Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Belgium and Antarctica

Belgium is one of the countries participating to the scientific adventure in Antarctica since the very end of the 19th century, under the initial command of Adrien de Gerlache.

A base was opened between 1958 and 1968, named Roi-Baudouin, and did certainly inspire a three stamp and a minisheet semipostal series. Here is one of these stamps about the weather balloon.

Stamps that were issued in October 1966, just two years before the base was abandoned.

For the International Polar Year 2007-2008, Belgium decided to open a new base, Princesse-Élisabeth, for which a minisheet was issued, picturing the de Gerlage's ship, the Belgica.

I did not succeed to find which Princess Élisabeth was honored. Probably, the daughter of Prince Philippe, the eldest son of King Albert II.

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