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Postcrossing blog

News, updates, and all kinds of goodies and stories from the postal world!

Good news, everyone! We're super excited about this upcoming exhibition curated by the Singapore Philatelic Museum, which features one of our favourite series ever... HARRY POTTER!!

Since the first book came out in 1997, J.K. Rowling's young wizard and his friends have been hugely popular all around the world, influencing a generation of readers. Postal operators have also joined in celebrating the series, which are naturally featured in plenty of stamps as well as postcards and fan art... which is where YOU come in. The SPM is looking for your collections and postcards, to feature on their next exhibition! 😀

Harry Potter exhibition

If you're a collector of Harry Potter postcards or postal stationery and would like to showcase your collection in the exhibition, please contact Mishelle (the curator) at by August 10th.

But you don't need to be a collector to participate! As is tradition, the museum is also calling all postcrossers to send in their themed postcards to them. So grab a Harry Potter card and share something with the visitors! For instance, what do you like about the series? Who's your favourite character, or what's your favourite scene or quote? Do tell! Here's the address:

Singapore Philatelic Museum
23B Coleman Street
Singapore 179807

If your card arrives before August 21st and includes your address, you'll receive a postcard back! :) Sadly, the reply won't be a Harry Potter card, due to licensing fees, but the postcards of the museum never disappoint.

The Harry Potter exhibition at the Singapore Philatelic Museum is scheduled to open in November, and stay on until July 2017. Now if only we had a magic spell to teleport us there...

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We all know how it works: find a nice postcard, write it, and mail it off. Then, after a few days, weeks or even a little adventure later, our postcard finds its way into the recipient's mailbox. But what happens in the meantime, after we post it on a postbox? We've written about mail sorting centers before (e.g., here, here or here), and the magic that goes on behind the scenes... but it's always nicer to see it with your own eyes, right?

Visiting a mail sorting center in Bremen

That's what a group of curious postcrossers in Germany thought too, so they got together some time ago, and asked Deutsche Post for a tour of a mail sorting center — which they got, due to their persistent and persuasive requests! They turned it into a Postcrossing meetup, took pictures, sent postcards and even wrote about it for our viewing pleasure. 😊

Here are Claas (aka Speicher3) and Christine (aka Reisegern), the meetup organizers, to tell us all about it:

Visiting a mail sorting center in Bremen

In the morning of June 19th, we were welcomed by employees of Deutsche Post to the "Briefzentrum 28 Bremen" (that's the official name of Bremen's mail sorting center). This is one of more than 80 sorting centers for mail in Germany, that every day process about 66 million letters from 140,000 mailboxes throughout the country. So this is the place where postcards come to after postboxes are emptied.

Visiting a mail sorting center in Bremen Visiting a mail sorting center in Bremen

Wow... they take quite a tumble! We could even see what happens to letters containing keys, coins or other loose parts when going through the machines. Can you imagine? You'd better not send things like those on a simple envelope...

The mail that arrives is sorted by size, and then a machine checks the postage and puts a special cancellation mark on the mail. Perhaps you've already received a postcard with a postmark from Bremen?

Visiting a mail sorting center in Bremen Visiting a mail sorting center in Bremen

It shows the outline of this distribution center's zone of responsibility and one of the city's landmarks: the Town Musicians of Bremen (a donkey with a dog, cat and rooster standing on top of it), from the famous Grimm Brothers fairy tale!

Visiting a mail sorting center in Bremen Visiting a mail sorting center in Bremen

A machine further down the line reads addresses. Did you ever notice the orange bar code on postcards from Germany? This code is printed onto the card in the sorting center, and it contains all the important information about the card's destination.

Visiting a mail sorting center in Bremen Visiting a mail sorting center in Bremen

There are plenty of impressive machines in the giant, busy hall of the sorting center. Within those machines, letters and postcards dart back and forth at breathtaking speeds.

Visiting a mail sorting center in Bremen

As soon as a Postcrossing postcard makes its journey through all these machines, it finally arrives in a yellow box, together with hundreds of other letters and postcards, which will be sent to the sorting center closest to the recipient's address. And from here, the postcard will be delivered by a mail carrier to a happy postcrosser.

Visiting a mail sorting center in Bremen Visiting a mail sorting center in Bremen Visiting a mail sorting center in Bremen

If the postcard is being delivered to another country, it will instead be forwarded to the international sorting center in Frankfurt, where it will be delivered via air mail. Every day, busy and focused employees make sure that our mail will be delivered quickly and reliably.

