the sea level to accommodate shipping traffic across Madura Strait.

Suramadu Bridge is built to increase transportation traffic of people and logistics from and to Madura Island. The increasing traffic is believed will accelerate development in Madura Island which less developed than other parts of East Java Province. Hopefully, the bridge will pace the growing economics activity of this area. Whereas, the instant economics benefit comes from revenue of toll charged to every vehicles pass the bridge.

Stamp Issue: 2009-06-10

June 25, 2009

Old Rhine Bridge

On the 4th of September 2008 German and Swiss posts have emitted a joint stamp issue sharing the same design and picturing an old bridge over the Rhine river.

With a length of 200 meters, this bridge is the longest covered wooden bridge in Europe. It connects the German town of Bad Säckingen with the Swiss canton of Aargau. Existence of a wooden bridge in this area can be tracked back to the 13th century. This first construction and many subsequent ones were destroyed because of disasters or wars.

Today's bridge construction emerged 200 years ago and is used since then as a frontier between Germany and Switzerland. Since 1979 it is reserved exclusively to cyclists and pedestrians.

Stamp Issue: 2008-09-04

May 4, 2009

100 Years Bridge Oberndorf - Laufen

Oberndorf has witnessed a large number of devastating floods during the last centuries. The first record of a bridge being washed away dates back to 1316. The damage was often caused by flotsam which was caught between the wooden bridge pylons and forced the water to dam up. Ultimately the bridges were often just washed away. During the last decade of the 19th century four floods cased great damage, and a decision was made to relocate the town to a more elevated plateau.

The Bavarian Laufen and Austrian Oberndorf developed the plan to construct a stable bridge made of stone and iron incorporating a greater span. As the bridge was in close proximity to both the old town square of Laufen and the new centre of Oberndort, an aesthetic design was implemented.

The two-pylon construction had three apertures, the largest of which was on the Austrian side to allow for shipping needs. The construction was made of 648 tonnes of Martin River iron ore, with a chain-like curved upper cable and a straight lower cable. The facing of the pillars and decorative elements required an additional 67 tonnes of material to ensure a pleasing design. Eagles with spread wings were placed upon the bridge portals, adding to the elegant impression of the construction. The bridge was inaugurated on the 2nd of June 1903 in a collective festival of inhabitants from Laufen and Oberndorf.

Stamp Issue: 2003-06-03

May 1, 2009

50th Anniversary - Auckland Harbour Bridge

Fifty years since its opening, Auckland Harbour Bridge is an icon of New Zealand’s landscape. Replacing a 40-kilometre drive or a cross harbour ferry ride, it’s been key to growth in the region – transforming North Shore’s seaside villages and rural communities into a thriving city, and opening Auckland City and points north and south to previously unimaginable opportunities for expansion and development.

Join us in celebrating the anniversary of this remarkable structure’s opening, with four gummed stamps, one self-adhesive stamp and a first day cover that are bound to be snapped up by Kiwis and international collectors alike.

50c – Opening Day 1959
On 30 May 1959, Governor-General Lord Cobham officially opened the box truss bridge after a week of celebrations that included a crossing by thousands of pedestrians before it was opened to vehicles. Retailers prepared for the event with ‘bridge specials’ and competitions, while parades, fashion shows and dances were held to welcome the new landmark.

$1.00 – Our Bridge 2009
By the late 1960s it was apparent that the Bridge would soon reach its capacity. To cope with the growth in traffic volumes, Japanese company IHI clipped two new lanes to each side of the bridge using the existing pier supports. The work was completed in 1969, with the only major maintenance required since being a girder strengthening project in 2006.

$1.50 – Our Icon 1961
From the day it opened until 1984, Auckland Harbour Bridge was a toll road, charging 25 cents per car with the aim of recovering the costs
of construction. After one year of operation, 4.9 million vehicles had crossed the bridge, a figure that increased to 10.6 million in 1966 and reached more than 60 million in 2008. To help manage the traffic flow, the world’s first ‘moveable lane barrier’ was installed in 1990 – it’s now moved four times a day to create an extra lane at peak times.

