2020 EUROPA Competition

From 9 May till 9 September 2020, PostEurop is proud to present the most beautiful 2020 EUROPA stamps entries for the theme “Ancient Postal Routes”. Click on the stamp to enlarge image.

How to vote:

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ÅLAND - Åland Post Stamps
The stamp shows a Postal Boat Race across the Sea of Åland. Following the ancient postal route between Åland and Sweden, the Race is arranged in June every year in remembrance of the Åland and Swedish postal-farmers’ obligation to convey mail in all kinds of weather. Since 1638, mail exchange continued for almost 400 years until the early 1900s.
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ANDORRA ESP- grupo Correos
Postal routes have been essential for bringing governments and societies closer together throughout history. Former trade routes marked by posts and resting places enabled couriers and messengers to carry post across the obstacles posed by geography.
In Spain, these routes date back to Imperial Roman times when former Tartessus, Phoenician and pre-Roman routes were used to build their network of roads through which the official post or cursus publicus would circulate.
This issue of the Andorran EUROPA stamp depicts an iconic image of a postman walking along a route on a map, portraying the importance of the routes in the past and how they constitute the basis for the present.

Premium Sheet of 6 stamps, each stamp measuring 49.8 x 33.2 mm. The format of the sheet is 260 x 200 mm (horizontal). Printed in offset. Print run: 180.000 stamps.
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ANDORRA FR - Phil@poste Service Clients
Since the end of the 18th century, the delivery of mail in the valleys of Andorra was connected to the post office of La Seu d'Urgell, where there was the nearest road from Andorra. This natural dependence and the loss of reputation suffered by the French government in the valleys will generate the opening of the postal route of Andorra-l'Hospitalet.
Between 1837 and 1870, letters to and from Andorra passed through L'Hospitalet-près-l'Andorre in stagecoach via Ax-les-Thermes. A long journey of eleven and a half hours then began to reach Andorre la Vella. The carrier took the letters in the post house at L'Hospitalet and carried them on foot to Andorra via the port of Envalira, at 2,409 m, and Soldeu.
In 1870, the post office of L'Hospitalet opened its doors and the intermediate stopover of Ax was removed.
The visual of the stamp is inspired by an old map showing the postal route which linked L'Hospitalet to Andorra la Vella.
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ARMENIA - Haypost
The stamp depicts the old city of Gyumri, which used to be the main cultural and political centre of Armenia having many different routes.
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AUSTRIA - Österreichische Post AG
Historic representation of Palais Fugger in Innsbruck
Stamp size: 42 x 31,9 mm
Printing: offset printing
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AZERBAIJAN - State Enterprise "Azerpost"
Miniature sheet of 1 stamp
Sheet size:110x60
Stamp size:45x45
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BELARUS - RUEP "Belpochta"
The stamp depicts the postal route “Krakow – Warsaw – Goradnya – Vilna”, approved by the Grand Duke of Lithuania Stefan Batory in 1583. Against the background of the map there is a messenger holding a road sheet – a special travel document that noted the date, time and direction of departure of the messenger.
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BELGIUM - bpost
On the sheetlet we see "La chaise de poste", a lithography enhanced with gouache by Eugène Péchaubè, and an ancient map of a postal route. On the stamp, the plate with a lion from the 2nd half of the 19th century can be seen, worn by a Belgian Postman.

