The Russian Empire (Kamchatka Region)


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 the Kamchatka Region, located in the far eastern part of the empire, between the seas of Okhotsk and Kamchatka (present-day Bering Sea). The region incorporates the Kuril Islands, bordering Japanese territory in the south, and the “Bering or Komadorskii” and Mednii islands in the east. The Russians began exploring Kamchatka after they reached the shores of the Pacific Ocean in 1639. Petropavlovskii Port, situated on the Sea of Kamchatka, was the administrative center of the region. The card indicates that the distance from Petropavlovskii Port to St. Petersburg was 12,519 versts, and from Petropavlovskii Port to Moscow, 12,003¼ versts. A verst is a Russian measurement of distance, no longer used, equal to 1.0668 kilometers.

Last updated: June 3, 2015