Church of the Resurrection – Prokudin-Gorskii



This color photo of this spectacular church in Kostroma was taken in 1910 by Sergei Prokudin-Gorskii.

My name is Connor Williams and this is my first blog post for my 20th Century Russian History class at Virginia Tech.  Here we go…

In the late 19th and early 20th century, Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorskii traveled around the Russian Empire taking COLORED photographs of pretty much anything.  Yes, COLORED photographs, tons of them (which wasn’t cheap), decades before colored photography in the West.  His project was bank-rolled by Tsar Nicholas II of Russia (reign 1894-1917), the last in the line of Romanov rulers who governed Russia for hundreds of years.  He used a brilliant technique of taking multiple photos with different colored filters and then overlaying the photos to a high resolution, highly detailed picture.


The church today, with the frozen Volga in the background.

The photo I chose to write about was taken by Prokudin-Gorskii in 1910, named “Church of the Resurrection in the Grove (from the other side).”  Located in Kostroma, a city that sits on the bank on the Volga River where it meets the Kostroma River, the church is known for onion domes, bright colors, and interior frescoes.  Built in 1652, the church is a prime example of 17th century Russian architecture, with the intricate and decorative designs on the outside of then building and familiar multiple domed towers.

Komstroma was of particular importance to the Romanovs, especially the Ipatiev Monastery (a Hypatian monastery) and the Church of the Nativity of the Virgin which Prokudin-Gorskii also photographed in 1910.  There is even a monument to Mikhail Romanov in the city square.  Mikhail and his mother once took refuge within the monastery, just before he became Tsar in 1613.  The structures of the monastery have a very similar appearance to the Church of the Resurrection.



Photos and image information: Library of Congress,

More background history:


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