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Created 7-Feb-08
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Tour&taxis

Take the journey with me......


The site owes its name to the ‘von Thurn und Tassis’ family, who founded the European postal service. The von Thurn und Tassis family owned the marshy area which bordered the Port of Brussels. It used this land as grazing land for its famous ‘Horse Post’ horses. As the centuries moved on, the name of the family and of
the associated site took on the French form of « TOUR&TAXIS ».


The first traces of the von Thurn und Tassis family date back to the 12th century, in the region of Italian city Bergamo. Under the Hapsburgs, Frans de Tassis was appointed Master of the Post in 1501 by Philip the Fair. The mission of Frans de Tassis was to organise the transmission of information between the various principal and royal courts of the Holy Germanic Empire. This investiture marked the beginning of the development of the postal activities of the Thurn und Tassis family, largely relying on the ‘Horse Post’ and the ‘Masters of the Post’.
While the Horse Posts went from city to city carrying letters, the Masters of the Post managed their relays and tried to claim the highest number of connections as possible for themselves.


Based on this revolutionary system, the Thurn und Tassis family builds up a veritable monopoly of postal links throughout all of Europe, from the Netherlands to Italy, from Austria to Spain. Brussels lies at the centre of these European postal routes.


For 355 years the family was to reign supreme without ever sharing this sector. On the eve of the French Revolution, the Thurn und Tassis enterprise reaches its peak. As national postal services start to make their appearance, the family loses its influence, and withdraws from the business in 1867.
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