Skip To Content

    29 Photos Of Russia You Won't Believe Are 100 Years Old

    Photographer Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorskii (1863-1944) made a survey of the Russian Empire with the support of Tsar Nicholas II. He used a special camera with red, green, and blue filters, which allowed them to be recombined and projected with filtered lanterns that nearly show their true color.

    All images courtesy of the Library of Congress.

    1.

    Prokudin-Gorskii Collection / Library of Congress

    Armenian woman in national costume poses for Prokudin-Gorskii on a hillside near Artvin (in present day Turkey), circa 1910.

    2.

    Prokudin-Gorskii Collection / Library of Congress

    Emir Seyyid Mir Mohammed Alim Khan, the Emir of Bukhara, seated holding a sword in Bukhara, (present-day Uzbekistan), 1910.

    3.

    Prokudin-Gorskii Collection / Library of Congress

    Prokudin-Gorskii self portrait beside the Karolitskhali River, in the Caucasus Mountains near Batumi.

    4.

    Prokudin-Gorskii Collection / Library of Congress

    Kasli Iron Works, 1910.

    5.

    Prokudin-Gorskii Collection / Library of Congress

    Prokudin-Gorskii on a handcar, outside Petrozavodsk on the Murmansk railway along Lake Onega near Petrozavodsk in 1910.

    6.

    Prokudin-Gorskii Collection / Library of Congress

    Sim River, part of the Volga watershed in 1910.

    7.

    Prokudin-Gorskii Collection / Library of Congress

    A chapel on the site where the city of Belozersk was founded, 1909.

    8.

    Prokudin-Gorskii Collection / Library of Congress

    Tblisi, Georgia from the grounds of Saint David Church, circa 1910.

    9.

    Prokudin-Gorskii Collection / Library of Congress

    Isfandiyar Jurji Bahadur, Khan of the Russian protectorate of Khorezm (now a part of modern Uzbekistan), 1910.

    10.

    Prokudin-Gorskii Collection / Library of Congress

    Peasants harvesting hay, Mariinskii Canal, 1909.

    11.

    Prokudin-Gorskii Collection / Library of Congress

    A man and woman in Dagestan, circa 1910.

    12.

    Prokudin-Gorskii Collection / Library of Congress

    Georgian woman, 1910.

    13.

    Prokudin-Gorskii Collection / Library of Congress

    Women in Dagestan, 1910.

    14.

    Prokudin-Gorskii Collection / Library of Congress

    Pinkhus Karlinskii, 84 years old with 66 years of service. Supervisor of Chernigov floodgate, 1909.

    15.

    Prokudin-Gorskii Collection / Library of Congress

    Artvin (now in Turkey) from the small town of Svet, circa 1910.

    16.

    Prokudin-Gorskii Collection / Library of Congress

    Nikolaevskii Cathedral from southwest Mozhaisk in 1911.

    17.

    Prokudin-Gorskii Collection / Library of Congress

    A group of Jewish children with a teacher in Samarkand, (modern Uzbekistan), 1910.

    18.

    Prokudin-Gorskii Collection / Library of Congress

    A switch operator on the Trans-Siberian Railroad, near the town of Ust Katav on the Yuryuzan River, 1910.

    19.

    Prokudin-Gorskii Collection / Library of Congress

    Workers and supervisors preparing to pour cement for sluice dam foundation across the Oka River near Belomut, 1912.

    20.

    Prokudin-Gorskii Collection / Library of Congress

    Uzbek woman in purdah in Samarkand, Uzbekistan, circa 1910.

    21.

    Prokudin-Gorskii Collection / Library of Congress

    Mezhevaya Utka, 1912.

    22.

    Prokudin-Gorskii Collection / Library of Congress

    Sim River, 1910.

    23.

    Via Prokudin-Gorskii Collection / Library of Congress

    Water-carrier in Samarkand (present-day Uzbekistan), circa 1910.

    24.

    Via Prokudin-Gorskii Collection / Library of Congress

    Lake Lindozero in 1910.

    25.

    Via Prokudin-Gorskii Collection / Library of Congress

    Factory in Kyn, Russia, 1912.

    26.

    Via Prokudin-Gorskii Collection / Library of Congress

    Russian children near White Lake, 1909.

    27.

    Prokudin-Gorskii Collection / Library of Congress

    Sukhumi, Abkhazia and its bay from Cherniavskii Mountain, 1910.

    28.

    Prokudin-Gorskii Collection / Library of Congress

    Ural mountains, 1910.

    29.

    Prokudin-Gorskii Collection / Library of Congress

    Court of Tillia-Kari mosque in Samarkand, present-day Uzbekistan, circa 1910.

    BuzzFeed Daily

    Keep up with the latest daily buzz with the BuzzFeed Daily newsletter!

    Newsletter signup form