Sacred Well inside Courtyard in Bogoeddin. Bukhara


This richly detailed winter photograph shows a courtyard at the complex containing the tomb of Sheikh Bakhauddin Nakshbandi (1318–89), a venerated sage of the Sufi Nakshbandi order. In 1544 Bakhauddin’s burial site at Baha al-Din, near Bukhara (in present-day Uzbekistan), was enshrined within a large khanaka (memorial structure). Mosques and a minaret were added in the 18th and 19th centuries. Seen here is a well covered by a miniature structure with domed columns at the corners. On the facades are remnants of ceramic tiles with star motifs, while the columns display interlocking patterns in carved terra-cotta. In the background is the iwan (porch) of a 19th-century mosque. The wooden columns supporting the roof have complex capitals of several carved segments. 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 interested in recently acquired territories of the Russian Empire such as Turkestan, which he visited on a number of occasions, including trips in 1907 and 1911 to the ancient city of Bukhara.

Date Created

Subject Date

Title in Original Language

Священный колодезь внутри двора в Богоеддине. 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