The stamps are enhanced with embossing and fifth colour.
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Bosnia and Herzegovina
BOSNIA AND HERZEGOVINA - Hrvatska pošta Mostar
A wagon and a silver coin of the Roman consul L. Saufeius (152 BC) were chosen as motives on the stamps. On the reverse the coin shows Victoria driving a biga, and on the obverse the head of goddess Roma. The coin is located in the Franciscan museum of the Monastery of Saint Anthony in Humac, an area through which the very significant military road Salona (Solin) – Bigeste (Ljubuški) – Narona (Vid) has passed since the first century.
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Bosnia and Herzegovina
BOSNIA AND HERZEGOVINA - Pošte Srpske a.d. Banja Luka
Ancient postal routes. Post delivered on horses.
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Bosnia and Herzegovina
The issue of the postage stamp "Europe - Ancient Postal Routes" presents the forms of communication in ancient times that led to the organized postal service as we know it today, whose function has always been to deliver news via different means, and as such it has remained unchanged throughout all developmental periods of society, of course always keeping up with latest technological advances.
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BULGARIA - Bulgarska Philatelia & Numismatika
The background of the two stamps is an antique map, which includes the two largest Bulgarian cities, Sofia and Plovdiv, with Latin names Serdica and Philipopolis as the distance between the two cities outlines a route from the ancient Roman roads. The postage stamp of 2.30 Lv. depicts a Roman stone sculpture of a chariot from Roman times.
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CROATIA - Croatian Post
Set of 2 stamps design: Colour lithograph on paper, St. Francis Chapel on Velebit Mountain, mid-19th century; printed at the Antonelli Printworks (State Archives in Zadar, HR-DAZD-552, Graphic Art Collection, III/3); lithograph used by Croatian Post courtesy of the State Archives in Zadar.
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CYPRUS - Department of Postal Services
Map of Cyprus showing ancient postal routes.
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Czech Republic
The image of the stamp depicts the transportation of mail on a horsedrawn carriage. The designer added colours to the original drawing using the currently used spectrum of postal colours to create a symbolic link between the past and the present postal services in our territory.The beginnings of regular exchange of messages date back to antiquity. It used to be the privilege of the monarch and was rarely available to the public. In the Czech lands, the development of postal services began with the arrival of the Habsburgs
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DENMARK - PostNord Danmark
Coloured views of Copenhagen.

Minisheet: 130 x 70mm
Stamps: 26 x 40 mm
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ESTONIA - Estonian Stamp
The EUROPA "Ancient postal route stamp" depicts a historic stop on the old Tartu–Võru road. The depicted image shows the Tille tavern from the early 20th century. This building was destroyed during the same period, thus modern travellers will not get to see it.
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Faroe Islands
FAROE - Postverk Føroya
The stamp illustrates two postmen in a heavy snowstorm in the mountains building a shelter out of stones to stay alive. It also shows a map with a red line indicating the route travelled by these two postmen.
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FINLAND - Posti Ltd.
Posti chose Santa Claus, who takes his own routes up in the aurora-lit sky, travelling to every corner of the world in a sleigh pulled by reindeer. The stamp sheet contains 10 international no-value indicator stamps.
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FRANCE - Phil@poste Service Clients
The stamp depicts a mail coach Briska on a geographical map as background dating from 1632 and representing the ancient postal routes of France.

Around the 1830s, a new type of travelling carriage appeared on the French roads. The Slavic-sounding name, the "briska", clearly indicated its Russian origin. It was from this primitive vehicle that the “briska” derived. At the beginning of Louis-Philippe's reign, it was greatly appreciated by travellers in a hurry.
In 1838, the administration of the French Post Office, decided to adopt it for the delivery of mail. Improvements were made so that the "briska" could be suitable for postal service. Like its Russian model, this new mail coach kept a large compartment intended to welcome some passengers. Like all postal transport at that time, it had the right to gallop on the road, while private vehicles could only trot. In addition, it had a priority right on the road and at the post houses.
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GERMANY - Deutsche Post AG
This stamp shows an ancient postman riding quickly to reach the next fortified town before sunset. The modern design with cheerful and bright colours encourages to discover more details of different kinds of transportation, ancient landscapes and postal routes.
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GREECE - Hellenic Post Philatelic Service
The first Greek-built wheeled steamer, completed in 1837 at the Poros Naval Shipyard, used for postal sea service between the port of Piraeus and the Island of Syros (Cyclades).
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Charles Lindbergh maintains his aircraft while in transit in Qaqortoq, Southern Greenland, in August 1933. Lindbergh was required to carry letter mail with him from the four Greenlandic towns or villages he visited in 1933 before flying to Iceland and mainland Europe.
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GUERNSEY - Guernsey Philatelic Bureau
In 1823 the Ariadne commenced running from Southampton to Guernsey and Jersey. A three-masted paddle steamer built by William Evans of Rotherhithe, she was commanded by J Bazin, a well-known Guernsey captain. Owned by the South of England Steam Packet Company, records show that she was dismantled in 1852.
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HUNGARY - Hungarian Post Office
In the territory of Hungary at the time of Louis the Great in the 14th century, guilds established postal routes, which, besides their own correspondence, carried the letters of private individuals, while travelling merchants and craftsmen took the messages and orders of customers to distant places. One of the most well-known postal routes was that of the butchers. Armed drivers escorting cattle from the Hungarian Great Plain to markets abroad carried the correspondence of the cities and their burghers based on individual instructions.
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ICELAND - Iceland Post
The history of Icelandic postmen dates back to 1776 when King Christian VII issued a decree establishing a postal system in Iceland. The delivery of correspondence in days of old was almost heroic! The first postmen had to travel extensively on foot and horseback through rugged landscape, crossing bridgeless rivers and sometimes even glaciers to bring mail to the most remote areas of the country.
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IRELAND - Irish Stamps An Post
The stamps are based on illustrations by Orlagh Murphy. Taking inspiration from religious art, using a quadriptych (four quadrant layout), the stamps tell the story of the journey of a letter from the letter writer to the receiver during the Middle Ages.
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Isle of Man
ISLE OF MAN - Isle of Man Post Office
The arrival at Plymouth Rock: This stamp displays the Pilgrims as they prepare to step ashore at Plymouth Rock for the first time. The Mayflower can be seen anchored in the background. This pivotal moment marked the start of a new period of civilisation in North America.
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ITALY - Poste Italiane – Filatelia Marketing
The image depicts a map of the Italian peninsula from 1695 called “Italy with its post offices and main roads”, which showed the entire Italian postal road system for the first time (private collection).
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JERSEY - Jersey Post
The first mail ships set sail to and from Jersey in 1794 and since then, the Island has been serviced by dozens of mail ships and passenger boats.

