Franz von Taxis / Francesco de Tasso (1459 - 1517) N°6
is considered to be the founder of the
European Postal system.
The official foundation date is
Born in Italy in a small village,
Camerata Cornello near Bergamo
60 km north of Milan
he worked with his brother Jeannetto (1450 - 1518)
and his nephew Johann Baptista (1470 - 1541)
A museum has been created in the
still existing village,
Museo dei Tasso
For the Holy Roman Habsburg Emperor
Maximilian I (1459 - 1519)
Taxis organised a horse transport system
from Innsbruck to Brussels.
Horses were exchanged every 28 km,
mail from Innsbruck to Brussels took 5 and 1/2 days.
Brussels becomes the seat of the young organisation.
Mail from Brussels to Blois 60 hours
from Brussels to Rome 250 hours
Franz von Taxis only child
Augustin de Taxis
entered the church,
The son of his brother Jeanetto,
Johann Baptista became his successor in the postal service.
Johann Baptista von Taxis / Jean Baptise de Taxis (1470 - 1541) N°7
is the nephew of Franz von Taxis.
who further developed the postal connections
in the Holy Roman Empire (including Germany).
The family controls the totaly of European Postal
connections with the exception of France.
Emperor Charles Quint / Karl V (1500 - 1558)
nominates Johan Baptista
as General Postmaster.
The Habsburgs need the realibility and efficiency
of the Thurn & Taxis service.
Johann Baptista was married to
Christina von Wachtendonk
They had 16 children.
He was succeded
by Franz II von Taxis (1514 - 1543)
and by Lamoral I von Taxis.
Baron Leonhard I von Taxis (1521-1612) N°8
Louisa Boisot de Rouha (1540-1610)
Count Lamoral von Taxis (1557-1624) N°9
Genoveva von Taxis (1561 estimation -1628)
Count Leonard II von Taxis (1594-1628) N°10
Alexandrine de Rye (1589-1668)
Lamoral Claudius von Thurn und Taxis (1621-1676) N°11
Countess Anna von Horn (1629-1693)
1st Prince von Thurn und Taxis (1652-1714) N°12
Princess Anna von Fürstenberg (1658-1701).
signature of Louis Leon Pajot
on a letter from 1725.
Louis Leon Pajot was also called
Comt Donsenbray (Ons-en-Bray)
He has married to Princess de Galiffat Martigue.
2nd Prince of Thurn & Taxis (1681 - 1740) N°13
lived both in Brussels and Franfurt
Postal activities were transferred to Frankfurt
as a result of the War of the Spanish Sucessions
Thurn & Taxis operated
from the Thurn & Taxis Palace in Brussels
and from a newly constructed building in Frankfurt.
Their postal territory went from
the Dutch Netherlands to Germany, Austria
and Italy as well.
But there was nothing in France.
Anselm Franz started the construction of the new postal
headquarter in Frankfurt.
3rd Prince of Thurn & Taxis (1704 - 1773) N°14
also knew the Pajot Rouille Poste
at the VB mansion / Cremerie de Paris.
This snapshot shows Alexander Ferdinand
with three of his great great great great great great grandchildren
and two people that work in the postal building in Paris
he used to visit 290 years ago.
Alexander Ferdinand established a familiy residence
in Regensburg, Bavaria
The Perpetual Imperial Diet had mooved
from Frankfurt to Regensburg
and Emperor Franz I of the Holy Roman Empire
had nominated him as principal commissioner.
Frankurt remained the secondary
and than again main residence of the family.
The family first rented a house in Regensburg.
Alexander Ferdinand was married 3 times
and had eleven children.
He was succeded by his oldest son Karl Anselm.
His youngest son Maximilian Joseph (1769 - 1831)
founded the Czech branch of the family.
4th Prince of Thurn & Taxis (1733 - 1805) N°15
always remembered how Louis XV
has just taken the Pajot & Rouillé Post in Paris.
Under no means we wanted another king
to be able to seize his Thurn & Taxis postal empire.
Karl Anselm operated the postal company during
time of decline due to loss of many territories.
The loss was a result o the French Revolution wars
and wars by Napoléon Bonaparte.
Karl Anselm had nine children.
and was succeded by his third (and oldest surviving son)
5th Prince of Thurn & Taxis (1770 - 1827) N°16
was born in Regensburg.
