Postage Stamps



[Editor's note: we do not attest to the accuracy or completeness of these notes which are provided by the Croatian and Slovenian Postal authorities.] 


  • Date / Vrijednost:  March 7, 1994
  • Designer / Autor: Toni Nikolić, Ph.D.Sc., biologist from Zagreb
  • Printer / Tiskara: “Zrinski” - Čakovec
  • Size / Veličina: 35.5 X 29.8 mm
  • Edition: 400 000
  • Perforation: 14.00x14.00
  • Paper / Papir: White, 90 g, adhesive, watermark
  • Technique:  Multicolor offset
  • Quantity / Naklada: 2 x 400000
  • Denomination: 2400 and 4000 DIN



Motif: The drowning of the iguanadon dinosaur. 


Although animal fossils have been studied for centuries, the dinosaurs remained mostly hidden until rather recently. In the 1840s, when Sir Richard Owen was studying the reptile fossils discovered in England, he concluded they could not be compared to the living reptiles. He hypothesized that their size and appearance must have been fearsome and thus coined the word “dinosaur” from two Greek words “deimos” (fearsome) and “sauros” (reptile, lizard).

U istraživanju fosilnih ostataka životinja, dinosauri su otkriveni prilično kasno. Četrdesetih godina prošlog stoljeća Sir Richard Owen proučavajući fosilne kosti gmazova koje su do tada pronađene u Engleskoj, uočio je da se ne mogu usporediti s kostima današnjih gmazova. Želeći naglasiti njihovu veličinu i pretpostavivši njihov zastrašujući izgled, upotrijebio je riječ “Dinosaur”, grč. “Deinos”-strašan i “sauros”-gušter, gmaz.

The first dinosaurs appeared about 230-225 million years ago and were to dominate the earth for almost 170 million years. They suddenly vanished 65 million years ago at the turn of the Jurassic period to the Cretaceous period.

Pojavili su se prije 230-225 milijuna godina, a izumrli su prije 65 milijuna godina, Dakle, gotovo 170 milijuna godina, uz ostale gmazove, bili su dominantna životnjska skupina na Zemlji, poput sisavaca u naše doba.

The dinosaur footprints discovered in Istria on different locations have not been subject to thorough investigation, such as the island of Fenoliga, the island of Veli Brijun, the Červar Bay, the river mouth of Mirna. The location on the sea floor south of Rovinj is the only coastal site in Istria and in the Mediterranian basin.

U Istri su do sada nađeni otisci tragova stopala dinosaura na više lokaliteta, ali nisu svi detaljno znanstveno istraženi, kao na otočiću Fenoliga, otoku Veli Brijun i u Uvali Červar, te na ušću rijeke Mirne. Lokalitet u podmorju južno od Rovinja za sada je jedini u Istri, a prema saznanjima i u širem mediteranskom prostoru, gdje su otkrivene kosti dinosaura.

1994 marks the beginning of an interdisciplinary joint research project carried out by the scientists from the Zagreb Institute of Geological Research and experts from institutes and Faculties in Croatia and Italy. The objectives of these investigations are animal fossils and their ancient habitats - i.e. the paleoecological situation in the period when Istria was the habitat to dinosaurs.

Godine 1994. započeta su višedisciplinarna znanstvena istraživanja u kojima, osim znanstvenika Instituta za geološka istraživanja iz Zagreba, sudjeluju stručnjaci iz drugih znanstvenih institucija i fakulteta iz Hrvatske kao i znanstvenici iz Italije. Ta istraživanja trebala bi rezultirati rekonstrukcijama pronađenih životinja te objašnjenjem okolišta, odnosno paleoekoloških prilika koje su bile na području današnje Istre u vremenu kada su tu živjeli dinosauri.

The Croatian Post and Telecommunications issued a First Day Cover and a first Day Sheet.

Hrvatska pošta i telekomunikacije pustile su u prodaju prigodnu omotnicu prvog dana (FDC) i list prvog dana.

See also: Paleontology


  • Datum izdaje/uporabe: March 25, 1994
  • Vrsta: PZ
  • Oblikovanje: Jani Bavčer
  • Motiv: Three different names the city of Ljubljana
  • Tisk: DELO - TISKARNA d. d., Ljubljana
  • Tehnika: 4-colour offset
  • Pola: 25
  • Papir: muflep 90g, gummed
  • Zobci: 133/4*133/4
  • Velikost: 40,32 x 28,80 mm

The earliest permanent settlers on the city of Ljubljana territory are known to be those from the Bronze Age or from the culture of urn cemeteries (around 1200-750 A.C.). Yet older is the well-known lake-dwelling culture on the neighbouring marshes Ljubljansko barje (around 2300-1800 A.C.). The legendary emergence of the antique settlement Emona, the historical predecessor of Ljubljana, is connected with the myth of Jason and the Argonauts (l3th century A.C.). They sailed from the Black Sea to the Danube, Sava and Ljubljanica rivers while running away from Colchis, where they searched for the Golden Fleece. They are supposed to have brought their ship piece by piece across the Kras to the Adriatic Sea. This myth bears the message about the migration of peoples and trade routes.

