The oldest postal museum in the world
A C F : G A L E R I E
A C F : I N F O B O X
The Museum for Communication Berlin is regarded as the world’s oldest postal museum. It was founded in 1872 on the initiative of Postmaster General Heinrich von Stephan. Initially, the Imperial Postal Museum (Reichspostmuseum) was housed in Berlin’s central post office building. Soon, however, von Stephan commissioned privy councillor Ernst Hake to design a suitably imposing building in a new prime location. When the German Emperor saw the design for the building which now houses the Museum for Communication, he commented: ‘Good! A pure and simply estimable style!’
The museum was opened in this magnificent new building in 1898. Over the years, it has had a turbulent history. While closed during World War II, the majority of the collection was evacuated for safe keeping. After the war, it was moved to Hesse where it formed the basis for the Federal Postal Museum (Bundespostmuseum) in Frankfurt/Main. In a divided Germany, the museum was located in East Berlin. The building had been badly damaged in the war. In 1958, after it was provisionally refurbished, it opened again as the East German Postal Museum. Some eight years later, West Berlin founded the Berlin Museum for Post and Telecommunication (Berliner Post- und Fernmeldemuseum) in the Urania building. The fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989 and German reunification ushered in a major change for the two Berlin museums, and they were also finally reunited under one roof in March 2000.