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 Minsk Province, located in the western part of the empire. In the south, the Pripiat (Prypyats’, in Belarusian) River, a tributary of the Dnieper (Dnyapro, in Belarusian) River, flows eastward across the province. The province was acquired by Russia in 1793, after the second partition of Poland. Minsk was the administrative center of the province, and is the capital of present-day Belarus. The card indicates that the distance from Minsk to St. Petersburg was 909¾ versts, and from Minsk to Moscow, 691¼ 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: June 3, 2015