The origin of the name Emona is not known and is supposed to have roots in pre-Roman times. The Roman Colonia Julia Emona really existed and was walled in between the years 14 and 15 D.C. on the left plain of the river Ljubljanica. The city had a strategic important position and was during the fourth century several times the battlefield among different candidates for the empire's throne. It also became an early Christian centre. The fourth and fifth centuries saw the downfall of the Roman empire. Ljubljana was transitory territory of the Western Goths, Huns, Eastern Goths; the territory was owned by the Byzantines (for a short time the Langobards) and around 580, however, the city was conquered by the predesessors of Slovenians.

There was a considerable gap between the Antique and the Old Slovenian and Frankish Periods causing the disappearance of the name Emona. There was almost no settlement continuity and a Middle-Ages settlement emerged on the right riverside under the castle hill. The Slovenians named the new place, or probably at first the river: "Ljubljana" The meaning of the Slovenian word has different interpretations. There is no generally accepted explanation for this name. The explanation for the German name Laibach is a bit less uncertain: it is supposed to have its origins in the word Labach standing for marshes in the old Bavarian language.
In the second half of the l0th century, after the defeat of the Hungarians, the territory of Ljubljana became again the part of the German Middle-Ages empire. It also got its first feudal lord around 1000. There are controversies about his identity. First known lords are by all means the Frank counts of Spanheim, who were dukes of Carinthia since 1122.

When documents of new drawers were added to the documents of the Pope and the rulers, the name of Ljubljana found its place in historical documents in the mid-l2th century in connection with the new lords, the Spanheims. The name is of older origin, however, but the first mentioning in history is important since it documents the existence of the city. Janez Vajkard Valvazor, the polyhistor from Carniola provided in his work "Die Ehre des Hertzogtums Crain" (The Glory of the Duchy of Carniola), including an extending inventory of Ljubljana, from 1689, a few dates from the history of Ljubljana as early as from the llth century. He quoted them from today unpreserved manuscripts. There is no proof for these dates and even data accompanying them are disputable for that time. Therefore we have to rely on a document without a date, which is supposed to have been published in Breže (Friesach) in Carinthia in the mid-1144. This document certified the handing-over of an estate in Under Austria by Henrik de Trimian, as a plenipotentiary of his uncle Amilbert from Kollnitz near St. Paul in Carinthia, to the monastery in Raichersberg by the Inn river. The present was accepted by the archbishop Konrad from Salzburg in the presence of the bishop Hartman from Briksen, the bishop Roman from Krka (Gurk) in Carniola and numerous witnesses. Among the witnesses is mentioned "Odalricus de Laibach frater ducis", i.e. Ulrik from Ljubljana, duke's brother. Duke is Henrik of Spanheim, the duke of Carinthia. Ljubljana (Laibach) was the name of the capital castle (castrum capitale) being an extensive Spanheim estate in Carniola. Owing to the importance that the Spanheims attributed to this territory it was the seat of duke's brother. There were many other hills with castles where estate officials of the Spanheims dwelled and at the same time managed and protected the estate of their lords.

Two years after the first mentioning of the name in the German form Laibach, the Slovene-Roman form Luwigana appeared in the contract between the Spanheims and the patriarch Peregrino of Aquileia. In a document, issued in Aquileia in 1146, certifying the handing-over of a castle in Artegna in Friul to the patriarch in exchange for a certain amount of money and some unclaimed taxes, appeared a witness Wodolricus de Luwigana, who is supposed to have been an estate official of the Spanheim from Ljubljana. With its poor economy, the territory of Ljubljana gradually lost its leading role from the early Antique to the developed Middle Ages but gained on importance again under the Spanheims. They strove to join the duchy of Carinthia with the flourishing nobility in Carniola. Intensive agricultural development, extension of parish organisation with the centre at the Church of St. Peter, the emergence of the feudal court on the left side of the Ljubljanica above "Breg" and other similar achievements were the basis for the formation of a market settlement under the Ljubljana castle.

