Chapel and Cross from the Time of Peter the Great, in the Village of Sumskoe. Russian Empire


The Mariinskii Canal system (now known as the Volga-Baltic Canal) links Saint Petersburg with the Volga River basin. A major part of the system was the Ladoga Canal, built in 1719–31 to protect ships from the severe storms on Lake Ladoga. The central point on the canal was Novaia Ladoga (New Ladoga), founded by Tsar Peter I (the Great) in 1704. This photograph was taken in 1909 in the village of Sumskoe, located some 30 kilometers to the west of Novaia Ladoga. It shows an open wooden chapel with a commemorative cross dating from the reign of Peter, initiator of the canal system. The chapel has a picket railing protecting the stand with the cross. The modest structure is decorated with carving, including the end boards of the gable, which appears to be supported by a long pole on the left side. The image is by Russian photographer Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorskii (1863–1944), who used a special color photography process to create a visual record of the Russian Empire in the early 20th century. Some of Prokudin-Gorskii’s photographs date from about 1905, but the bulk of his work is from between 1909 and 1915, when, with the support of Tsar Nicholas II and the Ministry of Transportation, he undertook extended trips through many parts of the empire.

Date Created

Subject Date

Title in Original Language

Часовня и крест времени Петра I в деревне Сумское. [Российская империя]

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: September 23, 2016