Thurn und Taxis

Thurn und Taxis
County of Thurn and Taxis
Grafschaft Thurn und Taxis
State of the Holy Roman Empire

Coat of arms

Capital Regensburg
Government Principality
Historical era Middle Ages
 - House raised to Briefadel 1512
 - Raised to Freiherren 1608
 - Hereditary Imperial
    Postmasters General
 - Raised to County 1624
 - Granted princely rank in
    the Spanish Court
 - Raised to Princely county 1695
 - Mediatised to Bavaria 1806
 - Postal monopoly
Coat of arms of the princes of Thurn and Taxis, Palais Thurn und Taxis, Frankfurt

The Princely House of Thurn and Taxis (German: das Fürstenhaus Thurn und Taxis) is a German family that was a key player in the postal services in Europe in the 16th century and is well known as owners of breweries and builders of many castles.



In the 12th century, the Lombardic family Tasso (meaning Badger or collector) was resident in the mountain village of Cornello now Cornello dei Tasso near Bergamo in Val Brembana. The translation of "Tasso" to German: Dachs was the origin of the name "Taxis", and the badger is still represented in the family coat of arms. In 1624 the family became counts (Grafen). In 1650 they changed their name to Thurn (= Turm = Tower) und Taxis. In 1695 they received their princely title from Holy Roman Emperor Leopold I.

Rainer Maria Rilke wrote his Duino Elegies while visiting Princess Marie of Thurn and Taxis (née princess of Hohenlohe) at her family's Duino castle. Rilke later dedicated his only novel The Notebooks of Malte Laurids Brigge to the princess, who was his patroness. Marie's relation to Regensburg's Thurn and Taxis is rather distant, however; she was married to Alexander Thurn and Taxis, a member of the family's branch that in the early 19th century settled in Bohemia (now Czech Republic) and became strongly connected to Czech national culture and history.

Several members of the family have been Knights of Malta.

The current head of the house of Thurn and Taxis is HSH Albert II, 12th Prince of Thurn and Taxis, son of Johannes and his wife, Gloria. The family is one of the wealthiest in Germany. The family has resided in St. Emmeram Castle in Regensburg since 1748. The family's brewery was sold to the Paulaner Group (Munich) in 1996, but still produces beer under the brand of Thurn und Taxis.

Postal service

Thurn and Taxis postage stamp, Northern District, 1865
Thurn and Taxis postage stamp, Southern District, 1859

Ruggiano de Tassis founded a postal service in Italy. And later in Innsbruck, on 11 December 1489, Jeannetto de Tassis was appointed Chief Master of Postal Services. The family held its exclusive position for centuries. On 12 November 1516 the Taxis family had a postal service based in Brussels — where the eponymous extensive warehouse and railway goods yard complex is currently under development as a cultural centre — reaching to Rome, Naples, Spain, Germany and France by courier.

The Thurn und Taxis company would last until the 18th century, when the postal service was finally bought by the heir to the Spanish throne.

Princes of Thurn and Taxis

Princely Family of Thurn and Taxis
Wappen Thurn und Taxis mit Schönburg-Glauchau.png

HSH The Dowager Princess

  • HSH The Prince
  • HSH Princess Maria Theresia
  • HSH Princess Elisabeth
v · Eugen Alexander Franz (1695–1714)
  • Anselm Franz (1714–1739)
  • Alexander Ferdinand (1739–1773)
  • Karl Anselm (1773–1805)
  • Karl Alexander (1805–1827)
  • Maximilian Karl (1827–1871)
  • Maximilian Maria (1871–1885)
  • Albert I (1885–1952)
  • Franz Joseph (1952–1971)
  • Karl August (1971–1982)
  • Johannes (1982–1990)
  • Albert II (1990-)
  • The Thurn and Taxis family came to massive media attention during the late-1970s through mid-1980s when late Prince Johannes married Countess Mariae Gloria of Schönburg-Glauchau, a member of an impoverished noble family. The couple's wild, "jet set" lifestyle and Princess Gloria's over-the-top appearance (characterized by bright hair color and flashy clothes) earned her the nickname Princess TNT.[1]

    Cultural references to Thurn and Taxis

    • The mail monopoly of Thurn and Taxis is central to the plot of The Crying of Lot 49 by Thomas Pynchon, which deals with a secret rival mail system W. A. S. T. E., developed by the fictional Trystero family.
    • The board game Thurn and Taxis, by Andreas Seyfarth and Karen Seyfarth, is inspired by the family.
    • The protagonist of Walter Jon Williams's Elegy for Angels and Dogs is the head of the Thurn und Taxis family.
    • Thurn und Taxis are also mentioned in several volumes of the 163x series by Eric Flint and others, e.g. 1635: The Dreeson Incident and 1636: The Saxon Uprising.