Gradually, economic and political centres moved from Kranj, being the seat of boundary counts in the l0th century, and Kamnik being at the beginning of the l3th century the seat of the most powerful feudal family in Carniola the Andechs-Merances, to Ljubljana, which became a real urban centre owing to the development of trade and traffic, thus becoming one of the most powerful cities in Carniola. A hundred years after the first mentioning in history, the duke Bernard of Spanheim - between 1220, when "in palacio nostro Leibach" transferred to a church in Vetrinje an estate, and 1243, when "in Laibaco intra murum civitatis sitam" imparted a property to the monastery in Jurklošter, when Ljubljana is for the first time mentioned as a city with ramparts - founded on his estate a ramparted City under Ljubljana castle somewhere between the Upper, now Cobbler's Bridge and the Poljane. The city emerged on the estate of the feudal lord of the castle which was the reason why he remained the lord of the city of Ljubljana in the future. Together with the City developed two old settlements, the Stari trg ("Old Market") sheltered by the castle hill and the Novi trg ("New Market") at the quay "Breg" towards the ruins of Emona ramparts. Originally, Stari trg was not walled. It was partly protected by the marshes Prule, partly by a fortified tower on the castle plateau, called Padav. Novi trg was relatively well protected for it leaned against the old Roman ramparts. The two sides, however, were protected by fortified feudal courts, the court of the Spanheims and that of the Cross, the German knight's order. It was completely walled around 1300. A typical three folded development of the City, Stari trg and Novi trg gave Ljubljana the impression of "three towns and a magnificent castle above them" ("drei stet vndt ein trefflich schloß daruber") as noted in the autobiography of the Carniolan landlord Kristof von Thein from 1484 till 1490. This unusual situation and the lack of historic sources are the reason why the development of the city is still being an unresolved mystery. Although we speak of three parts of the city and of three different ramparts, Ljubljana was, however, a whole with uniform city administration and regulation.

The period of the Spanheim rule in Ljubljana ended in 1269. The following year was the first famous military test for the castle and the city when they were attacked and conquered by the Czech king Otokar II. Premisl. In 1276 Carniola was conquered by the count Albreht of Gorizia-Tyrol, the ally of the new German king Rudolf of Habsburg. In 1282 king Rudolf of Habsburg bestowed land administration in Carniola upon his two sons Albreht and Rudolf; tenants and real rulers, however, remained the counts of Gorizia-Tyrol. When the last one of this family died in 1335, Carniola with Ljubljana passed to the possession of the Habsburgs for centuries.

When Ljubljana came under the rule of the Habsburgs, it marked a period of relatively peaceful development, which was interrupted only by political) and economic crises of the l5th century, by quarrels between the Habsburgs and the counts of Cilly, and by harassments of the Turks. That was the reason for the castle and city fortifications to face great changes. The importance of Ljubljana in that period increased immensely. The city lord was at the same time land prince and consequently Ljubljana became a land-princely city. Gradually it developed into the capital of the country. It is important to know that land state administration developed from the beginning of the l5th century on.1461 saw the emergence of Ljubljana diocese.

Carniola with the capital of I.jubljana was one of the hereditary provinces of the Habsburgs, from old part of "Saint Roman empire of the German nationality", since 1804-1918 part of the Austrian empire. The Austrian rule was shortly interrupted between 1809-1813 with Ljubljana becoming the capital of Napoleon's Illyrian Provinces. In the l6th century it became the centre of the Slovenian reformation, it got a grammar school and for a short time a printing office. In the period of conjuncture since the end of the l7th century Ljubljana got a baroque image, the Jesuit grammar school developed into a college, there were several famous scholars in the city, Academia Operosorum, the first scientific academy in Ljubljana was established in 1693. In the period of Enlightenment and Romanticism it became the centre of Slovene linguistic culture. A university library was opened in 1774, The I.and Museum in 1821. The same year, the Congress of Ljubljana, the diplomatic board of the Saint Alliance, enlisted Ljubljana in international history. The second half of the l9th century was the period of political consolidation of the Slovenes and of establishment of several institutions, associations and the like. Many of these, among others a reading club and the Dramatic association in 1861 and the Slovene Literary Society in 1864, were founded in Ljubljana. The turning point in the development of the city was the 1895 earthquake followed by development of modern Ljubljana. In changed historic circumstances after 1918, Ljubljana in the new state of Yugoslavia was no longer only the centre of Carniola, but also the administrative centre of Slovenia. During World War II Ljubljana was the core of the resistance against the occupier. After the War, Ljubljana was, in the frame of federative Yugoslavia, the capital of then the Socialist Republic of Slovenia. Since 1991 it is the metropolis of the independent state of Republic of Slovenia.

Branko Reisp, Ph. D.

