'Gruss aus Pernau' or 'Greeting from Pernau'.

Pernov was located in the north of government Livonia, as you can see on the map above.
In German the names is Pernau, in Estonian the name is Pärnu.
The card is received on the post-office of ПЕРОВЪ [PERNOV] on April 20, 1912 but has also as departure-postmark April 21. Then the card goes to 'Lieber Marie' (Dear Mary) in Moscow, with congratulations on her birthday (German written text).
The postal rate is correct: for a postcard 3 kopecks (local mail and intercity mail). From March 20, 1879 domestic cards: 3 kopecks (to August 15, 1917). Picture cards with less than 6 words: from March 19, 1899 the cheaper rate of printing, 2 kopecks

Original print size of this image: 14,111 x 9,127 cm (is something more as the postal item)

Baedeker (1914) about Pernau (Pärnu):
"From Moiseküll to Pernau, 50 V. (33 M.), narrow-gauge railway in 2½ hrs.--Pernau, Пéрновъ, Esthonian Pärnu (Rail. Restaurant; Hõtel du Nord, near the harbour, R. from 60, B. 50 cop., D. from 60 cop. to 1 rb.20 cop.; Hotel Bristol, near the rail. station, restaurants......), a flourishing town with 25,000 inhab., situated on the Gulf of Pernau and at the mouth of the river of that name, was founded about the middle of the 13th century. Of its former fortifications, the Reval Gate and parts of the circumvallation still remain. The church of St. Nicolas dates from 1529. There is a sandy beach, and the seabathing is good. To the S. of the town is the large wood-pulp factory of Waldhof. Steamer to Riga, see p. 54."
From: Russia / Baedeker 1914. - p. 71
(see literature))
In Baedeker: V=Verst M=English Mile R.=Room B=Breakfast D.=Dinner

As you can see in the postmark below, the Russian name was ПЕРОВЪ [PERNOV].

Resized 50 %.

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

  • many pre-philatelic postmarks
  • the postmark with dots: square for a district post office, number 394

  • Circular date-stamps: 21 different
  • fleuron type, single circle, ornament below, only name post office (type 3A1)
  • type posthorn, single circle, posthorn below, name post office and number (type 4A2)
  • Gubernia at top, type of post office below П.Т.К., date in three lines (month in letters) (type 6A1): code numbers 1, 2, 3, 4
  • Gubernia at top, type of post office below П.Т.К., month in numerals (type 6C1): code numbers 1, 2, 3, 4
    This is the 'cross-date'postmark.
  • double circle date stamps, gubernia not given, two stars and codeletter (type 7B1, as on this card): 12 different code-letters

Also from ПЕРОВЪ [PERNOV]: a frank-free letter, sent July 14, 1910

Original print size of this image: 18,855 x 8,873 cm (is something more as the postal item)

In tsaristic Russia many institutions had free-frank privilege. We are not talking here about military post. Letters sent to the tsar arrived for free, but also many institutions could send their letters free of postage, while you would not expect.
Mr. Werbizky describes in an article the 'Rules dealing with the Postal Service', chapter IX 'Free-frank Postal sendings, mailed inside the empire' (St. Petersburg, 1909). Here is given a list of institutions with the privilege of frank-free mail: government offices and officers at all levels, but also private institutions. On this list: is mentioned: official court correspondence, military HQ mail, civilian governing bodies and individuals, welfare and agricultural offices which are a part of a zemstvo organizarion, scientist and welfare institutions which receive Government funds. Also religious institutions had no need to buy stamps.

Free-frank letters must have a postmark or sealing label from which it was clear that the sender has right on frank-free sendings. Sometimes the mention of sender makes it clear that there is right on free of charge delivering of the letter.

More about this subject:

  • Free-frank mail in Imperial Russia / by George G. Werbizky. - In: Rossica 1994 ; no. 122. - p. 76-84
  • Portvrijdom in de trarentijd : post uit het Baltische gebied / Jan Kaptein. - In: Het Baltische Gebied 2005 ; 46. - p. 34-41. - [in Dutch language, about free-frank mail in tsaristic period: mail from the baltic area]

The picture with the text: resized 35 %.

The postmark of ПЕРОВЪ [PERNOV]:
Double circle date stamp, gubernia not given, two stars and codeletter (type 7B1 in the EESTI-handbook, see above).
The government is not indicated: this is in accordance with the circular no. 9 on February 3, 1903. Only when there is confusion possible, same name, and in case of little villages, the name of the district/government had to be indicated in the postmark.