1806 with the end of the Holy Roman Empire
and the hereditary office of Postmaster General held by the Thurn and Taxis ceased to exist.
Karl Alexander's wife
Therèse of Mecklenburg (1773 - 1839)
took part in the management of the postal organisation
and negociated with Napoléon
and the States of the Confederation of the Rhine.
At some moment the family
was even considering moving
their headquarter to Paris
but the project was abandoned.
The result of the negociations was that
Thurn & Taxis could continue
it's postal operations
as a private company called Thurn & Taxis Post
first based in Regensburg,
relocated 1810 back to the free city of Frankfurt.
1812 Karl Alexander lost the postal operations in Bavaria
and received the St Emmeran Castle in Regensburg
as a compensation.
They had 7 children.
The oldest surviving son was Maximilan Karl.
Letter send from Frankfurt to Rheims in 1825.
6th Prince of Thurn & Taxis (1802 - 1871) N°17
was the last Thurn & Taxis to be a Postmaster.
He became had of the postal operations in 1827
This letter send from Lübeck to Paris in 1844
took 6 days to travel. The letter send to the Rothschilds
is in the collection of
Didier Lebouc, website histoire postale
Maximilian Karl introduced stamps
the picture shows Thurn & Taxis stamps for 1 and 2 Groschen
Stamps were issued from 1852 to 1866
There are 54 different items
Maximiian Karl was married twice and had 17 children
among them Maximilian Anton
from his first marriage
and Paul (boyfriend of King Ludwig II of Bavaria)
from his second marriage
july 1 the state of Prussia nationalized the
Thurn & Taxis Post.
The year before the same people from Prussia had already
forced the independant Kingdom of Bavaria,
the Grand Duchy of Hessen and the free city of Frankfurt,
seat of the postal operations,
into an alliance.
Occupying the free city of Frankfurt
where was located the Thurn & Taxis post
Maximilian Karl had
to transfer his century old postal company.
Prussia's desire to annex Alsace Lorraine
also provoked war with France
resulting in the abdication of Napoléon III
and the end of the French Second Empire.
Napoleon's wife Empress Eugenie with her diademe
crown jewel of France.
Eugenie also has links with the Cremeries de Paris
as she was the creative mind of the construction
of rue des Halles at the corner of the
historic postal building ...
Heriditary Prince of Thurn & Taxis (1831 - 1867)
was the oldest son of Maximilian Karl.
1856 august 24 he married
Helene in Bavaria (1834 - 1890) N°18
the older sister of Sisi, Elisabeth of Austria (1837 - 1898) N°19.
1867 / 1871
After the early death of her husband
and the death of her father in law Maximilian Karl
Helene managed the Thurn & Taxis fortune
and made many smart investments
buying as much real estate as she could get.
This way the family avoided losing their assets
through the many devaluation that took place in Germany.
Max Anton and Helene had
Louise Hohenzollern, Elisabeth Braganza,
Maximilian Maria 7th Prince of Thurn & Taxis
and Albert 8th Prince of Thurn & Taxis.
8th Prince of Thurn & Taxis (1867 - 1952) N°19
was the second son of Maximilian Anton.
He succeded his 5 year older brother Maximilian Maria
who died in
Due to the real estate investments of his mother Helene
using the 3 million thaler compensation payments
for the Postal Services
was one of Germany's richest man.
As a wedding present to his wife
Margarete of Austria
he went to Paris to buy something unbeleivable,
the Diademe of Empress Eugenie,
crown jewel of France.
The jewel made by Alexandre Gabriel Lemmonier
was sold by Julius Jacoby
who had acuired it for 78.100 Francs
in a 1887 sale of the French Royal Crown jewels.
1890 july 15 he married married in Budapest.
Margarete of Austria (1870 - 1955)
According to their granddaughter Mathilde von Sachsen N°20
the greek word for perls was "Margarita"
this was the reason why Albert had the idea to buy
this wedding present.
The perls had been mounted in previous jewels of the Bourbons,
Kings of France
and is one of the world's most significant jewel.
