Emir's Palace in the Kari Grove near Bukhara


After the Russian capture of Samarkand (1868), the Emirate of Bukhara remained nominally independent but in fact became a Russian protectorate linked to settlements along the Trans-Caspian Railway. Russian authorities rendered substantial services to the emir (ruler), including the construction of buildings for his palace compound. Seen here is a new structure solidly built on a masonry foundation and identified as “the Emir’s palace in the Kari Garden near Bukhara.” Although not the main palace, it is of considerable size. The structure combines standard European design with an arcade of pointed arches to signify its importance to the local culture. 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. Prokudin-Gorskii was particularly interested in recently acquired territories of the Russian Empire such as Turkestan, which he visited on a number of occasions, including a trip in January 1907 to the ancient cities of Bukhara and Samarkand.

Date Created

Subject Date

Title in Original Language

Дворец Эмира в саду Кари близ Бухары

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 30, 2016