Postcrossing Blog

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

Posts tagged "germany"

As promised, here are the Little Mail Carriers to tell us all about their exciting visit to the Museum for Communication, in Berlin.

Hallo zusammen! We arrived at the museum in the early morning with lots of letters to deliver.

Museum for Communication building, in Berlin

After almost being run over by one of their cool robots, we started exploring the exhibitions. While we were marveling at the variety of mail boxes, we met Stefan, who was very happy to receive a letter from us. Did you spot him on the movie in our previous post?

The Little Mail Carriers meet Stefan

We also found a large collection of stamps in the exhibition and in the basement they have a “tableau” of some of the most well-known and rarest letters and stamps, including the über famous Mauritius blue!

The Mauritius Blue stamp

They are displayed alongside lots of other treasures from the history of communication, which is why they call it the “treasure chamber”.

The Treasure Chamber

We also learned a lot about postcards. In Germany, postcards, as we know them today, were officially approved in 1905, prior to that the address was written on one side and the text on the other (starting in 1870). Images were introduced early on before becoming one of the main features of postcards.

Our favorite part was a cool installation of a mail pneumatic tube! We embarked on a journey through the tubes to deliver a letter to Anne, which you can see on our video. The distance is on the museum’s tube tube is only 30 metres (about 100 feet), but the total length of the pneumatic tube system in Berlin in 1940 measured 400 kilometres (or 250 miles) — 1,333 times longer!

Researching in the library

Afterwards, we paid a visit to the museum’s library. It’s an important part of the museum, as it contains many sources on the history of communication, namely postal service and telecommunication. Researchers and museum staff use the resources for projects and new exhibitions. Here we met Florian, who was happy to help us write a short greeting into our travel journal and guided us behind the scenes to tell us about the large part of the collection that is not displayed in the exhibitions.

Mailboxes in storage

Together with two other museums and an archive for philately, the Museum for Communication in Berlin forms a foundation with a large collection that is housed in two major storage spaces and the archive for philately. One of the storages is in Berlin, the other one in Frankfurt am Main. Thus, we went to the collections in Berlin-Tempelhof, where we found a great variety of objects and met more friendly museum staff members.

Pneumatic post Scales in storage

Among the objects were additional mail boxes, historic pneumatic tubes, post house signs and lots of photographs and postcards. We also made new friends with workers active in the miniature models of postal facilities such as a parcel sorting center and couldn’t resist the bus ride in a model of an old post bus! The original vehicles are located in Frankfurt am Main.

 Miniature post bus

The collection also stores a large number of letters sent by and to soldiers during different wars (e.g. WWI and WWII), letters that were exchanged between East and West Germany between 1949 and 1990 and letters between friends and lovers. We learned a lot about the postal system as well as the stories behind the letters.

Goodbye Berlin!

Full of impressions, we delivered our last letters and hopped into the museum’s mailbox to continue our journey Tschüß Berlin!

A big thank you to Anne-Sophie Gutsche, Stefan Jahrling and Johannes Lindenlaub from the Museum for Communication for agreeing to host the little guys, writing and taking all these photos! 😊 On they go on their next adventure…

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Remember the Sister Cities of Düsseldorf call for postcards we did a few months ago? The day of Düsseldorf, Haifa, Chemnitz and Reading’s jubilee finally arrived last weekend, and with it the opening of the fantastic exhibition created with all your postcards!

Sonja (aka Sonne89) from the Mayor’s office reported that it was a perfect sunny day when Düsseldorf’s mayor and delegations from the other sister cities opened the exhibition, and the atmosphere was happy, with lots of enthusiastic visitors. She sent us some nice pictures that their intern Claire took, so that we could share them with you! Without further ado…

Sister Cities of Düsseldorf Postcard exhibition Sister Cities of Düsseldorf Postcard exhibition Sister Cities of Düsseldorf Postcard exhibition Sister Cities of Düsseldorf Postcard exhibition

In total, they received almost 500 postcards from 79 different countries, all with messages of joy and celebration. They even took a few quotes from the postcards and printed them on the walls, with the postcards hanging from the ceiling!

Sister Cities of Düsseldorf Postcard exhibition Sister Cities of Düsseldorf Postcard exhibition Sister Cities of Düsseldorf Postcard exhibition

Doesn’t that look amazing? All those postcards within easy reach, the quotes, the wall of postcards they built… they even set up a little mailbox, so that visitors could send a postcard on the opening weekend, and over 60 people took the opportunity to write to their beloved ones! :)

I confess I’m getting a little teary eyed looking at all these photos… Isn’t this amazing? We brought a world of kind wishes to Düsseldorf! 😊 And if you’d like to experience it yourself, there’s still time to see it: the Sister Cities exhibition will be shown on Café Europa (Marktplatz 6A) for the next 3 weeks. If you’re in the area, don’t miss it!