$2.00 – Our Link 2009
Today, the Auckland Harbour Bridge is an essential link between the North Shore and Auckland City – providing commuters, travellers
and tourists with an easy, direct link to motorways stretching north and south. It’s also a visitor destination, with bridge climbing and bungy jumping experiences now on offer to those with an adventurous spirit. Care to try ‘the fastest way of getting to see Waitemata Harbour’ yourself?

Stamp Issue: 2009-05-01

April 29, 2009

Philippine Colonial Bridges I

The early history of bridge building in the country is attributed to both the Spanish missionaries and conquistadors, who along with their task of converting, pacifying and subjugating souls were also responsible for building communities.

Puente de Isabel II (Province of Cavite)
The bridge was built by Brother Matias Carbonell OSRA in 1857 and situated along Calle Liko and spans the Rio de Imus linking the town of Imus to Bacoor.

Puente Dampol (Province of Nueva Vizcaya)
The bridge was built by the Spanish conquistadors in 1739 and situated in the southernmost portion of the Cagayan Valley.

Puente de Barit (Province of locos Norte)
The bridge is situated along the Laoag-Bacarra Nacional Road. Nothing much is known about its heritage, but it is a beautiful piece of civic infrastructure that serves as a very important link to towns of north of Laoag.

Puente de Blanco (Binondo)
The bridge is also known as Puente de Binondo, built in 1796. The bridges traverses Calle San Fernando linking Plaza Calderon de la Barca now known as Plaza San Lorenzo Ruiz to San Nicholas district. The Maestro de obras was Policarpio Faxardo with Phelipe de Mesa as sobrestante or foreman.

Puente de Malagonlong (Province of Quezon)
It is the most spectacular bridge from the Spanish Colonial era. The construction was started in 1841 and finished in 1850. It links Tayabas with the coastal town of Pagbilao, then an important link to the coast.

Puente del Fuerza Santiago (Intramuros)
The construction of the bridge started in 1591 and was completed in 1634 under the direction of Leonardo Iturrino. The bridge was built west of the gate leading to Fuerza Santiago. Today both the moat and the bridge have been fully restored to give visitors a partial glimpse of the history of Fuerza Santiago.

Puente de Mabacao (Maragondon)
The date of construction and the name of the builders remains unknown. It spans a rather wide gorge and is supported by three masonry piers resting on solid rocks.

Puente de Busay (Province of Albay)
The bridge is located along the Guinobatan-Camalig national road which straddles the border of the two towns overlooking either the majestic Mount Mayon on its eastern side or the spectaculars Busay Waterfalls.

Stamp Issue: 2007-05-16

April 27, 2009

Architecture of the Dong Nationality

Dong Nationality, a minority nationality in southwest China, has a population of about 2.5 million who mainly inhabit Guizhou, Hunan and Guangxi provinces and autonomous region. The Dong people are not only good at singing and dancing, but also experts in knitting and building.

The drum towers are in the shape of a wood pagoda. Without a single nail or rivet, the towers could be three-to ten-storey high. The tower is spacious inside and has wood rails circling each floor. There is a calabash or crane on the top of the tower symbolizing auspiciousness and peace. The delicately wrought protruding eaves look as if to fly and leap. The square in front of, and the stage connected with the tower are the centre of celebration activities.

Wind and Rain Bridge, also called flower bridge, is another unique building of Dong people. As the weather in the region is changeable, Dong people build corridors on the bridges so passers-by could take shelter from the sun, wind and rain or take a rest. So the bridge is called wind and rain bridge. On the corridor and eaves of pavilions are carved with paintings featuring coloured and vivid figures, mountains and rivers, patterns and animal, displaying the Dong's national characteristics as well as their diligence and wisdom. Wind and rain bridges are the art treasures of Chinese wood architecture.

