Sunday, 18 August 2019

Zeniths of Switzerland

1993: Definitive (Design - H Schelbert; Engraveer - M Muller)
The stamp shows the dark blue waters of a mountain lake in Switzerland called Lac de Tanay which is described as a miniature paradise and was declared a national heritage site in the 1960s. The twin peaks rising up behind are the Jumelles (Grammont and the Col de Tanay).  Located on the Haute-Savoie border the stamp
has been co-opted on to a FDC from central Switzerland celebrating a mountain that is almost surrounded by lakes - Rigi.  As the postmark says it is known as the 'Queen of Mountains'.  Summer is recommended as a beautiful time to visit and it has 120k of hiking trails with enticing names like - the floral trail, panorama path and the nature trail.  It does not end there for there is also a scenic railway ride and summer is when the steam train runs, for Rigi also has Europe's oldest mountain railway which opened in May 1871.
1983: Europa - Human Genius (Design - A Hartmann)
This rack and pinion railway was the work of the Niklau Riggenbach, engineer and locomotive builder, inventor of the Riggenbach rack system and counter-pressure brakes.   Ah yes brakes, always a good thing to have on a mountain. The maximum card celebrates his invention and
I found a picture on the web of him testing the system in 1870 running from Vitznau on Lake Lucerne (the postmark) to a point near to the summit. 
The zenith of engineering.  Riggenbach would also drive the first train upon the opening of the railway in 1871. The locomotive is still with us and is the oldest Swiss loco and the only remaining standard gauge rack fitted vertical boiler in the world.
1941-1955: Airmail Definitive - Landscapes (Design - Albert Yersin)
Lastly we have one of the iconic Swiss Mountains, the Jungfrau, which is also the location of one of the great railway journeys, tunnels and viewpoints, with not only the highest railway station in Europe but also the highest post office.  The man in seat 61 takes us on the journey with travel tips.

Sunday Stamps II prompt this week is the Letter Z - here for SwitZerland and zenith - See It On A Postcard.


Mail Adventures said...

What a clever use of Z! The mountain train stamp is fascinating.

Congratulations on finishing the A-Z round! :)

violet s said...

love your use of the word zenith!
and those are some pretty cool postmarks, too.