On this card, sent from Revel, is used the postmark of КАТЕРИНЕНЪ [KATERINEN]. The Estonian indication is Kadrina, the German name is Katharinen or St. Katharinen.

Original print size of this image: 13,928 x 8,797 cm (is something more as the postal item)
The picture-side is a picture of a lady.
Now Kadrina is a small borough (in Estonian Alevik) in Northern Estonia and the administrative centre of Kadrina Parish (Estonian: Kadrina Vald). In 1870 a railway station is build in Kadrina: on the line St. Petersburg-Revel.

The postmark: resized 50 %.

The post office is opened in 1896 and it became a 'Sub-Post Office'. In the first postmarks this is also indicated. The first postmark (used1898-1905) is a 'cross-date'-type, in the EEST-handbook
(see literature) type 6Ca, code number 1, (month in numerals, Gubernia (Government) given, and below the indication of the postoffice) and below we see ОТД [OTD]., that means 'Sub'.
The sub post office is closed April 30, 1909. Next day (May 1, 1909) the post office of КАТЕРИНЕНЪ [KATERINEN] is opened as Post and Telegraph Branch Office.
The EESTI-handbook mentions two other postmarks:

  • double circle , Gubernia not given, code * * * (type 7B2, used 1907-1910
  • the postmark on the card here: double circle, Gubernia given, code * * б (type 7A1, used 1909-1917)



On the postmark you see the name АРЕНСБУРГЪ [ARENSBURG], in the tsaristic period the indication for the Estonian Kuressaare. Kuressaare was the main place on the island Saarema. This island (with the german name Ösel) belonged -as you can see on the map above- to the government Livonia.

The postmark, resized 50 %.

Letter, postal stationery 7 kop., sent from АРЕНСБУРГ Ъ [ARENSBURG] 12 October 1890 to РЕВЕ ЛЪ [REVEL], in Estonian Tallinn. On the backside is placed the arrival-stamp of Revel 14 Oktober 1890.

Original print size of this image: 14,740 x 12,276 cm (is something more as the postal item)

In June 1884 the departments for the Post and voor the Telegraph were united. This we find back in the new circle date-stamps -here above- with at the bottom the rang of the post-office: П ОЧ. [POCHT.] ТЕЛ. [TEL.] КОНТ. [KONT.], short for Pochtovo Telegrafnaya Kontora, Post-telegraph office.
A regulation from the second half of the 19th century ordered that every post-office must have at least two stamps: one with 'normal' size (about 26 mm) for cancellation of the postage stamps and one more 'little'. The little postmark was intended for receipts and so on, but is sometimes used instead of the normal postmark. In Arensburg the normal postmark had distinguishing-number '1' (in use 1889-1901)-as on the letter above-, and the liitle postmark number '2' (in use 1889-1899).
The date is in three lines: day, abbrevation of month in cyrillic, year.

In these postmarks of Arensburg -here not so clear to see- is also indicated the government: ЛИФЛ. Г. [LIFL. G.], short for Liflyandskaya Guberniya, Livonia Government. The capital of this government was Riga.

In a circular of 5 april 1890 -also for Arensburg- were introduced new 'cross-date' -postmarks. For Arensburg these type is used 1901-1906.

On 3 February 1903 the double-ring date-stamps were introduced, with the bridge-date: day, montyh and year. The century is not indicated and the month is in arabic numerals.
On the card here the new type postmark is used.
The picure is also very nice: the castle of Arensburg or Kuressaare.

Original print size of this image: 14,029 x 9,203 cm (is something more as the postal item)

On the backside - the card is sent to Belgium- we see the postmark more clear.

The distinguishing-letter is 'b' the second letter in the Russian afphabet. This postmark is used 1905-1913.

There is used (1904-1916) also a double-circle datestamp of this type with distinguishing-letter 'a'.
There is another type double-circle datestamp with more thick lines above and under the date and used with four different distinguishing-letters:

    with distinguishing-letter 'a' (1915-1917)
  • with distinguishing-letter 'b' (1913-1917)
  • with the letter 'v' or 'w', the third letter of the Russian alphabet
  • with the letter 'g', the fourth letter of the Russian alphabet.