The address is difficult to read:
the letter is sent to the clergy of Audern (Audernsk = of Audern) to Urrust.
Here is meant Audru Parish (Estonian: Audru vald, Audru means tree) is a city and municipality in the Estonian province Pärnumaa, 4856 inhabitants (2011) and the area is 378,8 km².
The rural municipality has as administrative center Audru, status alevik (borough) has 25 villages. (See on Wikipedia: Audru)

The -Estonian- site of Audru says on the page ( of history: "Keskajast p&228;rinevat Audru mõisat (saksa k Audern) on esmamainitud 1449. aastal." and with some help of 'Google translate':
Audru of the Middle Ages the manor (in German Audern) is first mentioned in the 1449th year.
So: Audern in the address is Audru. East of Audru is located the neighboring municipality Pärnu.

I found Uruste / Urrust in a list of forgotten (see: link) placenames.

In Uruste a nice old church you can see on a photo , "taken in Audru vald"
So we can say that the letter here is 'local': no arrival stamp.

The postmark, left, resized 50 %.

Here, right, you see the church-postmark, resized 50 %, on the backside of this letter. It seems a little with the domes on a orthodox church (?).

This letter was folded and so put together, so we have also the content.
Here the text, signed by a priest. In the text is mentioned "I have the honour to the John The Baptist-church the following persons from your parish have done confession of the Holy Secrets", and then the data of these two persons.

About Audru Parish on internet:
In the beginning of the 20th century the area of nowadays Estonia was divided into 9 counties and 106 parishes. Historical Pärnumaa County (Kreis Pernau) was divided in 87 manors.From an overview on internet: Audru Parish (Kirchspiel Audern im Kreis Pernau) is divided in 5 manors : 1 church manor, 1 knight manor (with 1 support manor) and 2 state manors.
Parishes were divided into manors.
Manor is an administrative unit and territory. In the 18th and 19th century, all territories outside towns belonged to manors in Estonia. The administrative unit back then was the parish with a parish church. The parishes of certain regions formed a county.


Another church-letter: Põltsamaa

This church-letter from the territory of the later Estonia, is sent to Kupffer in Walk. The postmark on the address-side gives as departure-date 3-8-1892 from ОБЕРПАЛЕНЪ [OBERPALEN]. The Estonian indication of this place is Põltsamaa. In the Russian indication we see the German name Oberpahlen. This place was located in the northern part of the government Livonia.
Here is used a so-called 'cross-date-stamp', with the month in roman numerals. On the Lisbon-congress of the UPA was recommended to mention the month in roman numerals. With the circular nr. 13 of 5 April 1890 these new postmarks were introduced.

Original print size of this image: 16,417 x 9,330 cm (is something more as the postal item)

In the postmark of ОБЕРПАЛЕНЪ [OBERPALEN], resized here 50 %, is also mentioned -short- the government:

On the backside of the letter we see a clear church-stamp and we can read here the German name Oberpalen: 'SIGILLU ... ECCLESIE OBERPLENSIS'.

The church-stamp, resized 50 %.

In the beginning of the 20th century the area of nowadays Estonia was divided into 9 counties and 106 parishes. From an
overview on internet: Põltsamaa Parish (Kirchspiel Oberpahlen) 11 manors in the historical Viljandimaa County (Kreis Fellin): 1 church manor and 7 knight manors with 3 support manors. Manor is an administrative unit and territory. In the 18th and 19th century, all territories outside towns belonged to manors in Estonia. The administrative unit back then was the parish with a parish church. The parishes of certain regions formed a county. Parishes were divided into manors.

On the backside also the arrival postmark, resized here 50 %, of ВАЛКЪ (WALK or VALK), also with the government-indication of Livonia.
This city is in 1918 divided between Estonia -with the name Valga- and Latvia - with the name Valka. The separation was in 1920: an international jury headed by Colonel Stephen George Tallents, British ambassador for the Baltic governments, determined the definitive border between Estonia and Latvia in the former Walk: Valga and Valka.
Details about the border in Valga/Valka on internet: see

The content of the letter is in German and is concerned with some liturgical matters, particularly the Lord's Supper

About Valga/Valka:

  • Estse krenten.... / Ruud van Wijnen. - In: HBG 2010 ; 57. - p. 26-35. -[Estonian currants...: about Estonian items in the collection of a Latvia-collector]


The Estonian town Tartu has been known under several names. In tsarist period the oldest name was ДЕРПТЪ [DERPT]. The German name is Dorpat, Derpt or Dörpt.

In this postmark, reseized 50 %, is indicated the old name ДЕРПТЪ [DERPT].

Original print size of this image: 14,673 x 8,475 cm (is something more as the postal item)

The oldest postmarks of post office of Tartu, already opened in the 17th century, are pre-philatelic postmarks: 12 different. In the oldest reported postmarks (1796-1821) the German name 'Dorpat' is used. Then two postmarks are reported with both names: ДЕРПТЪ [DERPT] and Dorpat (1821-1860) The first reported postmark with only the Russian -Cyrillic- name is dated 1832.
Tartu has also a dots-postmark: number 393 in a square of dots, that is the type for a district post office.