Our huge thank you to Sonja, Claire and Vera of Düsseldorf’s Mayor’s office for this wonderful experience. On top of putting all of it together, they’ve generously written over 100 postcards back to postcrossers who included their email addresses on the postcards. Thank you! ❤️

Sister Cities of Düsseldorf Postcard exhibition

All photos by Claire Brantley

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We know, we know… the blog has been a bit slow lately, as we’ve been busy with other tasks. In the meantime, here’s a brilliant giveaway to make up for it — enjoy!

Do these postcards look familiar? 😍

papersistershappypostcrossing

If so, you’ve probably heard about Papersisters! Although the company only started a couple of years ago, its eye-catching designs have swiftly conquered the hearts of many postcrossers around the world.

Sisters Wiebke (aka Namibia13) and Maike (aka jofemapa) are both enthusiastic postcrossers, and this passion turned into the creation of postcards and the opening of their own shop. Their range includes nicely illustrated postcards about different regions of Germany and their typical things, the country series featured above, stamp collages (my favorite!), and others for special occasions. They also do cute Postcard IDs or weather-themed rubberstamps to personalize your cards, as well as a few other goodies!

Germany

And now, for the best part! Papersisters is offering a pack of 12 postcards to 4 lucky postcrossers, plus one rubberstamp prize for an extra winner! Pretty cool, right? For a chance to receive one of these prizes, visit their website and leave a comment below, telling us which postcard (or series of postcards) is your absolute favorite!

But be warned, choosing from so much goodness will not be an easy task…

papersisters Airmail

Good luck everyone! Don’t forget to check back here next Saturday for the winners (randomly picked by Paulo’s number generator, as always).

And the winners of this giveaway, as chosen by Paulo’s random number generator are… amandam718, tandrj, Tufta, Allison_b216 and svoboda999! Congratulations — and thank you everyone for your enthusiastic participation on this giveaway!

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Franklinstr Duesseldorf
Mural by Brockenfingaz (Haifa), Kj263 (Ddorf) & Max Fiedler (Ddorf). Kuratiert von Haseläuft.

Have you ever heard of sister cities, also known as twin towns? It’s a concept in which “two cities or towns in geographically and politically distinct areas are paired, with the goal of fostering human contact and cultural links”. Collaborations between the cities can take many shapes (for instance, exchange programs or commercial ties), but the goal is simply to unite the towns on a meaningful level.

Right after the Second World War for example, a lot of cities in the UK and Germany came together in this way, helping promote peace and reconciliation. Sounds like a good idea, right? We firmly believe that projects focused on cross-cultural bonds and dialogue make the world a better place, by helping people open their minds to different realities and points of view. This is what Postcrossing is all about as well, so in a way, connecting cities is a lot like connecting people… just on a different scale! 😊

This year, Düsseldorf is celebrating the 30th anniversary of its connections with three sister cities: Haifa (IL), Chemnitz (DE) and Reading (GB). Despite their differences, these three cities have been finding ways of collaborating and expanding their horizons together for the past 30 years. For instance, they’ve organised internships and student exchanges, sports events, donations to each other in times of need and even brought artists together to build this huge mural in Düsseldorf!

To celebrate this milestone, the city of Düsseldorf is partnering with Postcrossing to create an international postcard exhibition that will allow the world to join in on the celebrations. Nothing says “connections across borders” like postcards, so we believe this is the perfect medium to expand their jubilee to the entire world.

And this is where YOU come in! Düsseldorf kindly invites all postcrossers to take part on the postcard exhibition by sending in postcards with well-wishes and thoughts on sister cities. To participate, choose a postcard from your area and send it to:

Sister Cities of Düsseldorf
(The address has been removed as exhibition is already taking place, so postcards are no longer needed.)

We encourage everyone to congratulate Düsseldorf, Haifa, Chemnitz and Reading on their triple jubilee and also to write about sister cities on your postcards! Is your city or town twinned with another one? What do you think of the concept? And do you have any good ideas for cooperations between sister cities?

