Vodianye Gates and Archbishop's Chambers. Ipatevskii Monastery. Kostroma


In 1911, Russian photographer Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorskii (1863–1944) traveled to the town of Kostroma to photograph at the Trinity-Ipat’evskii Monastery. Seen in this view across the Kostroma River is the monastery’s east wall with the large Archbishop’s Chambers, rebuilt in 1840–63 by the Saint Petersburg church architect Constantine Thon. The leading proponent of the 19th-century Neo-Byzantine style, Thon capped the building with a 12-sided “tent” tower over the Church of Saints Chrysanthus and Daria (third century Roman martyrs). The church rests above the Holy Gate, which was rebuilt in 1767 for a visit of Catherine the Great. Documents indicate that the Water Gate mentioned in the caption was built between 1586 and 1597, but after successive rebuildings of the wall, the gate’s location was conjectural by the time of this photograph. On the left is an east view of the upper part of the mid-17th century Trinity Cathedral. On the right is the Powder Tower in the wall’s northeast corner. 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

Водяныя врата и Архиерейские покои. Ипатьевский монастырь. Кострома

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: March 3, 2017