From 1860 the circular date-stamps are used: 16 different with the name ДЕРПТЪ [DERPT], 4 with fleuron (type 3A1), 6 posthorn-type (type 4A2), and 6 with date in three lines, gubernia at top, postt office below (type 6A1).
The cover here, sent October 13, 1888, has a postmark with the posthorns,single circle, ornament below, name of post office only. In EESTI-handbook
(see literature)) are reported 6 different of this type 4A2: code numbers 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6. This postmark with code number 1 is used 1882-1889.

The cover is sent to ОБЕРПАЛЕНЪ [OBERPALEN], the Estonian Põltsamaa (see above). Here the arrival-postmark on the back-side.

In 1886 the post office of Tartu became Post and Telegraph office, and this is also indicated in the later single circle postmarks: type 6A1. This type -date in three lines, month in letters, gubernia at top- has the indication of the post office below: ПОЧ. [POCHT.] ТЕЛ. [TEL.] КОНТ. [KONT.] with code numbers 1, 2 and 3, or ПОЧ. [POCHT.] ТЕЛЕГР. [TELEGR.] КОНТ. [KONT.] with code numbers 4, 5 and 6. The abbreviation means Pochtovo Telegrafnaya Kontora, Post-telegraph office.
In the cover here below this type postmark is used.

In this postmark is indicated the old name ДЕРПТЪ [DERPT]. Also is indicated the government at the top: ЛИФЛ. (LIFL.), Livland, Livonia and Г [G.], short for ГУБЕРНIЯ (GUBERNIYA), Government.

Original print size of this image: 14,317 x 9,135 cm (is something more as the postal item)

The postmark (type 6A1), with code number 1, is used in the period 1889-1893.

From January 14, 1893, the name is changed in ЮРЬЕВЪ [YUREW], after Yaroslav the Wise (978-1054), Grand Prince of Novgorod an Kiev. The town is first mentioned in a document from 1030 (chronicles of Kiev): Yaroslav raided the area and built his own fort, named Yuryev.

There are 23 different circular date-stamps with the name ЮРЬЕВЪ [YUREW]. The first nine postmarks are the new 'cross-date' type postmarks.
This type 6C1is a single circle postmark with month in numerals, gubernia at top and below the indication for the post office, ПОЧ. [POCHT.] ТЕЛ. [TEL.] КОНТ. [KONT.].
The code numbers are: 1 (27 mm, in use 1893-1901), again 1 (28 mm, in use 1905-..), 2 (27 mm, in use 1898-1907), again 2 (26 mm, in use 1905-..), 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, and 8.

On the card here, dated January 26, 1903, you can see the postmark type 6C1 with code number 7, in use 1901-1906.

Original print size of this image: 14,402 x 9,017 cm (is something more as the postal item)

After these single circle postmarks came the double circle postmarks, 14 different, in two types:

  • type 7B1: without gubernia, code letter * * а (1904-1909), etc
  • type 7A1: with gubernia at the top, code letter * * а (1904-1917), etc.

Original print size of this image: 14,004 x 9,026 cm (is something more as the postal item)

On the card here we see a double circle date-stamp with code -writing- letter з, the eight letter of the Russian alfabet. At the top is indicated ЛИФЛ. (LIFL.), Livland, Livonia. So we have to do with type 7A1, with this codeletter in use 1909-1918.

Original print size of this image: 13,953 x 8,949 cm (is something more as the postal item)

Baedeker (1914) describes the travel 'From Riga to Reval a. By Railway via Walk and Dorpat'. The train starts from the Orel station in Riga, the Segewold, Wenden and Walk. From Walk: "The train now leaves the Lettish part of Livonia for the Esthonian,... (p. 68).
According Baedeker the distance -by rail via Walk and Dorpat- between Riga and Reval is 414 V. (274 M.): 414 Verst = 274 English Mile.
1 Verst =1,067 km. 1 English mile = 1609,344 meter
So 274 English Mile is about 441 km.

