Old Chapel on a Street in the City of Ostashkov


In May 1910, Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorskii (1863–1944) photographed extensively in the Ostashkov region of Tver Province, giving special attention to Ostashkov itself. Granted formal status as a town in 1770, Ostashkov also gained a new, regular plan, made by the architect Ivan Starov as part of Catherine the Great’s extensive reforms of provincial centers. The new plan required the demolition of the remains of medieval earthen ramparts. Residents chose to memorialize the fortress with rampart pillars (valskii stolpyi) that served as chapels, with icons on the facade. The first of these was erected in 1785, and three others soon followed. Seen here is one (not preserved) in a view toward Lake Seliger on the former Theater Street. The whitewashed brick house on the right rests of a foundation of large fieldstone. The soil did not provide a firm base, as can be seen from the foreshortened red house on the right, the center of which center is sagging. 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

Осташков, угол ул. Орловского и переулка Любы Богомоловой (ранее Театральная улица и 14-й переулок)

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