The beginnings of the family
The creation of the post
The most significant historical achievement of the Thurn und Taxis family is the organization of the imperial postal system. Franz von Taxis was the first to establish a well-organized courier service in Italy and at the turn of the 16th century laid the foundation for the development of an international postal system. A letter could be transported between Innsbruck and Brussels in 5½ days. In 1615, Emperor Mathias rewarded the services of the family by granting the position of imperial postmaster general as an hereditary right in the male line of succession. The 17th century marked a period of social advancement for the Thurn und Taxis. Within the century, the family rose from the status of imperial free baron (1608) to the status of hereditary imperial count (1624), and in 1695 under Emperor Leopold I, to imperial prince.
In Regensburg since 250 years
In 1748, Emperor Franz I named Prince Alexander Ferdinand as principal commissioner, the imperial representative at the Perpetual Diet in Regensburg. The Princes of Thurn und Taxis held this costly and prestigious position until the dissolution of the Holy Roman Empire. One of the emperor’s conditions was a move of the family residence from Frankfurt to Regensburg.
The family’s arrival with the entire court household brought economic prosperity to Regensburg. The city’s cultural and social life were enhanced considerably. One priceless contribution was the princely court library, created by Prince Carl Anselm from his private collection of 2,330 volumes. This institution has been open to the public without fee since 1786. The Regensburg theater and the “green belt” around the old town, still unique today, can also be traced back to Prince Carl Anselm. Social life was always conducted according to the elaborate protocol of the Viennese imperial court. In Regensburg, in the old Roman settlement and in the medieval imperial metropolis, a new era dawned with the arrival of the family of Thurn und Taxis, a family oriented toward the great aristocratic houses of Europe, an era that still lives on today…