Europa: Celebrating Decades of Eastern European Stamps

Europa are special stamp issues offered by European Postal administrations to promote cooperation across postal domains and philately. These stamps help build awareness of common culture, roots and history of Europe. Each year Europa stamps issued by European postal administrations and enterprises currently bear the official EUROPA logo. Europe is the central theme with a specific topic selected annually.

Europa: Castles

The first Europa stamps were issued in 1956 by the founding six member countries of Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Luxemburg and the Netherlands under coordination of the European Communities. This first stamp issued had both a common theme and a common design “Rebuilding Europe”: a tower made up of the letters of the word “EUROPA” and surrounded by construction scaffolding. By 1957 the common theme of “Uniting Europe” was supported by a unique stamp designed issued by the member countries.

Europa themes over the decades cover a broad range of themes and venues.

HSE is pleased to offer this philatelic cornucopia of Europa: Stamps of Eastern Europe .

Art & Music

Europa Art

stamp issuances include Contemporary Art, Paintings and Poster Art.

Europa Musical Instruments

Many types of ethnic folk instruments are represented in Europa : Musical Instruments stamps of Eastern Europe, ranging from stringed instruments such as the zither to bagpipes. The Ukraine Europa issuance depicts the Cossack Mamai playing the kobza and symbolizes the singing soul of the Ukrainian people while the Czech Republic issuance depicts Bagpipes which are an ancient folk musical instrument. The kokle (or kuōkle) is a Latvian plucked string musical instrument (chordophone) of the zither family. It is similar in construction and origin to the Lithuanian kanklės, Russian gusli, and Estonian kannel.

The Post

Europa stamp offerings with the theme of The Post range from Letter Writing, Postmen, Postal Vans, Post Offices, to Ancient Postal Routes.

Europa 2013 : The Postman Van

Europa 2020 celebrates the Ancient Postal Routes which were the primary way in ancient times of connecting together the peoples of differing  cultures and geographies.  

Europa Greece: Ancient Postal Routes
Europa: Ancient Postal Routes offerings from Czech Republic, Hungary, Slovakia and Romania

Nature and Conservation

The Europa stamp offerings of Nature and Conservation include themes of Wildlife and Forests, Nature Preserves and National Parks, Water and Scouting

Europa : Nature Preserve Moldova
Europa: National Park Croatia

Europa : Famous Women

issuances of Eastern Europe range from poets Elisavet of Bulgaria and Marie Under of Estonia to Cvijeta Zuzoric and Ivan Mazuranic writers of Croatia  to Queen Gisela of Hungary to Madame Curie and Mother Teresa.

Europa: Festivals, Celebrations and Gastronomy

Festivals and National Celebrations, Souvenir Sheet issuance of Moldova represents the Martisor Music Festival while the stamp of Slovenia depicts Jurjevanje (Green George’s Festival). Moldova Europa: Festivals and National Celebrations features  Eugene Ionesco biennial Theater Festival and Lurceni ceramics, Nisporeni with Croatia pair issuance highlighting Varazdin Baroque Evenings musical notes and Dubrovnik Summer Festival.

Hungary Europa Gastronomy stamp depicts a traditional plate of chicken paprika and dumplings while the Bosnia (Croat) pair depicts wine, garlic, ham, cheese and bread, grapes and nuts. The colorful stamp pair from Estonia shows of the food of the rainbow and a vegetable wrap made of tomato, carrots, egg yolk, parsley, fish, onion, beet.

Europa stamp issuances about children include Children’s Books and Old Toys.

Europa: Circus

Who can resist the Circus? Certainly philatelists of all ages cannot! We hope you enjoy these delightful Europa: Circus offerings from  Countries “A to Y” as much as we do including the final classic souvenir sheet issued from the former Slavic Union of Yugoslavia.

Europa 1995: Peace and Freedom

The Greece stamp pair designs depicts the 50th Anniversary of the Liberation of Concentration Camps and Peace doves dove flying above a broken barbed wire fence.

Greece – 1995 Europa: Peace and Freedom Pair 

In anticipation of the Europa theme of Peace for 2023 : please join us in supporting the people of Ukraine and the Eastern European postal authorities currently issuing stamps in their support.