See also:

(HRV) EARTH DAY - WOLF (Canis lupus)
  • Date of issue: April 22, 1994
  • Value: 3.800,00HRD
  • Author: Davor Žilić, Zagreb
  • Size: 29,82 x 35,5 mm
  • Paper: white 90g, gummed
  • Perforation: 10 3/4 : 10 1/2
  • Tehnique: Multicoloured Offsetprint
  • Printed by: "Zrinski" - Čakovec
  • Quantity: 350000

Twenty four years ago, a group of environmentaly aware scientists from Stanford University, USA, launched a large-scale campaign "Earth Day", aimed at saving the planet Earth and awakening the environmental conciousness of mankind. The campaign was joined by other colleges, schools and millions of people throughout the States. The highlight of the campagn was the " Earth Day" which has ever since been commemorated internationally on April 22. "Earth Day" is not a holiday. It is meant to make all people understand and join in the efforts to preserve and protect the endangered vegetable and animal species in the ecosystem which supports mankind itself.

The wolf is an animal which belongs to the family of canidea, the order of carnivora. The species is spread all over the northern hemisphere of our planet.

The situation in Croatia is not good, we estimate the number of wolves in our country is less than 50. Only in the period between 1953 and 1972, 5206 wolves were killed in strong anti-wolf campaigns. Fortunately, the attitude to this animal has changed; it is not as dangerous as commonly supposed. Large-scale hunting, when thousands of wolves were killed, is over.

Let us hope that in 1994, the Year of the Wolf, we shall again hear its howling in the forests of Croatia.

The Croatian Post and Telecommunications issued a First Day Cover, a First Day Sheet and a Maximum Card.


  • Date of issue: May 20.1994
  • Value: 70 SIT
  • Design: Grega Košak
  • Printer: DELO - TISKARNA d.d., Ljublijana
  • Size: 40,32*28,80
  • Paper: muflep 90g,gummed
  • Perforation: comb
  • Tehnique: Multicoloured Offsetprint
  • Quantity: 300000

Motif: Zois's Bellflower (Campanula zoysii)

Notes: In sheetlets of 1 stamp (300,000) and a map of South Europe on lower margin.

The Carniolan botanist Karel Zois (1756-1799) lived and worked in the second half of the l8th century, overshadowed by his elder and much more famous brother Žiga Zois. He lived mainly at the Brdo castle near Kranj and in Javornik near Jesenice. In the years between 1785 and 1790 he planted at Brdo Alpine plants and domestic and foreign kinds of trees. This park represented the first botanical gardens in Slovenia. Together with his brother he also selected Slovenian names for plants.

As one of our first botanists and mountaineers he wandered through and picked plants especially in the Julian and Kamnik Alps and Karawanken. He was fortunate in finding new plants which were still unknown to the science, but he did not publish any of his finds. Some of his hand-written notes, draft letters and a herbarium have been preserved to date and are now at the Natural History Museum of Slovenia.

He sent dried as well as live plants to his friends botanists to Klagenfurt and Vienna. He had a fruitful cooperation with the Klagenfurt botanist F. X. Wulfen (1728-180S), who in 1788 named one of the most beautiful bellflowers after its finder and wrote in his original account: "I owe the first knowledge of this extremely rare plant to an illustrious gentleman, the noble Karel Zois, who devotes himself entirely to botany, which consumes all his attention, energy and time, and certainly a great deal of money." Zois sent him an example of the bellflower named after himself from the Bohinj Alps and from the top of Storžič. Zois's bellflower is clearly distinguished from the rest of its kind by the shape of its blue-coloured corolla. Its calyx is tightly narrowed and its petals are villous inside. Zois's bellflower belongs to a species of very old plants dating as far back as to the Tertiary period, which are endemic to the Slovene Alps. Its habitat reaches as far as the Carnic Alps to the west, Gailtaler Alps and Dobrac to the north, and Trnovski gozd plateau to the south. This marvel of Slovenian mountains prevails in roack crevices of the high-mountain belt of the Julian and Kamnik Alps and Karawanken, while its easternmost habitat is Mt. Uršlja gora.

On the Red List of Polypodies and Flowering Plants of Slovenia which are threatened by extinction Zois's bellflower is ranked among the unthreatened species. But since it grows almost exclusively in Slovenia, which is its habitat, it is put on this list all the same.

See also: Flora - Flowers (Campanule)


  • Date of issue: June 3,1994
  • Value: 4,00K
  • Author: Zlatko Keser, academic painter, Zagreb
  • Size: 29,82 x 35,5 mm
  • Paper: white 90g, gummed
  • Perforation: 14,
  • Tehnique: Multicoloured Offsetprint
  • Printed by: "Zrinski" - Čakovec
  • Quantity: 350000 

Iris Croatica - The Croatian iris is a plant from the family Iridacea-Iris. It is an endemic species in Croatia. The typical forms of the Croatian iris grow in clear oak nad hornbeam woods. Its habitats are chiefly the thickets on dry calcareous soils in the hilly inland of Croatia; it is a region in the south-west of the Panonian area, rich in relic flora species and vegetation. Some well-known habitats are Medvednica, Strahinčica and the mountain range of Samobor and Ogulin.

