Inside the Ruins of Timotis-Ubanskii Monastery


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, including the area around the Borjomi Gorge in present-day south-central Georgia. Among the sites he photographed were a number of Georgian Orthodox Christian shrines, including the Timotesubani Monastery, located in the Borjomi Gorge near the town of Tsaghveri in the Samtskhe-Javakheti region. The main monastery church was built at the turn of the 13th century and was dedicated to the Dormition of the Virgin. The basic structure of the Dormition Church consisted of stout walls constructed of flat local brick in an orange-brown color. Seen in this photograph is a porch built of limestone and attached to the south facade of the church. The limestone blocks display carved ornamentation in a diversity of patterns, including geometric and curvilinear motifs. Above the simple cornice are the remains of a stone slab roof. Attempts have been made to stabilize the porch arches. 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

Внутри развалин Тимотис-Убанскаго монаст.

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

Last updated: October 7, 2016