770th anniversary of consecration of the church of St. John, the baptist of Gandzasar／
Le 770ème anniversaire de consécration de l'église de saint Jean , le baptiste de Gandzasar
Gandzasar monastery (Armenian: Գանձասարի վանք) is a 13th century Armenian monastery situated in the Mardakert region of Nagorno-Karabakh, near the village of Vank. "Gandzasar" means treasure mountain or hilltop treasure in Armenian.The monastery holds relics believed to belong to St Zechariah, father of John the Baptist. Gandzasar was the residence of the catholicoi of the Albanian Catholicate of the Armenian Apostolic Church from about 1400 until 1816, and is now the seat of the Archbishop of Artsakh.
The construction of Gandzasar began in 1216, under the patronage of the Armenian prince of Khachen, Hasan-Jalal Dawla, and it was completed in 1238 and consecrated on July 22, 1240.
The complex is protected by high walls. Within the complex is the Cathedral of St. John the Baptist (Սուրբ Յովհաննու Մկրտիչ եկեղեցի in Armenian), built between 1216 and 1238. The drum of its dome has exquisite bas-reliefs that depict the Crucifixion, Adam and Eve, and two ministers holding a model of the church above their heads as an offering to God. The bas-reliefs have been compared to the elaborate carvings of Aghtamar, and some art historians consider the monastery to represent one of the masterpieces of Armenian architecture. Anatoly L. Yakobson, a prominent Soviet medieval art historian, described Gandzasar as a "pearl of architectural art....This is a unique monument of medieval architecture and monumental sculpture, which by right ought to be regarded as an encyclopedia of 13th-century Armenian art."
Gandzasar's cathedral church shares many architectural forms with the main churches of two other Armenian monasteries also built in the mid-13th century: Hovhannavank Monastery and Harichavank Monastery.
Young people in Taiwan now widely celebrate western Valentine’s Day on February 14. Looking to attract the younger generations to stamp collecting as well as to encourage letter writing, Chunghwa Post is releasing another set of two Valentine’s Day stamps (Issue of 2011), which feature messages of love. The first in this series of stamp sets was issued on February 6, 2007.
The concept behind the design of this set of stamps is the code of true love, which Chunghwa Post first ever makes use of QR code (quick response code) technology. QR code can store more information than regular barcode. To decode the hidden message, users only have to take a picture of the QR code with a mobile phone camera that can take images of over 300,000 pixels, and the decode software in the phone will read the message and display it on the screen.
The design of the stamp features a heart formed by a row of perforations, as well as images of roses, presents, hearts, and the word “LOVE” created from pixels. Through the interaction between the sender and the receiver, these stamps convey love and heighten the romantic atmosphere of Valentine’s Day. The message of the code is “Happy Valentine’s Day” for the NT$5 stamp and “I Love You” for the NT$25 stamp.
Previously issued a set of stamps on long-horned beetles on May 21, 2010, this Post is following up with a second set of four stamps, featuring Aeolesthes oenochrous, Doliops similis, Thermistis taiwanensis, and Dorysthenes pici. The designs follow:
1. Aeolesthes oenochrous (NT$1.00): Commonly known as the Wu-she blood-spotted long-horned beetle in English, the body of this large beetle is densely covered with shiny red hairs. The last three segments of the male’s back-sweeping antennae extend beyond the tips of its elytra, whereas the female’s antennae are shorter than its body. It is found in broad-leaved forests between 600 and 1,500 meters above sea level in mid and northern Taiwan, as well as in China.
2. Doliops similis (NT$3.50): This species is a mimic of the hard-shelled Pachyrrhynchus. This attractive beetle has a black body covered with iridescent blue markings. It has large femurs and tarsi. An endemic species of Taiwan, it can only be found on Orchid Island.
3. Thermistis taiwanensis (NT$10.00): This beetle has a black body, with a yellow blotch on the front of its head, a yellow band on each side of its pronotum, and tubercles on the outer edges of the pronotum. Its elytra are black with yellow bands. Its antennae are black. Its femurs are yellow and the remainder of its legs and claws are black. Endemic to Taiwan, this species is found in broad-leaved forests between 1,200 and 1,500 meters above sea level.
4. Dorysthenes pici (NT$32.00): It has a dark brown, almost black body and a very developed mandible. There are two serrations on its pronotal edge. The male’s antennae extend over half way down its elytra, whereas the female’s only reach the length of one third of its elytra. Endemic to Taiwan, the species is found in broad-leaved forests between 300 and 1,400 meters above sea level in northern Taiwan.
Fireworks Display Postage Stamps／Timbres d'Étalage de Feux d'artifice
Fireworks displays, kaleidoscopes of color and light, look dazzling and spectacular against the inky night sky. These artful renderings of high-tech sound and light effects really wow people and bring them great joy. To celebrate the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Republic of China, Chunghwa Post is releasing a souvenir sheet on January 1, 2011. The souvenir sheet is designed by Up Creative Design and Advertising Corporation and printed by the Central Engraving & Printing Plant. The designs and special features of the souvenir sheet follow:
1. This souvenir sheet includes four stamps, each depicting a firework sight fused into a river nightscape. From left to right: the Double Tenth Day fireworks display in Taipei (NT$5), Taipei 101’s New Year fireworks display (NT$5), the Lantern Festival fireworks display on Kaohsiung’s Love River (NT$25), and the Dragon Boat Festival fireworks display in Taoyuan County’s Longtan (NT$25). The background of the souvenir sheet features a fireworks display by the Taipei Ferris Wheel, which conveys a sense of universal celebration.
2. The souvenir sheet is printed in intaglio combined with offset. For the first time ever, the sheet is hot stamped with optical variable film to highlight the fireworks displays and the play of light and shadow on the Ferris wheel.
3. A stamp folio will be released along with this souvenir sheet. To add to collecting value, the folio comes with a souvenir sheet, as well as an offset print plate proof and an optical variable film proof with serial numbers.
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