The Lindau Messenger was a courier service operated between Lindau at Lake Constance and the Italian city of Milan up to the beginning of the 19th century. The Lindau Messenger transported goods, money and letters, crossing through areas of Germany, Austria, Liechtenstein, Switzerland and Italy on his way.
Each of the first four countries named is currently issuing its own stamp on this topic. The Liechtenstein stamp "Lindauer Bote" (value: CHF 1.40) shows suitable pictorial elements and gives the names of each stop. In addition, the altitude profile of the route, which reached its peak on Splügen Pass at 2113 metres above sea level, is depicted on the small 8-stamp sheet.
The exact date when the Lindau Messenger started to operate is not documented. However, it is assumed that he was already travelling along the arduous route on a fairly regular basis towards the end of the 15th century. In good weather, he completed the journey in five-and-a-half days but in snow and ice the trip took quite a bit longer.
At that time, Lindau and Milan were trading centres and re-loading points at crossroads of traffic routes. They thus became the points of departure for transports across the Alps. The messenger brought home luxury goods such as silk, gold thread, textiles of all kinds, exotic fruit and weapons.
Towards the end of the 17th and at the beginning of the 18th century, individual travellers were also allowed to accompany the messenger, the most famous of whom was Johann Wolfgang von Goethe. He used the guidance of the Lindau Messenger across the Alps in May 1788 when returning to Germany from his travels in Italy and paid 122 guilders for it. In 1826 the transport services of the Lindau Messenger were stopped for political and economic reasons.