Visiting a mail sorting center in Bremen

Postcrossers were visibly impressed by all the machines and the dizzying speed at which our postcards passed through the sorting center.

Visiting a mail sorting center in Bremen

After the tour was over, the meetup participants did what is a traditional part of every postcrossing meetup: sitting together, talking and writing postcards!

The cards that were written during this special meetup didn't need to take the detour through a mailbox though — about 1000 of them were mailed directly from the inside of the sorting center in Bremen. The participants gained insight to the world of mail delivery and learned a lot about the adventurous journey of their postcards!

Visiting a mail sorting center in Bremen

A big thank you to the Deutsche Post and the friendly employees of the sorting center in Bremen, who enabled us to have this very interesting day.

Thank you Deutsche Post — and thank you Claas and Christine for this wonderful report!

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Hurray! July 14th is Postcrossing's anniversary and we couldn't be happier! Eleven years of connecting the world, one postcard at a time... feels great!

Postcrossing is not just a platform or a bit of code on a server. What makes this project great is definitely its community... which means YOU! Every single one of you, that perhaps looked at this idea with suspicion in the beginning but decided to jump in anyway and give it a go. All of you who ensure the world's mailboxes are filled with smiles and kind words. Those of you who help each other in the forum, who organize and attend meetups, who send us tips and ideas, who send thousands of postcards to lovely ladies on their birthday. We're thankful for your trust, support and enthusiasm in the past 11 years. Long live Postcrossing!

A couple of postal operators neatly lined up their Postcrossing-themed stamp launches to mark the occasion, so today, Poland and Guernsey see new stamps come to life!

Polish Post drew inspiration on the theme of traveling through postcards, and re-imagined a "postcrossers' suitcase"... which naturally has a mailbox on the side!

Polish Postcrossing stamp

To celebrate the stamp launch, Polish Post is holding several events in Wrocław. Among the activities, there will be a free tour of the Post and Telecommunication Museum in Wrocław, a competition with some prizes and, of course, the opportunity to buy the new stamp and even receive a special cancellation mark.

Today is also the day two new stamps from Guernsey Post make their debut! International postage is being updated, and the stamps (for Europe and Rest of the World) reflect this change. Guernsey Post's new stamps were drawn by Sue Hamon and aim to share the island's rich flora and fauna with the world through the postcards they'll be traveling in.

Guernsey Postcrossing stamp

Guernsey Post is also launching a set of related products along with the stamp, on their online shop, including first day covers and maxicards.

So, happy birthday Postcrossing! Now it's time to blow those candles and grab a piece of cake while we write some postcards — do join us! :)

PS - Speaking of stamps, the German Postcrossing community has been trying for years to convince their Finance Ministry that a Postcrossing-themed stamp would be a good idea... with little success so far. As Germany is the country with most postcards sent in the project, we think they deserve it. So if you have an extra card, give them a hand in turning this dream into reality!

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It's been a while since we've had a giveaway here on the blog, so we thought it was time to bring them back! Partnering with us this month is Kaartfanaat, a lovely Dutch postcard shop we've featured here on the blog some years ago.

They're still going strong and have since expanded their range to feature not just great postcards, but also boxed sets, books and other gifts. Lots of series will be familiar to postcrossers, from Fotofolio's black and white cards featuring famous people to Inkognito's humourous ones... there's something for everyone!


On this month's giveaway, they have generously offered to equip 5 lucky postcrossers with sets of 15 postcards of their choice. As a bonus, one of the winners will also be able to pick one item from the Book & Gifts section of their site! :)

To win one of these fantastic prizes, browse Kaartfanaat's website and leave a comment below, telling us which postcard, series or gift item you have your eye on!

Good luck, everyone! Check back on this post around this time next week for the winners, which will be randomly picked by Paulo's number generator, as usual.

PS - For the duration of this giveaway, Kaartfanaat is also offering a 10% discount on all orders from €10 (excl. shipping). Use the code postcard during checkout!

And the winners, as chosen by Paulo's random number generator are... Psull (15 postcards + gift), guvina (15 postcards) and notmuchcompany (15 postcards)! Congratulations, and thanks everyone for your enthusiastic participation! 😊

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Some time ago, we received a nice email from Peter (aka p22earl), asking whether we'd be interested in knowing how he had been using Postcrossing to learn about music from all over the world from other postcrossers. Well, we love music and we love fun projects that members run using the site... so yes, please! :)

Here he is, explaining his postal/musical experiment:

Peter's favourite postcards

I came across Postcrossing by chance at home one evening. I was reading about Bookcrossing which I have done a bit of in the past when I stumbled upon Postcrossing. As a lover of snail mail I was instantly hooked on the idea and signed up to begin sending postcards.