The species was first described by Ivo and Marija Horvat in 1962. Ivo Horvat is one of the best known Croatian botanists, who has produced many important studies in phytocenology, plant ecology and systemetics. The holotype of the Croatian iris is kept in the Horvat's herbarium in Zagreb.


  • Date of issue: June 3,1994
  • Value: 2,40K
  • Author: Zlatko Keser, academic painter, Zagreb
  • Size: 29,82 x 35,5 mm
  • Paper: white 90g, gummed
  • Perforation: 14,
  • Tehnique: Multicoloured Offsetprint
  • Printed by: "Zrinski" - Čakovec
  • Quantity: 350000 

Colchicum visianii, Autumn crocus is a plant from the large and heterogeneous family of Liliaceae. It is an endemic species in Croatia.

The plant was first described by the botanist Parlatore, who named it Colchium Visianii in honour of Robert Visijani an outstanding Croatian botanist from the 19 cent. By origin, from Dalmatia Visiani was the author of the work Flora Dalmatica. He was a professor in botany for more then 40 years at the Faculty of Padua.

The Croatian Post and Telecommunications issued a First Day Cover and a First Day Sheet.



  • Date / Vrijednost: June 15, 1994
  • Designer / Autor: Miroslav Šutej, Painter, Academy of Arts, Zagreb & Professor Vilko Žiljak Ph.D.
  • Printer / Tiskara: “Zrinski” - Čakovec
  • Edition: 5 108 000
  • Size / Veličina: 35.50 x 35.50 mm
  • Paper / Papir: White, 90 g, adhesive, watermark
  • Perforation: 14
  • Technique: Multicolor offset
  • Quantity / Naklada: 200.000 sheets of seven stamps with two tablets
  • Denomination: 2,40 K

Brijuni are a group of islands along the south west coast of Istria. Two big islands and 12 islets are covered with a rich Mediterranean vegetation. Rare animal and vegetable species have been brought on to the islands and have become almost exotic specimens.


  • Date / Vrijednost: June 15, 1994
  • Designer / Autor: Miroslav Šutej, Painter, Academy of Arts, Zagreb and Professor Vilko Žiljak Ph.D.
  • Printer / Tiskara: “Zrinski” - Čakovec
  • Edition: 5 108 000
  • Size / Veličina: 35.50 x 35.50 mm
  • Paper / Papir: White, 90 g, adhesive, watermark
  • Perforation: 14
  • Technique: Multicolor offset
  • Quantity / Naklada: 200.000 sheets of seven stamps with two tablets
  • Denomination: 3.80 K

A visit from the famous couple - the British king Edward VII and his American companion Mrs. Wallis Simpson - brought Dalmatia (?) into the center of attention of the British and American press. With so many various things to offer to its visitors, Croatia can hope for a prosperous tourism as one of its major strengths in the future.


  • Date of issue: July 8, 1994
  • Illustration: Zagorka Simič
  • Design: Miljenko Licul
  • Printer: DELO - TISKARNA d.d., Ljubljana
  • Realization: Pola (50)
  • Perforation: comb
  • Size: 25,60*34,50
  • Paper: muflep 90g,gummed
  • Face value: 11 SIT

The so-called local kinds of baskets also include the Karstic basket designed for the carrying of grass and hay. It is primarily used on the Karst, but is also a familiar feature in the Slovene part of Istria and other areas of the Slovene littoral. Baskets in individual areas are always round: they differ only in diameter and height. The most usual way of carrying small and medium-sized baskets is by placing them on the head. Large baskets are carried by hand, where they are placed on the back or hung on a stake. To this day the making of baskets has been-a distinctive part of home, self-taught wickerwork. Empty baskets were usually hung on the walls of outbuildings, where they in a singular way contributed to the appearance of the facade. This is a subject which often appears in graphics and paintings of Lojze Spacal, the painter of the Karst. One could say that in a certain period of his work it is the Karstic basket that appears as one of the main motifs and as a distinctive mark of the Karstic cultural landscape.

  • Date of issue: September 24, 1994
  • First day of issue postmark: 68000 Novo mesto
  • Motif: The locomotive reg. No. 5722 from the series kkStb 56
  • Design: Milena Gregoreie
  • Printer: DELO - TISKARNA d.d., Ljubljana
  • Realization: Pola (25)
  • Perforation: comb
  • Size: 40,32*28,80
  • Paper: Chancellor oba free L.S.PVA GMD 100g, gummed
  • Face value: 70 SIT
  • Print quantity: 300000

The birth year of the railway is 1825, when the first train started on the line between Stockton and Darlington in England. Contrary to the belief of many doubters of that time, in the following few decades the railway entirely conquered the world. It became a symbol of progress, a harbinger of the modern times and of the until then unknown way of life.

