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Kazakhstan

Nomads of the Steppe

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Zenkov Cathedral (Ascension Cathedral)

In the picturesque park of 28 guards - Panfilov of the city of Almaty, there is a unique architectural monument - the Zenkov Cathedral (Ascension Cathedral). This historical monument is considered one of the main attractions of the city. The initiators of the construction of the temple were the bishops of Turkestan and Tashkent at the very beginning of the 19th century. The best engineers and architects took over the project. In 1903, the project was approved and from 1904 to 1907 the construction of the cathedral continued. Zenkov supervised all the works, he was at the time the chief architect of the city of Almaty.
A distinctive feature of this timber construction is that it was erected using an ancient technology - virtually nailless.
In 1910 the town of Verny (this is what it was called at the time and was renamed to Almaty later) was struck by a natural disaster - a strong earthquake. Almost all the buildings in the area were destroyed, but the Zenkov Cathedral was not damaged. The building survived thanks to its construction technology.
But the earthquake is not the only disaster the cathedral has seen. The period of Soviet power became a real test for the temple. In 1927, the government issued a decree to close the shrine.
Until 1994, the building of the Zenkov Cathedral in Almaty was used for non-religious purposes and has long been the central museum of Kazakhstan.
In 1995, the authorities of the Republic decided to restore the building to its religious importance and, after restoration work, Orthodox services began to be held in the cathedral again. Since then and to this day, the temple has been a sanctuary for hundreds of Christians and a magnificent landmark of the city.

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