July 15, 2011

Belostok 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 Belostok Region, located in the western part of the empire, bordering on Poland. Belostok was acquired by Russia from Prussia in 1807, under the terms of the Treaties of Tilsit. The city of Belostok (Białystok, in Polish) was the administrative center of the region, and is located in present-day Poland. The card indicates that the distance from Belostok to St. Petersburg was 1,065 versts, and from Belostok to Moscow, 1,108½ versts. A verst is a Russian measurement of distance, no longer used, equal to 1.0668 kilometers.

Moscow 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 Moscow Province, located in the western part of the empire. The province was established by Peter the Great in 1708. Moscow, situated on the Moscow River, was the administrative center of the province, and is the capital of present-day Russia. The card indicates that the distance from Moscow to St. Petersburg was 719¾ versts. A verst is a Russian measurement of distance, no longer used, equal to 1.0668 kilometers.

Tver 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 Tver Province, located in the western part of the empire. Tver', the administrative center of the province, is situated at the confluence of the Volga and Tvertsa rivers. Tver' was founded as a fortress in the late 12th century, and later became the center of the powerful principality of Tver’. The card indicates that the distance from Tver' to St. Petersburg was 558 versts, and from Tver' to Moscow, 161¾ versts. A verst is a Russian measurement of distance, no longer used, equal to 1.0668 kilometers.

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.

Penza 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 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.

Nizhegorod 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 Nizhegorod Province, located in the western part of the empire. Nizhnii Novgorod, situated at the confluence of the Volga and Oka rivers, was the administrative center of the province. The city was founded in 1221, and became an important trade center between Russia and the East. The card indicates that the distance from Nizhnii Novgorod to St. Petersburg was 1,096¼ versts, and from Nizhnii Novgorod to Moscow, 443 versts. A verst is a Russian measurement of distance, no longer used, equal to 1.0668 kilometers.