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 Penza Province, located in the western part of the empire. Penza, the administrative center of the province, was founded in 1666 as a fortress, and is situated at the confluence of the Penza and Sura rivers. The card indicates that the distance from Penza to St. Petersburg was 1,419¾ versts, and from Penza to Moscow, 700 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