12 - 14/9/2008


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Transport of Postal Items by a  Balloon and by a  Historic Stagecoach

As one of the accompanying events of the PRAGA 2008 World Exhibition of Postage Stamps, the organisers have prepared the transport of postal items by a  balloon. This is a  traditional method of postal transport, used in particular in the last third of the 19th century, and then again at the beginning of the twentieth century. The renaissance of balloon post came primarily in the Sixties and Seventies, and not only in our country but also in Austria, as well as other countries. This was however no longer a  postal necessity, as it was in the past (when balloons were especially used in times of war, to transport letters from besieged towns and fortresses), but an attractive event aimed at ballooning enthusiasts, collectors of balloon post full covers, and generally everybody who likes to lose himself in nostalgic day-dreaming, when gazing up at the sky, at a  slowly drifting hot-air balloon… This was also the reason why such flights became part of the accompanying programme of previous PRAGA World Exhibitions, namely in 1968 and 1978, and it will be the same also for this year's exhibition, where the balloon with postal items will take off on Friday 12 September, in the early-evening hours, directly in front of the Industrial Palace (Průmyslový palác) at the Exhibition Grounds (Výstaviště). The flight is being organised in cooperation with the Prague Balloon Club. Letters and postcards submitted for transport in this unique way will be stamped by a  special postal postmark Balloon Flight, and also in the locale where the balloon lands, by the daily incoming postal stamp of the respective post office. Those philatelists who will not be able to hand in their post in person at the Exhibition on Friday 12 September can send them duly franked in an envelope clearly marked "PRAGA 2008 – balonový let" (Balloon Flight) to the address (Pošta Praha 7, Milady Horákové 81, 170 00 Praha 7) sufficiently ahead of time (i.e., before 10 September 2008). Only ordinary letter post will be accepted for transport. Let us, therefore, wish the exhibition balloon flight good weather above all else!

Another interesting – and even international – accompanying event has been prepared by the organisers of the PRAGA 2008 Exhibition together with the organisers of the WIPA 2008 Exhibition, for Sunday 14 September. At noon, a  historic stagecoach will transport postal items, stamped with the daily posting postmark of the local post office and furnished with a  cachet with picture of the stagecoach and inscription Transported by Historic Stagecoach, and with the logo of the PRAGA 2008 Exhibition, from the small Moravian town of Hevlín to the Austrian town of Laa an der Thaya. There they will be stamped with the special incoming postmark at a  special postal counter located in the Museum of Historic Stagecoaches (Kutschenmuseum Laa/Thaya, Thayapark 21, Laa/Thaya) and transported back to the Hevlín Post Office. From there, the postal items will travel to their recipients in the usual way. Standard post addressed to the Czech Republic can be franked only at the domestic rate, i.e. CZK 10.00. Post addressed to foreign countries must of course be prepaid in the applicable rate, according to the postal price list in force, i.e., CZK 17.00 for Europe and CZK 18.00 for overseas.

Similarly, post handed in at the special counter of the Laa an der Thaya Post Office, where it will be stamped with the special local posting postmark, will be transported by the historic stagecoach to the Hevlín Post Office app at 12:15 p.m., where it will be stamped with the daily incoming postmark, and then transported back to the Post Office in Austria. Post handed in for transport at that post office must be prepaid in Austrian stamps with the applicable payment value, i.e. € 0.65 for Europe (i.e., including the Czech Republic) and € 1.40 for overseas.            

           Interested persons can send their duly prepaid post with the recipient's address inserted in an envelope and clearly marked “Praga2008-WIPA08-přepraveno historickým dostavníkem” (transported by a  historic stagecoach) to the Post Office 671 69 Hevlín sufficiently in advance (i.e. before 10 September 2008); or for transport from Austria, then to the address Zentrale Stempelstelle, Postfiliale 1010, Fleischmarkt 19, 1010 Wien, Austria and marked “Grußpost Praga08-Wipa08”, before 8 September 2008.

Philatelists visiting the PRAGA 2008 World Exhibition of Postage Stamps at the Exhibition Grounds in Prague will of course have the opportunity to hand in their post for transport by historic stagecoach, from Hevlín to Laa/Thaya, directly at the Exhibition, before 6:00 p.m. on Saturday 13 September 2008. Czech Post will immediately secure transport of the post to the Hevlín Post Office.



Jarmila Mykytynová

Head of the Philately Department
Czech Post




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