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POST – THURN & TAXIS DOCUMENT: Wir von Gottes Gnaden Karl Anselm, des Heil. Römischen Reichs Fürst von Thurn und Taxis…



Document on vellum for a post manager in Braunau, Austria, by the Family Thurn und Taxis, a key player in the postal services in Europe from the 16th century on. 

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A decorative document with calligraphy in the title and a colourful coat of arms in the lower margin was issued by Karl Anselm, 4th Prince of Thurn and Taxis (1733 – 1805), the fourth Prince of Thurn and Taxis, Postmaster General of the Imperial Reichspost, and Head of the Princely House of Thurn and Taxis from 1773 for the post master of a Tyrolian village Braunau an der Inn (today in North Austria).

The family Thurn and Taxis was the key player the the postal system since the 16th century on. Under Karl Anselm of Thurn and Taxis the postal system reached the biggest territory in the history, which since late 18th century also included the Austrian Netherlands and Tyrol. Due to the Napoleonic Wars (1803–1815), Thurn and Taxis’ Imperial Reichspost gradually lost more and more postal districts beginning with the Austrian Netherlands. With the Treaty of Lunéville in 1801, the Imperial Reichspost lost all postal districts in the Rhine region.


References: Wolfgang Behringer: Im Zeichen des Merkur. Reichspost und Kommunikationsrevolution in der Frühen Neuzeit (= Veröffentlichungen des Max-Planck-Instituts für Geschichte. 189). Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, Göttingen 2003; Josef Rübsam: Taxis (Thurn und Taxis), Karl Anselm Fürst von. In: Allgemeine Deutsche Biographie (ADB). Band 37, Duncker & Humblot, Leipzig 1894, pp. 504–507.

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