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


This 1820 map of Vitebsk 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), state, provincial and district borders, and monasteries. 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 Polish. The territory depicted on the map lies within present-day Belarus. Vitebsk is mentioned in early chronicles as having been founded in the tenth century. It developed as a semi-independent principality in the Middle Ages, influenced by neighboring polities in Kiev, Polotsk, and Smolensk. Its location on the river systems traversing the lands between the Baltic and Black Seas gave the region prominence and wealth already during Viking times. After the 14th century, Vitebsk fell under the sway of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania and later the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. Vitebsk and the surrounding region became part of the Russian Empire after the First Partition of Poland in 1772, when Vitebsk Province was established.

Date Created

Subject Date

Publication Information

Military Topographical Depot, Saint Petersburg, Russia

Title in Original Language

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

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Type of Item

Physical Description

1 map ; 40 x 38 centimeters


  • Scale 1:1,050,000

Last updated: October 30, 2015