One of the main stars of photography in the country was Sergei Prokudin-Gorsky, an inventor of his own way of taking color pictures. He traveled all across the country and gathered a collection of landscapes and portraits of locals - and then showed them to Emperor Nicholas II. Pictured below: A man living in a hut in the Urals.
Mullah and his students in the Caucasian city of Artvin (now Turkey).
And the Romanov family themselves became keen on this new fashionable hobby and took many photos of each other. Nicholas II with daughters and mother, Dowager Empress Maria Feodorovna, 1912
Nicholas II playing tennis with his daughter Grand Duchess Tatyana.
Tsar Nicholas II reviewing regiments
Nicholas II was a passionate hunter…
In 1912, Russia welcomed an honored guest, Nicholas I, King of Montenegro. Pictured with his entourage in Petersburg’s Winter Palace.
Bodyguards of Nicholas I of Montenegro on duty at the railway station.
The year 1912 also marked the 100th anniversary of the victory over Napoleonic France. Russia celebrated it and below you can see the massive service on Moscow’s Red Square.
And, by the way, there was a short time (1909-1930) when a tram had its route right across the Red Square! Can you imagine that?
The amount of schools for women was increasing rapidly. Pictured: A group portrait of students of the female gymnasium in St. Petersburg, named after Princess of Oldenburg, who was a member of the Romanov family and the school’s patron.
And here are provincial gymnasium students from Nizhny Novgorod.
In 1912, a monument to Nicholas II’s father, Emperor Alexander III, was unveiled in Moscow. But, very soon after the 1917 Bolshevik Revolution, it was demolished.
A busy wharf in Nizhny Novgorod, a big trade city on the Volga River.
Women riding a carriage in the Urals city of Chelyabinsk.
Locals see off the Urals Cossacks to their summer military camp.
On April 4, 1912, a solar eclipse occured. And, of course, citizens of St. Petersburg lined up to watch the natural phenomenon.
A busy day at the Birzhevyie Vedomosti (‘Stock Exchange News’) newspaper office. Such a vivid photo could have been taken yesterday!
The newspaper distribution with the help of these hand cars.
Girls in hats.
An urban scene.
Before the Revolution, the Russian Empire several times arranged a massive population census. Pictured below is the census commission and staff.
An Arkhangelsk family portrait. Pay attention to the Emperor Nicholas II portrait on the wall.
Each year, the Russian royal house initiated the White Chamomile Day to crowdfund money for curing tuberculosis. Sometimes, it turned into a flash mob.
And the tsar’s kids took part, too.
A gift store in Moscow.
In 1912, Georgy Sedov started his first ever Russian Arctic exploring expedition. Below, he’s pictured aboard his ‘Saint Phocas the Martyr’ ship.
Automobiles were gaining popularity and, of course, members of the Romanov family were some of the first to use them. Pictured is cousin of Nicholas II, Grand Duke Dmitri Pavlovich… who later will join in the murder of Grigory Rasputin.
The traffic was so intensive that, of course, road accidents happened. Pictured below are rescue works pulling a car out of the Moika River, St. Petersburg.
And this is one of the first photographic advertisements in the Russian Empire. A picture of this gorgeous three-year-old stallion was taken for a horse factory.
Almost an Instagram story: caring for a newborn child.
These strong guys were participants of an international wrestling competition in St. Petersburg’s circus.
Photographer Viktor Bulla interviewing heavyweight champion Nikolai Vakhturov, one of the strongest wrestlers in the world.
Bicycle assembling for the Pobeda trade house.
Soldiers sleeping on a night train.
Famous singer of this time, Feodor Chaliapin pictured boating with family
Prima ballerina of Petersburg’s Mariinsky Theater and one of the most recognizable Russian ballet dancer, Anna Pavlova.
If using any of Russia Beyond's content, partly or in full, always provide an active hyperlink to the original material.
to our newsletter!
Get the week's best stories straight to your inbox