July 15, 2011

Poltava 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 Poltava Province, created in 1802, and located in part of present-day Ukraine. Poltava was the administrative center of the province, and is one of the oldest cities in Ukraine. The card indicates that the distance from Poltava to St. Petersburg was 1,463½ versts, and from Poltava to Moscow, 850¼ versts. A verst is a Russian measurement of distance, no longer used, equal to 1.0668 kilometers.

Grodno 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 Grodno Province, located in the western part of the empire, in present-day Belarus. To the southwest, the province bordered the Kingdom of Poland, which was then a protectorate of the Russian Empire. Russia acquired the territory of Grodno Province after the third partition of Poland in 1795. Grodno (Hrodna, in Belarusian), the administrative center, is situated on the Neman (Nyoman, in Belarusian) River. The card indicates that the distance from Grodno to St. Petersburg was 990 versts, and from Grodno to Moscow, 1,033½ versts. A verst is a Russian measurement of distance, no longer used, equal to 1.0668 kilometers.

The Russian Empire (Kamchatka Region)

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 Kamchatka Region, located in the far eastern part of the empire, between the seas of Okhotsk and Kamchatka (present-day Bering Sea). The region incorporates the Kuril Islands, bordering Japanese territory in the south, and the “Bering or Komadorskii” and Mednii islands in the east. The Russians began exploring Kamchatka after they reached the shores of the Pacific Ocean in 1639. Petropavlovskii Port, situated on the Sea of Kamchatka, was the administrative center of the region. The card indicates that the distance from Petropavlovskii Port to St. Petersburg was 12,519 versts, and from Petropavlovskii Port to Moscow, 12,003¼ versts. A verst is a Russian measurement of distance, no longer used, equal to 1.0668 kilometers.

Vilnius 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 Vilnius Province, part of present-day Lithuania. Russia acquired the territory of Vilnius Province after the third partition of Poland, in 1795. Vil'no (now Vilnius), the administrative center of the province and the capital of present-day Lithuania, is situated on the Vilnia River. The card indicates that the distance from Vil'no to St. Petersburg was 789 versts, and from Vil'no to Moscow, 875¾ versts. A verst is a Russian measurement of distance, no longer used, equal to 1.0668 kilometers.

Viatka 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 Viatka Province, located in the western part of the empire. Viatka (present-day Kirov), the administrative center of the province, is situated on the Viatka River. It was founded in 1181 by traders from Novgorod. The card indicates that the distance from Viatka to St. Petersburg was 1,431¾ versts, and from Viatka to Moscow, 931½ versts. A verst is a Russian measurement of distance, no longer used, equal to 1.0668 kilometers.

Voronezh 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 Voronezh Province, located in the western part of the empire. Voronezh, the administrative center of the province, is situated on the Voronezh River, above its confluence with the Don. Voronezh was founded in 1586 as a fortress. The card indicates that the distance from Voronezh to St. Petersburg was 1,220½ versts, and from Voronezh to Moscow, 500¾ versts. A verst is a Russian measurement of distance, no longer used, equal to 1.0668 kilometers.