• Germany's news in English
 
app_header_v3
To Santa, care of Himmelpfort post office
Good luck with those 150,000 letters Santa! Photo: DPA

To Santa, care of Himmelpfort post office

DPA/The Local · 11 Dec 2014, 08:00

Published: 11 Dec 2014 08:00 GMT+01:00

After the doors opened this year on November 6, around 150,000 letters have been delivered from around the world to the tiny depot in the Brandenburg village of Himmelpfort. 

All will be answered by a member of Santa's team of helpers in one of 16 languages at their disposal.

Families Minister Manuela Schwesig added to the pile on Wednesday, arriving with bundles of letters from schoolchildren from her home state of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern.

The flood of letters to the depot has grown steadily since its humble origins thirty years ago.

The history of the small but industrious post office began in 1984 when a local postwoman wasn't sure what to do with two letters she received for Santa from children in Berlin and Saxony.

Not wishing to return them with the distinctly un-Christmassy message "Recipient unknown", she decided to answer them herself.

Word got around, and the amount of post arriving for Santa in Himmelpfort, which translates as 'Heaven's gate', kept growing, reaching about 2,000 a year by the early nineties.

In 1995, Deutsche Post decided to lend a hand, or many hands, providing helpers and according the depot the official status of post office for two months of the year.    

But letters must reach Santa's desk at least ten days before Christmas Eve to ensure a reply is sent out in time.  

Children hoping to boost their gift hauls should address letters 'An den Weihnachtsmann, Weihnachtspostfiliale 16798 Himmelpfort', making sure that their own details are legible. 

Story continues below…

Or if your are within striking distance, you can just go there and enjoy various additional activities like baking and handicrafts. Himmelspfort is located 95 kilometres north of Berlin. 

For those further afield, there are also a number of other regional Christmas letter sorting offices in Germany.

SEE ALSO: Your guide to Germany's Christmas markets

For more news from Germany, join us on Facebook and Twitter.

DPA/The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Dresden 'most woman-friendly’ city in Germany
Photo: DPA.

Sorry Berlin, you're not the most progressive city for women, according to a new report.

The future belongs to these 10 German regions
This east German city won the 'most improved' category. Photo: DPA

A new study shows that one city above all will dominate the future of Germany, but if you're canny you might still want to think about moving to Leipzig or Erfurt.

Fugitive ex-terrorists 'on huge crime spree' in north Germany
(L-r): ex-RAF members Volker Staub, Daniela Klette, and Burkhard Garweg. Photo: BKA

In their struggle against capitalism they once murdered businessmen and politicians. Now three ex-terrorists have taken to robbing supermarkets - and rather successfully, too.

Scooter singer finally reveals how much the fish cost
H.P. Baxxter. Photo: DPA

It is the question Germans have wanted to know the answer to for almost two decades - and now they have the answer, thanks to a US talkshow host.

'I'm definitely not a paedophile': disgraced MP
Former MP Sebastian Edathy is in hiding after a child pornography scandal destroyed his career. Photo: DPA

Former MP Sebastian Edathy quit his job and left Germany after videos of naked children were found on his computer.

Weekend promises storms, humidity - and a bit of sun
A storm in Cuxhaven last weekend. Photo: DPA

The forecast for the coming days isn’t the pristine blue skies many of us are longing for. But, in among the storms, the sun will still peek out.

Prosecutors take aim at unedited Hitler book
An original edition of 'Mein Kampf' featuring a photo of Hitler on an inside cover. Photo: DPA

German prosecutors said on Thursday they were investigating whether to bring charges against a publisher who has promised to print a version of Adolf Hitler's anti-Semitic manifesto "Mein Kampf" without annotations.

VW bets on battery factory for electric car dominance
A VW logo is seen in front of a plugged-in electric car. Photo: DPA

Scandal-hit car giant Volkswagen is set to sink huge sums into building a factory for batteries to power its future electric cars, German media reported on Friday.

Raging ticket controller seizes Chinese traveler's passport
File photo of a plainclothes ticket controller. Photo: DPA.

Germany's national rail operator is in hot water after a ticket controller reacted aggressively to a newly arrived Chinese traveler who made one of the most basic transit mistakes: forgetting to stamp her ticket.

Berlin politician crusades for health of skateboarding dog
File photo: DPA

Can a canine enjoy skateboarding? That's the question Berlin politicians are struggling to address in a row over a dog on four wheels.

Sponsored Article
Eat, learn, live: unforgettable holidays in France
Society
Pegida enraged by black children on chocolate bars
Health
New father's tragic herpes warning touches 1000s online
National
Monsanto takeover would be 'diabolical': environmentalists
Lifestyle
10 fascinating facts you never knew about Berlin
Politics
MP recites explicit Erdogan bestiality poem on live TV
National
China beats Germany in readiness to help refugees
Hamburg
Headless Lübeck corpse turns out to be discarded sex doll
National
Pensioner claims to have found hidden Nazi nukes
Business & Money
Here's why Munich is worth 20 times more than Berlin
Culture
Five sure-fire ways to impress Germans with your manners
Lifestyle
6 things about Munich that will stay with you forever
Technology
Church plans to connect with faithful at Wi-Fi 'Godspots'
Technology
Online hate speech can cost users thousands of Euros
Society
Bavarians in rush for non-lethal weapons licenses
Sport
Here's Germany's Mannschaft for Euro 2016
Culture
The Syrian pianist playing his way into Germans' hearts
The parrot who flew fast enough to trigger a speed camera
Technology
New law could let free Wi-Fi bloom across Germany
Politics
Berlin's plans to beef up the German army
Sport
Lufthansa's Euro 2016 ad takes aim at England
National
Supermarkets must pay massive fine for fixing beer prices
National
4/20: Five things to know about weed in Germany
Berlin
Police break up hipster swarm at vegan restaurant opening
7,862
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd