Vitebsk. Assumption Cathedral


The history of this cathedral goes back to the early 15th century, when the Russian Orthodox Church of the Assumption was built at the confluence of the Vit'ba and West Dvina rivers. The church later was torn down, rebuilt, and burned. Construction of the new Assumption Cathedral and Monastery began in 1743, when Vitebsk was part of the Polish Commonwealth. Designed by the architect Anton (Osip) Fontana, it was completed in 1785, 13 years after the first partition of Poland had resulted in the transfer of Vitebsk to the Russian Empire. As with many churches built on the territory of present-day Belarus, at different times the cathedral served as a Russian Orthodox church and a Roman Catholic church, depending upon the power that controlled the city. The Jewish painter Marc Chagall was born and raised in Vitebsk and included the cathedral in his 1917 work, “The Marketplace.” After the Russian Revolution, the cathedral became the property of the state and was demolished in the 1930s. Construction of a new Assumption Cathedral began in 2000.

Date Created

Subject Date


Title in Original Language

Витебск. Успенский кафедральный собор

Additional Subjects

Type of Item

Physical Description

Glass negative (presented as a digital color composite)


  • Prokudin-Gorskii’s photographic work survives primarily in two forms: 1,901 black-and-white triple-frame glass plate negatives, made with color separation filters, which Prokudin-Gorskii used to make color prints and lantern slides; and 12 albums of sepia-tone prints, made from the glass negatives, which Prokudin-Gorskii compiled as a record of his travels and studies. The Library of Congress purchased the glass plate negatives and the albums from the Prokudin-Gorskii family in 1948. In 2004, the Library of Congress had digital color composites made from all the surviving glass negatives using a software algorithm to automatically align the color components. As with most historical photographs, title and subject identifications are corrected and enhanced through new research. Current information on the collection is at

Last updated: November 7, 2017