Greetings from Pre-Revolutionary Ukraine

These postcards show two of largest Ukrainian cities in their last years of Imperial Russian control.  The Kiev postcard, top, shows Khreshchatyk, the city’s main street.   The card was sent from Kiev in July 1908, to a Mrs Alfred Billups at Allendale House, Knights End, March.  “Reached here Monday, leave tonight for Cracow, 24 hours journey from here.  This is a fine old town.  Beautiful country to travel through.”

The second postcard, below, shows the breakwater and lighthouse in Odessa.  Only two years after the postcard was sent, the harbour would be the setting for one of the most famous events of the 1905 Revolution – the arrival of the battleship Potemkin.  The card is written in the challenging Kurrent style and was sent from Odessa to a Munich address in June 1903.

Both postcards have had colour added to them.  The Odessa card, produced by a Dresden company, refers to itself in the bottom right-hand corner as a “hand-coloured artistic letter”.


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