A Postage Stamp will remind us of the old canal locks of King William

Jun 15, 2017

Lietuvos Paštas (Lithuania Post) continues the series of postage stamps promoting the historical legacy of technology in Lithuania. This year, we introduce a unique system of canal locks installed in Klaipėda for navigation purposes in the 19th century The new postage stamp Heritage of technology. The old canal locks of King William will be placed into circulation this Saturday, on 10 June.

“Every year, we also issue such postage stamps which are not intended to mark special dates, meaningful events or historical anniversaries; by those postage stamps we want to attract society’s attention to exceptional and most significant achievements of science and technology in Lithuania. Monuments of architecture, urbanism or technology are important creative works of society, and they also express and reflect the nation’s identity. The navigation canal in the littoral area, which connects the port of Klaipėda and Minija, is famous not only for its technical characteristics, but also its history; it is this history that we want people to remember because of the postage stamp issued,” noted Rasa Kruopaitė-Lalienė, Head of the Corporate Affairs Department of Lietuvos Paštas.

The new postage stamp has been created by Laima Matuzonytė, a student of the Vilnius Academy of Arts. 50,100 copies of the stamp will be issued. The nominal value of the postage stamp is EUR 0.94.

Together with the postage stamp, we will also issue an envelope of the first day. On Saturday, in the General Post Office of Klaipėda, postal items paid for with the new stamp will be stamped with the stamp with the date of the first day.

In 1863–1873, the canal of King William was excavated by French prisoners of war, and it was named after the then-King of Prussia, William I. The artificial waterway was intended to protect ships and floated rafts from dangerous storms in the Curonian Lagoon. On the southern edge of Klaipėda, the canal is connected to the Lagoon. The canal’s length is equal to 25–27 km, its width – to 28–30 m, and the average depth – to 1.7 meters.

The level of water with the Minija River was regulated by a special system of canal locks close to Lankupiai. This is the only canal lock in Lithuania, which has been declared a monument of technology.

During the excavation of the canal, many of the French prisoners of war perished, therefore, a monument has been erected in their memory at the mouth of the canal, on the way to the international ferry crossing point.


Annually, Lietuvos Paštas issues 25–27 postage stamps. Lietuvos Paštas also provides the services of couriers as well as logistics and financial mediation services.