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1844 St. Petersburg  (Санкт Петербурга)

1844 St. Petersburg (Санкт Петербурга)

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Date: 1844 (circa) London

Dimensions: 13 x 15.25 inches (33.02 x 38.74 cm)

This attractive map of St. Petersburg, Russia, was published in 1844 by the Society for the Diffusion of Useful Knowledge, also referred to as SDUK.

The city of St. Petersburg was officially founded by Peter the Great following capitulation of a number of Swedish strongholds in the area, with Peter himself laying the foundation stones of the Peter and Paul fortress in May of 1703, officially naming the city in honor of St. Peter. The map provides a highly detailed bird’s eye view of the city as it was in the mid-19th century, approximately 150 years after its founding as the ‘window on Europe’ of Russian Tsar Peter the Great.

Often referred to as ‘The Venice of the North’, the city has spread across more than forty islands. This map depicts the original city and its environs as they had developed by the time the map was drawn, covering a much smaller region than the modern day city. It is drawn in detail, naming all streets and showing individual estates and houses. Parks and government buildings are delineated, military facilities drawn in detail, as are its churches and its fortress. The Neva River along with its various channels and canals are drawn in detail. The map reflects its author's intimate knowledge of the city.   

The city grew rapidly and by 1712, Peter decided it was worthy of being named the capital of the Russian Empire, and noble families in Moscow were ordered to build estates in the new capital, thus spurring its growth and culture. The city at the time this map was drawn would have been very European, with French spoken on the streets more than Russian. The map shows the enormous accomplishments of the first century and a half of the city’s existence.


The SDUK was founded in 1828 by Henry Peter Brougham, an idealistic British nobleman. The aim of the society was to promote self-education and egalitarian sharing of knowledge by providing instruments of learning such as maps and various other publications. Despite being affiliated with London University and various major publishing houses, the Society ultimately failed to achieve its goal as the publications were too costly for the targeted middle to lower class echelons of British society. At the same time, its publications were not grand enough or fine enough to appeal to the aristocracy.

Condition: This map is in A condition with original hand coloring. Minor foxing in one area outside the neatline is apparent and margins are full.

Inventory #12326

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