Poland's postal service joins the ranks of lighthouse fans with the June 14 release of a new series of stamps celebrating four of the country's 26 Baltic Sea beacons. Designed by Jerzy Pietras, the four stamps from PocztaPolska depict the 19th century, brick lighthouses at Czolpino,Darlowo, Jaroslawiec and Ustka, with respective values of 3.80 zloty ($1.17), 1.60 zl ($0.50), 2.35 zl ($0.72) and 3.75 zl ($1.16).
Known locally as latarniemorskie, or "sea lanterns" most lighthouses in Poland predate World War II and are of German construction (Much of the current Polish coast was under Prussian administration from the late 18th century partitions of Poland-Lithuania through the end of the Second World War).
A bit more about each lighthouse:
Czolpino: Built in 1875, this 246-foot (75-meter) lighthouse boasts what's said to be the largest lens in use on the Baltic. The beacon stands 1 kilometer from the shore, atop a forested sand dune at the end of a hiking trail, in Slowinski National Park. Off-limits during Communism, it's now open to the public daily in summer.
Darlowo: Raised in 1885, the lighthouse is comprised of a 72-foot cylindrical brick tower with lantern and gallery attached to a two-story brick pilot house. Tower is open daily in summer. Currently being converted to overnight accommodations.
Jaroslawiec: This circa-1838 lighthouse was badly damaged in WWII but restored and opened to the public in 1996. It sits on a prominent bulge in the coastline. Consists of a 109-foot tower attached to a two-story lighthouse keeper's house. Open 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. in May, June and September, 10 a.m. to sunset in July and August.
Ustka: This 69-foot octagonal tower and two-story pilot house was built in 1892. Open in summer from 10 a.m. to sunset.