Albert and Margarethe had eight children,
seven sons and one daughter
Franz Josef (1893-1971), Joseph Albert (1895-1895),
Karl August (1898-1982), Ludwig Philipp (1901-1933),
Max Emmanuel (1902-1994, Elisabeth Helene (1903-1976),
Raphael Rainer (1906-1993) and Philipp Ernst (1908-1964)
Albert died in 1952, Margarethe in 1955
The oldest son Franz Josef became the 9th Prince of Thurn & Taxis
followed in 1971
by the second son Karl August, 10th Prince of Thurn & Taxis.
Johannes later 11th Prince of Thurn & Taxis N°20
came in charge of the Thurn & Taxis fortune.
The older grandson Gabriel had died in the war.
wedding of Johannes and Gloria Thurn & Taxis in 1980
with the royal French tiara.
11th Prince of Thurn & Taxis (1926 - 1990)
knew about the Cremerie from his grandfather Albert.
Albert was always telling his young grandchildren
Johannes, Anselm and Gabriel
about the fascinating postal adventures of their ancestors.
The picture was taken around 1936.
1986 January Johannes Thurn und Taxis
came to Paris during the fashion week.
The editor of this article,
at the time a young student N°21
was making some extra money working in fashion shows.
This is how he happened to meet
the great great great great great great grandson
of the old postmasters.
Johannes had met wild people
like Princess Soraya of Iran, Marilyn Monroe,
Franz Josef Strauss or Fidel Castro
but his most captivating stories
were the ones
about his ancestor's adventures
operating Postal services ...
Nobody knew such amazing stories,
even though they sounded
almost unbeleivable ...
for a student used to the "PTT"
beeing a State owned Monopoly.
Sometimes Johannes said,
when the horses of my great great grandfather
were carrying letters,
they were faster
and more reliable than today ..."
1986 May in Paris again
Thurn & Taxis showed the student
a fascinating building,
The old Hôtel de Villeroy Bourbon,
the place where his ancestors Anselm Franz
and Alexander Ferdinand
had been 300 years earlier.
It was one of the Telecom hotspots of the 17th and 18th century
and the only still exisiting major Telecom building
even the water fountain for the post horses are still in place.
Thurn & Taxis was a little astonished
the young student also knew about the exact same building,
but what the student knew were stories
linked to the Les Halles foodmarket.
The stories came from his great aunt
who had been the student's baby sitter.
The great aunt had some cousins in Russia
who loved the Cremerie de Paris.
Back in 1910s when the great aunt was a young girl
the children liked to talk about the old postal mansion
they considered a fairy tale castle in the heart of Paris.
The Russian children were all killed in 1918.
The stories were from long times ago
when back in 1646 Louis XIV and his brother Philippe
- still very young - used to come to the house.
It's only in 1671 the Pajot Rouillé Postmasters
had bought the mansion
The stories of the student
had nothing to do with Telecom ...
50 meters away from the old postal building
was a little Boutique with a sign "for sale" ...
Thurn & Taxis wrote down the number.
He wanted to call it right away so we went to the next cafe
(mobil phones did not exit yet)
Hanging up the phone
he told the young student:
"The price of this Boutique is not even half
of what my wife spends on a cocktail dress.
I really enjoy that the Telecom adventures
of my ancestors interest you so much.
I should give you a few thalers
we received for our Thurn & Taxis Post
and you start a new Telecom business.
This would be fun for me ...
Our Telecom buildings from Brussels
and Francfort have been destroyed
but in Paris everything is still there.
There is so much history and so much energy
in this place ... "
"Telecom has been blocked by State monopolies,
one of these days these monopolies will fall
you will see the business my family once has invented
has a lot of future ...
At age 20 you have a lot of energy
and people will be surprised that you are still so young
this will help you ...
Find an idea
I will enjoy to follow the adventure ... "
1986 June 6 the student was invited
to an extraordinary birthday party in Regensburg, Bavaria
at a castle bigger than Buckingham palace.
1986 July the student had the key of the little Boutique
in the heart of Paris,
50 m from the old Postal Building ...
This was like jumping into water ...
The Telecom project was so captivating,
the student was no longer interested in studying ...
Knowing nothing about nothing
the Boutique took a bit of time to open.
An idea needed to be found
and the shop needed to be renovated ...
Well when you are 20 and you open a Boutique
on a Telecom hotspot in the center of Paris
a lot of adventures are waiting for you ....
