EUROPA - King Matjaž
Date of issue: 27.05.2022
Author: Zlatko Drčar
Motive: EUROPA - King Matjaž
Printed by: Agencija za komercijalnu djelatnost d.o.o., Zagreb, Croatia
Printing Process and Layout: 4-colour offset in sheetlets of 8 stamps + a label
Paper: Tullis Russell Chancellor Litho PVA RMS GUM, 102 g/m2
Size: 29.82 x 42.60 mm
Perforation: Comb 14 : 14
EUROPA – Stories and Myths
The Giantess and King Matjaž
The two new stamps in the Europa series, this time on the theme of “Stories and Myths”, feature a mythological being and a figure from legend: the Giantess and King Matjaž.
King Matjaž is a well-known figure in the literary folklore of Slovenia. The basis for many legends of King Matjaž is the Hungarian king Matthias Corvinus (1458–1490), who distinguished himself in the defence against the Ottoman invaders and also ensured tolerable living conditions for Slovene peasants. Stories about King Matjaž do not have a basis in historical fact but have merely taken the king’s name. Similar stories are told in Hungary, Slovakia, Romania and Croatia.
The first written texts about King Matjaž date from the sixteenth century. Over time, numerous other elements were added to the original tale. These were of Indo-European, Oriental and medieval origin and in some cases can be linked to King Arthur, Charlemagne, Frederick Barbarossa and Frederick II. In amongst this multitude of elements of diverse origin, the version of the tale most commonly told in Slovenia is that of King Matjaž asleep with his army beneath a mountain (in this case the mountain is Peca/Petzen, which straddles the border between Slovenia and Austria). Legend has it that when he awakes and appears once again, good times will return. It seems that he will continue to sleep for a long time!