Monastery of the Sign in Ostashkov, Tver' Province


In May 1910, Russian photographer Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorskii (1863–1944) traveled and photographed extensively in the Ostashkov region of Tver Province to the northwest of Moscow. Ostashkov is located on the southern end of Lake Seliger and was was connected both to the Volga River basin and to the city of Velikiy Novgorod in the northwest. At the end of the 17th century, this advantage led to major growth that contributed to church construction. Seen here is a southwest view of the Convent of the Icon of the Virgin of the Sign (Znamenie), established in 1673 on the shore of Lake Seliger. In the center is the Cathedral of the Ascension, whose original structure arose in the mid-18th century. After a fire that destroyed much of Ostashkov in 1868, the cathedral and its bell tower were rebuilt in a decorative “Russian Revival” style. The whitewashed brick wall and corner tower chapel were built in 1760. In the background is the dome of the Gate Church of the Tikhvin Icon of the Virgin, built in 1793 and no longer standing. 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

[Знаменский монастырь в Осташкове Тверской губернии]

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