Here is the statement published by Post of Croatia in support of the stamp issuance.

“On 24 February 2022, the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation launched an
unprovoked aggression against Ukraine. The Republic of Croatia strongly
condemned and reaffirmed its support for Ukraine’s independence, territorial integrity and sovereignty within its internationally recognized borders, which is a fundamental determinant in the relations and cooperation between the Republic of Croatia and Ukraine.

On 25 February 2022, the Croatian Parliament adopted the Declaration on Ukraine, which expresses Croatia’s full solidarity with Ukraine and the Ukrainian people who are fighting to defend their country and calls for an end to Russia’s military aggression against the Ukrainian people and infrastructure and for the establishment of peace.”

“Stories and Myths”

This year’s Europa theme is  “Stories and Myths” Here is a preview of a few of the 2022 issues.

The tale of the white horse is one of the myths and legends about how the land of Hungary was acquired dating from the time the Magyar tribes settled in the Carpathian Basin. The motif of the Croatia stamp is the mythological Tree of the World – an ancient Croatian myth about the structure of the universe. The Bosnia Herzegovina stamp depicts the Bogeyman, a creature from the mythology of the South Slavs who scares and kidnaps naughty children and takes them to her lair.

We hope you enjoyed our “cornucopia” of Europa stamp offerings and take a look at our full collection in our online store.

All of us at HSE wish you good health and a peaceful summer.

The Bauer Family

Look Into The Future : A Philatelic Tribute to the People of Ukraine

Please join us at HSE in our hope for peace and freedom for the people of Ukraine as we offer this philatelic tribute to the 44 million people of the largest country in Eastern Europe.

The people of Ukraine have endured over many centuries to recapture and maintain their freedom. Many of their stamp issuances celebrate Ukrainian independence.

Prior to the 17th Century, Ukrainian territories have been caught between competing empires and would overlap with Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth (Rzeczpospolita), Crimean Khanate, Hapsburg lands and Czarist Russia.

Kyivan Prince Saint Vladimir

The two countries of Ukraine and Russia shared heritage goes back more than a thousand years to a time when Kyiv, now Ukraine’s capital, was at the center of the first Slavic state, Kyivan Rus. In A.D. 988 Vladimir I, the pagan prince of Novgorod and grand prince of Kyiv, accepted the Orthodox Christian faith and was baptized in the Crimean city of Chersonesus. 

Founders of Kyiv

Several times over the past 10 centuries, Ukraine has been carved up by competing powers. Mongol warriors from the east conquered Kyivan Rus in the 13th century. In the 16th century Polish and Lithuanian armies invaded from the west. In the 17th century, war between the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth and the Czardom of Russia brought lands to the east of the Dnieper River under Russian Imperial control. The east became known as “Left Bank” Ukraine; lands to the west of the Dnieper, or “Right Bank,” were ruled by Poland. More than a century later, in 1793, right bank (western) Ukraine was annexed by the Russian Empire.

Over the years that followed, a policy known as Russification banned the use of the Ukrainian language, and people were pressured to convert to the Russian Orthodox faith.  Catherine the Great, Empress of Russia for over 34 years ordered the invasion of Crimean in 1776 and ultimately led to the loss of Ukraine autonomy. 

Ukraine suffered some of its greatest traumas during the 20th century. After the communist revolution of 1917, Ukraine was one of the many countries to fight a brutal civil war before being fully absorbed into the Soviet Union in 1922.

In the early 1930s Soviet leader Joseph Stalin orchestrated a famine that resulted in the death of millions of Ukrainians  to force peasants to join collective farms . Afterward, Stalin imported large numbers of Russians and other Soviet citizens—many with no ability to speak Ukrainian and with few ties to the region—to help repopulate the east.

Philatelic issuances reflect these turbulent times with the issues of overprints with forgeries being common with these issues.

Eastern Ukraine came under Russian rule much earlier than western Ukraine, people in the east having stronger ties to Russia. Western Ukraine, by contrast, spent centuries under the shifting control of European powers such as Poland and the Austro-Hungarian Empire,  the west tending  to support more Western-leaning politicians. The eastern population tends to be more Russian-speaking and Orthodox, while parts of the west are more Ukrainian-speaking and Catholic.

