Batumi. Military Cathedral of Alexander Nevsky (Now Razed)


In 1905, Russian photographer Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorskii (1863–1944) traveled and photographed extensively in the Caucasus region. In March 1912, Prokudin-Gorskii returned to Georgia, where he photographed the mountainous interior as well as resorts along the Black Sea coast. Of special interest was the southern region of Adjara, near the Turkish border, with its major port city of Batumi. Conquered by the Ottomans in 1547, Batumi was taken in 1878 by Russian and Georgian forces during the Russo-Turkish War (1877–78). The city entered the Russian Empire after the Treaty of San Stefano and became a duty-free port. Seen here is a southeast view of the Military Cathedral of Saint Alexander Nevsky, begun in 1888 under the patronage of Emperor Alexander III. Completed in 1905 with extensive interior art, the profusely ornamented cathedral is an example of the Russo-Byzantine style. In 1936 the structure was razed and its foundation used in the construction of the Intourist Hotel, which still exists. In the background is Batumi Bay. 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

[Батуми. Войсковой собор Александра Невского (разрушен)]

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