Brunswick, scattered fascination
The postal aspects of Brunswick, or
'Braunschweig' as the original German name reads, are certainly one of the most
interesting and exciting of all former German states. On the next pages, this
exiting story will gradually unfold, and will hopefully succeed in fascinating
you as it did me. It is a tale telling of war, dukes and kings, exclaves and enclaves,
and the formation of a postal structure in the dark ages of centuries ago, when
the circumstances were entirely different from what we can imagine in these
part will deal with the general history of the realm of Brunswick, its
origination, and interactions with neighboring states in a constantly changing
history' part will take you back to the days when the arrival of a letter
was heralded in a village. It introduces you to the organization of the postal
system, the different currencies and rates, and shows how things worked before
and after the introduction of stamps. A detailed overview of the cancellations
used in the Brunswick territory is disclosed in a separate limited access part.
But first, let's go back to the 19th century...
The area now known as Germany was a mosaic of individual states in various
varieties. Among them, kingdoms, duchies and grand duchies, republics, and free
cities were found. The most important states were arguably Prussia ('Preußen')
in the central and eastern part, and Bavaria ('Bayern') in the south. The
northern part of current Germany was dominated in size by the kingdom of
Hannover. Roughly in the middle of the German territory the realm of Brunswick
('Braunschweig') is situated, see the map below:
the duchy of Brunswick (shown in yellow) and its neighboring states in 19th
century Germany. For reference, the thick black lines project the borders of
the German territory. Part of The Netherlands can be seen at the upper left
side. In the lower right, the territory of the current Czech republic can be
seen. The light blue color represents the North Sea.
One intriguing aspect will be clear immediately from the map shown above: the
territory of Brunswick is highly scattered and constitutes three large parts,
three small parts, and four tiny parts. This aspect certainly makes Brunswick
the most scattered German state to issue stamps; one part is even located near
the remote city of Bremen! The scattering also resulted in a variety of
conditions to be found in the landscape, ranging from relatively flat
agricultural lands, thru thick forests, to the mountainous southern part where
the Harz Mountains are situated.
Despite the scattered territory, there was nevertheless one unified postal
system. As will be shown on the following pages, this postal system is one of
the interesting and fascinating parts of Brunswick's philately!
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