Development of organised transport of messages, and post items in BiH can be traced back to the times of ancient Rome, when this transport was carried via so called “Roman Road”, that ran across Bosnia to Panonia in the hinterland. In the subsequent period, the transport was revived via so called “Narentine (Neretvian) Road”, running from Dubrovnik to Drijevo Port near Gabela.
In the second half of XIX century, during the Ottoman rule in BiH, transport of goods, post items and money was carried out continuously in all directions along and across the roads used by caravans of Ottoman nobles and aristocrats visiting the West.
The neighbouring countries, Austria and France used postal and mail activities via Bosnia, to maintain the connection with Turkey. For this purpose, the France Post Office (French Post) was established inSarajevo. The trade company Fraissinet was entrusted with transmission of the post items.
According to some documents, Sarajevo Post Office had its official seal featuring inscription “Bosna Sarai”. A letter, on which such seal was placed, was dispatched from Sarajevo to Lion, in 1813.
Until the end of Ottoman rule, all private mail, correspondence and business or merchant mail (invoices, contracts, etc) were transported by merchants (haulers).
In the second half of XIX century, Sarajevo sees establishment of private Post Office of Austrian consul, so called Consul’s Post Office. The local population begins to increasingly use the services provided by this Post Office, and the Porte is not very receptive about this. Therefore, the conflicts between authorities and Consul’s Post Office occurred often. However, the Consul’ Post Office in Sarajevo and Mostar continued to function until the downfall of Ottoman Empire and occupation in 1848.
Following the appointment of Topal Osman Pasha as Grand Vizier (1861-1896), the conditions regarding organisation of postal services and postal network improved, following the issuance of Turkish Enactment of the 12th of September 1859 (“Seferska naredba”).
The first Post Office (Telegraph Station) was established in Mostar in 1858. The first one in Sarajevo was established in 1864 in private residence (building adjacent to Konak, which was lodging for the night).
The last days of Ottoman rule were characterised by the telegraph dispatched by Austro-Hungarian Minister of foreign affairs, Andrássy, notifying that Austro-Hungarian army will enter BiH.
Following the annexation of Bosnia and Herzegovina, postal and telegraph services saw radically new organisation and new arrangement in its network, which were adjusted and harmonised with the governmental, military, economic, political and geo-strategic objectives of Austria-Hungary.
Immediately following the occupation of Sarajevo, already in 1878/79, the military post offices were established. Their central offices and outlets were also established. Thus, the regular postal connection was established with all areas of the Monarchy.
The news on opening the telegraph stations in Derventa, Doboj, Maglaj, Banja Luka, Sarajevo and Travniku was launched in early September, in 1878. Some time later, telegraph stations were launched in Zenica and Busovača. Already in October, telegraph stations were opened in Brčko, Jajce, Livno, Prijedor, Tuzla, Zvornik, Bihać, Goražde, Mostar, Trebinje, etc, operating continuously 24 hours a day.
There were 118 military post offices, until 1914. In the period from 1879 to 1918, the network of post offices expanded. One hundred new post offices were opened. During the Austro-Hungarian rule, 150 post offices were opened in total.
Josip Vancaš, a highly regarded Austro-Hungarian architect, who was responsible for a number of architectural master-pieces, designed a stunning and exceptionally beautiful edifice of Central Post Office in Sarajevo, in early 1911. The official ceremony of opening the Central Post Office in Sarajevo was held on May 18, 1913.
The history of Central Post Office was related to the visit of the Archduke Franz Ferdinand, heir to the throne, who was assassinated a year after he had visited it.
The postal institutions had their ups and downs, depending on economic and political circumstances in subsequent periods.
Prior to World War II, there were 188 post offices, telegraph stations and telephones in BiH. In the last decade prior to WWII, telephone network saw intensive development. The modest beginnings in introducing the automatic telephone exchange were recorded in Sarajevo, Ilidža and Trebinje.
The frequent changes in state administration affected development and functioning of postal transport in this period.
By introducing Autonomous Banovina of Croatia in the kingdom of Yugoslavia, BiH was divided into three zones. Administrative division of state was followed by corresponding territorial division of post offices, including central administrative offices. Thus, the offices in BiH were subordinate to post offices, telegraph stations and telephone systems in Sarajevo, Split, Cetinje and Zagreb.
Following the World War II, District Office (Directorate) of Public Enterprise PTT BiH (Postal, Telephone and Telegraph Service) operated within the Community of Yugoslav PTT (JPTT).
Through development policy, following the world trends and direct membership in Universal Postal Union (BiH was accepted in 1892, and again in 1993), Public Enterprise PTT BiH ensured solid pre-requirements to rise to the challenges of modern times and to be ready to face the future. This was achieved by creating the optimal working conditions and encouraging all forms of professional improvement, despite the fact telecommunication capacities were completely destroyed and telephone links cut during 1992.
Given the different types of activities, the decision was adopted on December 20th 2001, to divide Public Enterprise PTT BiH into two companies – BH Postal Service (BH Pošta Sarajevo) and Joint Stock Company BH Telecom.
Since this day, BH Postal Service Sarajevo has been operating independently, fostering the tradition and continuity in development of postal services in BiH.
The long experience resulted in development and modernisation of traditional postal activities in BiH. By blending the traditional and modern approach, we have built the business image ensuring that we have a dominant position of the best postal operator on BiH market, and beyond.
In addition to the existing ones, we are continuously introducing new facilities and services. The rapid development of postal transport, new range of services and increasing demands of our clients require our continuous adjustment ad flexibility. In addition to intensive investment activities, we rely on our experts and staff, and continuously introduce the cutting-edge world technologies. Amongst others, our projects include: Hybrid Mail Service, Sorting Centre, etc.
All our post offices are equipped with the state-of-the-art postal automation systems, solutions and equipment, and are linked into information system. Therefore, in addition to providing the wide range of postal and other services, our post offices can provide you with an integrated postal and banking service.