1876 Kasprzykiewicz Russian-Polish Bilingual City Plan of Warsaw

Warszawa Варшава / [Warsaw]. - Main View

1876 Kasprzykiewicz Russian-Polish Bilingual City Plan of Warsaw


Defiance and Development in Warsaw.


Warszawa Варшава / [Warsaw].
  1876 (dated)     19.25 x 15.25 in (48.895 x 38.735 cm)     1 : 16800


A scarce 1876 hand-colored lithograph city plan of Warsaw, Poland, in both Polish and Russian, prepared by Feliks Kasprzykiewicz. It is an early edition, likely the first, of Kasprzykiewicz's map of Warsaw, which was revised and reissued in multiple editions into the early 20th century.
A Closer Look
Covering the entirety of contemporary Warsaw and a portion of its hinterland, this map uses color shading to distinguish different city districts. Streets, parks, palaces, cemeteries, neighborhoods, fortifications, rail lines, and other features are noted throughout in both Russian and Polish. At this point, Warsaw was the terminus for three rail lines: one arriving from the west connecting to Vienna and two heading eastwards to St. Petersburg and Brest (via Terespol), respectively. There was no rail connection across the Vistula River, so a nearly four-mile-long horse-drawn tram line was established, connecting Vienna Station (later known as Warszawa Centralna) and St. Petersburg Station in Wileńska. In 1873, construction began on the Citadel Rail Bridge (near its namesake, Warsaw's citadel, towards the top here), completed in 1875, which allowed not only for trains to cross the river but also a transfer point between the standard gauge lines west of the river to the wider Russian gauge lines east of the river.

Though not labeled, churches (and small cemeteries) are indicated with crosses. Among the larger cemeteries that are labeled is Warsaw's Jewish cemetery (Cment. Żydowski) at left. Various other features give a sense of Warsaw's urban life and development at this time, such as the racecourse (miejsce wyścig) towards the bottom-left and the 'tollgates' (rogatki) surrounding the city. These were, in fact, not intended to collect tolls but to act as checkpoints in a line of earthworks surrounding the city (the Lubomirski Ramparts) that were built in the late 18th century to protect Warsaw from outbreaks of plague. The ramparts were leveled in the 1820s and converted to streets, but the 'tollgates' remained.
Defiance and Development
This map was made at a time when Warsaw was undergoing rapid growth and modernization. The rail lines mentioned above, to which more were added in the following years, made the city one of the main rail hubs in Eastern Europe. When completed, the Citadel Rail Bridge was one of Europe's most impressive rail bridges. (It was blown up and rebuilt during World War I (1914 - 1818), then blown up again in 1944 by the Germans as they withdrew across the Vistula.) In the final decades of the 19th century, the city constructed water and sewer systems, streetlights, gas lines, universities, and a system of horsedrawn tramcars (beginning with the rail connection mentioned above), putting Warsaw on par with other major European cities.

However, Warsaw's history in this period was also defined by displeasure and defiance against foreign occupation. Large-scale uprisings in 1830 and 1863 began in the city, resulting in crackdowns that aimed to suppress Polish national identity and replace it with the Russian language and culture. A conspicuous example was the conversion of a cathedral just south of the Krasiński Palace (today the Field Cathedral of the Polish Army) into a Russian Orthodox Church. (It is indicated here with a Russian Cross.)
Publication History and Census
This map was prepared and printed by Feliks Julian Kasprzykiewicz in 1876. The date at the bottom notes the map's approval by censors but is not necessarily the publication date. The curious lack of the already-completed Citadel Rail Bridge suggests that it could not have been published much later than 1876 (a later edition approved by censors in 1878 includes the rail bridge). This map was issued multiple times in the following years with updates added; though never dated, these look to have continued into the early 20th century. Later editions shifted the title to the top-right, added an explanation of the color shading at the bottom and legend at the bottom-right, and included an inset of the wider region around Warsaw at the bottom-left. The present example, therefore, appears to be a very early edition, likely the first edition, as the suggested dates in existing catalog listings are generally from the 1880s and 1890s. Regardless of edition, the map is only noted in the OCLC among the holdings of the University of Chicago, the Bibliothèque Nationale de France, and Warsaw University.


Feliks Julian Kasprzykiewicz (1840 - 1915) was a Polish lithographer, engraver, and publisher of maps based in Wasraw. Little is known of his life and training, but many of his maps were made with Russian text or with both Russian and Polish, reflecting the status of Warsaw as a part of the Russian Empire at the time. Maps continued to be printed under Kasprzykiewicz's name after his death until the early 1930s. More by this mapmaker...


Good. Wear along original folds. Mild foxing (especially at bottom-left) and soiling throughout. Several small border tears professionally repaired.


OCLC 60886402.