Stamp Issue: 1997-06-02

April 26, 2009

Architecture of Ancient China: Bridges

Zhaozhou Bridge also known as Anchi Bridge is the world's oldest open-spandrel stone segmental arch bridge cross the Jiao River, about 50 m long with a central span of 37.37 m. It stands 7.3 m tall and has a width of 9 m. Credited to the design of a craftsman named Li Chun, the bridge was constructed in the years 595-605 during the Sui Dynasty (581–618). Located in the southern part of Hebei Province, it is the oldest standing bridge in China. In the next 1400 years, the bridge survived at least eight wars, ten major floods and numerous earthquakes, the nearest of which being the 7.2 degree Xingtai Earthquake in 1966. Yet, the support structure remains intact and the bridge is still in use. Only the ornamental railings have been replaced every few hundred years.

Precious Belt Bridge is a Chinese stone arch bridge located near the city of Suzhou, Jiangsu Province, China. The Precious Belt Bridge is located at the intersection of the Grand Canal and Dantai Lake, about 2.5 kilometer south east of Suzhou. The first construction of the bridge dates back to the year 816 AD, during the mid Tang Dynasty. The bridge's span is 317 m long and has a width of 4.1 m, with a total of 53 arches in its span. The three central arches are enlarged to allow for the passage of - by historical standards - larger river vessels without masts. The average span of each arch is 4.6 m.

Anlan Bridge is suspension bridge with Rope made from bamboo, crosses the Minjiang River bestriding the water of the Inner Canal and Outer Canal to connect Erwang Temple with the Dujiangyan Irrigation System.Anlan Bridge is 261 meters long. It is supported by wooden pegs and stone piers. The bridge crosses the river by using bamboo ropes. The bridge is secured by bamboo ropes on two sides, in length of which are about 500 meters each. When the bridge was restored, steel ropes were used instead of bamboo ropes. The wooden pegs which supported the cable were changed to ferroconcrete pegs, and the length of the bridge become 240 meters.

Chengyang Bridge also known as Yongji Bridge or Panlong Bridge, spans the Linxi River of Sanjiang County. Built in 1916, it is 64.4 meters long, 3.4 meters wide and 10.6 meters high. Constructed with wood and stones, the surface of the bridge is paved with wooden boards and both sides are inlayed with railings. On the bridge itself, there are five tower-like kiosks with 'horns' and eaves which resemble the flapping wings of birds. It is the best one among the wind and rain bridges in Dong stockade villages. At present, it is the largest wind and rain bridge also it is the crystal of Dong people's wisdom; it is one of the artistic precious things of Chinese wood architecture.

Stamp Issue: 1962-05-15

April 25, 2009

Interchanges in Beijing

Interchanges are multi-layer flyovers that have been built over the past several decades. With interchanges. Vehicles and pedestrians from all directions can cross each other by their own way without waiting for traffic light.

Interchanges generally fall into two categories, the simple flyovers and complicated interchanges. The former can only ensure the cross of vehicle at both the upper and lower layers, while the latter can guarantee the cross of vehicles at various layers and thus need more slip roads and occupy more land.

Interchanges have been developing rapidly over the past several decades since they can prevent vehicles from reducing speed and starting again at crossings and bring about considerable social-economic gains. China started to vigorously develop interchanges in mid-1970s. The first interchange in Beijing is the Fuxingmen Interchange which was built in 1974. Today, there are several hundreds of interchanges along the second, third and fourth ring roads of the city. In terms of architectural structure, the interchanges, with two to four layers, include simply flyovers and those in the shape of cloverleaf and butterfly, with H-and Y-type and single-column bridge piers.

At present, the largest interchange in China is the Siyuan Interchange in Beijing. It is a four-layer large interchange composed of 26 bridges, with the span between the single-column bridge piers being the largest in interchanges of the country. The bridges of the Siyuan Interchange, which covers 400,000 square meters of land, have a total length of 2.8 kilometers and a total area of 40,000 square meters.

Stamp Issue: 1995-06-20

March 21, 2009

The Inauguration of Taiwan’s Second Southern Freeway

The Second Southern Freeway, from Hsinhua, Tainan to Chiuju, Pingtung, is to be completed and opened in February 2000. This is the final link in southern Taiwan's freeway network, which will bring prosperity to this area and balance development in the region.

