Throughout history, societies have evolved through contact between their members. Trade and communication have played a fundamental role in this process. So the transmission of news is as old as its history.
Spain's first postal system was organised by the Roman Empire. The Cursus Publicus, as it was known, spanned the whole of Hispania via an extensive roads network, transporting messages for the army and Roman administrators.
Later, during the Middle Ages, the various kingdoms making up Spain established their own postal services. Messengers travelled from one court to another delivering messages for their monarchs. Traders, religious institutions and universities also had their own messengers. The Spanish postal service was progressively transformed upon the unification of the kingdoms under the reign of the Catholic Monarchs, the discovery of America and, later, the expansion of territories within Europe during the reign of Carlos I.
At that time, the Taxis family was granted a royal concession to establish a postal service, placing the organisation of the post, both in Spain and in Europe, in their hands.
With the change of dynasty in the early 18th century, the postal service ceased to be a service granted by royal concession and became a Renta Real (Royal Income).
On 8 July 1716, with the appointment of Juan Tomás de Goyeneche as the Chief Superintendent and General Administrator of Post Offices by Philip V, the Post Office became the responsibility of the State.
Three centuries of history
CORREOS is part of the history of Spain, with milestones like:
1755. The rationalisation of charges and the creation of List, PO Boxes, Print and Newspaper services.
1756. The creation of the job of postman.
1762. Installation of the first public letterboxes.
1850. The key year: the creation of a dedicated transport fleet for correspondence and the appearance of the postage stamp as a means of payment.
1855. Establishment of the first travelling postal service. Creation of the Telegraph Corps.
1870. Daily postal delivery.
1882. Women join the workforce.
1884. Spain's first public telephone service.
1889. Creation of the Post Office Employee Corps.
1911. Establishment of innovative services such as urgent letters, postal orders and cash on delivery.
1962. Installation of household letterboxes.
1981. Invention of the postcode.
1990. The network of post offices is entirely computerised.
1998. The first Correos website.
2002. Complete automation of the network of major logistics centres.
2003. The Virtual Post Office opens.
2013. Impetus for transformation with the 100-300-1500 Action Plan. A committed move towards diversification, the optimisation of operations, commercial effectiveness and a change in the culture. And… we come to the present.
2016. We mark our 300th birthday with a far reaching vision for the future, with clearly defined values and a mission which includes each and every person in the organisation.
CORREOS was the Internet of the 18th century, the standard-bearer of 19th century modernisation, the technological vanguard of the 20th century, and at the start of the 21st, the best provider of physical and digital communications and deliveries in Spain.