City Plan of Blagoveshchensk


Presented here is a map from 1869 of the Russian city of Blagoveshchensk. Located at the confluence of the Amur and Zeya Rivers in the Russian Far East, Blagoveshchensk was officially established by Tsar Alexander II in 1858 and quickly became a significant new Russian city along the border with China formed by the Amur River. The map shows that both a Russian Orthodox archbishop and a governor resided in the young city, reflecting the outsized role that it already played in both political and ecclesiastical affairs. Archbishop Innocent Veniaminov, who had been an illustrious priest, bishop, and then archbishop in Alaska and Yakutia, moved to Blagoveshchensk in the 1860s to become the archbishop there. He eventually would rise to the highest position within the Russian Orthodox Church as the Metropolitan of Moscow. He was later canonized as Saint Innokentii. The map also highlights other locations within the city, such as the Russian Orthodox cathedral, shops for provisions, and a military infirmary. It uses colors and shading to represent different sections of the city, including areas set aside for church personnel, officials, and private citizens, and for future land allotments. Some outlying regions are identified, including two Manchurian towns across the Amur River in China. Brick sheds and a cemetery are noted on the Russian side of the river. After Russia and China signed the Treaty of Aigun (also called Aihui) in 1858, followed by the Convention of Peking in 1860 in the wake of the Second Opium War, Russia extended its control to new regions north and east of the Amur and Ussuri Rivers. The map scale is given as 200 sazhens to the English inch, with a sazhen representing 2.13 meters (or approximately seven feet). The map is signed and dated in the lower-right corner by its creator, S. Krovrelin, December 30, 1869.

Last updated: December 11, 2017