Miraculous Icon of Saint Nicholas the Wonder Worker. Church of Saint Nicholas the Wonder Worker, Nyrob


The historic settlement of Nyrob in the northern Urals is located 40 kilometers north of the regional center of Cherdyn. Mentioned in written sources as early as 1579, Nyrob became known as a place of exile. It was there, in 1601, that Tsar Boris Godunov exiled Mikhail Nikitich Romanov, uncle of Mikhail Fedorovich Romanov, who in 1613 became the first tsar of the Romanov dynasty. The death of the elder Romanov in 1602, caused by harsh treatment while in captivity, endowed the site with special significance for the Romanovs, who constructed a number of shrines at Nyrob. According to legend, Nyrob was also the site in the early 17th century of a miraculous appearance of an icon of Saint Nicholas, displayed here. Russian icons traditionally are painted on wood, but as in this example they were often covered with elaborate metal overlays that left visible only the heads and hands of the holy figures. In 1846 a local merchant provided the icon with a frame carved in the grapevine motif. The icon disappeared during the Soviet era. 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

Чудотворная икона Св. Николая Чудотворца. [Храм 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