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


This 1820 map of Estland 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, and customs houses. 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 German. The territory depicted on the map corresponds to the northern part of present-day Estonia. This region was settled by Estonian migrants, who speak a Finno-Ugric language and whose ancestors (related to the Finns and Hungarians) came to the Baltic region in a long migration westward across northern Russia from the northwestern part of Siberia. The king of Denmark, Valdemar II, conquered this area in the 13th century. The present name of the Estonian capital, Tallinn, which signifies “Danish town,” stems from this period. This marked the beginning of Scandinavian expansion to the eastern Baltic, known as the era of the Northern Crusades. The Teutonic Knights, based in East Prussia, acquired control over the region in the 14th century as they spread throughout the eastern Baltic. Sweden subsequently conquered the region in the 16th century and established Swedish Estonia. In 1700, the outnumbered army of the Swedish king, Charles XII, crushed the Russian army at the Battle of Narva on the eastern border of Estonia. This stunning loss at the beginning of what became known as the Great Northern War led to sweeping reforms of the Russian state, which contributed to the ultimate victory over Sweden by Peter the Great in 1721. Swedish Estonia thereafter became Estland Province within the Russian Empire.

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Publication Information

Military Topographical Depot, Saint Petersburg

Title in Original Language

Генеральная Карта Эстляндской 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

Last updated: October 30, 2015