The game of mail originated from Italy and crossed the French border around 1550. The game caught on quite well especially with aristocracy and bourgeois. All over the country mail alleys, both private and public, were constructed.
The interest in the game outside France remained rather limited, although in most European countries mail alleys were constructed between 1600 and 1700.
Until recently not much was known about possible mail activities in Switzerland. Nevertheless both in the French speaking part of the country as well as in the German speaking part jeu de mail or ‘Mailspiel’ was played by aristocracy, bourgeois and common people.
The Swiss have used the longest mail playing field in the world. This terrain was 23 kilometres long.
Please click here to find out more about mail in Switzerland
From ‘Games for Kings & Commoners’, Part II, to be issued in 2014