This early-19th century playing card is from a set of 60 such cards, each devoted to a different province or territory of the Russian Empire, which at the time included the Grand Duchy of Finland, Congress Poland, and Russian America. One side of each card shows the local costume and the provincial coat of arms; the other side contains a map. This card depicts Vitebsk Province, part of present-day Belarus. Russia acquired the territory of Vitebsk Province after the first partition of Poland in 1772. Vitebsk (Vitsyebsk, in Belarusian), the administrative center of the province, is situated on the Dvina (Dzvina, in Belarusian) River. The card indicates that the distance from Vitebsk to St. Petersburg was 625¾ versts, and from Vitebsk to Moscow, 577¾ versts. A verst is a Russian measurement of distance, no longer used, equal to 1.0668 kilometers.
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9.5 x 6.5 centimeters. Color lithograph
Last updated: May 24, 2017