Monday, June 20, 2016

Hong Kong 2016 - World Heritage in China Series No. 5 - The Grand Canal

ISSUE DATE: 10 May 2016
STAMP SIZE:38.5 x 51.5 mm 
STAMP DESIGN: Michael Miller YU

China’s long history and profound cultural legacy have given birth to numerous monuments, natural wonders and heritage sites all over the Mainland. Since ratifying the Convention concerning the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage in 1985, China has had more than 40 sites inscribed on the World Heritage List by the World Heritage Committee of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), and ranks as one of the countries with the largest number of heritage sites. Hongkong Post has been issuing stamp sheetlets on its World Heritage in China Series since 2012 to showcase the priceless natural and cultural gems of the country.

The present issue is the World Heritage in China Series No. 5 stamp sheetlet featuring the Grand Canal. Inscribed on the World Heritage List in 2014, the Grand Canal covers the Sui-Tang Grand Canal, Beijing-Hangzhou Canal and Zhedong Canal, which pass through central and eastern China, as well as quintessential canal sections and major heritage sites. The entire Grand Canal comprises 27 sections with a total length of 1,011 km. 

As the longest and oldest artificial waterway in the world, the Grand Canal was constructed in sections from the 5th Century BC onwards. In the 7th Century AD, the ruler of the Sui Dynasty first conceived of the Grand Canal as an inland transportation system for conveying grain and strategic raw materials. Today, the Grand Canal still plays an important role in communication, transportation, irrigation and water supply, and continues to be a major transportation route for the regions it flows through.


Designed in the style of Chinese ink painting and enhanced by computer graphics, the stamp sheetlet depicts the picturesque view of the Grand Canal in winter snow. Scenic attractions along the canal are also added to the overall design. For example, the three-arched stone bridge in the centre is the iconic Gongchen Bridge at the end of the Beijing-Hangzhou Canal in Hangzhou, while the archway at the top is the Memorial Archway of Ancient Dongguan Dock in Yangzhou. The Grand Canal not only facilitates the exchange of supplies between the north and south of China, but also demonstrates the wisdom and courage of the Chinese over the centuries, and the country’s remarkable achievements in hydraulic engineering. 


Stamp images and description thanks to Hongkong Post

Hongkong Post Stamps