I read some other users accounts and got a sense of how to set out my own ‘who i am and what i want’ profile. I thought about the kinds of postcards I’d like to receive and additionally I considered what I would like to perhaps learn from fellow Postcrossers. I have quite a lot of music on CD and cassette tapes. I don’t collect vinyl. My radio is hardly ever off. I decided that I really wanted to learn more about music from other parts of the world and that Postcrossing would be a good way to help me learn about it.

My profile reads… ‘I like to learn about different types of music from all over the world. Please tell me about your favourite music from your home country / city / town.’ And on postcards I sent out across the skies I wrote words to a similar affect. Often I would tell people what I was listening to that day or about my favourite bands (Breed 77, Beach House Joanna Gruesome, etcetera…).

The responses I had from Postcrossers did not disappoint. There were those who wrote about musical instruments they play, or what genre of music they enjoy. One from Netherlands wrote about how they could hear children going from door to door singing songs and collecting candy as part of traditional Saint Martin’s Day celebrations (11 November). And I started to learn as I had hoped about lots of genres of music I had never heard of (or considered) such as Medieval Rock (Saltatio Mortis), Mandopop (JJ Lin), Slovakian punk (Horkýže Slíže), Daina Baltic Folk (Alina Orlova), Russian Folk (Пелагея).

And as time went on I started to think about what I would do with my new found knowledge. Eventually I decided that I would make a mixtape of various Postcrossers’ favourites. Once I reached 100 postcards I selected one from each postcrosser who wrote to me or replied about music. I chose to not include bands whose music is familiar to me such as Abba or the Bee Gees - not just because I don’t like them but my aim with the project was to discover music that was new to me. And importantly I wanted that music to be an international portrait of Postcrossing members’ diverse tastes.

Postcrossing Mixtape Side 1 Postcrossing Mixtape Side 2

And as I used to do so much in my teens, I taped the music onto cassette. This is the only physical copy of the postcrossing playlist. I painted it with a small (inaccurate) map of the world on one side and on the reverse is a postcard including a real stamp. The mixtape exists as two playlists on Spotify. One side (playlist 1) featuring music from postcards I received and the second side (playlist 2) featuring songs from replies to postcards I sent. Side 1 plays 47 minutes, and side 2 runs for 43 minutes.

You can find the Postcrossing playlists on Spotify by searching ‘Postcrossing Mixtape’. My Spotify username is p22earl.

I hope you enjoy learning about some new music from around the world too. Let me know your favourite song from the playlist. And if you send me a postcard make sure to tell me about the music from your home country / city / town.

Happy Postcrossing

Peace, post & music


PS - Since not everyone has access to Spotify, here's the track listing for Peter's mixtape:

Side 1:

ArtistSong TitleCountry of ArtistCountry of Postcrosser
AnnenMayKantereitoft gefragtGermanyGermany
Okean ElzyWithout a FightUkraineUSA
ApocalypticaCold BloodFinlandRussia & Finland
Twenty One PilotsheavydirtysoulUSAUSA
Tokio HotelAlienGermanyBelarus
We Singing ColorsDestinyRomaniaMoldova
Pavel CalltaZrzkaCzechCzech Republic
BrigitteBattez VousFranceFrance
Lara FabianEnvie d’en rireFranceUSA
Lydovico EinaudiNightItalyUSA

Side 2:

ArtistSong TitleCountry of ArtistCountry of Postcrosser
Lala HsuMissingTaiwanTaiwan
SkyforgerSword SongLatviaLatvia
Saltatio MortisWachstum Über allesGermanyGermany
Chris StapletonTravellerUSAUSA
RevolverheldLass uns gehenGermanyGermany
Пелагея (Pelagia)When we were at warRussiaLatvia
Horkýže SlížeSliny RefrenSlovakiaSlovakia
Katarína KnechtováMotyl HlavolamSlovakiaSlovakia
JJ LinYou N MeSingaporeTaiwan
Lili IvanovaDeteliniBulgariaBulgaria
Alina OrlovaViaduokliaiLithuaniaLithuania
RASABASAColoursLithuania & NorwayLithuania

PPS - Notice something inside Peter's mailbox on the first picture? Here's a better photo:

Peter postcrossing postbox (1)

Yup! Peter has little people who live inside his mailbox and take care of all the mail! He says he put them there to surprise his wife for her birthday, and they ended up staying... How nice is that? 😀

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