General Map of Astrakhan Province: Showing Postal and Major Roads, Stations and the Distance in Versts between Them


This 1823 map of Astrakhan Province is from a larger work, Geograficheskii atlas Rossiiskoi imperii, tsarstva Pol'skogo i velikogo kniazhestva Finliandskogo (Geographical atlas of the Russian Empire, the Kingdom of Poland, and the Grand Duchy of Finland), containing 60 maps of the Russian Empire. Compiled and engraved by Colonel V.P. Piadyshev, it reflects the detailed mapping carried out by Russian military cartographers in the first quarter of the 19th century. The map shows population centers (six gradations by size), postal stations, roads (four types), provincial and district borders, monasteries, factories, cordons, wells, and minor fortifications. Distances are shown in versts, a Russian measure, now no longer used, equal to 1.07 kilometers. Legends and place-names are in Russian and French. Astrakhan was founded in about the 13th century, in the upper delta of the Volga River. For centuries, the city was at the crossroads of the civilizations of Europe, Asia, India, Persia, Georgia, and Armenia. Astrakhan was also located near Sarai, the famous capital of the western Mongol kingdom, the Golden Horde. Sarai (near Selitrenoi gorodok on this map) was established in the 1240s by the Mongol ruler, Badu Khan. Russian princes throughout the medieval period had to travel to Sarai and pay tribute to the khan. They also had to receive the khan’s yarlyk (patent of authority), and sometimes traveled as far as Karakorum (present-day Mongolia) as a political necessity to visit the Great Khan. The Astrakhan region was besieged over the centuries by Timur, the sultans of Ottoman Turkey, and ultimately the tsars of Russia. In 1556, Ivan the Terrible conquered the Khanate of Astrakhan, a remnant state of the Mongols, and absorbed the region into the realms of Muscovy. This constituted the symbolic final ascendance of Russia after centuries of struggle with the Mongol yoke. Astrakhan continued to witness social and political upheavals, including the Cossack rebellions of Stepan Timofeevich Razin (known as Stenka Razin) in the 17th century and Kondratii Bulavin in the 18th century. The city rose to economic prominence under Peter the Great and Catherine the Great in the 18th century, as the Russian gateway to the Caspian Sea.

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Publication Information

Military Topographical Depot, Saint Petersburg, Russia

Title in Original Language

Генеральная Карта Астраханской Губернiи Съ показанiемъ почтовыхъ и большихъ проѣзжихъ дорогъ, станцiй и разстоянiя между оными верстъ.

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Physical Description

1 map ; 40 x 38 centimeters


  • Scale 1:1,890,000

Last updated: October 30, 2015