In 1477, the French king Louis XI created the royal mail service. Within a century it evolved into a complex postal and merchandise delivery system. Several post offices, warehouses, and a delivery network based not only on carriages and horses, but also on fluvial boats quickly arose.
The main stream of commerce and information flowed through the Loire Valley, located in Central France and the middle stretch of the Loire River. It was a period of development and wealth for the villages and cities that bordered this body of water.