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 Orlov Province, located in the western part of the empire. Orel, the administrative center of the province, is situated on the Oka River. Orel was founded in 1564 by Ivan IV, to protect the Muscovite state against Tatar attacks. The card indicates that the distance from Orel to St. Petersburg was 1,079 versts, and from Orel to Moscow, 359¼ 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