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Fiftieth Anniversary of Christkindl Post Office

Pressemeldung from 15.11.2000

Am 1. Dezember 2000 eröffnet Dr. Anton Wais, Generaldirektor der Österreichischen Post AG, in Anwesenheit zahlreicher Gäste das weltbekannte Weihnachtspostamt Christkindl.

The charming little village "Christkindl" near Steyr in Upper Austria has got something very unusual, i.e. its name, which means Infant Jesus; according to Austrian tradition, "Christkindl" brings Christmas presents to children. For fifty years now, Österreichische Post AG has its special "Christkindl" Post Office - appreciated world wide - established on this site during Christmas season.

This year, the opening ceremony of this special post office will take place on December 1st, 2000. As usual, it will be working up to January 6, 2001. (Opening hours).

Since 1950 this very small post office treated the incredible volume of 70 million items. More than 100 000 visitors come to this lovely place every year.

Take this opportunity and have your Christmas greetings to be sent to your family and friends all over the world decorated with the Austrian special Christmas postage stamp, and date-stamped with the special "Christkindl" postmark.

A special service: Christmas greetings sent via "Christkindl"

Christkindl Post Office accepts all registered and non registered items for forwarding in Austria and abroad. Cancellations on request are also available.
The blue "Priority" sticker - available in all Austrian post offices - is to be placed on the address side of all priority items to be treated as such.

Österreichische Post AG offers special possibilities to those who cannot visit Christkindl:

Senders in Austria may place their duly prepaid items in a prepaid envelope addressed "Postamt 4411 Christkindl". Every item will then be postmarked accordingly, and forwarded to the addressee.

You may also make use of the routing label "über Christkindl" for sale with all Austrian post offices. Labelled this way, your mail will transit via Christkindl Post Office, where it is postmarked accordingly.
Routing label is to be placed on the left side of address, at least 15 mm above the lower edge of item (coding zone for machine readable items).

Mail from abroad in transit via Christkindl

Your place of residence is abroad, you would like, however, to have your mail bear the Christkindl cancellation?

In case you have Austrian postage stamps at hand, you may place your duly prepaid mail (or valid postage stamps) in a duly prepaid envelope addressed "Postamt A-4411 Christkindl, Austria". Christkindl Post Office will cancel these items and forward them to addressee, and return your cancelled stamps respectively.

In case you do not have Austrian postage stamps at hand, place your non prepaid Christmas mail and the corresponding number of International Reply Coupons or a cheque giving the correct amount in a duly prepaid envelope addressed "Postamt A-4411 Christkindl, Austria" to have postage stamps affixed and cancelled by this post office.
When writing out your cheque, kindly do not forget the banking charges amounting to ATS 50.00 whatever the amount is.

For considerable quantities of items - e.g. grouped in a package - Christkindl Post Office also accepts payment of postage by international postal money orders made out for "Postamt A-4411 Christkindl, Austria".

Children write to "Christkindl"

Hundreds of children knowing the Austrian tradition write to "Christkindl" for presents, and as post serves everybody, as is well known, each and every letter written by a child will be answered at Christkindl!

Special cancellation

Since 1965, Christkindl Post Office makes use of special cancellation marks. During the period December 1st to 26, 2000, cancellation will show a Christmas motive, and, as of December 27, 2000 to January 6, 2001, an Epiphany motive.

The Christmas special cancellation bearing the date will show the name "Christkindl", its post code "4411", and a picture of the Holy Family, Infant Jesus laying in a manger with two shepherds adoring. The Epiphany special cancellation in use from December 27, 2000, to January 6, 2001, will show the the Three Wise Men, the Virgin and the Holy Child under a Christmas star.

First day cancellation

All items received by Christkindl Post Office up to December 1st, 2000, (first day of validity of the Christmas special postage stamp), or posted on December 1st, 2000, the latest, will bear the first day cancellation. This also applies to items with routing labels posted at any Austrian post office on this first day of validity of the Christmas postage stamp.

Opening hours of Christkindl Post Office

Christkindl Post Office 4411 will be open as follows, from December 1st, 2000, to January 6, 2001.

December 1st, 2000 10.30 to 17.00
December 2, to December 23, 2000         09.00 to 17.00
December 24, 2000 09.00 to 12.00
December 25, to December 30, 2000 09.00 to 17.00
December 31, 2000 09.00 to 12.00
January 1st, to January 5, 2001 09.00 to 17.00
January 6, 2001 09.00 to 16.00

Emergence and success of an idea

The name of the place, Christkindl (Infant Jesus), and the fact that, according to Austrian tradition, Infant Jesus brings Christmas presents to children, led Austrian Posts to create a special post office open just during the period preceding and around Christmas. All items sent from this post office are postmarked with a commemorative Christmas cancellation mark. 42 000 items were postmarked in 1950, when this post office worked for the first time, although its services were then reserved to domestic letter post items.

The unexpected success of the Christkindl Post Office suggested continuing this experience. The premises first found in the parish house soon having proved to be over-flown by large volumes of mail to be treated, post office moved to the inn situated near the church. The place was, of course, decorated accordingly.

As soon as 1951, the special Christkindl Post Office accepted international items, making Austrian Christmas greetings a postal speciality appreciated world wide.

Although special cancellation showed a new Christmas motive every year, there was an ever increasing demand for Austrian post to issue a special Christmas postage stamp. First experience was the issue, in 1958, of the current series stamp "Austrian Monuments" showing the Christkindl church, first day of validity of which was the day of opening of the Christkindl Post Office. The first authentic Christmas stamp was issued five years later, and from 1967 on first day of validity of Christmas postage stamp always has been the day of opening of the Christkindl Post Office.

The number of items cancelled by Christkindl Post Officehas been steadily increasing: half a million in 1955, more than a million ten years later, more than 1.5 million in 1970/71, and during the last decade it amounted regularly to more than two million, half of them posted abroad.


Special cancellation mark I
01.12. to 26.12. 2000
(First day: 01.12.2000)

Special cancellation mark II
27.12.2000 to 06.01.2001

Post office 4411 Christkindl is expecting 2 million mails this year.