City of Staritsa. Church of Good Friday. Church of Saint Nicholas the Wonder Worker Is Seen in the Back


In the summer of 1910, Russian photographer Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorskii (1863–1944) traveled and photographed extensively in Tver’ Province northwest of Moscow, including in the town of Staritsa, the population of which in that year was 6,654. Located near the confluence of the Staritsa River with the Volga, Staritsa was founded in 1297 as a fortress by Prince Mikhail Yaroslavich of Tver’ (1272-1318). The town was absorbed into Muscovy in 1485. Seen here is a northwest view of the Church of the Nativity of the Virgin (1750), with large domed chapels extending to the north (left) and south. The church was also referred to as Saint Paraskeva Pyatnitsa after the dedication of one of its altars. In Russia Saint Paraskeva was considered a patroness of trade, and this church overlooked the central market square, bounded by trading arcades visible in the middle. Beyond is the Church of Saint Nicholas (1784–1814), with a bell tower erected in 1843. In the distance is the Volga River with the high slopes of its right bank covered with cultivated fields. 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. Старица. Пятницкая церковь. Сзади видна церковь Св. Николая Чудотворца

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