The Cygnus was an iron paddle steamer, built by Henderson and Sons of Renfrew. The ship was 182 feet in length and had a breadth of 20 feet. The ship, which was operated by the Weymouth and Channel Islands Steam Packet Company, had two funnels and a clipper bow. The Cygnus’ maiden voyage to Jersey took place in 1857.
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LATVIA - Latvia Post Philatelic Department
Courier on horseback (Offset printing, print run 104,000 copies, stamp format approx. 30x37 mm)
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LIECHTENSTEIN - Liechtensteinische Post AG
Designer René Wolfinger made the issue appear nostalgic through steel engraving. If you look for ancient postal routes in Liechtenstein, you will inevitably come across the Lindau Messenger. This was a transport service that operated between the trading centres at the time in Lindau at Lake Constance and the Italian city of Milan up to 1826 and carried goods, money and letters.
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LITHUANIA - PLC Lithuania Post
The stamp depicts the Taurage post office in October 10, 1843, which was visited by the writer Honore de Balzac.
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Rider of the Thurn &Taxis Company. XVIIIth century. Background postal routes crossing Luxembourg. 45 x 33 mm.
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MALTA - MaltaPost p.l.c.
The first stamp features a map of the Mediterranean Sea with Malta, Sicily and Italy at its core. Being an island, key naval routes are highlighted such as the Malta/ Pozzallo, Malta/ Messina and Malta/Naples routes. A vessel known as l-Ixprunara or 'speronara' feature on the left-hand side.These small merchant vessels originated in Malta and became a popular means of marine transport. Using both sail and oars they were swift and convenient, ferrying passengers and cargo (including mail) around the Mediterranean.
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MONACO - Office des Emissions de Timbres-Poste
The stamp represents a courier responsible for the mail delivery in the 18th century with a view of the Rock at the time in the background.
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MONTENEGRO - Philatelic Bureau
We can see the words "Drevne poštanske rute" (ancient postal routes) with a mail carriage represented on the stamp.

0,95 € Sheet 8+1
42x28 mm
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The stamp sheet features 6 postage stamps in 2 designs. The first design features an etching of a postillion on horseback with a post horn at his mouth. On the right-hand side of each stamp there are identical vertical cut-outs of a painting of a resting horse with its head in a feeding trough. All images have been printed in the same blue as the Priority logo.
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NORWAY - Posten Norge AS
The stamp shows the old postal route Vindhellavegen in the western part of Norway. In ancient times this steep and dangerous road was the main postal connection between east and west of Norway. Today this road is a visiting point for tourists.

