In the Center Is the Transfiguration (Saint Nicholas) Church, below to the Right the Alexander Chapel, in the Distance the Ascension Church. Taken from the Cathedral of Saints. Boris and Bleb, Staritsa


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. This view toward the southeast, taken from the bell tower of the Cathedral of Saints Boris and Gleb, shows the left (west) bank of the Volga with the town market square. The square is bounded by arcaded shop buildings known as trading rows, a feature of many provincial centers. Just beyond the square is the five-domed Church of Saint Nicholas, built in 1784–1814, with a bell tower erected at the west end of the structure in 1843. On the far right is the Church of the Ascension. Large sandbars are visible in the Volga River. The high slopes of its right bank are 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

[В центре Преображенская (Никольская) церковь, внизу справа Александровская часовня, на заднем плане Вознесенская церковь. Снято от Борисоглебского собора. Старица]

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