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Ancient Postal Routes

It’s time to vote on the EUROPA stamps competition for 2020!

The theme for this year is “Ancient Postal Routes”, and it invites us to rediscover the old paths through which mail was transported in Europe. This really seems like an appropriate topic for this year, which has seen so many postal routes being disrupted… and re-invented.

Curious to know where and how did mail travel around in Europe in the past? This year’s stamps tell a tale of horseback riders, boats, pigeons, mail carriers brandishing their postal horns… and naturally lots of maps as well. There’s even one cheeky interpretation of the theme, featuring Santa Claus’s sleigh. 😜

Ancient Postal Routes - EUROPA stamps 2020

Go check out all the stamps and vote on your favorite on PostEurop’s website until September 9th!

And if you do, leave a comment below as well to let us know which one is your favorite! We think it’s going to be a tough competition this year, and we look forward to hearing your thoughts on it. Which ones do you think have good chances of winning?

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81 comments so far

mapa, Belgium
I voted for the French "briska" or diligence
Finland, Norway, Greece, Faroer and Isle of Man have beautiful stamps too. Though choice!
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Gen24, United States of America
Finland is beautiful!
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aeldalle, United States of America
So many lovely stamps! I voted for Turkey.
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panicz, United Kingdom
My choice is Poland.
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Ilia222, Russia
I voted for the Isle of Man!
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Lejo, France
My vote goes to Guernsey.
As every year, Belgium chooses to make it a stamp only usable for non standard shipments. Price : 4€65. Not to be found on postcards, I am afraid.
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ReguetoneraFrancesa, France
I voted for Portugal : Portugal
"PORTUGAL (ACORES) - PORTUGAL - CTT Portugal Post - Philately Department
Simple design concept using, relevant iconographic elements to portrait our 500-year long postal history, representing Azores islands - 40x30,6mm – offset printed."
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ezredax, United States of America
I voted for Vatican City. This was a very interesting topic.
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Annedread, Netherlands
It's a pity you don't really see the gold on the Dutch stamps, they're nicer than they look online... But I voted for Serbia!
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Gyuzel, Russia
I voted for Azerbaijan.
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ichabodhides, United Kingdom
These are all great! I voted for Turkey. So depressing that once again there's no UK stamp :(
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DonnaM, Canada
All wonderful. I like Ireland!
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greenskull, Russia
I ❤❤❤ Postcrossing!
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Jacque53, United States of America
Their were so many stamps I just loved, including the Norway stamp, but ultimately I voted for Finland! I just love the whimsical nature of the stamp and that they don’t take themselves so seriously. The stamp itself is also gorgeous with Santa going across the sky with the Northern Lights lighting his way :)
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Flippie, Canada
Hi, I vote for San Marino & Finland. I like them both.
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Blossomd, United States of America
I really liked the black horse from Azerbaijan. It was a tough choice. I liked the one from Ukraine second, and the ones from Serbia and Jersey. But since you can only vote for 1... well, it was tough to choose. The Azerbaijan and the Germany ones remind me of America's Pony Express. Those guys and gals were brave in those olden days of pioneering!
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Suncrusher, Germany
I voted for Turkey but there are a lot of very beautiful stamps. I like them all. :-)
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Talal90Ahmed, Iraq
GREAT ,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,
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coolboxuk, United Kingdom
As I love both horses and steamships/tallships this was a really difficult choice. I chose the Dutch stamp because it shows not only the postillion riding but also the horse being watered.
I also really liked the out-of-the-box thinking of the Finnish stamp...I very nearly went for that one.
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Hrustik, Ukraine
If the theme is "routes" why half of the countries made Stamps without any routes? That's why I've chosen between Poland, Turkey, Russia, Belarus and Vatican
Though Finland is funny!)
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Silvia_L, Germany
I really liked the Irish stamp but 'The Landing of the Mayflower' is not connected to the topic postal routes. So my favourite one is Russia.
And I completely agree with the previous comment by Hrustik.
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teamug, Germany
This was a hard choice. In the end I really liked the stamps of 12 countries. I finally chose Åland. I loved the photo against the sunlight, and the view across the boats. Obviously island states have boats and ships rather than ponies etc.
But I loved also Norway, Bosnia, Cyprus, Faroe, Greece, Germany, Russia...
Really diffcult this time.
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Kushboo, Netherlands
So many nice stamps but I would be very happy to get a postcard with the stamp from Turkey so I voted for Turkey.
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zapandtulle, Switzerland
I voted for Ukraine. Beautiful stamp and very impressing story.
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Gunny72, Switzerland
Finland is my favorit, Santa Claus 🎅🏼🦌
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lapje, Netherlands
Love this year's theme. Wonderful mail boat stamps from various countries/islands, but my vote went to ...
Poland !
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Ashby48, United Kingdom
Shame, UK, that we don't join this. I liked Aland, because it told a fascinating story, with artwork that appealed to me. So many other good ones. I think I liked the ones that had mail in the picture, and/or told a story. I remember the Ireland stamp for its interpretation of medieval post [managed well without maps], Vatican City for a fascinating piece of history, and Andorra for depiction of its struggle to keep communication going.
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surfclub66, United States of America
Cypress, Germany and Azerbaijan. These stamps are gorgeous!
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Isab, Germany
I vote for french. But there were so many bautiful, Isel of man and greece!
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pathetiquejazz, Russia
I vote for Bulgaria 🇧🇬 , but I really like Åland Islands 🇦🇽 , Armenia 🇦🇲 and Guernsey 🇬🇬 , too!
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Knerq, United States of America
I voted for Cyprus but there are several good ones!
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littleblackcatpatch, France
i vote for Armenia=)
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JCB24, Netherlands
I voted for Belarus
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ProudMum, Netherlands
Hard to choose, once again, but Faroe Islands, because of the story behind the image.
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Gerda-RD, Netherlands
That's very difficult to choose a stamp. When you are a collector like me, you like more and it would be great to get all tof them in my mailbox. The Finnish stamp I already have. Would you sent the stamp from your country to me? Please make contact.
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Dasha234, Russia
I voted for Cyprus!!!
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januari, Sweden
There were a lot of beautiful stamps (Norway, Faroe Islands, Azerbaijan), but I most loved and voted for the Åland stamp, very beautiful colour, light, etc... I would be delighted to receive such a stamp from Åland ....and from other countries as well!
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Alexander9179, Russia
I voted for Belarus, besides beauty, I liked it - courage. They recalled that most of the territory was taken from them. Even their capital, now the capital of another entity ....
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mcbuchanan, Canada
Voted for Vatican...but they're all great!
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beesknees, United States of America
I voted for Estonia as its black and white with a pop of color.
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Robin67, Austria
As every year I drooled over some of those stamps and do hope I'll get some/most/all (haha, fat chance) of them on snail-mail sent to me. ;-)