An unbeleivable opportunity came up.
The historic Cremerie N°1 was for rent.
The place was right in the postal building,
not next door, not opposit,
right on the spot.
We tried to get it but the owner was scared
to leave such a big place to people that were still so young.
Preference was given
to a large established furniture company
which did not work.
Again Cremerie N°1 came on the market
Again the owner was scared to rent us the historic building
but Aimée de Heeren had an idea.
"You should ask the landlord to buy the place
so that he has no risk with rent payments"
Sony adaptors, batteries, plugs,
connectors were little cashcows
but not enough to get a bank loan for such a big space.
Our young company had no financial background.
Thurn & Taxis
who would have bought the place immediately
was not there any more ...
His friend Aimée watched what we were doing ...
She knew our place since a long long time
not from the Postal stories of her friend Thurn & Taxis
but from someone elso.
Arriving in Paris as a secret agent for her country Brazil
she had fascinated
the fashion designer Coco Chanel.
Chanel loved our staircase
with a mysterious N°5 logo forged into the railings.
She knew it since 1920 taken there for the first time
by her old boyfriend Dmitri Romanov.
In the 1960s old Coco Chanel and Aimée de Heeren
used to do nightwalks through Paris.
The staircase of the old postal building
was their destination.
Before leaving this world Chanel left Aimée a little jewel
she had once received from her Russian boyfriend.
Aimée who had watched our Telecom Boutique adventures
from the very beginning
knew that both her friends Thurn & Taxis and Chanel
would have told her to "take action".
She decided to use the little jewel
(more than a cocktail dress)
so that a bank would finance the acquisition.
Cremerie de Paris N°1 boosted our Sony activities
The store worked from the day it opened
but soon new unexpected turbulances were on the way .
Cremerie N° in the old Postal Building
reinvented as the first Internet Cafe in Paris
The fortunes of Sony did not last,
Akio Morita the founder of the Japaneese company
and inventor of the Walkman stepped down from the company board
folling a heart attack.
Almost overnight everything changed
and very quickly new revenues needed to be found.
Thurn & Taxis was not there any more to help
but we remembered his lesson
of the difficulties the old postmasters had to face
always leading to new ideas.
The first idea was to sell American Phonelines
via a Callback system.
Before the liberalisation of the European voice phone markets
it was possible to bypass the expensive local phone rates
using a phonesignal coming from California.
Receiving a commision on phone bills new income building up.
Soon was added an internet cafe.
The first years of the cafe were difficult ...
not enough people were using internet,
not enough customers at the cafe.
Phone commission from California took time to build up.
Before beeing able to settle
a retirement pension fund send his huissiers
to collect delayed payments for social security charges.
As we could not pay fast enough
all the computers in the cafe were taken.
Things are not always easy in France ...
What would the old Postmasters have done ?
After closing the Cremerie for 3 days
we got a shopping card from Fnac
buying two new computers payable in 24 monthly payments.
Another one was found in front of a "poubelle" (trash can)
It was not working, but with 3 computers
the cybercafe looked less poor than with 2.
The cafe got a new name "Cybercafe de Paris"
and we went to see every Hotel Concierge in the center of Paris
telling them that hey could send American clients
asking for something called "email acces" or web-connection" .
Posters were the new decoration
The cafe attracted American pioneers
desperately looking for web acces
while travelling through Paris.
Without realizing it we run into the most fascinating people.
Most were young,
very young and nobody knew who they were
or who they were going to become,
They might not have known it themselves.
Others were a little older
one was the assistant of Dr Jon Postel
who had invented the dot com system
he showed us how to register domain names.
One if the World's shortest Internet Domains,
a Two Letter .com
is in the hands of the Cremerie.
There are only 696 of them.
Another one had been on the first flight to the moon.
And another one had once been a friend of the inventer of the phone.
It was the same Aimée de Heeren
already mentioned before.
The cafe started to boom,
more and more tourists looking for a web connection
and rather quickly all overdue payments from the Sony times
were paid off.
Time for a new Telecom idea
Phone Book of the World.
The internet domains
phonebookoftheworld.com and thurnundtaxis.com
were both registered the same moment
at the old postal building now an internet cafe
2000 january 25
The price was 35$ each.
The Phone Book of the World project
was entirely financed by the revenues of the internet cafe.
