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Saturday, 06 April 2019 05:49

12 Months, 12 Stamps. Ourense

April showers bring May flowers” is perhaps the most appropriate proverb for this instalment of the 12 months, 12 stamps, 12 provinces series dedicated to Ourense, a province shaped by water: its rivers and streams, the rain, the fountains in the Old Town and especially its medicinal mineral waters.

 To illustrate this stamp, based on the letters OU and the colour blue, the colour of the province, in the lower portion of the stamp, several elements have been included to build up a picture of Ourense province.

 A fragment of the window of the tower of Ourense Cathedral Basilica, also known as San Martiño Cathedral, a monumental feature of the city which the historical centre is built around.

 A must at any celebration is Galician octopus. Despite being an inland province, Ourense is known for its pulpeiras, local women that cook octopus, which is a practice that dates back to the Middle Ages. At that time, the Cistercian order of Oseira, 20 kilometres from the city, held territory that extended to the Ría de Marín. In order to work this land, the peasants from the cast had to pay tribute to the monastery (whose bell tower is depicted on the stamp), which they paid in the form of octopus. Thus began the tradition of importing it, and a technique was developed to dry it while preserving its flavour and properties at a time when transport was slow, creating the traditional recipe for “polbo à feira” or fair-style octopus which was cooked at pilgrimages and markets in the interior of the province.

 The hot springs at As Burgas are one of the most emblematic and popular places in the city, and are strongly linked to its origins. This is the source of the Aquis Aurienses (“golden waters”), a Roman site built around these medicinal mineral springs which continue to flow at a temperature of more than 60° in the heart of the Historic Centre.

A still for distilling orujo, a brandy made by distilling grape pomace, the solid remains of grapes left over after grapes are pressed into wine, and which belongs to the same group as French marcs, Italian grappas, Portuguese bagaçeiras and Greek tsipouros.

The impressive Sil and Miño Canyons, with imposing landscapes (500-metre-deep canyons and diminutive vineyards clinging to sheer cliffs, requiring a monumental effort to look after) and breathtaking monasteries. The climate allows typically Mediterranean species to find refuge here such as cork oaks and strawberry trees which blend in alongside indigenous oak and chestnut woodland. Birds of prey like the golden eagle and peregrine falcon can also be found among the most difficult-to-access rocks.

In A Trabe in Ourense province, there are many chestnut woods (“soutos” in Galician). Until the arrival of New World crops, chestnuts were a vital staple in rural Galician cooking, especially in mountainous areas. Centuries later, they are now becoming more and more valued as an indigenous gastronomic product.

Source: correos.es

Published in News

With the issue of this stamp, Correos pays a well-deserved tribute to the Rioja native Cosme García Sáez – one of Spain’s many forgotten geniuses. He was born in Logroño on 27 September 1818, to a humble family. Self-taught and with an inquiring mind, from an early age he showed great talent for mechanics and technical subjects, which years later would lead to the creation of inventions relating to weapons, printing, mail, and sailing.

He moved to Madrid at the start of the Progressive Biennium, and two years later, in 1856, presented his first three inventions: a breech-loading rifle, a portable printing press, and a mechanism “for all types of ink stamps”. This last invention was adopted in 1857 by Correos to mark letters with the dispatch date on the front and the arrival date on the back, hence its name: 1857 or Type II dater, replacing the 1854 or Type I model. Made abroad of high-quality steel, it left a mark of two concentric circles with diameters of 19.5 and 11 millimetres. In the centre the date appears, showing the day, the first three letters of the month slanted to the left, and the last two numbers of the year. At the top of the circles, the name of the town, and below, the provincial capital are shown, and in the case of a main Post Office Administration, its rank number appears at the bottom. This type of dater was used until the late 1870s.

The sale and maintenance of around 600 dater machines from 1857 to 1861 gave Cosme García the capital he needed to continue his career as an inventor. On his visit to the main Post Office Administration of Barcelona he discovered the sea for the first time, and immediately began to develop his most famous patent: a submarine. His first model was tested in the sea off Barcelona in 1858, one year before the Ictíneo I of Narciso Monturiol.

It is only fitting that Correos should introduce an innovation in a stamp honouring an inventor; rubber is used instead of paper, and the design is in relief: the silhouette of Cosme García, a sketch of the submersible under the sea, the text and the imprint of the 1857 dater, which stands out at the right side of the effect.

Source: correos.es

Published in News