So far I (only) have the one from Finland (cool idea!) and ours (= the Austrian one).

I voted for Portugal. The stamp with the mailbox on, but I really like some of them and Bosnia & Herzegovina with the pidgeon on came a close second for me. :-)
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ToZu, Slovakia
I voted Jersey. But they are all beautiful!
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DorotheeB, Germany
Belarus and Germany. The German stamp is really big, doesn't fit on postcards. It comes as a "block" with a frame around it. Really nice.
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Riinka, Finland
I like the pigeon stamp of Bosnia and Herzegovina, as well as the Finnish and Norwegian ones. Unsurprisingly, I can't yet decide on which stamp to vote for. This always tends to happen with every EUROPA stamp competition :D
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eyselbaer, Germany
The german europe stamp is not displayed correctly. The stamp consists of a mini sheet :
Format Stamp: Width: 44.2 mm; Height: 26.2 mm
Format Mini sheet: width: 90.00 mm; Height: 60.00 mm
On the block edge, the transport routes between individual European cities are shown in detail.
Only the overall picture reflects the beauty of the presentation.
I have enough stock of the German Europe stamp and use the stamp as a block on my postcards if the recipient is interested or if she /he is a stamp collector!
 
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Bees-and-Butterflies, France
Lots of beautiful stamps but my favourite one is from the Republic of Serbia. I liked the information given alongside it. I really hope I receive some of these stamps on my postcards.
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perohans, Norway
I voted for Finland, fun and nice stamp :-)
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Vilmukka, Finland
Santa and the sleigh, the route seems to be the only one still in use. and has been operating without interruption for at least 300 years:
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Pulmu, Finland
I voted for Croatia but liked Bosnia and Herzegovina with a pigeon, Åland, Belarus, Faroe Island and Ireland, too.
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Brakebein, Netherlands
It was a tough decision and I had difficulty choosing between Russia, Ukraine and the Republic of Serbia. Eventually I chose Serbia, because the stamp itself had the best image and the story was very fun and educational to read. I'm probably going to buy some from my own country and send them to other Postcrossers. Great blog, thanks!
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dogfan, United States of America
I voted for Ukraine.
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petrini1, United States of America
So many beautiful ones! In the end I chose Norway.
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Cassisia, Germany
Since this year's theme is related to Postcrossing, I hope to receive a lot of these stamps. 😃 It isn't very likely that I'll get my favourite one - Azerbaijan..
What a pity that the German stamp isn't displayed correctly, as eyselbaer wrote in his comment. It isn't just a normal stamp, but has a big border related to the picture, three times the size of the stamp.
Here you can see it in full size: https://shop.deutschepost.de/historische-postwege-briefmarke-zu-0-80-eur-blockausgabe
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Pacomole, France
I voted for the Monaco stamp.
The engraving is magnificent.
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Cemee, Finland
I voted of Isle of Man, but so many beautiful stamps out there.
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ALFAVIT, Russia
I voted for Belarus.
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APol, Poland
Bosnia and Herzegovina - more horses on one stamp :)
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SarahL, Canada
They're all so beautiful! But something about Finland just stood out to me- love the aurora borealis! I tried to find an online shop (like how we can order stamps from Canada Post) but it looks like Post Europ doesn't have one. Crossing my fingers to get some of these on postcards! :)
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mountzzz, United States of America
Faroe Island. This stamp tells a story of struggle, sacrifice, and dedication.
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JannCady, United States of America
Absolutely stunning stamps! I loved Isle of Man and Russia. I voted for Turkey.
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Iside82, Italy
I'm going to wait the end of June, when also the Italian stamps will be issued :)
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Volpe97, Italy
