Stone Gate and Uzvarian Fortress
In 1905, Russian photographer Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorskii (1863–1944) traveled and photographed extensively in the Caucasus region. In 1912, Prokudin-Gorskii returned to photograph the dramatic landscape and ancient monuments of the mountainous interior of the Caucasus region. He also photographed Borjomi (formerly known as Borzhom), located in the Borjomi Gorge in present-day south-central Georgia. Long occupied by the Ottoman Empire, Borjomi came under Russian control in the 1820s and developed into a resort known for its waters. Beginning in 1871, the town was developed by Grand Duke Mikhail Nikolaevich (1832–1909), Governor General of Caucasia between 1862 and 1882. Nikolaevich played a major role in transforming Borjomi into a destination for the elite of Russia. Although the caption identifies this photograph as showing an Uzvarian stone gate and fortress, this view shows the ruins of a stone gatehouse located at the village of Daba. Composed of fitted fieldstone, the gate leads to an outcropping of weathered tufa limestone with a cross at the crown. Seated near the top is a Russian visitor; he wears a light summer jacket. The ruins, which have not been preserved, are typical of the strong points that controlled access to gorges in the area. The steep slopes seen in the background are covered with conifer trees. 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.
Title in Original Language
Каменныя ворота и крепость Узвариан
Type of Item
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: October 7, 2016