Cemetery Church of the Exaltation of the Cross. Ostashkov


In May 1910, Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorskii (1863–1944) photographed extensively in the Ostashkov region of Tver Province. Seen here is the cemetery Church of the Elevation of the Cross, built in 1781 on the southern outskirts of Ostashkov. The main structure of this neoclassical building rises to a rotunda form supporting a large dome capped with a lantern and cupola. A one-story refectory leads to an octagonal bell tower over the main entrance at the west end. Also visible is a decorated chimney from the large stoves that heated the interior in the winter. Although Ostashkov was not occupied during World War II, it was near the front line from the fall of 1941 until early 1943 and subjected to frequent German bombardment. During that time, the abandoned church was damaged. In the 1960s, the expansion of Ostashkov to the south led to the razing of the church and the cemetery. Prokudin-Gorskii used a special color photography process to create a visual record of the Russian Empire. 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.

Date Created

Subject Date

Title in Original Language

Кладбищенская Крестовоздвиженская церковь. Осташков

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: October 3, 2016