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PORTUGAL. 2023, 125th Anniversary of the Vasco da Gama Aquarium

Inaugurated on May 20th 1898 by King Carlos I, the aquarium was conceived as part of the commemoration of the four hundredth anniversary of Vasco da Gama’s departure to discover the sea route to India.

The aquarium is located in the parish of Cruz Quebrada-Dafundo, in the municipality of Oeiras, west of Lisbon. Unlike the large Oceanarium built for Expo’98, the Vasco da Gama Aquarium is a great example of what aquariums were like in the 19th century and the first half of the 20th century, with small aquariums allowing visitors to view marine species up close.

Correios de Portugal dedicated the first series of variable value stamps of 2023 to mark the aquarium’s 125-year history. The new set of three ‘etiquetas’ is illustrated with different images of the building; the main façade with the fish pond in front, the glass tank with its most illustrious inhabitant, a giant squid of some 8 metres fished in July 1972 by a trawler in Newfoundland, and the main staircase.

The designs by MAD Activities / Rodrigo Rodrigues include the celebration logo and the aquarium slogan, Onde o mergulho começa! (Where the sea dive begins).

The rolls of self-adhesive labels were manufactured by the Portuguese company Copidata, S.A., printed in offset. The size of the label is 55 x 30 mm. All the labels have a preprinted control number on the back of the silicone coated backing paper.

This new series was progressively available at Newvision postal kiosks throughout the country, from May 29th 2023.

The basic sets are made up of the main postal rates programmed at the kiosks on the date of issue, four values for non-priority mail or Correio Normal (0.61 – 0.90 – 1.05 – 1.15 €) and two for priority mail or Correio Azul (0.80 – 4.00 €), as per the table below.

Additional postal values, corresponding to other weights, are also available from the E-Post 2000 M postal kiosks, which are fitted with scales.

(English edition rewritten by J. Gareze – January 2024)

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