    See also

    References and sources

    1. ^ Princess TNT (also referred to as "Princess TNT, the dynamite socialite") according to the June 2006 edition of Vanity Fair Magazine).
    • Wolfgang Behringer, Thurn und Taxis, Die Geschichte ihrer Post und ihrer Unternehmen, München, Zürich 1990 ISBN 3-492-03336-9
    • Martin Dallmeier, Quellen zur Geschichte des europäischen Postwesens, Kallmünz 1977
    • Martin Dallmeier and Martha Schad, Das Fürstliche Haus Thurn und Taxis, 300 Jahre Geschichte in Bildern, Regensburg 1996, ISBN 3-7917-1492-9
    • Fritz Ohmann, Die Anfänge des Postwesens und die Taxis, Leipzig 1909
    • Joseph Rübsam, Johann Baptista von Taxis, Freiburg im Breisgau 1889
    • Marecek, Zdenek, Loucen a Thurn Taxisove. Pohledy do doby minule i nedavne. Obec Loucen, 1998.

    External links

    Media related to Thurn und Taxis family at Wikimedia Commons

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    Look at other dictionaries:

    • Thurn und Taxis — Saltar a navegación, búsqueda Escudo de armas de los príncipes de Thurn und Taxis La casa principesca de Thurn y Taxis (alemán: das Fürstenhaus Thurn und Taxis) es una familia alemana que desempeñó un gran papel en el servicio postal en Europa …   Wikipedia Español

    • Thurn und taxis — La maison princière de Thurn und Taxis (également appelée, en français la maison de La Tour et Tassis) est une famille allemande qui a contrôlé un important service postal en Europe dès le XVIe siècle. On la connaît aussi comme propriétaire… …   Wikipédia en Français

    • Thurn und Taxis — Thurn und Taxis, vormals reichsständisches, jetzt standesherrliches Haus, in Bayern, Württemberg. Preußen, Böhmen, Mähren, Kroatien und Ungarn begütert, entstammt einer italienischen Familie aus der Landschaft Bergamo, aber ein Zusammenhang mit… …   Meyers Großes Konversations-Lexikon

    • Thurn und Taxis — Thurn und Taxis, sehr ausgebreitetes adeliges Haus, in einem deutschen Zweige ehemals reichsfürstlich, stammt von den mailändischen de la Torre, welche von 1259–1312 an der Spitze der Guelfen Mailand beherrschten. Von den Viscontis vertrieben,… …   Herders Conversations-Lexikon

    • Thurn und Taxis — (spr. de la Tour et Taxis, ital. della Torre e Tassis), ehemals reichsunmittelbares Haus in Deutschland. Franz von T. u. T. errichtete 1516 die erste Post zwischen Wien und Brüssel, wofür sein Haus das Reichs General Erbpostmeisteramt, 1624 die… …   Kleines Konversations-Lexikon

    • Thurn und Taxis — Thurn und Taxis, die Familie, siehe Postwesen …   Damen Conversations Lexikon

    • Thurn und Taxis — Stammwappen der Taxis aus dem 16. Jahrhundert Wa …   Deutsch Wikipedia

    • Thurn und Taxis — Blason de la famille Thurn und Taxis François I …   Wikipédia en Français

    • Thurn und Taxis — Thụrn und Tạxis,   fürstliches Geschlecht in Deutschland aus der Familie Taxis, das von Kaiser Ferdinand III. das Recht zur Führung von Wappen und Namen »Tour et Tassis« für Spanien (1649) und für das Heilige Römische Reich (1650) und 1681 den… …   Universal-Lexikon

    • Thurn und Taxis — Thụrn und Tạ|xis (ein Adelsgeschlecht); die D✓thurn und taxissche oder Thurn und Taxis sche Post {{link}}K 89{{/link}}, {{link}}K 135{{/link}} und {{link}}K 139{{/link}} …   Die deutsche Rechtschreibung