top    

Historical Photos from the Pamir Archhive

 

With thanks to Markus Hauser
For higher resolution copies for professional or editorial use please contact pamirmountains(at)yahoo.com

Russian Officers and Politicians

 

pamirs historical photos Konstantin Petrovich von Kaufman

Konstantin Petrovich von Kaufman (1818–1882) Governor General of Turkestan 1867–1881
pamirs historical photos Mikhail Grigorievich Chernyayev

General Mikhail Grigorievich Chernyayev (1828–1898) - Governor General of Turkestan 1882-1884 (together with Konstantin Kaufman and Mikhail Skobelev, led the Russian conquest of Central Asia under Alexander II)
pamirs historical photos Mikhail Dmitrievich Skobelev

General Mikhail Dmitrievich Skobelev (1843–1882)
pamirs historical photos Nikolai Grigorievich Stoletov

Major-General Nikolai Grigorievich Stoletov (1834-1912) - the British took his mission to Kabul in 1878 as the pretext for the Second Afghan War
pamirs historical photos Ivan Vasilievich Mushketov

Ivan Vasilievich Mushketov (1850-1902) - a geologist, one of the first military explorers of the Pamirs 1874-80
pamirs historical photos Grumm-Grshimailo

Grigorii Efimovich Grumm-Grshimailo (1860–1936) - eminent lepidopterist, a glacier in the Pamirs is named after him pamirs historical photos Dmitrii L'vovich Ivanov

Dmitrii L'vovich Ivanov (1846-1924) - reached Sarez in 1883, published first study of the Shughni language
pamirs historical photos Bronislav Ludwigovich Grombchevsky

Bronislav Ludwigovich Grombchevsky (1855–1926) - raised British suspicions by visiting the Mir of Hunza in 1888, met Francis Younghusband near Yarkand
pamirs historical photos Mikhail Efremovich Ionov

Captain Mikhail Efremovich Ionov (1846-1923) - commander of the famous Pamirs flying detachment, met Francis Younghusband in the Wakhan in 1891
pamirs historical photos Adrian Georgievich Serebrennikov

Adrian Georgievich Serebrennikov (1863 – 1918) - military orientologist and engineer, built Russian bases at Pamirskiy Post and Khorog
pamirs historical photos Alexander Genrikhovich Skersky

Captain Alexander Genrikhovich Skersky - first commander of Pamirskiy Post and subesquently of Khorog military base
pamirs historical photos Sergei Petrovich Vannovsky

Captain Sergei Petrovich Vannovsky - surveyed the Bartang valley in 1893
pamirs historical photos Nikolai Fedorovich Petrovsky

Nikolai Fedorovich Petrovsky (1837-1908) - Russian Consul in Kashgar
pamirs historical photos Edward Karlovich Kivekes

Captain Edward Karlovich Kivekes 1866-1940 - Commander of the Khorog garrison 1897-1902
pamirs historical photos Edward Karlovich Kivekes Gulbegim

Kivekes and his wife adopted a Pamiri girl, Gulbegim, and took her back with them to his native Finland (photo from 1914)
pamirs historical photos Andrei Yevgenevich Snessarev

Andrei Yevgenevich Snessarev 1865-1937 - Commander of the Khorog garrison from 1902 to 1908 and author of several works on the people of the Pamirs
pamirs historical photos Pamirs flying detachment at their base in New Marghilan

"Pamirs flying detachment" at their base in New Marghilan
pamirs historical photos Russian garrison Khorog

Khorog garrison 1897 (Photo by Ralph Cobbold)
pamirs historical photos Russian garrison Murghab Pamirskiy Post

Russian officers at Pamirskiy Post in 1900 (Photo by Wilhelm Filchner) - from l. to r. Anosov, Stankevich, Trubstchaninov, Naslidov, Trubstchaninov
pamirs historical photos Russian garrison Khorog

Khorog military base in 1911 (Photo by Dr. Arved von Schultz)
pamirs historical photos Russian garrison Khorog becker piano

Khorog officers' mess - with the "Becker" piano brought by cart and on foot from Osh in 1914

 


Pamirskiy Post (built at the junction of the Akbaital and Murghab rivers in 1893)

