Old Church of Saint Nicholas the Wonder Worker. Nyrob


In 1909 and 1910, Russian photographer Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorskii (1863–1944) traveled extensively in the territory around the Ural Mountains, where he photographed railroad installations, factories, urban settings, and natural landscapes. During his visit to the northern Urals (apparently in 1912), Prokudin-Gorskii visited the settlement of Nyrob, located near the Kolva River, around 160 kilometers north of Solikamsk. Because of its remote location, Nyrob was chosen in 1601 by Tsar Boris Godunov as the place of exile for the boyar Mikhail Nikitich Romanov, nephew of Anastasia, the beloved first wife of Ivan the Terrible (1530–84). In 1602, Romanov died from harsh treatment in Nyrob. After the founding of the Romanov dynasty in 1613, the site of his death was venerated with two log churches dedicated to the Epiphany and to Saint Nicholas. Rebuilt in brick in 1704–05, the Church of Saint Nicholas displays florid ornamentation in a Moscow style, from the large window surrounds and the arcaded cornice to the drums beneath the five onion domes. This view of the church from the northeast shows the apse extending from the east facade with a small dome to indicate the altar. 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

Старый храм во имя Св. Николая Чудотворца. [Ныроб]

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 http://www.loc.gov/pictures/collection/prok/.

Last updated: September 28, 2016