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 Saratov Province, located in the western part of the empire. Saratov, the administrative center of the province, is situated on the Volga River. It was founded in 1590 as a fortress to protect the trade route along the Volga River from nomadic raiders. The card indicates that the distance from Saratov to St. Petersburg was 1618¼ versts, and from Saratov to Moscow, 899 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