The Second Southern Freeway runs for a total of about 134 kilometers, through Tainan County, Tainan City, Kaohsiung County, Kaohsiung City and Pingtung County, and includes the main freeway, the Kaohsiung branch and the Tainan branch.

The Kaoping River cable-stayed bridge is situated at the border of Kaohsiung and Pingtung Country. The total length of the bridge is 2,617 meters. The western section of it has a nonsymmetrical cable-stayed bridge design. The pylon, its main structure, is a single tower with an A-frame design, with a height of 183.5 meters. It has a side span of 180 meters that uses a prestressed concrete box beam. Its main spain is an extremely long 330 meters, and uses a completely welded steel-frame box beam. The middle section of the bridge, for which a balanced-cantilever design has been employed, has long spans. The eastern section of the bridge, which employs an advancing-shoring design, has spans of medium length. This magnificent and powerful design of the bridge as a whole is a triumph both of structural mechanics and esthetics.

The NT$5.00 stamp features a close-up of the pylon of the bridge to show that it is an important landmark of the freeway.
The NT$12.00 stamp features a bird's-eye view of the interchange of the Tainan freeway.
The NT$25.00 miniature sheet features a bird's-eye view of the bridge.

Stamp Issue: 2000-02-02

March 20, 2009

The Inanguration of Taiwan’s Second Northern Freeway

To reduce the increasingly heavy traffic load on the northern section of the Sun Yat-sen Freeway, the Executive Yuan approved construction of a Second Northern Freeway in 1984. Construction started in 1987 and the freeway was scheduled to be completed and opened in late August of 1997.

The Directorate General of Posts plans to print a pair of Commemorative Stamps on the Opening of the Second Northern Freeway of Taiwan, one showing the freeway crossing over the Bitan Bridge of the Shindian River and the other a view of the Interchange in Hsinchu.

The total length of the Second Northern Freeway is about 117 kilometers, and includes the following sections (1) the main freeway, which runs along the edge of the east side mountains of northern Taiwan and the South edge of metropolitan Taipei. It branches out from the Sun Yat-sen Freeway near Shijr, and connects to the Interchange of the Hsinchu system at the southern edge of the Hsinchu Science-Based Industrial Park, which connects to the Sun Yat-sen Freeway, (2) the inner circle, which branches out from the main freeway in the area near Yingge, goes through Taoyuan and connects to the airport interchange of the Sun Yat-sen Freeway, serving as the second express road providing access to the Chiang Kai-shek International Airport; and (3) the Taipei spur, which branches out from the main line in the area near Mucha and connects to existing and planned expressway systems of Taipei City.

Stamp Issue: 1997-08-26

February 19, 2009

Bridges from Algeria

The city of Constantine situated in the north of Algeria is characterized by a particular geography. Based on a huge rock separated in its middle by the Rhummel River, it conceals numerous bridges that were built to connect both parts of the city. As well their particular aspect, these bridges are real art works.

The bridge of Sidi M'cid (10,00 Dinars): named also the suspension bridge, it was conceived the French engineer, Ferdinand Arnaudin. Inagurated on April 19th, 1912 in aim to connect the Kasbah to the new hospital and to the War Memorial, it was constructed in iron and cast, measuring 164 meters long and dominating the Rhummel River on 175 meters above the stream. Wide of 5 meters 70, it bears the load of 17 tons. Down from Sidi M'cid, the sight is wonderful and extended far off towards the gorges of the city and the Hamma valey.

The bridge of Sidi Rached (15,00 Dinars): The works of constructing this bridge were lauched in 1907 by Boisnier, a specialist of the big bridges. The bridge of Sidi Rached is a huge and impressive accumulation of rock wrapping the south of the city. Established on 27 arc of dressed stone among which a principal arc of 70 meters of opening and 105 meters high, it was during its building one of the biggest stony bridges in the world. Measuring 447 meters long and 12 meters wide, it allows to lie the city centre with the district of the station and gives access to the road going out southward. With its ornamental construction, the bridge of Sidi Rached symbolized majestically the city on postcards.

