Sunday, July 14, 2013

100 years of Dutch Criminal Code & Three Centuries of the Normal Amster­dam Level 21.1.1986

This First Day Cover commemorates two things on 21st January 1986. 100 years of Dutch Criminal Code & Three Centuries of the Normal Amster­dam Level 

The stamp on the left(50c) is regarding the 100 years of Dutch Criminal Code of Justice, namely from 1886 to 1986.

The stamp on the Right(60c) is about the three centuries of the Normal Amster­dam Level, or the Amster­dam Ordnance Datum (AOD). Three cen­tur­ies ago a stand­ard ord­nance datum was estab­lished in Ams­ter­dam, based on the aver­age high water mark of the Zuiderzee, which was Amsterdam’s con­nec­tion with the North Sea. This ord­nance datum was – and is – the refer­ral point for all con­struc­tions of any kind in the Neth­er­lands. It was also adop­ted as the stand­ard for the European Union.
The NAP was estab­lished in Ams­ter­dam in the 17th cen­tury. In that cen­tury floods and water­log­ging occurred fre­quently. In 1675 a flood dis­aster ini­ti­ated a huge effort to bet­ter pro­tect vul­ner­able low-lying areas and their inhab­it­ants against floods. The high tide water was hence­forth meas­ured sys­tem­at­ic­ally. Between 1683 and 1684 the high tide water mark was meas­ured daily. The aver­age was called the “Ams­ter­dam level” (acronym A.P.). This aver­age high tide sea level was adop­ted as the zero level (ref­er­ence plane). It was used to improve and where needed to heighten exist­ing dykes and water bar­ri­ers to a safe level. In 1684 the mayor of Ams­ter­dam, Johannes Hudde, had eight marble stones cemen­ted in the sluices around the IJ. Every stone had a hori­zontal groove in the middle with the inscription:
(sea dyke height being nine foot five thumbs above town-level).

 Thank you Maria for this nice cover.

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