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ROMANIAN POSTAGE STAMP DAY – Centenary of the Bistra Local Postage Stamps

bistra_MRomfilatelia, the specialized company in the editing and trading Romanian postage stamps, in the context of the annual theme ROMANIAN POSTAGE STAMP DAY, introduces into circulation the postage stamps issue The Centenary of the Bistra Local Postage Stamps.Romfilatelia, the specialized company in the editing and trading Romanian postage stamps, in the context of the annual theme ROMANIAN POSTAGE STAMP DAY, introduces into circulation the postage stamps issue The Centenary of the Bistra Local Postage Stamps.
Bistra was, at the beginning of the 20th century, a small resort opened for the tourists exclusively for the summer period, located at 50 km South of the city Sebes-Alba, in the Western side of the Cindrel Mountains.
Made up of two separate groups of huts (“colonies”), managed by the forest authorities, Bistra was at the disposal of people who wanted to spend their summer holidays in the wonderful world of the mountains, in a special picturesque area. The Lower Colony was located on the shores of the Bistra creek, an affluent of the Sebes river. A steep hill, 4 km long, connected this side of the Bistra to the Upper Colony, located at 1420 m altitude, near the Paltinei Peak.
The postal communication of the small resort was very difficult, as was the visitors´ access, due to the hard roads which covered the valleys of the water flows towards Sebes-Alba, respectively the mountain passage area towards Marginimea Sibiului.
During the summer seasons of 1905-1906, the Sebes Section of the Carpathian Association of Tourists from Ardeal (Siebenbürgischer Karpathen Verein S.K.V.) initiated a regular post and tourist transport which connected Sebes and Bistra during the months of July and August. For the certification on the correspondences of the local transport fee collected by the Bistra Post Office, S.K.V. started in 1907 using own local postage stamps. These are decorated by the silhouette of a  little fir tree, with the inscription “Bistra Post” and the German name of the issuer – Sebes Section of the Carpathian Association: “S.K.V. Sektion Mühlbach”. Two local Bistra postage stamps were printed, with the face value of 2 and respectively 6 Heller.
The Bistra stamps of 2 Heller remained non-issued due to the increase of the local postage fee from 2 Heller to 6 Heller, at the beginning of the summer of 1907, after their printing.
The stamps of 6 Heller are known to have been used virtually in all the summer seasons between 1907 and 1913. They were applied on the sendings transported with a post carriage from Bistra to Sebes and backwards, from Sebes to the resort.
The envelopes and postcards which circulated between the two Colonies of Bistra ought to be franked also with the local stamp of 6 Heller, being transported on foot or on horse, by a postman who lived in the Upper Colony. He was also responsible for the correspondences brought into the resort or sent towards the Sebes office of the Bistra Post Office, administered by local traders Michael Gündisch (1907-1908), Johann Rilki (1909-1912) and Adolf Weissőrtel (involved in certain periods from the summers of 1909-1912, as well as a post agent  at Bistra.)
The stamps of these three tradesmen, alongside with an oval obliteration of S.K.V. from 1912, are the four types of post cancellations which can be encountered on the Bistra stamps of 6 hellers.
The objects of correspondence stamped with these ones, in the summers between 1907 and 1913, are today first degree philatelic rarities. From the Bistra stamp of 2 Heller a single copy with local obliteration is known, with the seal of Johann Rilki.
The two stamps of the philatelic issue “Romanian Postage Stamp Day” in 2007 celebrate the centenary of the local postage stamps Bistra.
On the stamp with the face value of RON 0.50, we encounter the Bistra local postage stamp of 6 Heller and an image from the Lower Colony, with an period piece carriage.
The stamp with the face value of RON 2.10, presents the Bistra local postage stamp of 2 Heller and an image from the Upper Colony, including the resort postman.
On each of the two stamps the logo of the Carpathian Association of Ardeal Tourists S.K.V., the issuing authority of the Bistra stamps and the administrator of the local carrier between Bistra and Sebes – Alba.
The illustration of the “first day” of the issue presents a map of the Bistra Post Office route.
The images from Bistra and the graphical arrangement of the S.K.V. logos are inspired from the illustrations of postcards from the beginning of the 20th century.
The issuing authority of the local stamps Bistra, the Carpathian Association of the Ardeal Tourists – S.K.V., was a great influence to the tourism in the Carpathian Mountains, being the one who founded the Paltinis and Poiana Brasov resorts and built scores of important huts, of which Negoiu, Balea, Piatra-Craiului, Presba, Urlea, Surian, Parang, Omu, Bolboci, Malaiesti.
Our thanks to Mr. Mircea Dragoteanu, author of the work “The history of the local Transylvanian post offices Paltinis-Bistra-Magura” (Cluj Napoca, 1998)  for the good collaboration for the execution of this philatelic  issue.

Issue date: 2007-07-18

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