The construction of railway lines quickly spread from England to France and from there to other European countries. The Austrian monarchy, whose part was at that time also Slovenia, did not want to be left behind. It soon developed a general scheme of railway communications between all major parts of the Monarchy and the metropolis. Priority was given to the line that linked Vienna to the Adriatic Sea. The railway line from Vienna to Trieste, which had already been the Monarchy's main port for more than a century, was built in 1857. This was a double-track line that made possible rapid communication in both ways.

Vienna's further plans included the construction of communications with those areas of the Monarchy with a developed economy, industry and mining. Lower Carniola with its modest mineral and other resources certainly did not belong to the group of such regions.


  • Datum izdaje/uporabe: November 7, 1994
  • Vrsta: RZ
  • Ilustracija: Zagorka Simić
  • Risba: Zagorka Simić
  • Oblikovanje: Miljenko Licul
  • Motiv: The Wine Press
  • Tisk: DELO - TISKARNA d. d., Ljubljana
  • Tehnika: 3-colour offset
  • Pola: 50
  • Papir: muflep 90g, gummed
  • Zobci: 14*133/4
  • Velikost: 25,60 x 34,50 mm
  • Opomba: Withdrawal date: 31 December 1997

A country with such a diversified winegrowing and vinicultural tradition also has a rich array and a variety of viticultural tools and devices. There are different types of vineyards and winegrowing regions with corresponding buildings (wine cellars, wine stores and vineyard cottages). The winegrowing and vinicultural heritage also includes a variety of different types of presses for grapes, which are, on the one side, (due to their shape, size and eventual ornamentation) excellent examples of the technical knowledge of people, and of their mastering of specific crafts and handicraft skills on the other. The making of presses is the domain of carpentry for they were made of wood, notably of oak. Only in the Mediterranean part of Slovenia certain parts of wine presses were made of stone, such as the lower, tub-shaped parts through which the freshly pressed grape juice passed into casks. In other winegrowing regions, presses were entirely made of wood. A masterpiece of their kind are wine presses with one or two screws and a nut hewn from wood by carpenters. The press's main wooden block was usually made of a thick slab of oak. Pushed downwards by the tightening of the screw and adequate load it pressed the grapes in the basket. The front of this block was usually decorated with various ornaments, initials and year mark in bas-relief technique.

(SLO) 700th Anniversary of the Mother of God's Shrine in Loreto
  • Date of issue: November 18, 1994
  • Type: PZ
  • Design: Matjaž Učakar
  • Motif: The black figure of Mother of God with the Child
  • Printed by: DELO - TISKARNA d. d., Ljubljana
  • Printing technique: 5-colour offset
  • Sheet: 25
  • Paper: Chancellor oba free L.S.PVA GMD 100g, gummed
  • Perforation teeth: 133/4*133/4
  • Size: 28,80 x 40,32 mm

About Pilgrimages and the Meaning of them

At present memories are valued again. Some years ago all our attention was directed at novelties. It was only the novelties that could appease us, and we had hunger for everything new. Today, however, it is believed that the new is what has roots; wisdom becomes popular, and experience is appreciated. The modern man is a pilgrim again. Among the pilgrims there are even the unbelieving - people who are seeking for something, people in love, the old and the weak. Pilgrimages have been made by families and peoples. When man goes on a pilgrimage, he sets foot on a path and knows that the path is leading somewhere; he knows it will take him to his destination and that at the end there will be someone expecting him. From his pilgrimage he returns changed. In his mind's eye he can still see what he had seen, and he is enriched by a new raison d'etre. Pilgrimages bring people together; from a pilgrimage one never returns alone. The pilgrims' prayers and thanksgivings make all the limits and obstacles vanish. It is not unusual for the places of pilgrimage to be situated practically in the centre around which a nation gathers like a company at table. Such, for instance, is the pilgrimage place of Brezje in Slovenia. Some other big pilgrims' shrines are situated at the cross-roads of different cultures. In Slovenia, such are the shrines of Ptujska Gora, Višarje, Trsat and Sveta Gora.

