The second highest post office in Europe
There had been a post office at the summit station since the Gornergrat Railway started to operate. It was closed, however, in 2002 as part of a Switzerland-wide reorganisation. The second highest post office in Switzerland and Europe had the same postcode as Zermatt: 3920, but had its own stamp. Two employees, René Fux and Manuel Pais, tell the story.
What memories do you have of the Gornergrat post office?
René Fux: I was a station attendant on the Gornergrat from 1988 to 1992. My responsibilities also included helping out with things at the post office.
What was demand like on the Gornergrat?
Manuel Pais: Demand was indeed huge. In the best years, we bought stamps worth between CHF 80,000 and 85,000 every year so that we could frank all the postcards.
Was there machine support for franking?
René Fux: Unfortunately not, that would have been helpful. After all, every guest wanted the original stamp from post office 3920 Gornergrat on their postcard. On peak days, we had to stamp up to 3,000 postcards a day by hand. That took one and a half to two hours every day. I even ended up with callused skin on my hands from stamping!
Manuel Pais: After stamping, we had to sort the postcards into three geographical regions, with a bundle for Switzerland, one for Europe and one for overseas.
The post office was abolished in 2002 as part of a reorganisation. Can you still post your mail on the Gornergrat?
René Fux: Today there is still a postbox on the Gornergrat. However, since the advent of electronic and social media, demand has declined massively. Currently, around 30-40 postcards are popped into the postbox every week. It is emptied from Monday to Friday and the postcards are then stamped in Zermatt.
What memory of the post office on the Gornergrat stands out most?
Manuel Pais: At the end of October 2002 I officially stamped the last postcard on the Gornergrat. Even Swiss television reported on it.