Chapel on the Site Where the City of Belozersk Was Founded in Ancient Times. Belozersk, Russian Empire


The Mariinskii Canal system (now known as the Volga-Baltic Waterway) links Saint Petersburg with the Volga River basin. Among the major components of the waterway is White Lake in Vologda Oblast. At its southeastern end, the lake is drained by the Sheksna River, a tributary of the Volga. Shown here is a wooden chapel located near the village of Krokhino at the origin of the Sheksna. The chapel was dedicated to Saint Basil the Great and commemorated what was considered to be an earlier site of the medieval town of Beloozero (now called Belozersk). The chapel and the village of Krokhino, as well as valuable archeological sites, were submerged in the early 1950s with the formation of the Sheksna Reservoir on the Volga-Balt. This photograph of 1909 is, therefore, a unique record of the chapel and the archeological landscape surrounding it. 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 на месте, где был в древнее время основан г. Белозерск. [Белозерск, 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