Europa 2013 - Postal Vehicles
For thousands of years the birth of human civilisation and its advancement have been inseparably connected with the transport of messages and mail. The development of this segment of human activity was strongly influenced by the development of transport and by constant implementation of new transport vehicles.
First organised transport of messages and mail in our area took place within Roman transport organisation cursus publicus, created in the first century A.D. and based on the worldly well-known Roman roads. We are talking here about the network of 80 000 km of maintained roads, 28 000 km of navigable rivers and canals and many seaways. Cursus publicus was not accessible to a wide number of users, but was limited to civil and military state officers. Messages were transported by couriers – walkers, horsemen and vessels while for goods and passenger transport several kinds of carriages were used (rheda, carrus, clabularis, carruca), chosen in dependence on distance, urgency, weight, but also number and reputation of passengers. Along roads there were stations for exchange of horses (mutationes) and lodgings (mansiones) with coach repair workshops. The transport speed was from 30 to 190 km per day.
Along with the fall of the Western Roman Empire in 476, its postal organisation also collapsed. In the middle ages the transport of messages was done by messengers in service of rulers, Church, noblemen, guilds and towns. The messengers in the middle ages were mostly walkers or horsemen and did not as a rule use vehicles.
After great geographic discoveries there appeared a need for fast and well-organised transport of messages, goods and passengers. The aristocratic family Taxis, owing to obtained concession, managed to answer the needs of the moment and during consequent centuries successfully maintained regular postal connections (with fixed prices) transporting mail and passengers and thus paved foundations for future European posts. The same role in the Habsburg Monarchy played the aristocratic family Paar until 1722 when the state took over postal traffic. First known coach connection in the history of European post was the postal route Innsbruck- Vienna from 1505.
The need of defence from Turks is connected with the establishment of the first organised postal route in the territory of Croatia, on 6 April 1525, introduced by Austrian military administration between Graz, Celje and Jastrebarsko. However, the precondition for faster postal traffic was the quality of traffic communications; the communications that were of exceptional importance for connections within Croatia were built in 18th century. The Caroline Road, connecting Karlovac and Rijeka was accomplished in 1728 and because of its use for postal transport it was called Postal Road. In the meantime, Baron Von Lilien introduced in 1749 in Vienna postal transport by coaches under the name diligence (franc. carrosse de diligence, fast coach). At the end of the century also the building of the Josephine Road connecting Karlovac and Senj was finished, improving connections between continental and maritime Croatia. In 1788 in the interior of the Monarchy a postal coach connection between Karlovac and Zemun was established. Diligence connection Vienna – Varaždin – Zagreb – Karlovac – Rijeka functioned daily from 1803, at a speed of 10kn/hour.
In our littoral areas under the rule of Venice, official and private mail was transported by seaway route Venice – Zadar – Kotor on fast vessels named gaeta and feluka. Between Zadar, Pag and Karlobag there existed in 1797 also transport by raft.
Due to the invention of steam engine there was a revolutionary change that strongly influenced the traffic. The railway takes over the primacy in the mainland and steam ships at sea and on rivers. The first regular steam line was organised in 1818 on the route Rijeka - Venice. As concerns river traffic the first to drive on Danube was the steamer Caroline, constructed in Osijek. Railway traffic in Croatia was established in 1862 on the route Zidani Most – Zagreb – Sisak; at the railway station there was also a post office.
For the first time in Zagreb, in 1893 parcel delivery to home addresses was introduced by coaches and later bicycle was mentioned as mean of delivery. First automobiles were introduced in the service in 1913 and in 1914 a regulation on automobile postal traffic was brought. In 1930 252 postal wagons, 228 automobiles, 715 postal coaches, 410 horses, 484 walkers and 80 cyclists are mentioned. In the 30-ties of the 20th century in the Badalićeva Street in Zagreb, at the place of former depository for postal coaches, the postal automobile garage was built.
After the Second World War the vehicle fleet from the realier period was enlarged with vehicles received as UN help. The import of new postal vehicles (among which were fourgon/ mail van Lupetto 25 by the Italian producer Officine Meccaniche) began only at the end of the 50-ies of the 20th century. National producers, like Zastava, IMV and Tomos, in the beginning of the 60-ies of the last century presented new models among whom the most frequently used were the delivery vans Zastava 615, Zastava 620 or the motorbike Tomos Colibri T12. At that time, on about 19 million people in a former state, in postal traffic there were 930 automobiles (443 for goods, 377 for persons, 110 buses), 1061 motorbikes, 2899 bicycles and 181 postal wagon.
Postal vehicles played a key role in the history as concerns efficiency of postal traffic and availability of postal services and they have kept this role until today.
Technical DetailsIssue Date: 09.05.2013
Designer: Dean Roksandić, designer, Zagreb
Printer: Zrinski - Čakovec
Process: Multicolor Offset Printing
Colours: 4 Colours
Size: 29,82 x 48,28 mm