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Construction history Vosnesenski cathedral in Almaty.

Special excursion in Almaty.

“A real prayer is not at all something that should be performed at certain specific hours, in a proper place and taking a certain pose, prayer is something that a person reverently, with all his heart and hourly remembering God”

Miguel de Un.

Day trip in Almaty.

Vosnesenski cathedral is an amazing monument of wooden architecture, a unique example of a quakeproof construction of the beginning of XX century. It is situated in Almaty. In Panfilov park of 28 Guardsmen- on Hohol 40 "В".
The first project suggestions about the construction new cathedral in Vernyi were made in 1882 by a town architect Pavel Hurde. But complication of realization this idea connected with building of such great construction in seismo-dangerous zone, financial problems and then architect’s death and earthquake in 1887 did not allow to realize these plans. B
ishops of Turkestan eparchy either raised a matter about construction or was carried over for a long time. Finally the ground for construction in center of Pushkin Park was allocated and was lighted in 1894. Building Turkestan Cathedral was started in 1904 under the Bishop of Turkestan and Tashkent Paisia (Vinogradov).
The autors of the project were architects Konstantin Arkadiyevich Borisoglebski and Sergey Konstantinovich Troparevski. There were many shortcomings in the first project. There were doubts about insufficient solidity of the wood from Tien-Shan fir and liability to rot because of the fungus and readiness of fire-prevention measures.
Regional engineer Andrew Pavlovich Zenkov was charged with finalizing the project and watching over the construction.The work ended in two years, in 1966 however lighting of the new cathedral was a year later in summer of 1907. 
The cathedral built for one and half thousand praying people and has three sanctuaries: Vosnesenski (the main one), Blagoveshenski and to the memory of Holy Martyrs Vera, Nadezhda and Luybov and their mother Sofia, Divine patronesses of Semitrechiye.
The cathedral is crowned with beautiful bulb of five cupolas with crosses, raised on the low octahedral barrels which had wide right-angled window openings. Architecture of the construction is peculiar to Neo-Russian style.Basic building material of the cathedral is the wood.
Rows in walls, closed carcasses of the building, rafters of the roof were executed from trunk soft arry, two-year aging of Tyan-Shan fir. The height of the cathedral from the ground to the cross on the main cupola is 39, 63 meters. In spite of stereotyped view, that noone nail was used during building the cathedral more than 170 pood of iron was used in its iron constructions.
The block house was broached with eight through metallicbolts joined the cathedral from hipped roof to the foundation.The foundation of the cathedral was made using reinforced concrete for the first time in Vernyi.
The foundation is surrounded with a circular underground gallery for repelling outerseismic waves. In order to increase solidity of the construction siding with planks was nailed on the beams and walls were strengthened with 16 pairs of thick bars.
Original construction of a high building (about 54 m) provided validity of the building during the earthquake in 1910. It was built entirely from wooden details nailed with iron bolts. Zenkov wrote: «It was a very flexible building with a grand height.Its belfry rocked and bended as the top of tree and worked as a flexible beam».
The earthquake of 1910 turnedone-floor Vernyi to ruins went around the creation of Andrew Zenkov which is the second highest wooden building in the world. Only bended cross reminds the earth quake. Zenkov found the brilliant solution of decorative design of the building.
He managed to imitate the wooden construction as traditional materials: bricks, stones, gilding. The cathedral came out as bright and colorful. Also Zenkov insisted on increasing the heigh to the main belfry to 9 meters and it gave facility and symmery to the building. Modelled works and design of door and window openings were made by masters from Moscow and Tula.
Icons for iconostasis were made by workshop of A. Murashko in Kiev. Bells were founded in 1894, Hatchin (the biggest one weighed 249 poods 17 pounds).Paintings of the iconostasis were done by an artist N. G. Hludov. After revolution the cathedral was used as a cult establishment up to 1927.
Then the History of religion and atheism museum and after than the Central State Museum of Kazakh SSR were placed there. In 1930’ssocial organizations were in the building of the cathedral. The belfry of the cathedral was used as the antenna for the first radio programs in Almaty.
In the 70s in a connection with breakdown rate of the building a special restoration of the cathedral was started. OnJanuary 26, 1982 it was included to the state list of protection monuments of history and culture of republican significance.
In 1885 the new building of the cathedral was taken by a concert-exhibition hall in a connection with moving of the Central museum of Kazakh SSR. In April 1995 it was given to Russian Ortodox church for permanent and free using by the decree of the President of Republic of Kazakhstan.
Ortodox services were resumed in the cathedral in May, 1995. In the same year the cathedral was lighted by Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia Alexi II. Restoration of paintings of the building and arrangement of the iconostasis were carried out during the period starting from 1995 to 2002 (architect of the project isT. Turekulov, artists are Yu. Supis, V. Lukin).
On June 2, 2007 National Bank of Kazakhstan issued a coin «Cathedral» at nominal of 500 tenge from 925 carat-silver by drawing of 4000 copies in order to further broadening understanding of all culture of Kazakhstan, favor understanding of religion as a peaceful study about spiritual and moral self-improvement of person.
National Emblem of Kazakhstan and signs divided with dots in acircle"500 теңге" (500 tenge), "Қазақстан Республикасы " (Republic of Kazakhstan) in Kazakhand "Республика Казахстан" (Republic of Kazakhstan)in Russian on the obverse of the coin.
On the reverse – there is an image of Vosnesenski cathedral of Almaty, on the upper part – signs in a circle "Кафедралық шіркеу"and "Кафедральный собор" (Cathedral) and the trademark of Kazakhstan mint, the sign «Алматы 2007» (Almaty 2007) is on the left, the sign «Ag 925 31,1 gr.»is on the lower part.


From the book "Holy Ascension Cathedral", 2006.