General View of the Kremlin from the Bell Tower of the Church of All Saints, from the Northwest. Rostov Velikii


In 1911, Russian photographer Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorskii (1863–1944) visited Rostov the Great (Velikii), located some 210 kilometers northeast of Moscow. First mentioned in chronicles under the year 862, Rostov was a major cultural and political center in medieval Russia. Its main landmark is its kremlin (citadel), more precisely known as the Court of the Metropolitan, constructed primarily in the 1670s and 1680s by the powerful prelate Metropolitan Jonah Sysoevich (circa 1607–1690). Prokudin-Gorskii took a series of photographs of the kremlin from the bell tower of the Church of All Saints (razed in the 1930s). This view toward the southeast includes (from left): the Church of the Resurrection, built in 1670 over the North Gate; the Church of the Miraculous Image of the Savior “na Seniakh” (1675); the Church of Saint John the Divine built in 1683 over the West Gate; and the Church of Saint Gregory (1680). In the background is Lake Nero. 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

Общий вид Кремля с колокольни Всесвятской церкви с сев.-зап. Ростов Великий

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: March 3, 2017