Blog: Pigeon Post between Sarajevo and Constantinople

EUROPA Stamps Stories



The competition stamp: ''Drevne poštanske rute''
Stamp Designer: Tamer Luarev
Postage value: 1,28€
Date of issue: 09/05/2020
Name of the printer: Blicdruk d.o.o. Sarajevo
Issued by: BH Pošta


This issue of the BH Pošta EUROPA postage stamp "Ancient Postal Routes" presents the forms of communication used in ancient times, which led to the establishment of the postal service as we know it today. The service has always functioned to deliver news via different means, and as such, it has remained unchanged throughout all developmental periods, while keeping up with the latest technological.

Today's Sarajevo, as the former centre of the Vilayet (Ottoman) Empire, had pigeon mail. The Sarajevo pigeon post lasted until 1860.

It is common knowledge that the pigeon is bound to the place where it was hatched, and hence it always returns to its origin. After the conquest of new territories, pigeons were transferred in cages, on horses and carts from the cities of the empire where the sultans lived to the places of the Vilayets where they ruled in what were then provinces of the Ottoman Empire. So large cages or so-called pigeon posts began to sprout. These pigeon posts would spread from the former Constantinople (known today as “Istanbul”) to Sarajevo, and thus formed an important postal route between the two cities. Pigeon posts could also be found in other important cities, where the army headquarters were located.

The way information was transmitted through the pigeon mail was very fast, due to the ability and endurance of the carrier pigeon, as well as its destination accuracy.

The message was sent in such a way that it was placed next to the pigeon's leg, and after some time special light bottles were skilfully placed also on the back of the pigeon so as not to disturb the pigeon.

View and Vote for Your Favourite EUROPA Stamp Today

We invite you to view all the beautiful entries and vote for your favourite stamp on The online competition will end on 9 September 2020 and the winning stamps will be announced at the PostEurop Plenary Assembly to be held on October 2020.

More about EUROPA Stamps
Since 1956, EUROPA stamps have been a symbol of Europe’s desire for closer integration and co-operation. These special stamps are issued by the European postal administrations/enterprises and bears the EUROPA logo, a PostEurop registered trademark. Since 1993, PostEurop has been the responsible organisation for issuing EUROPA stamps and each year, philately experts within the Philately working group organise the competition amongst other philately initiatives. See more information on


For more information, please contact:

Cynthia Wee-Neumann
Communications Manager
T: +2 2 773 11 92 

POSTEUROP is the association which represents European public postal operators. It is committed to supporting and developing a sustainable European postal communication market accessible to all customers and ensuring a modern and affordable universal service. Our Members represent 2 million employees across Europe and deliver to 800 million customers daily through over 175,000 counters.

Find us also on:

    footer picture