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Terraces in Handan and Bojnice Castle
Catalogue Number:  273-274
Stamp Designs:  Rudolf Cigánik
Stamp Engravings:  Rudolf Cigánik
Date of Issue:  October 12, 2002
Printing:  Postal Stationery Printing House, Prague, Czech Republic
Print Technology:  Recess printing from flat plates combined with offset
Size of Impression:  26.0 mm x 40.0 mm
Print Run:  each 432,000
FDC Motif:  Rudolf Cigánik
Cancellation Design:  Rudolf Cigánik
FDC Printing:  Postal Stationery Printing House, Prague, Czech Republic
FDC Print Technology:  Recess printing from flat plates
FDC Print Run:  6,000

The joint Slovak-Chinese issues, presented in a couple of stamps, depict ancient castle architecture.
The castle architecture of China portrays the complex of Terraces in Handan (province Hebei in the north of China) which was the capital city of the kingdom during the ruling of the Chou dynasty (2300 years ago) and it is one of the 99 ancient historical and cultural towns. Several elevated terraces with the pavilions at their top were built during the Chou dynasty. Just one of the terraces remains today. 400 years ago the pavilions were reconstructed and in following periods were renovated several times. They represent a unique style of classical Chinese architecture of pavilions and terraces.
The historical styles of European architecture are represented by Bojnice castle. The oldest document about the castle dates from 1113. Originally a gothic fortress, it was later rebuilt into a renaissance aristocratic residence. Count Ján Pálffy, the last owner, reconstructed the castle in the romantic style of the early 19th century, inspired by the castles near the Loire river in France, the renaissance palaces in Venice, and the Tyrol's gothic style. Bojnice castle is one of the most attractive cultural monuments in central Europe.
The two almost identical stamps are issued in China and Slovakia using the stamp designs of Slovak artist Rudolf Cigánik, who won the international competition.

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