City of Rzhev. Prince Fedor's Side of the City with the Holy Protectoress Mother of God Church


In the early summer of 1910, Russian photographer Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorskii (1863–1944) traveled and photographed extensively in Tver’ Province northwest of Moscow. Among the towns he visited was Rzhev, the population of which in that year was 22,400. The river divided the town into two parts historically known as Prince Fyodor (left bank) and Prince Dmitrii (right bank), after the son and nephew respectively of Prince Boris of Tver’, who ruled the town in the mid-15th century. This north view of the Prince Fyodor side taken from the Dormition Cathedral bell tower shows a dense district of primarily wooden houses with metal roofs. On the left is the Church of the Intercession, which was built in 1785 in a late provincial baroque style. The church was destroyed during the occupation of the town by German troops during World War II. In the distant right is the cemetery and Dormition Church of the Edinovertsy Old Believers, a group of Orthodox Christians who accepted the authority of the Orthodox Church, but maintained the old rituals following a church reform in the 17th century. Old Believers were very prominent in Rzhev’s flourishing commerce. Prokudin-Gorskii used a special color photography process to create a visual record of the Russian Empire in the early 20th century. Some of his 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

г. Ржев. Кн.-Федоровск. ст. с церковью Покрова Пресвятой Богородицы

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: January 13, 2017