Bessarabia Province


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 Bessarabia Province, located in the southwestern part of the empire on territory annexed by Russia from the Ottoman Empire in 1812. Kishinev (Chişinău, in Romanian), was the administrative center of the province, and is the capital of present-day Moldova. The card indicates that the distance from Kishinev to St. Petersburg was 1,692½ versts, and from Kishinev to Moscow, 1,425¼ versts. A verst is a Russian measurement of distance, no longer used, equal to 1.0668 kilometers.

Last updated: June 3, 2015