With the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, Ukraine became an independent nation.

Independence Day

There is an ecological divide between the southern and eastern parts of Ukraine known as the steppes, with their fertile farming soil and the northern and western regions, which are more forested [Forest stamp] [401]

Transcarpathia

Crimea was occupied and annexed by Russia in 2014, followed shortly after by a separatist uprising in the eastern Ukrainian region of Donbas that resulted in the declaration of the Russian-backed People’s Republics of Luhansk and Donetsk. Today, Russian troops are again invading Ukraine.

Military Equipment

Legacy of the Cossacks

Ukrainian Zaporozhian Cossacks have come to symbolize Ukraine’s ethnic image, much like the medieval knights of Western Europe. Don Cossacks are Russian.

Ukrainian Cossacks descended from a variety of nationalities and social groups. Their ancestors came from Ukrainian, Russian, Polish, and Tatar territories, and migrated to the southern steppes to hunt, fish, gather honey, and make hand crafted goods. References to Cossacks first appear at the end of the 15th century, with their fame spreading throughout Europe over the next hundred years. Their raids and robberies intimidated Turkey, and their support of Poland in campaigns against the Muscovites shook the throne of Moscow.

At the beginning of the 16th century, Christian European governors considered the Cossacks to be crucial allies in their war against the Ottoman Empire. In 1621, Lithuanian-Polish troops battled the Ottoman Empire at Khotyn. There, Cossack troops, headed by Hetman Petro Sahaidachny, joined Polish-Lithuanian forces and they stopped the Turkish army at its borders.

Cossack Leaders

After that, the Zaporozhian Cossacks imposed increasingly large requirements on the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. The reaction of the Poles did not satisfy the Cossacks, so they raised a rebellion under the leadership of Hetman Bohdan Khmelnytsky. It ended with the creation of Cossack autonomy.

Ukrainian Cossacks gained their independence in 1649. That year, as a result of the Zboriv agreements between the leaders of the Rzeczpospolita and Cossack Hetman Bohdan Khmelnytsky, it was formed as part of the Kyiv, Chernihiv, and Bratslav regions. 

It was the Cossacks who spread and popularized the term Ukraine as the name of their territories.

Cathedrals, Churches & Monasteries

Stamp issuances include symbols of Ukrainian religion, some of which are World Heritage sites.

Landmarks, Castles, & Universities

Offerings are a tribute to Ukraine heritage and are well depicted on stamps issuances, the highlight of which are the Seven Wonders of Ukraine. [904]

Seven Wonders Of Ukraine
Castles

Europa

Europa are special stamps issued by European postal administrations which focus on Europe as the central theme.

Ukraine as an integral part of Europe contributes beautiful Europa stamp issuances, including Europa Water, Circus, Integration, Children’s Books, Musical Instruments, Old Toys and Bridges.

Europa: Integration

Eastern Europe  stamp issuances of 1995 Europa: Peace & Freedom are the hope for the future.

Culture, Religion and Music

Are reflected in many stamp issuances of Ukraine. These range from the World Heritage Site of Babyn Yar, to Princes and Monks to Traditional Ukraininan Easter Eggs and musical artists. 

Babyn Yar

Taras Shevchenko, poet and painter, was the most important writer and significant figure in the development of a modern Ukrainian national consciousness. Born a serf, Shevchenko was bought out of servitude by a group of artists who recognized his talent for painting. Though considered by many to be the father of modern Ukrainian painting, Shevchenko made his unique mark as a poet.

Taras Shevchenko

Folktales and Children’s Books

Are favorite stamp offerings in Ukraine just as they are in the rest of Eastern Europe.

Children’s Art

Endangered Species, Animals and Marine Life

These stamp issuances always hold a special meaning for philatelists.

Look Into The Future: Chernobyl

As we come to the end of our newsletter philatelic tribute to the people of Ukraine, our wishes for the courageous people of Ukraine are for brighter skies and more peaceful times.

The Bauer Family

Hungaria Stamp Exchange

Please consider donating to World Central Kitchen’s relief efforts to provide fresh meals to Ukrainian families.

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