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The fate of the repressed cathedral in Kostanay

11 October 2013
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In Kostanay in 30s of 20th century was destroyed five-domed cathedral, which was built in 1897 for donations to citizens of the Russian Empire and the local parishioners.

Kostanay city cathedral located on the Bazaar square, according to the photo, indeed was very beautiful. It was located on the present central square. According to local ethnographers, red bricks were used in the building of the House of Soviets (now the building of Kostanay State University named after A. Baitursynov). However, it is very strange that there were no documents found on this subject in the archives. Moreover, the date of the demolition of the cathedral is not given anywhere in the print media. The locals say that in 1936, historians in 1937 and the museum workers in 1938.

One thing is clear that Kostanay cathedral, located in the center of the city, the authorities decided to demolish as a symbol of the old world. Not only people were repressed, but also the source of rejection of a «bright future». The cathedral was not blown. It was thoroughly dismantled brick by brick. With the help of the newspaper «Stalinist way» it turns out one interesting detail: it appears that the construction of the House of Soviets did not get a single brick of the cathedral, at least in 1937. The materials for construction were taken away for the construction of kindergarten and school № 24. In the newspaper «Stalin-way» for May 10, 1937 column «On construction sites of Kostanay» were crowned modest («on the basement» of the page) note -«Demolition of the cathedral». Obstacles appeared in the middle and lower part of the cathedral, where old brick was difficult to indiscriminate. The Cathedral must be finally demolished in the second half of May. It is known that the analysis of the cathedral taken with the purpose of brick. From this entirely brick built one of the new school № 24. Construction of this school requires 500,000 bricks. On the analysis of the cathedral is already close to this figure. Now, there are 70 people working there. On the released land after cathedral will be allocate to the city garden».

In three other subjects of specified column mentions: «Maternity and nursery — the construction was stopped due to lack of bricks», «House for Soviets and residential house. Nothing is done. The breakdown for the house is not ready. It is not released from other construction yet», «School № 30. All works have stopped. The construction of foundation is completed, but there are no bricks for walls», «School number 24. In the next 2–3 days will be completed the walls of the second floor. There are enough brick for that».

These publications appeared after the meeting of builders of Kostanay in the newspaper «Stalin’s way». Two days later, on May 12, the newspaper published the performance of participants. One of them came under the heading «Owl — the Head of regional trustee supply. Mystery perspective». The supplier a fellow Owl said: «The school № 24 and a kindergarten built by brick, to deal with the cathedral. Maybe a little brick remains to start school № 30». It should ne noted that «for the House of the Soviets is not over split sites» and even «not completely liberated from foreign structures. «Another word, in May 1937, when all brick were chosen from ruined cathedral, the construction of walls was not yet foreseen. As it was known, the House of Soviets will be built in five more years and put in operation only after the beginning of the Great Patriotic War, in late 1941.


(According to the Regional State Archives and Local History Museum)

Dmitry Legkii, Doctor of Historical Sciences, Professor of Kostanay State University named after A.Baitursynov

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