Smolensk 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 Smolensk Province, located in the western part of the empire. Smolensk, the administrative center of the province, is situated on the Dnieper River. In the 9th century, Smolensk was a commercial center on the trade route between the Baltic Sea and the Byzantine Empire. The card indicates that the distance from Smolensk to St. Petersburg was 699½ versts, and from Smolensk to Moscow, 381½ versts. A verst is a Russian measurement of distance, no longer used, equal to 1.0668 kilometers.

Last updated: June 3, 2015