Orto-Batumi. A Turkish House


In 1905 and again in 1912, Russian photographer Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorskii (1863–1944) traveled and photographed extensively in the Caucasus region. The locations he visited in the spring of 1912 included the developing Black Sea resort area of Sochi, located on the small Sochi River just to the north of the border with Georgia. Settled for millennia, the Sochi area was taken into the Russian Empire following the Russo-Turkish War of 1828–29. Pacification of the area in preparation for Russian settlement involved the construction of forts such as Aleksandriia, built in 1838 on the site of the future Sochi. Following the Crimean War, these fortifications were rebuilt under the name Dakhovskii Posad, and in 1896 the settlement was renamed after the Sochi River. In this image, the two-story building with a balcony nestled among tall poplar trees is identified as a Turkish house, indicative of the ethnic diversity of the region. Visible in the background is the dome and bell tower of the Cathedral of Archangel Michael, built in 1874–90 to a design by Aleksandr Kaminskii. 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

Орто-Батум. Турецкий дом

Additional Subjects

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