8 Russia as Seen by Foreigners in Early 19th Century

Russia as Seen by Foreigners in Early 19th Century

Posted on October 17, 2014 by tim

What I’ve read about this series of images is that a group of European tourists travelled to Russia in the early to mid 19th century, and to better memorize the things they saw, they decided to make these pictures. Inside you’ll find exactly what they’ve seen, but even looking at the first picture, which seems like a group of shepherds who are grazing a herd of bears inside the Russian city (and bears seem like they are pretty obedient for those guys) this pictures may be a little exaggerated. Or maybe it was really that cool in those times:


This one is called “The Post Office Head.” I guess the one in the flat hat is the chief as the one on the right looks like a slave peasant with a fishing rod (they abolished slave peasants as recently as 1861!). Probably he can’t read and the post chief is reading some bad news to them.

“Giant sturgeon pulled out of the Volga river”. Ok yes, sturgeons were pretty common in those times but were always considered to be a deli food. The sturgeon caviar and meats itself. If this is not another exaggeration, the fish really were big in those times. Also it looks like a fisherman is sitting inside the boat and the boat arrived exactly to the house, so they probably had the houses built right on the water at that time (it’s not allowed now).

“Novgorod city, the market”. Well, just the market, though it is pretty crowded and it looks like they have some sort of a show in the middle, on something that looks like a stage.

“Solovki monastery, as seen from the sea”. We have seen this place a few times. For example, you can see it here.

Moscow. Self-explanatory, actually it’s the Moscow Kremlin, which hasn’t changed much since then, though you can see that they had some sort of eagles or crosses on top of the towers, instead of the red ruby stars that were installed in Soviet times. This link shows you more on the actual replacement operation.

Russian forest. Pretty picturesque, isn’t it?

“Praying before the icons”. People seem to be very strong believers, at least in this image.

“Siberia, deer sledge”. Yes, just a deer sledge. The striped column on the left was used in Russia to measure distances and was called “verst”.

Ok, here we go again. A tough guy vs bears. It’s called “Hunter fights a bear” but see how bad he is – his rifle is on the ground and he is just with a bare knife. It looks like even the bear is terrified. People were probably way tougher back then!

“A dog sledge in Siberia”. When there were no deers, dogs could do the job.


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8 Responses to “Russia as Seen by Foreigners in Early 19th Century”

  1. john says:

    Nice pics

  2. Erik says:

    Man , that is so cool .. Thank you for the look into the
    funny misconceptions of our ancestors .
    The birth of stereotypes .
    Thank you !

  3. Ryan says:

    Nice pictures.. I would have liked to travel anywhere in Europe, the U.S., or Asia during the 1800’s or even early 1900’s..

    I was born in the wrong century :/

  4. Vijay says:

    These look more like drawings than just photo. Very nice stuff, thanks for sharing.

  5. mittens says:

    Russians and bears. I thought those were jokes. I was so wrong.

  6. Tutan Camon says:

    In the picture number two “The Post Office Head” is not a “fishing rod”!!!!!!Is a “gas pedal” for horses!!!

  7. snowdenikoff says:

    No vintage asteroid drawings.

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