The stamp is issued in a miniature sheet as a mix between an old black/white photo and a new colour photo.
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POLAND - Poczta Polska S.A.
The Vistula, the longest and largest river of Poland, has been the main communication and postal route of the country for centuries. Alongside significant political and economic development of Poland in 15th and 16th century, the Golden Ages, the Vistula with its tributaries, and a systematically developing road network, connected royal cities situated on its banks, like Kraków, Sandomierz, Warszawa, Toruń, Elbląg, Gdańsk and other parts of the country as well as Europe and Asia. Royal and private merchant postal systems of letter carriers and horse rides had been functioning since the Middle Ages, finally resulted the establishment of the public postal service founded by the king Sigismund II Augustus in 1558.
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PORTUGAL - CTT Portugal Post - Philately Department
Simple design concept using, relevant iconographic elements to portrait our 500-year long postal history - 40x30,6mm – offset printed.
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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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PORTUGAL (MADEIRA) - PORTUGAL - CTT Portugal Post - Philately Department
Simple design concept using, relevant iconographic elements to portrait our 500-year long postal history, representing Madeira islands- 40x30,6mm – offset printed.
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Republic of Serbia
SERBIA - Public Enterprise Post of Serbia
In the early XIX century, in Serbia postal network was only used to transmit letters from the state administration. But common people also needed communication, so the profession of private postman appeared in Serbia as a part of the Ottoman Empire.
Professional couriers conveyed the letters on foot. Above the knee, they would fasten a device, which could be heard from afar. The sound from the device kept other people out of the way of couriers. Common law protected these scribes because it was known that they never carried money, but news that provided people with useful information. These professional couriers typically travelled about 40 km a day and did not travel at night.
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The postage stamp with the face value of Lei 20.50 illustrates the following elements: a post coach and postal routes within Wallachia, along with a detail from the lithography Post Coach Crossing Over the Buzau River by Raffet (1839) and the seal of the Posts Office Directorate of Wallachia, around 1840.
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Russian Federation
RUSSIAN FEDERATION - MARKA Publishing and Trading Centre
The Kholmogory postal road was known as early as at the end of the 15th century, but only a section of it to Vologda was in use. The oldest Russian regular postal service between Arkhangelsk and Moscow was launched under the rule of Peter the Great in 1693. The postal stamp shows an ancient postal route: the Kholmogory postroad (Arkhangelsk — Vologda — Yaroslavl — Moscow) and the Europa logotype.
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San Marino
The €1.10 stamp shows the postilion going on foot to the Mount Titano of San Marino. He was in charge of bringing and collecting the mail to and from the postal office in Rimini, on service since 1607.
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Slovak Republic
SLOVAK - Slovenská pošta
Magna via was an important route in the former Austria-Hungary, which spans through today's Austria, Slovakia, Hungary, Romania and Ukraine. It was used to transport people and mail.
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SLOVENIA - Posta Slovenije d.o.o.
The stamp shows a postillion, a post rider with a post horn in his hand. This postillion became a synonym for the postman bringing joyful news.

Size: 42,60 x 29,82 mm
Layout: Sheetlet of 8 stamps + a label
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SPAIN - grupo Correos
Sheet of 6 stamps, each stamp measuring 49.8 x 33.2 mm. The format of the sheet is 260 x 200 mm (horizontal). Printed in offset. Print run: 180.000 stamps.
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SWEDEN - PostNord Sweden
Motif no 1: Swedish postal courier on a horse. Drawing after German print from 1631.
Size: 29,8 x 40,6
Print: Offset CMYK
Paper: Gummed
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Historische Postrouten (ancient postal routes)
Schweiz – Deutschland
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TURKEY - General Directorate of Turkish Post
45x90 mm sized and horizontally located with historical postal routes, postmen and map.
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UKRAINE - USEP "Ukrposhta"
On foot, with a bag over his shoulder, any time of the year, in any weather and any circumstances - he certainly crossed the moutain path every day, almost 60 kilometers to Uzhgorod and back. Fedir Feketa, a native of the Transcarpathian Turia Remeta, a legendary figure and postman - has been delivering mail for thirty years. He has become a true symbol of "friendliness, sobriety, honesty and obedience". Initially, in the 19th century on the facade of the local church appeared a plaque with a bas-relief of the village postman. And in 2003 a monument in the Transcarpathian district of Perechyn was built in his honour.
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Vatican City
VATICAN - Ufficio Filatelico e Numismatico - Governatorato
The 1,10 euro stamp reproduces the illustration of the Colonia Iulia (Torino), with the intersection of its main roads, the Cardo Massimo (north-south direction) with the Decumano Massimo (east-west direction), which extended outside the walls and joined the city to the four cardinal points.
The illustration is part of the Corpus Agrimensorum Romanorum (6th Century), contained in the Pal. lat. 1564, the manuscript of the 9th Century of the Vatican Library, which served as a model for the Tabula peutingeriana, road map of the 11th Century, which indicated in red the cursus publicus, the ancient postal system of the Romans.
To emphasize the importance of postal routes on the stamp, they are indicated in gold.
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