In Germany, the postal service is closely linked to people’s lives. It may be difficult to imagine that in this era of the Internet and in a country like Germany which is so modern that many documents are still sent by post. Every day, mail carriers in yellow jackets ride bicycles through small lanes to deliver the mail. They have even been given the keys to the front gates of people’s homes to ensure that important letters, documents, and packages safely arrive in their mailboxes.
最古老的郵政博物館 World’s Oldest Postal Museum
Given the German preference for printed documents, it may not come as a surprise that, Museum for Communication Berlin, the world’s oldest postal museum is in Berlin.
With its nearly 150-year history, the castle-like building itself is an exquisite example of classic architecture. Above the main entrance is a sculpture by German artist Ernst Wenck, completed in 1895. It depicts giants holding up a globe, symbolizing the importance of postal services and communications to the world. However, it is the central atrium that is most attention grabbing. At night, light emitted through the atrium roof makes the museum appear as a blue crystal.
百年郵局輕巧變身 Transformation of old post offices
This museum is dedicated to presenting the past, present, and future of postal services. In its exhibition galleries are numerous treasures. One example is a deep blue two pence issued by the British colony of Mauritius in 1847, the first postage stamp produced outside of Europe and to contain a printing error. (Only 12 exist in the world.) There is also the world’s first postage stamp, the Penny Black issued in England in 1840, and the first postage stamp issued by the Kingdom of Bavaria in Germany in 1849.
During World War II, this museum was badly damaged during bombing raids. In a divided Germany, it was in East Berlin and known as the East German Postal Museum. After the fall of the Berlin Wall, it merged with the West German Postal Museum in 2000, ushering in a new era.
在柏林，還有超過10個像柏林通訊博物館的百年郵局建築，都已改作他用。位於十字山的選品店Hallesches Haus的紅磚建築，即是建於1902年的郵政局SW61。該處在90年代成為地下酒吧的聚集地，直到Hallesches Haus改造後才獲新生。「所到之地一片漆黑，到處都是小房間與廁所。」Hallesches Haus經營者之一、來自美國的Jillian May回憶起第一次走進荒廢酒吧的場景。
In Berlin, more than 10 post offices more than a century old have been transformed into spaces for other uses. As an example, Hallesches Haus, a store is in a red brick building built in 1902 as post office SW61. In the 1990s, this building housed a collection of underground bars. American Jillian May, co-owner of Hallesches Haus, recalls her first impression of this once neglected space, “It was pitch black with a lot of small rooms and bathrooms.”
Today, from the soaring eagle emblem on an outer wall, which symbolizes Germany, visitors can understand the grandeur of the original post office. However, the interior, based on modern design, has a completely different feel. Here, May and her team have created a small-town general store to present an American cultural and design experience.
柏林通訊博物館 Museum für Kommunikation Berlin
本文刊登於4月號華航機上雜誌Dynasty CULTURAL TOURISM- 走進柏林郵局記憶Postal Service Memories
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