Map of France’s Post Offices


Drawn by Alexis-Hubert Jaillot (circa 1632−1712) in 1690, the Carte particulière des postes de France (Particular map of the post offices of France) was preceded by the work of geographer Nicolas Sanson (1600–67), including his 1632 Carte géographique des Postes qui traversent la France (Geographical map of post offices throughout France). The evolution of the mapping of the postal network sheds light on various territorial choices stemming from political or economic requirements. This postal network was the first exchange system managed by the French monarchy within the boundaries of the territory of France. With the Edict of Luxies in 1464, Louis XI created relais de poste (roadhouse postal offices) and divided the horseback couriers of the king’s stables into two groups: the courriers du cabinet, who were in charge of royal mail, and the postes assises, who later would become post masters, in charge of providing the horses. Depending on the roads, terrain, and topographical demands, the offices were between four and five leagues apart (16 to 20 kilometers). The network was made available to travelers in 1506 during the reign of Louis XII. Under Louis XIV, king of France in 1643−1715, centralization increased and the king sought to exercise greater control over the postal service for political and financial reasons. In 1672 he created the Ferme générale des Postes (General postal farm). The speed of the postal service was about seven kilometers per hour at the beginning of the 18th century. The relais de poste were done away with in 1873.

Date Created

Subject Date

Publication Information

Alexis Hubert Jaillot, Paris


Title in Original Language

Carte particulière des postes de France

Additional Subjects

Type of Item

Physical Description

1 map : colored tracing ; 67 x 62 centimeters

Last updated: March 8, 2016