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 Astrakhan Province, located in the southwestern part of the empire. The province is divided into two parts by the Volga River, which flows into the Caspian Sea in the south of the province. Astrakhan', the administrative center of the province, was conquered by Russia from the Astrakhan Khanate in 1556. It later served as a Russia's gateway to the east. The card indicates that the distance from Astrakhan' to St. Petersburg was 2,138½ versts, and from Astrakhan' to Moscow, 1,418¾ 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