And as a bonus, the nice people from Düsseldorf’s town hall have reserved 100 specially designed postcards to send out to 100 randomly chosen participants of the exhibition! For a chance to win one, just include your email address on the postcard you send. Don’t worry — your email addresses will be covered for the duration of the exhibition.

All postcards will be displayed on Café Europa (Marktplatz 6 a) from June 30th onwards, so you have until then to send in yours. And if you’re around, mark your calendar and send us photos! We’d love to see your beautiful postcards in all their shiny glory! 😍

PS – If you were the mayor of your town and could twin it with another one, which one would that be? And what would you suggest for your first cooperation? Let us know in the comments!

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It’s been a while since we’ve had a spotlight interview on the blog, but we haven’t forgotten about them! Today, we’re happy to interview Courtney (aka ColorfulCourtney), who is the from the USA but lives in Germany and is a fan of archery! If you’ve been hanging around in the forum, you might have interacted with her already, as she’s quite active there, helping newbies and answering questions.

How did you come across Postcrossing? What got you hooked?

I was still living in the U.S. and trying to find Christmas postcards, which are not so common there. On Amazon I saw many reviews of cards where people said “These are perfect for Postcrossing, ” or something similar. I decided to find out what this “Postcrossing” was, and signed up.

I think it was the Forum and doing tags that got me hooked, because I was able to exchange more cards while I was still limited in what I could send on the main site. Now I hardly ever do tags, because I can have more traveling than I can afford to send, and I like the random element of the site.

Show us your mailbox, your mailman/mailwoman, your postoffice or the place where you post or keep your postcards!
ColorfulCourtney Postcrossing Spotlight

I have made my mailbox into a postcard – the last time I sent it out was as DE-6420999. This postbox is across the street from the library. There is one closer to my house, but I do not use it as often. Also unfortunately the other postbox is routinely vandalized, which makes me both sad and angry.

ColorfulCourtney Postcrossing Spotlight

I store my incoming postcards in boring random boxes, I’m afraid! But I do display some of my favorite current cards in a mirror in my living room.

ColorfulCourtney Postcrossing Spotlight
What is it your favorite part of the Postcrossing process?

That is also a really hard question. I love getting great postcards and messages, of course, especially when it is clear someone put a lot of time, effort and heart into them. Sometimes people send me amazing bookmarks for the library – I recently received some beautiful handmade ones that were so creative! I also like picking out cards, writing them, finding the right stamp and washi tape, etc. Over all, though, my favorite part is when I get a “Hurray” message from someone who especially appreciated what I sent to them. Then I feel super all day, and cannot wait to send more cards!

Show and tell us about your favorite received postcard to date, and what makes it special.

That is a super-hard question, because I like so many cards for so many reasons, often because of what is on the back or something someone slipped into the envelope. I have some of the cards on my “Favorites” wall where I actually do not like the image at all! But I love what the person said on the back, and seeing the image reminds me of that.

ColorfulCourtney Postcrossing Spotlight

If forced to choose right now I guess I would say for the front image, NL-3817868 from Aafjeknuffel. In my profile I say I like old cards and also ask people to tell me something that makes them smile. She sent me a beautiful vintage card, together with a self-painted postcard that illustrated the things in life that make her happy. It literally made me cry a little bit, it was such a happy card!

Have you been surprised by any place that you have received a postcard from or sent a postcard to?

I was totally surprised that my first card came from Finland! I did not know at the time how active a Postcrossing country it is, and it seemed very exotic to me.

Is there anything that you are passionate about?

“Passion” is a pretty strong word. Postcrossing has made me passionate about our postal system. It makes me so angry when people intentionally under-postage cards, when vandals deface mailboxes, when the government wants to reduce mail delivery, things like that.

Outside of Postcrossing, my “think global” passion is about trying to achieve what I call the Star Trek universe, where the Earth is at peace, and poverty, oppression and violence on our planet are things of the past. I am especially passionate about women’s rights and I wish that women and girls all over the world had the rights and opportunities I have enjoyed growing up and living in the U.S. and now Germany. I worry a lot about the progress we are making as a planet, and about women’s rights, and the condition of people in general, slipping away in many areas of the world.

ColorfulCourtney Postcrossing Spotlight

My “act local” passion is our Gemeindebücherei, the town library. I was a librarian in the U.S. and after moving here I wanted to get involved in some sort of volunteer activity. Long story short, since 2016 I have been the town librarian, and work as a team with another volunteer assistant. We are both really passionate about reading and books, and about trying to get people to see the library as a vital resource to the community. You can see a picture of the library in DE-6500814.

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