The Iron Pagoda of Kaifeng

The Iron Pagoda (鐵塔) of Youguo Temple (佑國寺) in Kaifeng (開封), a prefecture-level city in east-central Henan province, China, is a Buddhist Chinese pagoda built in 1049 during the Northern Song dynasty (960–1279) of China. The pagoda is so-named not because it is made of iron, but because its color resembles that of iron. It is a brick pagoda tower built on the location of … Continue reading The Iron Pagoda of Kaifeng

Doria Castle in Dolceacqua

Well, I made a mistake and came extremely close to missing my first day since beginning A Stamp A Day on July 1, 2016 — 965 days of uninterrupted posts ago. I spent much of the evening putting together a 3,000-word article before noticing that I had the wrong date on my calendar; the subject matter dealt with in the article actually happened on February … Continue reading Doria Castle in Dolceacqua

Claude Lorrain and the Seaport at Sunset

Arriving at today’s stamp was a bit of a process. First of all, I rejected all of the anniversaries I came across using Wikipedia’s Days of the Year category as resoundingly too gruesome (for those topics discarded, please see my “Weekly Phila-Bytes #2019-04” article on Philatelic Pursuits). The one anniversary for this date that interested me even remotely was one for which I didn’t have … Continue reading Claude Lorrain and the Seaport at Sunset


Today is the first “random stamp day” of the New Year. In fact, it’s the first such entry since the end of November 2018. This is a day on which I cannot match a single anniversary (event, birthday, etc.) with a stamp in my collection. For example, on this date in 1776, Thomas Paine published Common Sense which advocated independence from Great Britain to people … Continue reading Pinnochio

Lower Oder Valley International Park

 The Lower Oder Valley International Park (Internationalpark Unteres Odertal in German and Międzynarodowy Park Dolina Dolnej Odry in Polish) is a shared German-Polish nature reserve. It comprises the western banks of the Oder river within the Uckermark district in the German state of Brandenburg as well as the steep eastern banks in the Gryfino and Police counties of the Polish West Pomeranian Voivodeship further north. … Continue reading Lower Oder Valley International Park

Gasherbrum II and the 1956 Austrian Karakoram Expedition

Gasherbrum II (گاشر برم -2‬‎ in Urdu); surveyed as K4, is the 13th highest mountain in the world at 26,362 feet (8,035 meters) above sea level, located in the Karakoram — the world’s second highest mountain range which spans the borders of Pakistan, India, and China, extending to Afghanistan and Tajikistan in its northwest extremity. The mountain was first climbed on July 7, 1956, by an … Continue reading Gasherbrum II and the 1956 Austrian Karakoram Expedition

Hans Christian Andersen’s “The Little Mermaid”

“The Little Mermaid” (Den lille havfrue in Danish) is a fairy tale written by the Danish author Hans Christian Andersen about a young mermaid who is willing to give up her life in the sea and her identity as a mermaid to gain a human soul. The tale was first published in 1837 and has been adapted to various media, including musical theatre, anime and … Continue reading Hans Christian Andersen’s “The Little Mermaid”