Entrance into the Staritsa Assumption Monastery


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 Staritsa, located near the confluence of the Staritsa River with the Volga. The area’s most significant religious institution was the Dormition Monastery, apparently founded around 1100 on the right (east) bank of the Volga. Destroyed during a Tatar raid in 1292, the monastery was revived in the early 16th century by Prince Andrei Ioannovich of Staritsa. Seen here is a south view of the main entrance at the south monastery wall. A flood in 1810 necessitated the rebuilding of the Holy Gate, which supported the small Church of Saint John the Divine. In 1885, Archimandrite (abbott) Agafangel designed and sponsored the construction of the octagonal Dormition Tower above the gate. The tympanum at the top of the entrance arch depicts the Dormition of the Mother of God. The trefoil figure above the parapet has an image of Christ. 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

Вход в Успенский Старицкий монастырь

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: January 13, 2017