Petrozavodsk. General View from the Railroad


Construction of a new railroad to the ice-free port of Murmansk lasted from 1914 to the spring of 1917, when it was connected to the capital, Petrograd. Among the towns in this northern area along the route was Petrozavodsk (“Peter’s factory”), founded in September 1703, just four months after Saint Petersburg. This panoramic view toward the northeast, taken from Golikovka Station, includes the white churches and administrative buildings of the central part of town, as well as the area of wooden houses to the southwest of the Alexandrovsky Factory, whose red metal roofs are just visible. The largest church (on left) is the Cathedral of the Descent of the Holy Spirit. To its right is the Church of Saint Alexander Nevskii. Beyond are the towers of the Resurrection Cathedral and the Church of Saints Peter and Paul. In the background is the view across to the other side of Petrozavodsk Bay. 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 different parts of the empire. Support for his work was renewed during the First World War, and in 1916 he was commissioned to photograph this new railroad project.

Date Created

Subject Date

Title in Original Language

Петрозаводск. Об. вид с жел. дороги (Олонецк)

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