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Europa 2018 - Set

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  • 09.05.2018
About Europa 2018

EUROPA 2018 – Vienna’s Schemerl Bridge

The “Lion bridge”

The annual issue of the EUROPA stamp is this year dedicated to the topic “Bridges”. On the occasion of the 100th anniversary of the death of Otto Wagner, the Schemerl bridge on the Nussdorf weir in Vienna was selected as the design for the commemorative stamp.

Spanning across 49 metres over the Danube Canal and towpath, the bridge links Nussdorf in Vienna’s 19th district with the Brigittenauer Sporn in the 20th district. It owes its name to the architect and hydraulic engineer Jospeh Maria Schemerl von Leythenbach, who, in his capacity as Hofbauratsdirektor (court architect), drew up a first plan for regulating the Danube in 1810, although this was never implemented.

The Schemerl bridge was built between 1894 and 1899 as part of the Nussdorf weir and lock system: the barriers are located beneath the bridge. Just before it reaches the bridge the Danube Canal branches off from the Danube, with the weir regulating the amount of water that enters the Canal.

Otto Wagner was the architect responsible for designing the weir system. This includes the Schemerl bridge, made of stone with green steel trusses, the Jugendstil administrative building and a chain magazine. Even at a distance the eye is caught by the two mighty bronze lions seated atop the sturdy pillars at either end of the bridge and looking upstream. They are the work of the sculptor Rudolf Weyr and are picked out in colour on the commemorative stamp. The motto of Emperor Franz Joseph, “Viribus unitis” (with united forces), is also immortalised on the bridge. Today the entire bridge construction is protected as a monument.

PostEurop – the EUROPA stamp

The EUROPA stamp is intended to promote the common aims of the European post offices and to highlight common ground in our cultures and history. The stamps thus become a symbol for closer European collaboration and integration.

The EUROPA stamp has existed since 1956, the annual issue bearing the official EUROPA logo being coordinated by PostEurop, the association of European postal services, since 1993. Every two years a working group selects the topics for the forthcoming EUROPA stamps, and these are then implemented in the individual countries.