World War I drastically changed the face of Europe and set the stage of the even more staggering changes wrought by World War II.
Before the start of World War I, just over a hundred years ago in 1914, European empires still controlled vast swathes of territory, Communist revolutions had yet to spread across the globe, and the Russian Empire controlled Finland, the Baltics, Ukraine, and large portions of Poland.
The following photos, from the Prokudin-Gorskii Collection in the Library of Congress, offers an amazing glimpse into pre-Communist revolution Russia. The photos were taken throughout the Russian Empire between 1905 and 1915 and have been colorized to to give a unique view of what life was like during the last days of the empire.
A view of the Assumption of the Mother of God Church in Deviatiny, which was 200 years old when the photo was taken in 1909.
Andrei Petrov Kalganov, a former master at a production plant, poses in regalia, after being able to present bread and salt to His Imperial Majesty, the Sovereign Emperor Nicholas II.
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.
A side view of Trinity Cathedral and the electric station at the Solovetskii Monastery, Solovetski Islands.
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