Church on the Site of Saint Leontii's Murder. View, from the Bell Tower, of Savior-Iakovlevskii Monastery. Rostov Velikii


In 1911, the Russian photographer Sergei Mikhalovich Prokudin-Gorskii (1863–1944) visited Rostov the Great, a located some 210 kilometers northeast of Moscow and first mentioned in chronicles under the year 862. This photograph, taken from the the bell tower of the Savior–Saint James (Spaso–Iakovlevskii) Monastery, shows the west view of the Church of the Archangel Michael, built in 1758 on the site where, according to a disputed legend, Bishop Leontii of Rostov was killed around 1070 by a pagan mob. Beyond is the north shore of Lake Nero with the Rostov kremlin, or citadel, constructed primarily in the 1670s and 1680s. The dominant structure at the left center is the five-domed Dormition Cathedral (1508–12). To the right are churches and towers of the kremlin, including the Church of the Resurrection (1670) over the North Gate, the Church of Saint John the Divine (1683) over the West Gate, and the Church of the Miraculous Image of the Savior (1675) with a high single dome. On the far right is the Nativity of the Virgin Convent. At the beginning of the 20th century, Prokudin-Gorskii used a special color photography process to create a visual record of the Russian Empire on the eve of the Russian revolution. Some of Prokudin-Gorskii’s 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

Церковь на месте убиения Свят. Леонтия. Вид с колокольни Спасо-Яковлевск. мон. 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: May 23, 2017