  • So, together six different double-circle date-stamps. This type postmarls is with circular nop. 9 introduced on 3 February 1903. but not everwhere in use then. When the old postmatk was worn out, then came the new in use.

Here we see a cardsent from Arensburg and with a double-circle postmark. Here we are more intersted in the picture of the 'Neue Heil- und Sclammbadeanstalt'. In the middle of the 19th century Arensburg became famous as health resort and there were built three hydropathics (1840, 1876 and 1883). Here you could get a 'Schlammbad', a mudbath.

Original print size of this image: 14,029 x 9,101 cm (is something more as the postal item)

The other side.

In 1918 the new name for Arensburg is introduced: Kuressaare. The old name sounded too 'German'.
The new name we see then also in the postmarks: see Kuressaare in the Estonian Republic 1918-1941

See also: Kuressaare or Kingissepa in the soviet period.


In the postmark is clear indicated the place ЛИВА [LIVA]. But the location is not so clear.
The text on the picture-side is: Liiwimaa Wana-Wändra.

Original print size of this image: 13,902 x 8,797 cm (is something more as the postal item).

In the database of the National Library of Estonia I found
another picture of 'Liiwimaa Wana-Wändra' with keywords 'start 20th century' 'rivers' and Vändra. Vändra is a borough (Estonian: alev) with a municipalyty status in Pärnu County, located in the geographical center of Estonia

Liiva is more to the north-west. According my bible for place names -Baltische Postorte (see literature) - the postoffice is near Riesenberg (Estonian Riisipere). Riesenberg/Riisipere is located on the railway line Haapsalu and Tallinn. Liiva is something east of Riisipere.
On a map in the EESTI-handbook (p. 420) (see literature) Liiva is in 1863 a mail coach station on the line Haapsalu - Tallinn. In 1856 Liiva is opened as coach station. In this period are used three pre-philatelic postmarks and a dots-postmark. The dots-postmark (used 1858-1877, no illustration known) is triangular -for mail coach stations- with number 378.
In 1894 Liiva is closed as coach station and opened as Sub-postoffice.
On a map of post offices and communications (end of 1917) ЛИВА [LIVA] is Sub Post Office on the railway from Haapsalu to Tallinn. See: p. 40-41 of the supplement of EESTI.

Liiva is a Sub Post Office until August 21, 1897. From August 22, 1897 Liiva is opened as Post and Telegraph Branch Office.
The first (of the 7) circle date-stamps are single circle date-stamps with month in numerals and Gubernia indicated ('cross-date'), three different postmarks.
From 1907 are known the double circle date-stamps: 4 different postmarks.

This card has a double circle postmark of ЛИВА [LIVA] without gubernia indicated, code letter * * а: type 7B1. This postmark has known use 1910-1912. The other postmark of this type has as code letter б, the second letter of the Russian alfabet.

The other two double circle postmark have the indication of the gubernia ЭСТЛ. [EHSTL.], short for Estonia, and also the code letters а and б: type 7A1.

Riisipere is now a small borough (alevik in Estonian) and the administrative center of Nissi Parish. It has still a railway station and is by rail connected with Tallinn, but the Riisipere-Haapsalu section was taken up in 2004.
Liiva I found only within Riisipere as 'Liiva tee', in English 'Liiva path'.
On a map of the post offices in Estonia 1919-06-22 (See the EEST-handbook, p. 536-537) the post office Liiwa is located east of the railway, near Riisipere.


The city of Narva is located in northeast Estonia, on the border with Russia. It is an important city -third of Estonia- and can be considered as the center of the Russian minority.
Narva is located on river with the same name and the river is now the border with Russia.
On the other side lies the Russian Ivangorad. On the map in Baedeker -1912 - (see below) we see at this place on the right bank the district 'Iwangorodskij Vorstadt.'
On both sides there is a fort. The fort on the side of Narva in present form was built by the Swedes, called Herman Castle (Hermanni linnus).
On the card here a picture of the fort. It looks like this is the Russian fortress from the north on the left and that is also the indication on the card: ИВАНГОРОДСКIЙ КРЬПОСТЬ [IVANGORODSKYI KREPOST] Ivangorod fortress.

