10 May 2022
This year’s theme for the EUROPA special stamps, which are issued by the postal administrations are among the most collected and popular stamps in the world, is “Stories and Myths”.
Many myths, tales and legends were initially passed down by word of mouth. Fantastical descriptions were merged with real people, which gave the story more of a ring of truth but didn’t make it so. In choosing the motifs, POST Philately felt it was important that the two stories have a long tradition in Luxembourg but remain relevant and in people’s consciousness today.
The Kropemann was traditionally a nature spirit who dwelled in rivers, streams, ponds, lakes, wells, weirs or springs. Legend has it that he grabs children who get too close to the water with his hook, called a Kropestaang, drags them in and devours them or keeps them prisoner.
Up to 1950, the Kropemann was known and feared throughout Luxembourg.
With how horrifying the story sounds, many parents in Luxembourg have used the threat of the Kropemann to keep their children away from dangerous waters and banks, and protect them.
The legend was rediscovered 30 years ago in the western Luxembourg commune of Redange. The community has since more or less adopted the Kropemann as their mascot, and sculptures have been erected, making him a permanent fixture.
An annual festival is held in his honour, where he appears to the many tourists (these days as a friend of children), promoting clean water and nature, among other things.
According to legend, Melusina was the wife of Count Siegfried I, who is considered the founder of Luxembourg.
In 963, the Count built a castle for his beautiful bride on the Bock promontory above the River Alzette to fulfil one of the two conditions she made before agreeing to marry him: she did not want to leave the Alzette Valley. Secondly, she wanted to be alone every Saturday.
After some years, or so the story goes, and spurred on by friends, Siegfried’s curiosity got the better of him and one Saturday he peered through the keyhole to see what his wife was doing, and saw that in the place her legs should be was a fishtail.
His gasp betrayed his presence and Melusina vanished into the River Alzette. It is said to this day that she reappears every seven years, makes a stitch in a shirt and when the shirt is finished the Alzette will overflow, the cliffs will crumble and the City of Luxembourg will be destroyed.
Melusina with her fishtail is one of the most well-known symbols of Luxembourg City. Her sculpture sits on the bank of the River Alzette and is the much-loved subject of myriad illustrations.
- Layout: Miriam Rosner- Monogram (L)
- Printing : Multicoloured high resolution offset, self-adhesive stamps with punch perforation and cut back side by Gutenberg AG (FL)
- Dimensions: 32 x 38 mm, 10 stamps per sheet with decorated borders