I had to choose between Russia and Poland. In the end I voted for Russia. My country, as every year, is late in the issue of the Europa stamp, but I guess it would have been boring as usual. Well done Armenia, Belarus, Norway, Poland, Russia, Serbia, Turkey :)
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sallyanne, United States of America
It’s really hard to decide!
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unicorn11, Canada
Santa is my favourite so I picked him....beautiful stamps from each country involved, though!!
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Ramya, United States of America
I voted for Ukraine. I like the story and the dedication depicted. Beautiful stamp design.
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Sterngesang, Germany
Not an easy decision! Finally, I have voted for the stamp of Portugal, which portraits a 500-year long postal history. I appreciate the details of the old map as well as the special perforation at both left and right sides. A very nice stamp!
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nisnoopy3, Malaysia
I voted for Cyprus. The ancient sea map make me want to take out the encyclopedia. It covered alot of the ancient postal routes. The ship encountered whales, rough sea and lighthouses. On land, there is donkey, camels, horses, horse carriage, trains, mountains. Everything is there! Very nice blue theme too! :D
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juttertje, Netherlands
Just voted for the Faroe islands. There is so much emotion in this tiny stamp, you can almost feel the cold the postmen are enduring...
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jeroenvberlo, Netherlands
Very nice stamps and great theme. I received my first one on a Postcrossing card from Germany. I hope my Mailbox will receive the next one soon.
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steph2000, United States of America
So many beautiful stamps - I voted for Republic of Serbia. Now, I want to collect them all!
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giorgina80, Italy
I voted for Belarus❤
they are all splendid
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Yak1, Sweden
I voted for Åland because I know of the difficult task of rowing post and passengers between Åland and the Swedish coast in the old days.
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ChinnOir, Ireland
I voted for the Faroe Islands stamp, it shows vividly the hardships that postmen endured to get our letters to us. So many beautiful stamps, the Finland stamp is particular!
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nejlepsiholcicka, Czech Republic
They're all beautiful stamps on a postcard!
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yudi, Indonesia
I voted for Republic of Serbia
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betslets, United States of America
Based upon the theme, I guess I missed something on some of the cards which I didn't understand as " Ancient Postal Routes". However, all of this year's stamps are superb. I then went with those that showed the mode of transport and ultimately chose the very colorful stamp from Germany. I was even happier with my choice after viewing the website provided by Cassisia, I can't wait to view the results.
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Nells250, United States of America
Not being in Europe, I always feel like I shouldn't vote in these polls... BUT I always do anyway! ;-)
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inuk, Germany
I hope I managed to vote for Faroe. It´s a really great stamp. Unfortunately I don´t know, but when I wanted to vote there was a sign that I shouldn´t vote twice, even though I was sure that I didn´t already vote. So maybe I voted for one that I only wanted to have a closer look at.
Anyway. I´m glad, that I surely have not voted for "Santa". I think this one has nothing to do with Ancient Postal Routes. It belongs to Christmas season and nowhere else - can´t use it the whole year round, sorry to all the fans.
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reiselustig, Germany
I voted for Faroe Island, because looking on the stamp immediately you can feel the effort the postman had to make to deliver the post despite all the surrounding conditions like snow, storm etc. The second best in my opinion is the stamp of Norway - for the same reasons. They are both made in a way that you have pictures of the former times before your "inner eye" promptly (I don't know if this is a saying in english :-) )
So now I will read what the others think ( i did not wanted to be influenced in advance).
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liesbeth_france, France
I have voted for Serbia. It's a well designed stamp and I admire the mailmen having done all those miles on foot.
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paradonym, Germany
Any ideas on how to get a full set of them? For collecting...
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