35 Rare Colour Photos Of The Russian Empire 100 Years Ago

Russia went $US39 billion over budget in staging this year’s winter Sochi Olympics, making them the most expensive Olympics by far.

And while the games continue amid rumours of corruption and a bizarre opening ceremony, we thought we’d take a look back at what Russia was like 100 years ago.

These early colour pictures of Russia were taken by photographer Sergei Mikhailovish Prokudin-Gorskii. The Russian master left behind over 2,600 of his amazing photographs of the Russian Empire between 1909 and 1915.

The Prokudin-Gorskii Collection at the Library of Congress shows the ethnographic and geographic diversity of the vast Russian Empire through images of people, religious architecture, pastoral views, and transportation and agricultural workers.

He made numerous photographic trips throughout his lifetime, travelling thousands of miles across the expansive Russian Empire. The resulting “near true colour” images are his incredible legacy.

Here is Sergeĭ Mikhaĭlovich Prokudin-Gorskiĭ himself (on the right) sitting with two men in Cossak dress.

Four people sit on a carpet in front of a backdrop of textiles.

An Armenian woman in what is now present-day Turkey.

A man sits on the ground next to his camel loaded with packs.

Men work on iron casts in this factory.

A camel caravan carries thorns for fodder in what is now Uzbekistan.

A chapel in the town of Belozersk.

A view of Tiflis, Georgia.

A Khan sitting in what is now Uzbekistan.

A young boy near the Sim River in Russia.

Alternators in a factory in modern-day Turkmenistan.

A woman wearing traditional dress poses for a photograph.

A group of women in Dagestan pose for Prokudin-Gorskiĭ in Russia.

A.P. Kalganov poses with his son and granddaughter at the Zlatoust arms plant.

Supervisor of the Chernigov floodgate poses on a raft.

View of the Nikolaevskii Cathedral.

A group of children learning in a Russian street.

A group of men eat at an open-air restaurant in modern-day Samarkand, Uzbekistan.

A woman in a purdah waits outside a doorway in Russia.

A Muslim teacher with his female students near the Artomelinskaia mosque in Artvin, modern-day Turkey.

The wharf at Mezhevaya Utka in Russia.

Workers take a break from harvesting hay in Russia.

Three young women offer berries to visitors to their izba, a traditional wooden house, in a rural area along the Sheksna River, near the town of Kirillov.

Workers on the Murmansk railway in Russia.

A water carrier poses for Prokudin-Gorskiĭ in the street.

A factory in Kyn, Russia.

Men working in a packing section of a mineral water warehouse in Borzhom.

Children sit near a church on White Lake in Russia.

The Emir of Bukhara holds a sword in Bukhara, present-day Uzbekistan.

Part of the Trans-Siberian Railway in Russia.

Workers outside the mechanical shops for the finishing of artistic castings in Russia.

Nomadic Kirghiz, a Turkic people, in Russia.

A man and woman in Dagestan pose for the photographer.

A boy sits next to a mosque in present-day Uzbekistan.

And a family, with shovels and horse-drawn carts, works at the iron mines in the Bakaly hills.

How about 40 years ago in America?

NOW WATCH: Executive Life videos

Business Insider Emails & Alerts

Site highlights each day to your inbox.

Follow Business Insider Australia on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram.