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The Ascension Cathedral (former Turkestan cathedral), for one and half thousand worshipers, it consists of altars with Voznesensky’s (mostly), and in memory of the Annunciation and in memory of the Holy Martyrs Vera (Faith), Nadezhda (Hope) and Lyubov (Love) and their mother Sophia, celestial patroness of Semirechye.

It is erected in the park of 28-Panfilov’s Guardsmen (formerly Pushkin garden) on the original project of architects, K.A. Borisoglebovskiy and S.K. Troparevskiy (1898-1902), with participation of military engineers N.I. Stepanov and A.P. Zenkov (1904-06 y.). A sample of wooden architecture. The place of construction was consecrated on September the 26th, 1903 by Turkestan bishops Paissy and Dimitriy, named for the sake of Lord's Ascension. The solemn groundbreaking took place on September the 26th, 1904 for the 50th anniversary of Verniy, in honor of it heavenly memorial board placed in the foundation. The consecration was committed on July the 30th, 1907y. At the temple of three-storied iconostasis, embossed and smithing works of St. Petersburg, Kiev and Verny masters, icon painters, A.I. Murashko and P.I. Usyrev, were set the bells ingot in 1894 in Gatchina (the largest weighed 249 pounds 17 pounds).

Gable timbered roof of the cathedral is decorated with five onion domes and roods, elevated on low octagonal drum with wide rectangular window openings. The crowns of the walls and closed frames of the building, roof rafters - all made of tarred body, biennial endurance Tien-Shan spruce. Dimensions in terms of 30 to 50 m. The highest point of the upper end of the rood on the main dome - 39, 63 m, at the top of the bell tower - 44.2 m. Builder A.P. Zenkov, have written about the incident in 1910 of Verny earthquake «....in a grandiose height of it (the cathedral) was a very flexible design. The bell tower was swaying and bent it like the top of a tall tree, and worked as a flexible beam ...». In the report on the work of forging, Zenkov indicates that the iron clamps, tightening iron construction bell, dome and towers spent 120 pounds of iron, various nails (stud) - 8, 2 pounds, - 48 pounds of staples .... The Wooden structure is strengthened by metal, strongly fastened to the base, executed for the first time in Verny with ferro-concrete application. The base is surrounded with an annular underground gallery for reflection surface seismic waves. Unique design features of the building, its vertical sight. On the logs of wood are stitched outside from thick planks. I.e. the walls were weakened with the 12 window openings, they have increased with the 16 pairs of thick stuffs that pass on the full height of the bell tower, as well as in the corners and piers (to the shortcomings of the project we put a lot of clogheads, by only one symmetry flatness). The third kind of communications is entered also. Log cabin stitched through with eight vertical bolts. They (bolts) seize the whole frame of bell tower, including a high pyramidal roof. Seize and bind them with the upper rims and frame of the building ...

In 30-ies of 20th-century interior of Turkestan Cathedral has been changed because of the closure and using of building of the cultural institutions: in 1929 the Central Museum of Kazakhstan, where worked a researcher J. Dombrowskyi, a writer who was sent into exile to Alma-Ata. On the bell tower were installed the aerial of Union Radio, where were recordings of the choir and soloists of the Kazakh Radio Committee (with the participation of art directors as B. Baikadamov, B. Yerzakovich, B. Orlov, V. Pirogova L. Hamidi).

After using of the building by community organizations, including Urban Society for the Protection of monuments, the specialists of the institute "Kazproektrestavratsiya" was carried out restoration, painting and building unit of the iconostasis (1995-2002 y., project architect T. Turekulova, artist Yu. Supisa, V. Lukin). His Holiness Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia Alexy the II, in the presence of President N.A. Nazarbayev, consecrated Ascension Cathedral. On April the 24th, 1995 Archbishop of Almaty and Semipalatinsk Alexis, made in the church first worship God.

The monument of architecture, history (board order of UM of Kazakh. SSR № 38 from January 26, 1982 the building brought into the state list of historical and cultural monuments of national importance; board order of UM RK № 1182 from November 25, 1993 included in the Alma - Ata State Historical - Architectural Reserve).

The literature: Ascension Cathedral. Verny-Alma-Ata-Almaty., Almaty, "Kumbez", 2001y.; The building of the Central State Museum of Kazakhstan. – In the book: The State list of monuments of history and culture of the Kazakh SSR, national and local significance (collection of documents), A.-A., 1983, pp. 4, 16, The Turkestan Cathedral of St. Sophia. - In: Historical and Cultural Monuments Almaty (documentary catalogue), Almaty, 2003, pp. 38-41; Kirikov B.A. Wood and seismic stability. In the book: The earliest and the latest earthquake-proof constructions. M., 1990, pp. 44-48; Proskurin V.N. Ascension Cathedral. In the book: Corpus of historical and cultural monuments of the city of Almaty. - Almaty, LLP "Kazakh Encyclopedia", 2006, pp. 87-88 (indexes and a bibliography of historical and biographical information, photographs and drawings of the monuments of the author); Holy Ascension Cathedral (has made O. Hodokovskaya), Almaty., 1996

Vladimir Proskurin (Berlin)

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