Original print size of this image: 14,079 x 9,152 cm (is something more as the postal item)

The card is sent from МЕРЕКЮЛЪ ЭСТЛ. [MERREKYUL EHSTL.]. This place was therefore in the Government of Estonia. The current Estonian name Meriküla. Meriküla is located in northeastern Estonia, near Narva. The German name is Merrekühl.
According the text of the card one is for three weeks in a boarding house by the sea, an hour away from Hungerburg ....

The postmark, resized 50 %.

The post office of МЕРЕКЮЛЪ ЭСТЛ. [MERREKYUL EHSTL.] / Meriküla is opened in 1897 as private or temporary Subpost Office or Postal Agency. This office closed February 24, 1900 and is opened February 25, 1900 as Post and Telegraph Branch Office.

In the EESTI handbook
(see literature) are mentioned more postmarks:

  • in use from 1884-..: single circle with numbers at sides, Gubernia below, indication П&3 1057. (coach station), (type 5B3), code number 1
  • Gubernia at top, type of post office below П.Т.О., date in three lines (month in letters) (type 6A2): code number 1 and 2
  • double circle date stamps, gubernia given, two stars and codeletter (type 7A1): 4 different code-letters

The location of Meriküla is to see on:
Detail of a map from Meyers Konv. Lexikon, 6 Aufl. , 1905-1909.

Meyers Konversations-Lexikon or Meyers Lexikon was a important encyclopedia -in German- from 1839 to 1984. This encyclopedia 4th ed. 1885-92 is online:

Map from Baedeker:
Russland nebst Teheran, Port Arthur, Peking : Handbuch für Reisende / von Karl Baedeker. - 1912. - p. 78
In this German guide the maps are in color. (In the English reprint of the 1914 Baedeker the maps are black/white)

On the detailed map (left) are the two forts indicated: on the left bank of the Narva Ordensburg and just opposite on the right bank Ivangorod castle. The Ordensburg or Hermann Castle, Narva Castle (Estonian: Hermanni linnus), is founded in 1256 by the Danes and from August 29, 1346 it was the castle of the German Livonian Teutonic Knights Order.
The castle on the other side, Ivangorod Castle is build by the Russians in 1492.

From 1612 to 1945 Ivangorod was administratively a part of Narva, first Swedish, then Russian, there-after Estonian, then Russian and finally the German occupation.

With the Peace of Tartu -1920 - was the independence of Estonia recognized, and the border was slightly eastern, so also Ivangorod as part of the city of Narva was located in Estonia. With the Soviet occupation after the Second World War the river Narva became border of the Estonian SSR, and with the Second Estonian independence (1991) Ivangorod remains part of Russia.

The EESTI-Handbook gives an overview of the postmarks of Narva (see literature)
The post office of Narva was opened already in the 17th century. It was a post office, but -when Post and Telegraph administrations were merged, 1885- it became a Post and Telegraph Office.

In the EESTI-handbook are listed 18 different pre-philatelic postmarks. Narva has also used a dots popstmark: square, it was District Post Office, with number 6.
There are used many circular date-stamps in Narva: 24 (10 single circle and 14 double circle postmarks.
The first 2 circular data-stamps are type fleuron: the first with only name НАРВА [NARVA] at the top and the date in three lines (type 3A1), the second also code number 1 (type 3A3).
Then follows type 4A2: posthorn type with name and code number 1.
After these is used a postmark with the indication of the gubernia below: type 5B1, date in three lines, single circle with code number 2 at sides, above the indication НАРВА [NARVA] ПОЧТ [POCHT.]. КОНТОРА [KONTORA].
In the indication below of the postmark the Gubernia is indicated as С. П. Б. ГУБ. [S. P. B. GUB.], St. Petersburg Gubernia.

