The sheet on this cover shows us various monuments in Brussels, the capital city of Belgium. From left to right (and clockwise) we see:
- the town hall, Gothic masterpiece from the 15th century. Inside the building, we find an important artistic and historical patrimony (paintings, sculpture and tapestries). (http://www.brucity.be/PDF/HDV.pdf) (http://www.brucity.be/artdet.cfm?ID=2175&nLanguage=2&highlight=stadhuis)
- the city museum ('Maison du roi'). Charles V (24 February 1500 – 21 September 1558) inherited the building in 1515, so it was called “House of the known King”. In1873, after a bombardment and two attempts to rebuild the building, the municipality made the decision to destroy and rebuild the building like it was originally. Plans dating from the 16th century and other old documents were used for this purpose. In the museum, you can see (for example) some 800 costumes of the little guy that features on the next stamp:
- 'Manneken Pis'! I don't think there are many people who have not yet heard of this little guy, standing in the street while doing what most people would not (at least not in public ;)). To learn more about the history of Manneken Pis, visit this very good website: http://www.manneken-pis.com/intro.html.
- The last stamp pictures the Atomium, which has been built for the 1958 World Fair in Brussels. It also features on one of the stamps that Belgian Post issued last summer. (see my 'new Belgian issues post') (http://www.atomium.be)
The four stamps in the right top corner picture 'Dommel' (in English: Wowser), a large anthropomorphic dog who lives in a house in the suburbs with his master Semaphore (a retired sailor), next door to Seneshal, the black cat who is instinctually his enemy. A vast majority of the album publications collect single page gags, but a few gather collections of shorter stories or, in rare cases, one long story throughout the entire album. Dommel was created in 1968 by the Belgian cartoonist Luc Dupanloup, better known as Dupa, who died on 8/11/2000.
The last stamp has been issued this year as part of the serie prehistoric animals. This one pictures a mammoth.