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Brief history of Lithuanian postage stamps

The first Lithuanian postage stamps were printed on 27 December 1918 in the printing house of Martynas Kukta in Vilnius. The postage stamps were crude and printed on the newsprint. Within the period of Polish occupation, Vilnius region used the postage stamps of Middle Lithuania (Vidurio Lietuva); after incorporation into Poland, the Polish postage stamps were put into circulation.

During the interwar period, postage stamps were designed by famous Lithuanian artists - Adomas Varnas, Antanas Žmuidzinavičius, Jonas Buračas, Adomas Galdikas, Petras Rimša and others.

After World War II, in Lithuania, as a republic of the USSR, postage stamps issued in the Union were used.

With restoration of independence, Lithuanian postage stamps featuring the country’s history returned into circulation. On 11 March 1990, Lithuania Post issued the first postage stamps, envelopes, postcards and aerogrammes with special marks designed after the declaration of independence.

The first set of postage stamps named Angelas (Angel) was issued on 7 October 1990. These postage stamps depicted the symbols significant to the Lithuanian nation - the angel safeguarding the country and holding the source of light and energy, and a roofed pillar-type cross.

The views of Lithuanian means of postal prepayment reveal the country’s daily life, its history, culture, nature, sportsmen’s achievements, and other important events having affected Lithuania. In the course of each year, 25-30 postage stamps with a total nominal value of EUR 15-18 are issued.

Since 1993, Lithuania Post has been issuing the set of postage stamps Europa. The first set of Europa featured the work of a famous Lithuanian artist Antanas Gudaitis under the title The Old Craftsman. Each year Lithuania Post puts into circulation postage stamps from continuous sets: 1000th Anniversary of Lithuania, Famous People, Coats of Arms of Lithuania Towns, The Red Book of Lithuania, From the Stocks of Museums, and etc.

Joint sets of postage stamps have been issued together with other Baltic countries: Mare Balticum (1992), Via Baltica (1995), The Old Baltic Ships (1997), 10th Anniversary of the Baltic Way (1999), The Nature of the Baltic Sea Coast (2001).

On 1 May 2004, to mark accession to the European Union, its new member countries issued a joint set of postage stamps.