The post office of Narva has used two postmarks of this type: date in three lines, Gubernia at the top, type of post office below. This arrival postmark (on a cover from Revel) has below the indication ПОЧТ [POCHT.]. ТЕЛЕГР[TELEGR.]. КОНТ [KONT].
At the top is indicated the Gubernia as С. П. БУРГ. Г. [S. P. BURG. G.], St. Petersburg Gubernia.
The letter is arrived 14 НОЯ [NOYA] = Novermber, 1895.
This is subtype 6A1, with code number 1, used between 1887 and 1899.
There is another postmark of this type with code number 2.

The later 'double-cross' type postmark, month in numerals, with Gubernia at top and indication ПОЧТ [POCHT.]. ТЕЛ[TEL.]. КОНТ [KONT]. for the post office below (type 6C1) has as code numbers: 1, 2, 3, and 4.

Here a card with an early double circle date-stamp.

Original print size of this image: 13,750 x 8,823 cm (is something more as the postal item)

Between 1901 and 1918 in Narva are used two types of double circle postmarks:

  • double circle, with gubernia indication, two stars and code letter * * a etc. (type 7A1), 9 different
  • double circle, without gubernia indication, two stars and code letter * * a etc. (type 7B1), 5 different

This postmark -resized 50 % - is clearly type 7A1.

Original print size of this image: 14,165 x 9,085 cm (is something more as the postal item)

On this card the other type double circle postmark of Narva is used: circle, without gubernia indication, two stars and code letter * * и [I], the wring letter i (type 7B1)

On the other side the message has as date: August 29 and September 11, 1913. We can see the two calendars indicated: our Gregorian and the -in Russia used- old Julian calendar. The Julian calendar was in Russia until February 1918 in use. To get the date of our Gregorian calendar, there must be 12 days to the Julian date added to dates after 28 February 1800 to 28 February 1900. After February 28, 1900 must have 13 days to the Julian date counted to get the Gregorian date.
All about calendars:
On this card: 1913, so we must have 13 days at the Julian date counted to get the Gregorian date.

Here below a nice card with also the Estonian text Jaanilinna-kindlus (Ivangorod fortress)

Original print size of this image: 14,029 x 9,076 cm (is something more as the postal item)

The card is send to Riga and has a KRAG-arrival postmark (-2.1.1915 ??)
There is no postage stamp on the card, but an fieldpost cancel.
In the postmark you can read in the circle: ТЗЪ [IZ], From, ДЕЙСТВУЮШИ.. [DEISTVUYUSHI..], Aktive, АРМИИ [ARMII], Army.
In the middle of the postmark is placed the text: ПЕЧАТЬ [PECHAT], seal/cachet, ДЛЯ [DLYA], for, ПАКЕТОВЪ [PAKETOV], Parcel/letter.

In World War I the garrison of Narva consisted of the 92nd 97th Infantry Regiments, but the card can be sent from elsewhere.

A card with the famous Krenholm Manufacturing Factory on the island Kreenholm (German: Krähnholm) in the river Narva. On the map above Krähnholm is indicated on the detailed map.

Original print size of this image: 14,080 x 9,127 cm (is something more as the postal item)

The postmark is double circle and at the top left part is indicated the name , so on the right part (must) indicated the gubernia: type 7A1.

Baedeker (1914): "...... the Naróva forms two broad Waterfalls, 26-33 ft. high, the waters of which unite again below the island of Krähnholm. The river rushing over layers of hard limestone here falls upon soft clay, the gradual washing-away of which has formed the falls. Below the falls the channel of the river is deep and enclosed by precipitous banks, but above the falls the banks are more level. The beauty of the falls is much impaired by the mills erected to utilize the water-power. On the left bank, on this side of the bridge leading to the island, is a bronze statue of Baron Knoop, the founder of the Krähnholm Mills, by Tchizhóv (1899). The bridge commands a good view, to the right, of the W. fall. The view of the E. fall is finer, but special permission from the management of the mills is required for the island." ...."The train now crosses the Naróva by an iron bridge (good view of Narva and Ivangorod to the left and of the waterfalls to the right) and enters the Government of St. Petersburg."
From: Russia / Baedeker 1914. - p. 83 (see literature)

In 1856 Baron Knoop, Ludwig Knoop, was owner of the island and he founded there a textile factory: Krenholm Manufacturing Company. It became the most important factory in Russia and the cotton spinning and manufacturing mills were the largest in the world.
More about this
Now the border between Estonia and Russia runs through the eastern branch of the waterfalls.

