July 15, 2011

Kiev 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 Kiev Province, part of present-day Ukraine. Kiev (Kyiv, in Ukrainian), situated on the Dnieper (Dnipro, in Ukrainian) River, was the capital of Kievan Rus' in the 10th-12th centuries. Kiev was the administrative center of the province, and is the capital of present-day Ukraine. The card indicates that the distance from Kiev to St. Petersburg was 1,249¼ versts, and from Kiev to Moscow, 876¾ versts. A verst is a Russian measurement of distance, no longer used, equal to 1.0668 kilometers.

Kherson 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 Kherson Province, located in part of present-day Ukraine, and bordered by the Black Sea in the south. Situated on the Dnieper River, Kherson was the administrative center of the province. The card indicates that the distance from Kherson to St. Petersburg was 1,788¾ versts, and from Kherson to Moscow, 1,303¼ versts. A verst is a Russian measurement of distance, no longer used, equal to 1.0668 kilometers.

Volyn 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 Volyn Province, part of present-day Ukraine. Russia acquired the territory of Volyn Province after the second partition of Poland in 1793. Zhitomir (Zhytomyr, in Ukrainian), the administrative center of the province, is situated on the Teteriv River. The card indicates that the distance from Zhytomir to St. Petersburg was 1,248¾ versts, and from Zhytomir to Moscow, 1,030¼ versts. A verst is a Russian measurement of distance, no longer used, equal to 1.0668 kilometers.

Podolsk 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 Podolsk Province, located in part of present-day Ukraine. Russia acquired the territory of Podolsk Province after the second partition of Poland, in 1793. Kamenets (now Kamianets-Podil’s’kyi) was the administrative center of the province, and is one of the oldest cities in Ukraine. The card indicates that the distance from Kamenets to St. Petersburg was 1,513¾ versts, and from Kamenets to Moscow, 1,295¼ versts. A verst is a Russian measurement of distance, no longer used, equal to 1.0668 kilometers.

Saratov 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 Saratov Province, located in the western part of the empire. Saratov, the administrative center of the province, is situated on the Volga River. It was founded in 1590 as a fortress to protect the trade route along the Volga River from nomadic raiders. The card indicates that the distance from Saratov to St. Petersburg was 1618¼ versts, and from Saratov to Moscow, 899 versts. A verst is a Russian measurement of distance, no longer used, equal to 1.0668 kilometers.

Estland 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 Estland Province, located in the northwestern part of the empire. The province borders the Gulf of Finland to the northwest and Lake Chudskoe to the southeast. Estland Province was established on the lands annexed from Sweden in the course of the Great Northern War of 1700-21. Reval (present-day Tallin, Estonia) was the administrative center. The card indicates that the distance from Reval to St. Petersburg was 358½ versts, and from Reval to Moscow, 1,018¼ versts. A verst is a Russian measurement of distance, no longer used, equal to 1.0668 kilometers.