Church of Saint Nicholas the Wonder Worker, on Podozere. Rostov Velikii


In 1911, the Russian photographer Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorskii (1863–1944) visited the town of Rostov the Great, located some 210 kilometers northeast of Moscow. His many photographs of the historic town include this northwest view of the Church of Saint Nicholas in Podozerye (“near the lake”), located within view of Lake Nero. Simple, even archaic in design, this church, which dates from 1745, possesses a distinctive harmony of parts in its compact form. The main structure has a steep four-sloped roof that culminates in an elongated neck supporting a flared, articulated cupola and a tall cross. The windows have iron shutters. The low refectory attached to the west also has a pitched roof that provides a base for the bell tower and steeple over the main entrance. The entrance is contained within a narthex resembling a chapel with a small pitched roof beneath an orb and cross. This picturesque silhouette is deftly accented by a decorative fence railing and trimmed ornamental trees that line the north façade. 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 Николая Чудотворца на Подозерье. 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: October 24, 2017