Article about (postal) history of Narva and Narva-Jõesuu [in Dutch]:
Narva en Narva-Jõesuu tot 1945 / Jan Kaptein. - In: Het Baltische Gebied 2011 ; 59. - p. 4-13


In the text of the card above (fortress Narva) also has been written: Hungerburg, the current Narva-Jõesuu. This name means in Estonian: Mouth of the River Narva. Until 1918 this place was called - 14 kilometers north of the city of Narva - УСТЬ-НАРОВА [UST NAROVA] and this name we see in the postmarks.

The postmark, resized 50 %.

Original print size of this image: 14,182 x 9,102 cm (is something more as the postal item)

The postmark is the 'crossed date'-type. In the middle the day stays first, under it the month (in Roman numerals), left of the whole the century and right the rest of the year
In the postmark also the indication of the government ЭСТЛ.Г., short for ЭСТЛЯНДСКАЯ (EHSTLYANDSKAYA) ГУБЕРНIЯ (GUBERNIYA), Estonian Government. At the bottom of the postmark is placed information about the rank of the post office: ПОЧ. [POCHT.] ТЕЛ. [TEL.] КОНТ. [KONT.], short for Pochtovo Telegrafnaya Kontora, Post-telegraph office.

The post office is opened in 1883.
In the EESTI handbook
(see literature) are mentioned more postmarks:

  • Gubernia at top, type of post office below П.Т.О., date in three lines (month in letters) (type 6A2): code number 1
  • Gubernia at top, type of post office below П.Т.К., month in numerals (type 6C1): code numbers 1, 2, 3
    This is the 'cross-date'postmark, as here
  • double circle, gubernia given, temporary P.O (В. Р. [V.R.], (type 7A6): 1 codeletter reported, but codeletter а must also been used
  • double circle date stamps, gubernia given, two stars and codeletter (type 7A1): 8 different code-letters

Picture-side of the card. The place is often indicated with the German name: Hungerburg.

According to the tradition, the origin of the name: German merchants who had been shipwrecked, had no food and tcalled the place Hungerburg [German for Hunger-place], while the settlement on the other side was called Magerburg [German for Skinny-place].
Both names appear on maps from the late 17th century. In 1782 were Hungerburg and Kudrukül a united municipality. Hundred years later the place became a seaside resort. In 1873, Hungerburg - still part of Narva - get a Kurhaus. Wealthy families have bought land and built summer cottages. The place got its official name Narva Jyessuu. Late 19th century there were 2000 permanent residents, in the year 1914, 10,000 bathers. For the guests there were a Kurzaal, fireworks, boat excursions, dances and concerts. Even tourists came from abroad.

Baedeker (1914). -From Riga to St. Petersburg, by railway via Dorpat- in the description of Narva about Hungerburg:
"On the sea lie the bathing-resorts of Hungerburg (Kurhaus; Lloyd's Agent, A.A. Peters; steamer, see p. 81), which is prettily situated and has a good sandy beach, Schmetzke, and Merreküll (Kurhaus). The last, which is 15 V. (10 M.) from Narva (carr. 2-2½ rb., is within ½ hr.'s drive of Hungerburg (cab 1 rb., with two horses 1½ rb.)."
From: Russia / Baedeker 1914. - p. 83 (see literature)
In Baedeker: V=Verst M=English Mile
1 ВЕРСТА [VERSTA], Verst = 500 sazhen = 1.067 km = 0.663 M.