Chapel from the Time of Peter the Great, near Kivach Waterfall. Suna River


The Murmansk Railroad was built by the Russian government during World War I to connect Petrograd (Saint Petersburg) to the ice-free port of Romanov-on-Murman (now Murmansk). Construction lasted from 1914 to the spring of 1917 when the line was completed. Shown here along the route is a wooden chapel at the village of Vikshitsa, near the Kivach Waterfall in Karelia. In the background is Lake Pertozero, set within of a forest of aspen, birch, and conifers. The chapel is identified as dating from the time of Peter the Great (early 18th century), but its condition as well as the size of the windows suggest the 19th century. However, the basic design with a bell cote over the entrance could have existed during the time of Peter, as evidenced by the Chapel of the Miraculous Image of the Savior from Vigovo village, built around 1700 and now displayed on Kizhi Island. 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 scenes along the new railroad. During his work on the project he also photographed the natural wonders of the regions he visited.

Date Created

Subject Date

Title in Original Language

Часовня времени Петра I у водопада Кивач. [Река Суна]

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