View of Kasli


From 1909 to 1912, Russian photographer Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorskii (1863–1944) made several trips to the territory around the Ural Mountains, where he photographed railroad installations, factories, urban settings, and natural scenes. Among the towns Prokudin-Gorskii visited in 1909 was Kasli (in present-day Chelyabinsk Oblast). Kasli had a number of metalworking plants, including a large iron foundry that still functions and is renowned for its cast iron work. The dominant feature in this photograph is the five-domed Church of the Ascension, seen from the west with its soaring bell tower. Built in 1843–55 by the architect Ernst Sartorius, the church remained largely intact during the Soviet period. To the north (left) is the smaller Church of Saint Nicholas, built with five cupolas (no longer extant) in 1858–61. In the left foreground is the shadow of the bell tower of yet another church, dedicated to the Dormition. In the center are rows of wooden houses with vegetable gardens in enclosed back yards. On the right is a pond that extends from Big Kasli Lake. Prokudin-Gorskii used a special color photography process to create a visual record of the Russian Empire in the early 20th century. Some of his 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.

Date Created

Subject Date

Title in Original Language

Вид на Касли

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 28, 2016