A Short History of the Loreto Shrine

There is a pilgrims' shrine in Loreto, a beautiful little town on the Italian Adriatic coast. In Loreto there is a house of the Mother of God, the home of the Holy Virgin, and one of the most visited Mother Mary's places of pilgrimage in Italy. The holy house, also called the House of Nazarene, had seven hundred years ago (in 1291 ) been moved from Palestine first to Trsat ( 1291-1294), and then to its present location in Loreto. Under the dome of the Loreto basilica there is the very holy shrine in which the archangel Gabriel announced to Mary that she was to be the mother of Christ, the Redeemer of the World.

The shrine of Loreto has a very long tradition. The year of 1291 was marked by a complete failure of the last crusade. The crusaders had finally been banished from Palestine. The sources from those times say that the Holy Angels brought the Holy Mother's shrine from Palestine first to Illyria, which means that for a short time the holy shrine was situated on the eastern coast of the Adriatic Sea. Only three years later it was moved to Loreto. This year is thus the year of celebration of the 700th anniversary of the Holy Shrine being moved to Loreto. The festive year begins with December 10,1994 and ends with the same date in 1995. On the basis of numerous studies one can infer that the Holy House had been brought to Loreto by a ship departing the Holy Land around the time when the crusades had been brought to an end. It was the time when the crusaders most probably tried to take away from Palestine everything they could, so as to protect the holy shrines from what they believed was the danger of complete destruction and devastation threatening from the side of the approaching Muslims. A document still exists dating in September 1294 which speaks about Niceforos Angelios, the despot of Epirus, whose daughter's marriage portion for the wedding with Carl · II, the king of Naples, among other things included "the holy stones brought from the house of Our Lady and Mother of God".

From the document mentioned one can infer that the Holy House was not moved as such, but was actually brought stone by stone and rebuilt on the new location. There are two facts speaking in favour of this statement. First, the stones are engraved with certain "graffiti" which actually show the Jewish Christian origin. This means that it is highly probable that the stones had really been brought from Palestine, the original Jewish-Christian settlement. Second, the Holy House was built without first laying the foundation; it was erected directly on an old road, which still serves as a more or less firm base. The original walls of the Holy House were about three meters high, everything higher than that was built later. A beautiful arch was built in 1536, most probably in order to give the whole building a more Godworshipping character. The marble covering the original stones, as well, was added later. The additional works were ordered by Pope Julius II, designed by Bramante, and carried out by the great Italian Renaissance masters. Still, it is the marble that hides the original Palestinian stones.

The most difficult period for the worshipping of God and the pilgrims' centre in Loreto was the period of the Protestant reforms. A well-known instance of the troublesomeness of this period was the Bishop Paolo Vergeri's statement that the worshipping of God in Loreto was nothing but idolatry. The opposite side was taken by the famous Jesuit Peter Cannizius, who left behind several beautiful pages defending Loreto as a place of pilgrimage with the utmost importance for the hole of Central Europe. Cannizius argues that it is not essential whether the stones of Loreto are really the very stones of the Mother Mary's Holy House. The point is neither the worshipping of stones, the house or the similar, nor is it the emotional fetishism mixed with religious elements. When a man watches these stones with reverence, when he respectfully approaches them to maybe touch them, he actually worships the event of God's Love, one that with the Annunciation begins the history of salvation. It is the relation with God that makes Mary's house a Holy House. With her life and her availability Mary becomes the house and habitation of God.

The Black Icon of the Mother of God

From the very beginning of the Loreto pilgrimage a picture of Mother Mary was worshipped in the Holy Shrine. It was an icon, and it was a dark one. It had most probably become dark by the candles burning above it. "I have dark skin, but I am beautiful," exclaims the loved one in the Song of Songs. So did the dark, black Mary of Loreto gain the love of people's hearts. On February 12, 1470 Pope Paul II wrote that in the church of Loreto there was a picture of the Mother of God, which had been placed there by the angels. Who exactly could these "angels" be, is rather difficult to specify, but in any case one should not neglect the fact, that the icon radiated an extraordinary spiritual power. In the l4th century the Holy House sheltered a statue of the Mother of God, which burnt down in a fire in 1921. Already the next year L. Celani made an exact copy on Quatrini's model. The statue of the Mother of God with the Child was made of Lebanese cedarwood. It is dark, continuing thus the tradition of the black Mary of Loreto:

Loreto has always welcomed the pilgrims from both coasts of the Adriatic Sea; there were pilgrims from the Southern Mediterranean, as well as those from the Central Europe. A speciality from Loreto is beyond doubt the shrine of the Holy House and the dark figure of Mother Mary with the Child, which gives the shrine a special mark of homeliness and warmth. It is a place the footsteps of many have been directed to, and their hearts seeking for consolation, warm acceptance and raison d'etre.

