December

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The Stamp of December

Stamp of the year 1970, class 6 drachmas entitled, "The Birth of Christ" from the Commemorative Edition "Christmas 1970"

Design: Panagiotis Gravvalos

Printing: “ASPIOTI-ELKA”, Polychromy

Watermark: Crown

Perforation: 13 x 14

Tirage: 600,000

First Day Cover: 33,500

First Day of Release: December 5th

Series of 3 values

 

Christmas is a famous stamp theme worldwide. With a considerable delay Greece, however, issued the first commemorative Christmas stamp in 1970.

The themes of the three values of the issue come from the famous Monastery of Saint Luke in Boeotia, the largest and best-preserved monastery complex of the mid-Byzantine period (843-1204 A.D). Since 1990, the Monastery complex has belonged to the list of world cultural monuments of UNESCO.

The monastery is of great architectural interest. The brilliant decoration of mosaics and mural paintings evokes wonder and feelings of admiration for its grandeur, and for thousands of years, people believe that the temple was built with generous royal and hegemonic sponsorships.

The stamp depicts the mosaic of the Nativity, dating to the second and third decades of the 11th century, located in one of the four corner niches under the dome of the Catholic Church (the central church where the relic of the Saint lies). The depictions of the Nativity here and that of the Monastery of Daphni in Attica are considered as the best classical mosaic ensembles of mid-Byzantine art.