City of Torzhok, Cathedral of the Transfigured Saviour; Bell Tower of the Cathedral of the Entry into Jerusalem


In the 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 Torzhok, situated on the Tvertsa River 60 kilometers west of Tver’. Referred to in written sources as early as 1139, Torzhok is among the oldest settlements in central Russia. Its favorable position stimulated medieval trade. The name “Torzhok” comes from the Russian word for trading site. After the founding of Saint Petersburg in 1703, Torzhok saw a renewal of its fortunes when the town became a transit center for supplies moving to the new imperial capital. This prosperity was reflected in the building of major churches. This north view up the Tvertsa River shows the Saints Boris and Gleb side, located on the right bank and named after the town’s largest monastery. In the left foreground is the neoclassical dome and bell tower of the Church of the Entry of Christ into Jerusalem, built in 1842. Visible behind the dome are the four side cupolas of the Transfiguration Cathedral, built in1822. 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. Торжок, Спасо-Преображенский собор и колокольня Входоерусалимского собора]

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