Shackles with Which Mikhail Nikitich Romanov Was Bound. The Village of Nyrob. Ural


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. This remote location was chosen in 1601 by Tsar Boris Godunov as the place of exile for boyar Mikhail Nikitich Romanov, nephew of Anastasia, the beloved first wife of Ivan the Terrible (1530–84). Placed in a pit, Romanov died from harsh treatment in 1602. 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, both of which were rebuilt in brick in the early 18th century. Seen here are the iron fetters in which the boyar was conveyed from Moscow to Nyrob. The fetters, kept on a shrine pedestal inside the Church of the Epiphany, were photographed against the exterior wall for better lighting. The part of the inscription visible here reads, “Boyar Mikhail Nikitich Romanov.” 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

Цепи, которыми был прикован Михаил Никитич Романов. Село Ныроб. Урал.

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