El Kantara Bridge (20.00 Dinars): The bridge named El Kantara constitutes the main access road to the city. During the year 1185 all the bridges built by the Roman were destroyed, however, only the bridge of El Katara was reconditioned. In 1304, the same bridge was demolished again to be restored in 1792. Further to the passage of an infantry detachment, El Kantara collapsed on March 18th, 1857. But it was reconstructed in 1864 to connect the old rock city, as Constantine was called, and the national street to the road of Mansourah. The bridge of El Kantara was a bow of cast iron measuring 128 meters in length and raised 125 meters upright and dominating the Rhummel valey.

The bridge of the Medersa (38.00 Dinars): this bridge built between 1917 and 1925 is reserved to the pedestrians. It measures 125 meters of lenght and 2 meters 40 of wide. It connects the district of the station with the city centre via the flight of the stairs or the elvator of the Medersa (school) situated in the middle road of the bridge of Sidi Rached and that of El Kantara. The bridge of the Medersa, ex Perregaux, named at present the bridge Mellah Slimane, reflects the technique of suspension bridges and it is a model of Sidi M'cid Bridge. During the year 2002, this bridge was subjected to a big operation of refubishment.

Stamp Issue: 2008-11-26

February 5, 2009

Casimir Gzowski - Capex 78

Sir Casimir Gzowski was the first chairman of the Commission for the establishment of the Queen Victoria Falls Park, forerunner of the present Niagara Parks Commission. During his eight years charmanship (1885-1893), he was largely responsible for the original planning of the famed Niagara Parks System we enjoy today.

Sir Casimir also engineered the construction of the International Railway Bridge across the Niagara River, linking Fort Erie with Buffalo (1870-1873), considered to be one the North American continent up to that time.

Gzowski was born March 5, 1813, in St. Petersburg, Russia, of Polish parentage. He was exiled to the United States in 1833 for his part in the Warsow rebelion against Russia. In 1838 he became both a lawyer and a U.S. citizien; married Maria Beebe the next year. In 1841 he settled in Toronto as an engineer in the Canadian Department of Public Works and became a naturalized Canadian citizen in 1846. He engineered the construction of the Great Western Railroad from Toronto to Sarnia.

Gzowski was made a Colonel and Aide-de-Camp to Queen Victoria in 1879 and was knighted in 1890. He died in Toronto, Ontario, August 24, 1898, aged 85 years.

Stamp Issue: 1978-06-06
bl. 58, fdc 2413

January 7, 2009

Hot Springs in Taiwan

Located on the seismic zone that rings the Pacific Ocean, Taiwan abounds with volcanic topography and geothermal energy. These are necessary for sulfur springs. What’s more, the metamorphic and sedimentary rock on the either side of the Central Mountain Range are full of minerals which react with hydrogen carbonate ions, which is necessary for carbonated springs. All told, there are over 100 hot springs of various kinds around the island. There are also very few cold springs. But Taiwan is endowed with hot springs, cold springs, murky hot springs, and seabed hot springs. In response to the government’s call to publicize the beauty of Taiwan’s hot springs so as to encourage citizens to take vacations, promote tourism and stimulate the economy, Chunghwa Post has chosen four different types of springs in four famous scenic locations as a set of four stamps on hot springs in Taiwan. The stamps feature the Yangmingshan Hot Springs, the Suao Cold Springs, the Guanziling Murky Hot Springs and the Green Island Seabed Hot Springs. On the upper left corner of each stamp is a teardrop-shaped window with the picture of a local landmark or vista. The main designs of the stamps feature images of people soaking in the springs, thus showing the pleasure involved. In the lower left corner of each stamp is a symbol that denotes hot springs.

1) Yangmingshan Hot Springs (NT$5): Most hot springs here are sulfur springs, with a temperature ranging between 60° to 70°C. This water is for bathing only. Approach Yangmingshan through Yangde Boulevard and then take the Yang-Jin Highway. Along the highway, many signs indicate previous volcanic activity. The landscapes of Siaoyoukeng and Sulfur Valley fumaroles are the spots that are well worth a stop. A picture of these fumaroles is found in the teardrop-shaped window on the upper left corner of the stamp.