The 700th anniversary of the shrine of Loreto comes at exactly the right moment. We live in a Europe which yet has to learn about the coexistence in a multinational, multiracial and multireligious community. While we talk about a common European house, about a common European home, in Loreto there is a shrine in the centre of which there is the home of the Mother, the home which welcomed the exceptional, beautiful and unique cohabitation of God and Man. In the house of the Holy Mother, Man and God have met in the ultimate love.

The Religious Dimension Remains Alive

Beyond doubt it is the intimate comprehension of Redemption through the personal experience of the shrine joining us with the time and place of the Redemption events in Palestine. It makes us firm in our belief in the importance of the Loreto pilgrimage.
Pilgrimages to Loreto started at once. Until 1400 the church had been repaired several times in order to welcome more pilgrims. Today Loreto has still been visited by many people. One can still hardly find an hour of the day when the church is not full of pilgrims.

To remind us of the festive year, Pope John Paul II wrote that the older a tradition or an image was, and the more it was addressed by people's sorrows and sufferings and the traits of history, the greater the mercy it radiated was.

The great Russian philosopher Kirievsky once stepped into a humble pilgrim's chapel. Above the heads of the worshipping people praying and lighting candles, he perceived the icon of the Mother of God. Slowly he was flooded by the river of innumerable prayers addressed to the icon through centuries. The philosopher was dragged into the living memory of peoples, personal confessions, and the truth of humanity in general.

A Word about the Stamp

The motif of the stamp is the figure of the Mother of God from Loreto, so the major features and poise can easily be recognized. The deviations from the original are few and have been made purposely.

The colours around the Mother and the Child are striking, clear, almost too vibrant. These are the radiant colours which people love. Popular, simple, but full of life. Like in any proper place of pilgrimage, in Loreto there is an enormous number of lovers' "ex voto" souvenirs: simple, motley objects of lively colours and forms left in the shrine to commemorate the grace bestowed on the worshippers. In every proper Christian shrine the singing is simple, moving, sincere and heartfelt. There are flowers and tears, the smell of incense and burning candles. In short, everything is strikingly coloured. No greyness, no cold technological mentality. The places of pilgrimage do not stand the rational aesthetics. If one managed to enforce the rational architecture and painting, or any other kind of rational order, the shrine would never become a place of pilgrimage. A shrine is created by the pilgrims who cross its threshold. Whenever pilgrims visit a shrine, they shape it and complement its art.


  • Date / Vrijednost: December 10, 1994
  • Size / Veličina: 42.60 x 35.50 mm 
  • Paper / Papir: white, 90 g, adhesive 
  • Comb Perforation: 14 
  • Printing house: Multicolour Offsetprint ZRINSKI d.d. 
  • Issued: 350000
  • Denomination:  4.00 K

Motif: Giovanni Battista Tiepolo - "The Moving of the Holy House", 1737.

The two sanctuaries of The Virgin Mary, Our Lord's Holy Mother, one in Trsat, Rijeka (Fiume), Croatia, the other in Loreto, Italy, with their roots deep in the Christian tradition of worshiping the Virgin Mary, mark symbolically the spiritual heritage of Mary from Nazareth in Palestine, the homeland of Jesus.

The sanctuaries in Trsat and Loreto are closely connected through an old legend about the moving of the Holy House from Nazareth first to Trsat and later to Loreto. The first written records of the legend among the Croats can be found in Bartol Kasir's "Istoria loretana of the Virgin Mary's Holy House" (Rome, 1617) and in the chronicle of the Trsat sanctuary "Historia Tersettana" (Udine, 1648) written by the Istrian historian and scholar Franjo Glavinic.

According to both authors, the Holy House was moved from Nazareth to Trsat on 10 May 1291 and then to Loreto on 10 December 1294. These dates, taken as authentic, mark the beginning of two anniversaries. The 700th anniversary ot the sanctuary in Trsat was celebrated in May 1991.

The anniversary of Loreto is being celebrated this year (1994-1995). According to another legend, the sign of the mutual spiritual sphere of the sanctuaries in Trsat and in Loreto is the worshiping of the painting of the Virgin Mary, that was in 1367 given to the Croatian pilgrims in Loreto by the Pope Urban V. Since then, the painting in Trsat has been worshiped as The Mother of Grace or Our Lady of Trsat. Over the centuries, the sanctuary in Loreto has been a place of pilgrimage to the faithful from Croatia.

In the seventeenth cent. in Loreto was a renowned Croatian "Illyrian College" where many young people from all over Croatia were educated.

The Croatian Post and Telecommunications issued a first day cover (FDC) and a first day sheet.


  • Croatian Post Inc. - Croatian Postage Stamps - (English) & (Hrvatski)
  • Post of Slovenia - Stamp Land -

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Created: Monday, May 28, 2001; Last updated: Tuesday, August 11, 2015
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