View of the Pomod Rock from the Water Tower. Cherdyn


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. His visit to the northern Urals in the summer of 1912 included a trip to Cherdyn, located 310 kilometers north of the city of Perm. By the time this photograph was taken, Cherdyn, which was situated on the Kolva River, was a regional trade and administrative center. This view to the east, taken from the town water tower, shows a mixture of houses and utilitarian structures such as barns, sheds, and warehouses that supported the commerce of the town. Some of the houses seen here are constructed of brick and were likely built by local merchants to be both residence and store. In the center of the photograph is a new brick warehouse surrounded by dilapidated wooden sheds. In the foreground are fenced plots, carefully tilled for summer planting. In the adjacent plot in the center, men are working with cut timber. On the far left, houses are situated on a high, grassy bluff overlooking the Kolva. Just visible beyond those houses is a small white chapel situated on the river flood plain. In the hazy background is the dim form of Poliud Mountain, the highest point in the area. 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 с водопроводной башни на камень Помод. Чердынь

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