2) Suao Cold Springs (NT$5): It rains a lot in the Suao area, and rainwater percolates down into the earth’s crust to a depth of about 2,000 meters, reaching cracks in the slate. Then, as a result of tectonic movement, the carbonate content in the rocks dissolves and releases a large amount of carbon dioxide, making the underground water bubbly and pushing it to the surface in the form of carbonated cold springs. The springs here are used for drinking as well as bathing. The temperature of the water is about 22°C. The design of the stamp includes Cold Springs Park and Nanfangao Bridge.

Nanfangao Bridge was inaugurated in June, 1998. The bridge connects Su-Ao Port and Nan-Fang-Ao. The single-arch suspension bridge has special fish, shrimp and crab designs on the bridge column that symbolize the ocean. There is also a landscape platform for tourists to overlook vessels in and out of the fishing port.

3) Guanziling Murky Hot Springs (NT$10): The rising spring water here brings minerals, salt and mud particles with them when it goes through the mudstone layers below the surface, making the spring water look murky and even black. Therefore, it is also known in Chinese as the Black Hot Spring. This is an alkaline carbonate spring, of a temperature about 75°C. This water is for bathing only. Featured in the teardrop-shaped window on the upper left corner of the stamp is a photo of the famous ShueiHuoTongYuan (which means “where water and fire spring from the same source”). The reason for this spectacular phenomenon is that spring water and natural gas are both coming out of the cliff surface at Mt. Jhentou, so that when the gas is lit, you get water and fire together.

4) Green Island Seabed Hot Springs (NT$25): The hot springs here rise out of groups of rocks and reefs along the shore. The temperature of these acidic sulfur springs ranges between 53° to 93°C. The water has a high salt content and is undrinkable. The teardrop-shaped window in the upper left corner features the island’s most famous landmark: the Green Island Lighthouse.

Stamp Issue: 2003-12-14

January 6, 2009

Taiwan Scenery

Taiwan is a long, narrow island oriented in a north-south direction. Situated on the southeastern side of the Asian continent, on the island arc of East Asia, it occupies a pivotal link for transportation within the Asia-Pacific region. With air links in all directions, it is very convenient for traveling. The topography of Taiwan is very complex and diverse, and there is an abundance of dramatic scenery, including mountains, craggy hills, plains, basins, islands, longitudinal valleys and seacoasts. What’s more, with the Tropic of Cancer passing through the middle of Taiwan, there are tropical, subtropical and temperate ecosystems, and the resulting biodiversity constitutes a great resource for tourism. To promote the beauty of Taiwan to people abroad, Chunghwa Post has specially chosen four famous scenic spots for a set of Taiwan Scenery Postage Stamps.

1) Taichung’s Chungshan Park (NT$5): Built in 1903, it is also called Taichung Park. It has an area of 10.5 hectares. The graceful classical-styled Huhsin Pavilions in the park’s lake are its most representative feature. Their red roofs and snow-white walls resemble two bamboo hats. Among the most famous landmarks of Taichung City, these are great places for Taichung residents to relax.

Chungchen Bridge is a small stone arch bridge in Taichung’s Chungshan Park. 

2) Ilan’s Dongshan River (NT$5): The Dongshan River, which has been straightened, is Ilan’s fifth largest river and one of the county’s most renowned scenic spots. Apart from the scenery along the river, the arched bridge spanning the river and its reflection in the water (which serve as a symbol for the Cingshuei Water Park) also provide beautiful vistas.

Lizegane Bridge crosses the Dongshan River. 

3) Tianliao’s 'Moonscape'(NT$11): These 'badland' have been formed by years of strong rain and river erosion, which have washed away the soft, blue-gray and slightly salty mudstone to leave this barren and rugged 'moonscape.

4) Chenggong’s Sansiantai (NT$20): Sansiantai (Terrace of the Three Immortals) is a coral reef island with lots of huge rocks on land and coral reefs in the sea around it. With an area of about three hectares, the island is connected to Taiwan proper by a beautiful 320-meter-long footbridge.

Stamp Issue: 2003-10-28