Postage stamps and postal history of Crete

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A 1902 French key type stamp for use at French post offices in Crete.

This is a survey of the postage stamps and postal history of Crete.

Turkish stamps[edit]

Turkish stamps were used in Crete until 1899.[1]


In 1898 Crete obtained autonomy under Turkish suzerainty, but was nevertheless garrisoned by an international military force from Britain, France, Italy and Russia. Britain and Russia issued stamps inscribed in Greek but France and Italy used their own stamps, overprinted with the name of the island.[1]

First stamps[edit]

The first stamps of Crete were issued on 1 March 1900.[2]

Greek stamps[edit]

On February 1881 as Crete was still part of Ottoman Empire, Greek post offices opened in the three big cities of the island, Chania, Rethymnon and Herakleion. These Greek post offices were consulate departments and they operated until the end of 1881, just for eight or nine months, using Greek stamps (Large Hermes Heads). Due to the very short period that these services operated in Crete, the postal items, stamps and especially letters, are very rare. Crete became part of Greece in 1913 and Greek stamps have been used on the island since then. Remaining Cretan stamps were overprinted and issued in Greece in 1923.[2]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Rossiter, Stuart & John Flower. The Stamp Atlas. London: Macdonald, 1986, p.124. ISBN 0-356-10862-7
  2. ^ a b Stanley Gibbons Stamp Catalogue Part 3 Balkans. 5th edition. London: Stanley Gibbons, 2009, pp.216-218. ISBN 0-85259-711-8

Further reading[edit]

  • Feenstra, Rienk M. et al. Krete = Crete: Postal History, Postage and Revenue Stamps, Coins and Bank Notes. Ridderkerk: Greek Philatelic Society of the Netherlands, 2001 ISBN 9608527562 448p.
  • Lewis, H. L. Crete: Its Postal History and Stamps. Cheltenham: The Author, 1961 198p.
  • Papaioannou, Angelos C. The Stamps Of Crete. Athens: Orestes Vlastos (Publishers) Ltd., 2001 53p.

External links[edit]