 

pamirs historical photos vladimir ippolitovich lipskiy fortress kala-i-khumb


pamirs historical photos vladimir ippolitovich lipskiy bukhara soldiers kala-i-khumb


pamirs historical photos vladimir ippolitovich lipskiy sugran glacier

Photos by Wilhelm Filchner 1900

 


Drawings by Alexander Andreevich Chikin

 

pamirs historical photos Chikin Pamirsky Post

pamirs historical photos vladimir ippolitovich lipskiy bukhara soldiers kala-i-khumb

pamirs historical photos vladimir ippolitovich lipskiy sugran glacier

pamirs historical photos Chikin Pamirsky Post

Pamirskiy Post

pamirs historical photos vladimir ippolitovich lipskiy bukhara soldiers kala-i-khumb

Crossing the Ghunt river

pamirs historical photos vladimir ippolitovich lipskiy sugran glacier

Crossing the Shokhdara river

pamirs historical photos Chikin Pamirsky Post

Taking the horses across the Panj to Afghanistan

pamirs historical photos vladimir ippolitovich lipskiy sugran glacier

En route (in the Bartang valley?)

Chikin was a professional illustrator - he probably did not actually accompany the Russian troops in the Pamirs and based his drawings on photographs. They appeared in various editions of "Vsemirnoi Illustratsii" (Illustrations from around the world) in 1895, accompanying articles by Boris Leonidovich Tageev, an officer in the Pamirs detachment



Vladimir Ippolitovich Lipskiy

At the end of the 19th century, the Russian botanist Vladimir Ippolitovich Lipskiy (1863-1937) travelled extensively in the Pamirs and published the results of his work there in Mountain Bukhara - results of journeys over three years in Central Asia in 1896, 1897 and 1899), St. Petersburg, 1902. He was an avid photographer and left one of the earliest photographic records of the Pamirs. A selection of his photos follows.

 

pamirs historical photos vladimir ippolitovich lipskiy yaghnob men inskan

Inhabitants of Inskan village in the the Yaghnob valley
pamirs historical photos vladimir ippolitovich lipskiy yaghnob men novabad

Inhabitants of Novabad village in the Yaghnob valley
pamirs historical photos vladimir ippolitovich lipskiy mushketov glacier

Mushketov glacier (Hissar range)
pamirs historical photos vladimir ippolitovich lipskiy mushketov glacier

Mushketov glacier
pamirs historical photos vladimir ippolitovich lipskiy afghan fortress shikai panj darwaz

Shikai fortress on the Panj river in Afghan Darwaz
pamirs historical photos vladimir ippolitovich lipskiy fortress kala-i-khumb

Fortress in Kala-i-Khumb
pamirs historical photos vladimir ippolitovich lipskiy bukhara soldiers kala-i-khumb

Bukhkaran troops in Kala-i-Khumb
pamirs historical photos vladimir ippolitovich lipskiy sugran glacier

End of the Sugran glacier (below Moscow Peak)
pamirs historical photos vladimir ippolitovich lipskiy sugran glacier

Grotto in the Sugran glacier

 



Willi Rickmer Rickmers:
The Austro-German Pamirs Expedition 1913 and the Soviet-German Alai-Pamir Expedition 1928


Willi Rickmer Rickmers, born in Bremerhaven in 1873 into a German family of ship-owners and ship-builders, was the last great non-Russian explorer of the Pamirs. The expedition of the Austrian and German Alpine associations that he led in 1913, and the Soviet-German expedition in 1928, of which he was joint leader, uncovered some of the last remaining secrets of the remotest corners of the Pamirs.

He made his first acquaintance with Turkestan on his travels to Samarkand and Bukhara in 1894 and 1895. On his 3rd and 4th journeys in 1896 and 1898 he went deeper into the mountains of Eastern Bukhara and, travelling through Dushanbe, Baljuan and Khovaling, he reached the upper Yakhsu valley, where he started commercial gold mining until he was stopped by an edict of the Tsar forbidding foreigners to dig for gold. His journey of 1906, together with his intrepid British wife Mabel, née Duff (his marriage to her was the "most brilliant idea of my life"), brought him deep into the Fan mountains and on to the Zerafshan glacier, where he made important contributions to glacier research. The journey also brought him to Kala-i Khumb - the closest he had yet been to his long-standing objective: the Pamirs.

