July 15, 2011

Perm 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 Perm Province, located in the western part of the empire. Perm’, the administrative center of the province, is situated on the Kama River, below its confluence with the Chusovaia River. The card indicates that the distance from Perm’ to St. Petersburg was 1,911½ versts, and from Perm’ to Moscow, 1,395¾ versts. A verst is a Russian measurement of distance, no longer used, equal to 1.0668 kilometers.

Tavrich 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 Tavrich Province, part of present-day Ukraine. Bordered by the Sea of Azov and the Black Sea, the province was located on territory annexed by Russia from the Khanate of Crimea in 1783. Simferopol', the administrative center of the province, is situated on the Salhir River. The card indicates that the distance from Simferopol' to St. Petersburg was 2,068¾ versts, and from Simferopol' to Moscow, 1,505½ versts. A verst is a Russian measurement of distance, no longer used, equal to 1.0668 kilometers.

Kaluga 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 Kaluga Province, located in the western part of the empire. The province was the scene of a number of battles between the French and Russian armies during Napoleon’s invasion of Russia in 1812. The administrative center of the province was Kaluga, a small city situated on the Oka River. The card indicates that the distance from Kaluga to St. Petersburg was 887¼ versts, and from Kaluga to Moscow, 167½ versts. A verst is a Russian measurement of distance, no longer used, equal to 1.0668 kilometers.

Kazan 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 Kazan Province, located in the southwestern part of the empire. Kazan', situated on the Volga River, was the administrative center of the province. Kazan' was taken from the Golden Horde, the Mongol Khanate, by Ivan IV (“the Terrible”) in 1552. The card indicates that the distance from Kazan' to St. Petersburg was 1,541½ versts, and from Kazan' to Moscow, 821¾ versts. A verst is a Russian measurement of distance, no longer used, equal to 1.0668 kilometers.

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.

Simbir 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 Simbir Province, located in the western part of the empire. Simbirsk (present-day Ulianovsk), the administrative center of the province, is situated on the Volga River. It was founded in 1648, as a fortress to defend Russia's southern frontier. The card indicates that the distance from Simbirsk to St. Petersburg was 1,472½ versts, and from Simbirsk to Moscow, 753 versts. A verst is a Russian measurement of distance, no longer used, equal to 1.0668 kilometers.