Cathedral of the Assumption of the Holy Mother of God, Zubtsov


In the early 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 Zubtsov. Located at the confluence of the Vazuza and Volga Rivers, Zubtsov is first referred to in medieval chronicles under the year 1216. This view toward the northeast from the right bank of the Volga River shows the neoclassical Cathedral of the Dormition, completed in 1801 to replace a wooden church on the site. Empress Catherine the Great provided 7,000 rubles for its construction. The cathedral had two secondary altars, one dedicated to Saint Alexander Nevsky and one to Mary Magdalene. Set in a grove of birch trees, the cathedral territory was enclosed by a white brick wall. In the center is the main (west) entrance gate and the parish house (left). The Dormition Cathedral is the only church in Zubtsov to survive World War II in its original form. 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

[Собор Успения Пресвятой Богородицы в Зубцове]

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 11, 2017