Finally, in 1913, he travelled to the Pamirs as leader of an expedition organised by the German and Austrian Alpine associations to explore the mountains and passes on the southern slopes of the Garm valley, the upper Khingob valley, the Garmo glacier and the mountain passes leading to Vanch and the Muksu. On this expedition he took the first photograph of what is now known as Ismoil Somoni Peak.

pamirs history rickmers peak ismoil somoni

Rickmers' photo of Ismoil Somoni Peak

At this time, Lenin Peak was still considered to be the highest mountain in the Pamirs. The peak photographed by Rickmer-Rickmers was identified by him as Garmo Peak but was shown on the map produced in 1914 by Raimund von Klebelsberg (another member of the expedition) as Sandal Peak. Sandal is actually the highest peak seen from Ters-Agar and the two were thought to be identical. When the error was discovered by the 1932 Soviet expedition and the true positions and heights were determined, the higher of the two was renamed Stalin Peak. In 1962 Stalin Peak became Communism Peak and in 1998 Ismoil Somoni Peak. It was climbed for the first time in 1933 by Yevgeny Abalakov.

In 1928 Rickmers was nominated as joint leader - with Nikolai Petrovich Gorbunov, Chief of the Executive of the Soviet of People's Commissars - of a much larger Soviet-German expedition - an unusual example of international collaboration by the Soviet regime at a time of incipient paranoia under Stalin - sponsored by the 'Notgemeinschaft der Deutschen Wissenschaft' ('German Society in Aid of Science') in Berlin and the U.S.S.R. Academy of Sciences in Leningrad, with support from the German and Austrian Alpine Associations.

The expedition's main task was to explore and map as large an area of the unexplored heart of the Pamirs (then known as the Sel Tau) as possible. In doing so, they were able to determine for the first time the exact length of the Fedchenko Glacier and confirm that it was the longest mountain glacier in the world.

The photos below are from the report of the 1928 expedition by Gorbunov and Professor D.I. Scherbakov, one of the geologists on the expedition.

 

historical photos Gorbunov Rickmers Vanch Kashal-Ayak

Crossing the Kashal-Ayak pass into the Vanch valley

historical photos pamirs history Gorbunov Rickmers Kumoch-dara Bartang Vanch

Kumoch-dara pass between the Bartang and Vanch valleys

pamirs history Gorbunov Vomar

Chairwoman of the rural Soviet in Vomar (1928)

pamirs history Rickmers Registan old Samarkand

Young woman from Barzud, Rushan (1928)

pamirs history Gorbunov vanch man goitre

Vanch man with goitre (1928)

pamirs history gorbunov young woamn yazgulam

Young woman in Yazgulam (1928)


USSR in Construction


USSR in Construction was a propaganda journal published in the Soviet Union from 1930 to 1941 in Russian, French, English, German and Spanish portraying the emergence of the Soviet Union as a major industrial power. It featured the work of some of the leading Soviet writers, photographers and graphic designers of the period.

The photos below are typical of the idealisation of peasant life in the Pamirs and the glories of socialism under the Soviet Union.

 

pamirs history first trucks

(Left) Unloading in Murghab - (Right) On the Pamir Highway

pamirs history harvesting darmorakht

Darmorakh - (left) "Saodat Khushkadamov, a young Pioneer, protects the crops from birds"

pamirs history first flight aeroplane

pamirs history first flight aeroplane

pamirs history first flight aeroplane

Flying over the Pamirs

pamirs history first flight aeroplane airport dushanbe stalinabad

Airport at Stalinabad (Dushanbe)

pamirs history first flight aeroplane airport khorog

Khorog airport

pamirs history first flight aeroplane airport khorog

Arrival at Khorog airport

pamirs history first flight aeroplane airport khorog pilot kirilow

Pilot Kirilov with his plane at Khorog airport

pamirs history camels transport

Camel train

pamirs history kyrgyz women murghab

Murghab women

pamirs history girls children

Shughnani girls

pamirs history man shughnan

"Nassulabek Rahimbekov, collective farmer from Nischust village" (Shughnan) ca. 1930

pamirs history road tractor

"V. Filipov with his tractor" (working on the Pamir Highway)

pamirs history first trucks murghab garage

The first trucks in the Pamirs at the Murghab base

With thanks to Markus Hauser


All photographs (c) Robert Middleton


Web master Romanyuk Mikhail