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Home » Ile-Alatau nature park. Aksay gorge. Sights of the parks of Kazakhstan.

Aksai monastery in environs of Almaty.

Walking excursion to mountains Almaty.

“Prayers should always remain unanswered. If they were fulfilled, these would not be prayers, but business negotiations"

Oscar Wilde.

Photo Gallery Almaty mountains.

The Aksai monastery is located on the western slope of the Aksai gorge between the Aksai and Pravaya Kyrgauldinka rivers in the Karasai district of the Almaty region at an altitude of 1,760 meters above sea level, 4.5 kilometers from the “Edelweiss” gardening society and 2 kilometers from the car park in the Aksai gorge.
At the beginning of the century, in the vast territory of the Turkestan diocese, founded in 1871, there were three monastic cloisters: one for men, the Holy Trinity Issyk-Kul missionary monastery, located on the shore of the beautiful mountain lake Issyk-Kul, and two for women: St. Tashkent and Iversko-Serafimovskaya Vernenskaya.
In 1882, the male Holy Trinity missionary monastery was opened on the shore of Lake Issyk-Kul, near the village of Ananyevo. In 1886, when eleven monks from St. Michael's Zakubanskaya desert came to the monastery, and in 1894, they decided to go to the shores of Lake Issyk-Kul from the no less grandiose Lake Ladoga, from the island of Valaam, eight monks led by Abbot Sevastian, bringing from is the spirit of the Valaam monastery.
In 1909, monks Seraphim and Anatoly from the monastery on Lake Issyk-Kul were called to the cathedral of the city of Verny. In 1916, Hieromonk Anatoly directed the bishop's choir in the Ascension Cathedral of Verny.
Around this time, the monks opened a skete on the Mokhnataya hill. Monk Irakli and hieromonks Pakhomiy and Theognost remained in the Issyk-Kul monastery until 1916, where the latter in the same year was approved as dean and assistant confessor of the laity.
In the summer of 1916, an uprising of the Kirghiz began in Semirechye, they attacked the Issyk-Kul monastery. Monk Heraclius was the only witness of the events that took place in the monastery, in front of his eyes almost all the monks of the monastery were killed.
The fathers Heraclius, Theognost and Pachomius survived, and they left for the city of Verny. In 1919, the monastery on Lake Issyk-Kul was closed by the Communards. Before the arrival of the monk Heraclius, the hieromonks Theognost and Pachomius, in the skete on Medeo, wooden cells were set up, a worship cross around which a flower garden was laid out, and an underground church in honor of the Monk Seraphim of Sarov was built.
It was helped to dig it up by workers of the forestry located nearby. In 1913, great confusion began in the monastery. Bishop Innokenty (Pustynsky), who was ruling at that time, intended to remove mother Nektariya from the monastery and replace her with the daughter of the chairman of the military board, General Bakurevich, a young cassock novice Taisia,
later she was tonsured with the name of Euphrosinia. It was then that Father Seraphim took us from the monastery to the monastery on Mokhnataya Sopka. Alexander Nagibin, Tatiana Khakhulin, Daria, me and the elderly nun Evsevia (Churlyaeva).
The monks themselves decided to find a more secluded place for their exploits. And so, one morning we got on our horses and went to the Aksai gorge to look for a place for a new skete. The four of us went: Fr. Seraphim, Victor (he was a wanderer), me and Alexandra Nagibina.
In the Aksai Mountains, monks mowed hay, cultivated potatoes, and planted carnations near the spring near the hermitage, which can be found in small quantities today. On the other side of the gorge, across the river, there was an apiary where an old widower beekeeper lived with his children.
The monks loved to visit the beekeeper and talk to him. One of the first victims of the repressions that followed the October 1917 coup was the spiritual daughter of Father Seraphim, nun Evdokia. It was the summer of 1918.
The summer of 1921 was very rainy and ended in a severe flood-mudflow, which took place on the day of the celebration of the Tikhvin Icon of the Mother of God. In August 1921, all five monks of the Aksai skete went to the town to the St. Nicholas Church for the feast of the great martyr and healer Panteleimon.
Two of them, Father Heraclius and Father Pachomius, remained in the city, while the rest returned to the mountains. Nun Magdalene reports: “Before the feast, the monks in the mountains mowed hay, and the priest told me after the feast of Panteleimon to come and help clean it up. I went with Medeo.
I go to the town. On the way, we met the mother of the protodeacon, who served in our Nikolskaya church and said: "Our monks have been killed!" I widened my eyes: "Which ones?" - "Well, Seraphim and Theognost were shot."
In 1922 the monastery was closed, the nuns were evicted, some of the buildings were dismantled for construction needs. In 1993 - the relics of Saints Seraphim and Theognost - were transferred to the building of the temple, but the grave remained.
A new church has now been built. There are two monks constantly living on the territory of the monastery, there are still five novices who are preparing to take a monastic vow) and a number of natives, including those from among difficult teenagers.
"Father almost never refuses to anyone." At the entrance to the skete we are greeted by the so-called "Calvary Cross" - a large stone slab with a crucifix carved on it. It was with great difficulty that this construction was put into the skete in 1991, when the Christian youth of Alma-Ata, with the blessing of the archbishop, decided to mark a holy place with this statue.
The territory of the monastery is clean and well-groomed. On it is the grave of monks, a cave where they prayed, a holy source (spring) and a large house where services are held (church). Just above the territory of the monastery is the road that approaches the upper gate of the monastery.
Building materials are brought along it
Geographic coordinates of the Aksai monastery: N43 ° 05'59.97 "E76 ° 46'25.98"
Geographic coordinates of the new church building built in 2020: N43 ° 06'00.22 "E76 ° 46'36.68"

Aksai Church.Environs of the Aksai monastery.Dome of the Aksai Church.View of the Komsomol peak 4330.9 meters above sea level from the vicinity of the Aksai View of the Komsomol peak 4330.9 meters above sea level from the environs of the Aksai monastery.Aksai Church.Environs of the Aksai monastery.North view from the Aksai monastery.Aksai Church.Environs of the Aksai gorge.Aksai Church. Winter 2014.View of Talgar peak 4978.9 meters above sea level.Aksai Church.After torrential rains lasting more than three days in the vicinity of the Aksai skete, a landslide occurred on the slope under which the church was located. June 2017.After a landslide in June 2017, the church was dismantled and the domes moved to a safe place.Aftermath of the landslide in June 2017.The basement of the church after dismantling. June 2017.The new church was laid on the meridian slope, 246 meters east of the previous church. October 2020.October, 2020.


Photos by
Alexander Petrov.