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Bridges Bring Together on new Liechtenstein stamps

Bridges Bring Together on new Liechtenstein stamps
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It is not yet 150 years since Liechtenstein and Switzerland, the two countries separated by the Rhine as border-marking river, were first brought together by shared bridges.

Before that people and goods were conveyed between the Liechtenstein and Swiss banks of the Rhine by ferries, five of which were still operating at the beginning of the 19th century. Only after physical structures controlling the course of the Rhine had been put in place was it possible in 1867-68 to build the first wooden bridges, at that time still uncovered, between Bendern and Haag and between Schaan and Buchs. The first part of the "Bridges bring together" series illustrates in greater detail two of these bridges, which have since been a characterizing feature of the Rhine valley.

The "Old Rhine bridge" (face value CHF 0.85) between Vaduz and Sevelen ("Vaduz-Sevelen", face value CHF 1.00), which used to be the main link between Vaduz and neighbouring Switzerland, was built in 1870-1871. After it had had to be raised twice in the following years, in 1900-1901 it was re-built on the piers of its predecessor. Since the mid 1970s the Old Rhine bridge has been accessible only to non-motorized traffic.

The last major renovation was completed in 2010. The "Railway bridge" (face value CHF 1.40) between "Schaan-Buchs" (face value CHF 1.90), which later became a subsection of the famous "Orient Express", was first crossed in 1872 by a train drawn by a steam locomotive belonging to the "Vorarlberg Railway". In the devastating flood disaster of 1927 the section of the bridge on the Liechtenstein side plunged into the water. In 1934-35 the present-day 190-metre-long steel bridge was erected on the river pier of the collapsed bridge. The stamps' face designs are based on photographs by Bruno Kopfli from Eschen.

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