Palace. Another Facade. Bukhara


Between 1785 and 1920 Bukhara was ruled by eight emirs in the Manghit dynasty. After the Russian capture of Samarkand (1868), the Emirate of Bukhara became a Russian protectorate. The last emir of Bukhara was Said Mir Mohammed Alim Khan, who sat for the photographer of this scene in 1911. Seen here is the main facade of a palace elsewhere identified as the suburban residence of  Emir Shir-Budun near Bukhara. The covered entrance is supported on carved wooden columns. The facade reflects a garish 19th-century attempt to apply traditional decorative motifs to a structure influenced by European design, particularly noticeable in the window design. 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 different parts of the empire. He was interested in recently acquired territories of the Russian Empire such as Turkestan (present-day Uzbekistan and neighboring states), which he visited on a number of occasions, including trips in January 1907 and 1911 to the ancient cities of Bukhara and Samarkand.

Date Created

Subject Date

Title in Original Language

Дворец. Другой фасад. Бухара

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 30, 2016