2020 Europa - Historic Postal Routes Thurn and Taxis - First Day Cover
2020 Europa - Historic Postal Routes Thurn and Taxis - First Day Cover for only GBP £1.34
With its theme of historic postal routes, this year’s EUROPA stamp is dedicated to a topic with a strong philatelic focus. For this, Austrian Post has chosen a historic representation of Palais Fugger in lnnsbruck.
Emperor Maximilian I established the modern postal service in around 1490: he set up a regular courier service from his residential city of lnnsbruck to the more distant parts of his empire, entrusting management of this service to the Taxis family, subsequently Thurn und Taxis. The counts of Thurn und Taxis acquired Palais Fugger in lnnsbruck's Maria-Theresien-Strasse in 1784. It had been built by Hans Otto Fugger to plans by the court architect Johann Martin Gumpp after 1ó79. The counts used the palace not only as their place of residence, but also as a post station: the ballroom on the first floor with its impressive frescoes — including the “The Judgment of Paris” ceiling fresco by Martin Knoller — soon became a waiting room for postal service customers. The province of Tyrol bought Palais Fugger in 1905; the postal service continued to operate until 1908. Today the building, often referred to as “Taxis Palace”, houses the Kunsthalle Tirol art museum, among other things.
The EUROPA stamp, issued since 195ó, is intended to promote the common aims of the European post offices and to highlight common ground in our cultures and history. The stamps thus become a symbol for European collaboration and integration.