Dabskii Monastery. Built by the Father of Tsarina Tamara in 1175


Although the caption identifies this view as the Dabskii Monastery near Borjomi, a similar image by the same photographer, correctly identified, indicates that this is a vista from the Romanov summer palace of Likani toward the “Petra” fortress, one of three medieval forts in the area. Long part of the Ottoman Empire, the Borjomi area came under Russian control in the 1820s and subsequently developed into a resort destination, widely known for its waters. In 1871 the town was granted to Grand Prince Mikhail Nikolaevich, whose son Nikolai built the Likani Palace. The palace’s entrance columns (with a male figure) are partially visible at the bottom of the photograph. 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. This photograph was taken in 1912, when Prokudin-Gorskii returned to the Caucasus for extensive travel in the area of Georgia. In the mountainous regions of the interior he photographed ancient monuments, as well as the dramatic landscape.

Date Created

Subject Date

Title in Original Language

Дабский монастырь. Постр. отцом царицы Тамары в 1175 г.

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