A little more about the friend of the inventer of the phone.
The article already mentioned Aimée de Heeren,
Thurn & Taxis had left us as a friend.
She now came for web lessons.
Aimée was amused to tell people that were 40 years younger
and that were scared to get a computer,
that "of course" she was online.
At the time we still did not know her real age.
Aimée liked to be with young people.
When she was young she had met an inventor who had told her.
"To stay young, you need to have young friends."
We always wanted to know the name of the inventor
but we had to wait until 2006 august,
the last days of her life, Lenox Hill Hospital in New York
so she would tell us her secret:
Alexander Graham Bell.
Releasing Bell's name
would betrayed the secret of her age.
Oh the invention of the phone, that was a long long time ago
now we knew she was much older
than we ever beleived.
What a surprise not only her age
but also the massive age difference.
Well it's a little original to have had a friend in common with
someone that was born in 1847 and that invented the telephone.
Aimée had walked through the entire century.
Everybody was fascinated by her beauty charisma,
Bell, Edison, Kennedy, Chanel, Thurn & Taxis
and of course us.
Webdesigner Louis Henri Schlumberger N°22 came in 2012
We hired him because his aunt Sao Schlumberger
was a friend of Thurn & Taxis.
Luckily Louis is less exuberant than Sao ...
The picture shows him with the first Paris Phone Book
published in 1889.
The website continues to be created from the exact same place.
Sometimes when programming webpages
we are watching the water fountain for the post horses.
It's as if the spirit of Telecommunication
has never left ....
In this image showing our audience
you also have two pictures of our courtyard,
one is from 1699,
At the time
Louis Leon Pajot was 21
Anselm Franz von Thurn & Taxis 19,
The other one is from 2018,
319 years later.
Phone Book of the World visitors come from eveywhere,
and there are more visitors from New York,
Melbourne, Sydney and London than from Paris.
The Thurn & Taxis Thaler and Chanel's little jewel
have financed a global business.
Cremerie N° in the old Postal Building
reinvented as an iconic Pop Up Store Location
No more need for Cybercafes,
the old Postal Building has to be reinvented,
The idea was to convert it an expo center
to show new products and inventions.
Again the start is a little difficult,
but havn't the old postmasters
left us the lesson
that difficulties are there to find new ideas ... ?
2012 - 2017
building a new subway exit
facing the Cremeries de Paris
and connecting them
to Paris largest subway station Chatelet les Halles
2017 - 2018
redesigning our old rue des Halles / rue Déchargeurs
the picture shows the last big construction night
2018 july 12
during the Ptit Con Pop Up Store
The Pop Up Store organised by Thibault Courtois d'Aubery.
While taking these pictures around our old postal gate
thinking about the crazy and funny stories
of the Post horses
that were leaving from our old gate 300 years ago
to carry mail to hundreds
of Pajot & Rouillet or Thurn & Taxis post relais.
According to Johannes Thurn & Taxis
everything was extremely well organised.
The horse coaches had a timetable that was the same every week.
Every monday 7 am mail left for Brussels
Every thuesday 7 am mail left for Frankfurt
Every wednesday 7 am mail left for Venice
... no phone, no electricity, no computer
Feeling grateful for having had the chance to "pick up"
a bit ot the T&T Spirit of Telecommunications.
Thurn & Taxis was known for making jokes at wealthy and snobbish hi society Ladies.
What is less known is that he was very generous with those that did not have much
He loved to give to young people
"lottery tickets with hi winning chances"
He met them out of the blue in cafes, nighclubs, fashion events
or in the lobby of a Grand Hotel ...
Johannes Thurn & Taxis in the late 1950s, early 1960s
with his friend Soraya Esfandiary who ten years after his death
came to Cremerie de Paris in 2000 / 2001 to get internet lessons.
Returning to the castle in Regensburg with one of our web developers N°22.
A picture sitting on the lion after a legendary june 1986 birthday party
might still exists (and needs to be found again)
The above web developer with the sunglasses was asking:
"what would have happened if you had not met Thurn & Taxis N°20
when you were a student ?"
The answer is simple
"there would be no Cremeries de Paris
and no Phone Book of the World"
Sometimes some crazy and funny stories
and the equivalant of half a fancy cocktail dress
is all you need ...