Former Mansion of the Grand Dukes, Today the Archbishop's House. Riazan


The ancient city of Riazan is first mentioned in chronicles in 1096. Riazan became the center of a principality that existed from the early 12th century to the beginning of the 16th century. After its destruction in 1237 by the Mongol khan Baty, Riazan arose at another location, 60 kilometers from its original site. This 1912 view shows the building popularly known as the Grand Ducal Palace. At the top of the main facade is a medallion depicting the 14th-century Prince Oleg. The structure in fact was built only in 1653–55 for Archbishop Misail, and could not have been associated with Oleg. (The medallion was effaced during the Soviet period.) The main facade of the archbishop’s palace was completed in 1692 with elements of baroque decoration. The structure itself was expanded in the latter 17th and 18th centuries. Visible on the right is part of the Cathedral of Archangel Michael, constructed in the 1470s. The image is by Russian photographer Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorskii (1863–1944), who used a special color photography process to create a visual record of the Russian Empire in the early 20th century. 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 parts of the empire.

Date Created

Subject Date

Title in Original Language

Бывший дворец великих князей, ныне архиерейский дом. Рязань

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: September 22, 2015