Northeast Panorama, Taken from Town Water Tower (Same Viewpoint Used by Sergei Prokudin-Gorskii in 1909), Cherdyn', Russia


This panoramic view of Cherdyn', located in the northern part of Perm' Territory, was taken in 2000 by Dr. William Brumfield, American photographer and historian of Russian architecture, as part of the "Meeting of Frontiers" project at the Library of Congress. The photograph was taken from the same brick water tower (built in 1899) that Sergei Prokudin-Gorskii used in 1909 for a similar northeast view toward the Kolva River. Trees obscure all or part of some the churches visible in the Prokudin-Gorskii view, but both photographs include the Resurrection Cathedral and bell tower (right) and the Church of St. John the Divine (distant left). Wooden houses with iron roofs also appear in both views. Settled as early as the ninth century, Cherdyn' is first mentioned in the Vychega-Vym' chronicle under the year 1451. Its location in the northern Ural Mountains, near the confluence of the Vishera and Kolva rivers (tributaries of the Kama), gave it a favorable position for travel to the far north and over the Urals to Siberia. Cherdyn' was designated a town in 1535, but Moscow's control of the area was tenuous until the conquest of the Kazan' in 1552. In the 17th century, Cherdyn' was overshadowed by Solikamsk to the south, yet it remained a trading center, as reflected in the number of its churches.

Last updated: January 11, 2016