On the route after 50 Verst is reached Segewold, after 88 V. Wenden, after 158 V. Walk, and after 236 Verst Dorpat.
Dorpat, an important city, is of course described in detail by Baedeker (1914):
"236 V. (156 M.) Dorpat officially styled Yuryev, , Юрьевъ. -Rail. Restaurant.- Hotels. .......Restaurants .... Post & Telegrapgh Office (Pl. 4;B, 3), Ritter-Str. .....Steamboat ...
Dorpat (195 ft.), the capital of a district in the government of Livonia and the seat of a university, is situated on the navigable Embach and contains 50,000 inhabitants. The Embach, of which the right bank, with the Domberg, is about 115-130 ft. higher than the left bank. is crossed here by two bridges, one of stone (Steinbrücke; Pl. C, 3) built by Catherine II. in 1783 and having two gates in the middle of it, and the other one, farther up, of wood (Holzbrücke; Pl. B, C, 2, 3). ........".
From: Russia / Baedeker 1914. - p. 68-70 (see literature))

For Baedeker 'Dorpat' is the usual name, but on this card 'Dorpat' is made unreadable. The card is sent during the war - -2-6-1915- and the name Dorpat was for the sender too German, I suppose.
On the picure here: Tartu Stone Bridge (Kivisild). This was the first stone bridge in the Baltics, built at the end of the Town Hall Square, with two triumph arches and a lifting centre, which was dedicated to Catherine II and was opened for traffic in 1784. The bridge was destroyed in World War II, now it can only be admired by way of the model bridge, which was created in 2004.

Original print size of this image: 13,801 x 8,975 cm (is something more as the postal item)

The postmarks: the card is sent during World War I, short before Tartu is occupied by the German army, so we see also postmark of the censorship.
The card is sent to The Hague, Netherlands, via Petrograd: the circular postmatmark of ПЕТР ... [PETR..], two days later.
Petrograd was the main centre of censorship.

The great boxed postmark must have three lines, and the postmark had at the top: Opened .... The line in the middle -unfortunately not readable- must be 'G. Petrograd'. This censorshop postmark has below ВОЕНН1067;Й ЦЕНЗО1056;Ъ No. 1198 = Military Censor No. 1198. This type postmark is used in Petrogradbetween 8-1915 and 10-1917 and is the most common mark, with numbers between 5 and 3003.

The triangle with arithmetic fraction is used by the censorship in Petrograd: the number beneath refers to the ekspeditsiya. So 31/1 is referring to the 1st Ekspeditsiya. The censorship department was situated mainly in rooms of the 1st Ekspeditsiya of the Post Office of Petrograd. Some censors did their work in the 6th Ekspeditsiya.
Between 11-1916 and 11-1917 the triangle marks are used (with 1 or 6 beneath). According the Handbook Russian Postmarks (see literature)) is this a pre-censorship cachet used by sorters: selection for censorship.

The number in the little square is also used in Petrograd -between 12-1915 and 10-1918 - as identification mark with numbers between 2 and 134. In red the numbers 5 and 6, in magenta numbers 19 and 46.

Information about censorship in Petrograd, see: Russische Postzensur = Russian postal censorship 1914 - 1918 / A. Speeckaert. p. 138 - 167.

The Tartu Philatelic Society has a nice website:, in Estonian and a option English.


Türi-Alliku is the Estonian name for this place in the tsaristic government Estonia. The Russian name АЛЛЕНКЮЛЪ [ALLENKYUL] is more similar to the German name Allenküll.

Original print size of this image: 14,182 x 9,254 cm (is something more as the postal item)

This double circle date-stamp of ALLENKYUL - with three stars- was in use 1906-1918. The postmark is something unclear, bur it cannot be ANNENKYUL (Aniküla in Estonian), because this is not been a postoffice in this time.
There is one other tsaristic date-stamp of ALLENKYUL (Türi-Alliku), also double circle, with two stars and 'a' and the indication of the government Estonia, in use 1910-1918.

Türi-Alliku is now located in central Estonia, but in tsarist period on the southern border of the government Estonia, near Weissenstein. According the EESTI-handbook (Vambola Hurt and Elmar Ojaste) is another German name is Turgel and the Estonian name Türi (Alliku). On the
map before Turgel is indicated by the Dutch name Toergel. in 1347 the place is first mentioned as Turgel. Now Türi is a town and the administrative centre of Türi Parish (formed in 2005, in Estonian Türi Vald). Türi Alliku is one of the villages within Türi Parish. According the Estonian Wikipedia Türi Alliku has 518 inhabitants (from 1.01.2008): a very little village.
The post-office is opened in September 1, 1906 as a Sub-Post Office (up to Juni 1, 1909). On June 2, 1909 it is opened again: now as Postal Agency in a Parish Council Office. This Post Office is closed in 1916. In 1916 there came a Post- and Telegraph Office.

The other side of the card, and here below the postmark,

resized 50 %.

In the chapter 'From Riga to Reval' -by railway via Walk and Moiseküll- Baedeker (1914) mentions also Allenkül:
"Beyond (296 V.) Wechma the railway enters Esthonia. - 316 V. Allenküll (Rail. Restaurant). A branch-line runs from Allenküll to the N. to (13 V.) Weissenstein......"
From: Russia / Baedeker 1914. - p. 71 (see literature))