This year´s common theme for the annual EUROPA issue, announced by the Association of European Public Postal Operators PostEurop, is Invitation to the Issuing Country. The motifs chosen by the author for the invitation stamp are the Old Town Bridge Tower and the Dancing House, or the past and present intertwined.
The Old Town Bridge Tower is believed to be one of the most beautiful Gothic buildings in Europe. It is located in K?ižovnické Square in Prague´s Old Town on the right bank of the Vltava river, and served as the gateway to Charles Bridge on the Royal Road. This Gothic tower was built not only as part of the town fortifications but also as a grandiose triumphal gateway.The building was likely completed in the late 14th century.
Petr Parlé?, the architect of the bridge, can be considered as the author of virtually all sculptures and stone adornments on the tower. 138 stairs lead to the tower view platform. The height of the tower is 47 meters above the bridge level, or 57 meters above the Vltava river level.
The 1996 Dancing House, also known as Ginger and Fred, is located in Prague on the right bank of the Vltava river, at the corner of Rašínovo Embankment and Jiráskovo Square. It is the first construction built by top world architects in the post-Velvet Revolution Prague. The house was named after the shape of its two corner towers, inspired by the famous dance couple Fred Astair and Ginger Rogers of the interwar period. Its designers were Vlado Miluni? and Frank O. Gehry who was invited by the investor to join the project. Interior decorations of the investor´s offices were partly designed by the British architect of Czech origin Eva Ji?i?ná. The building triggered a wide-ranging public debate on architecture in Prague. The Dancing House won a Time Magazine Design Award. The professional Czech magazine Architekt shortlisted it among the top five Czech buildings of the 1990s. The building, financed by Nationale Niederlanden (today ING), houses offices, a luxury café, and restaurant.
Title: Europa 2012 – Czech Republic
Date of Issue: 2 May 2012
Country: Czech Republic
Denominations: 20 CZK