Chapel of Emperor Peter the Great, near the Village of Petrovskoe. Russian Empire


The Mariinskii Canal system (now known as the Volga-Baltic Canal) links Saint Petersburg with the Volga River basin. A critical component of the system was a canal linking the Vytegra River (flowing into Lake Onega toward Saint Petersburg) and the Kovzha River (flowing south into White Lake). In 1799 this segment was named the Mariinskii Canal, which over time was rebuilt and improved. This 1909 photograph shows a memorial chapel dedicated to Tsar Peter I (the Great) in the village of Petrovskoe, located on the canal in the Vytegra region (Vologda Oblast). Peter is reputed to have visited the village in 1711. The rotunda form of the chapel, built of wood, displays a neoclassical style typical of the turn of the 19th century. Birch trees surround the chapel. In the left background the waterway is slightly visible. 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 Императора Петра I около деревни Петровское. [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