If a nation does not know its history, if the country loses its history, then its citizens have nowhere to go.
Mirzhakyp Dulatuly

Churches built on the bank of the Zhaiyk River

Churches built on the bank of the Zhaiyk River - e-history.kz
“National Digital History” Portal continues special project "Historical buildings of Uralsk"

Today, we offer to the readers’ attention the materials about the ancient church buildings that were built along with residential buildings in Uralsk. The construction of church buildings, which aroused the interest of tourists and foreign guests, began in Uralsk in the XVIII-XX centuries. And among them the "Cathedral of the Archangel Michael" and "The Cathedral of Christ the Savior" are distinguished with their architecture and mystery.

On the fertile Kazakh land, on the banks of the Zhaiyk River, the Cossacks began to settle since the beginning of the XVI century. Prior to this, these lands were the ancestral lands of Kazakh nomadic tribes. At first it was a small military settlement, which gradually expanded and by the middle of the 19th century a whole urban culture appeared on the bank of Zhaiyk. The development and formation of the city is connected with the Yaitsk and Ural Cossacks. Now this part of the city is called "Kuren" (Cossack dwelling), earlier the houses of Cossacks were called so. The first church buildings were built of wood. The church of Kirsanov is the first church built in 1613-1620. But all of them were burnt during a fire in the XVIII century. In their place, new churches appeared, fascinating with their magnificent architecture. This time the Cossacks built them not from wood, but from stone. The first ancient cathedral built of stone - "Cathedral of the Archangel Michael." After a century, the Cathedral of Christ the Savior was built.

«Cathedral of the Archangel Michael»

One of the old historical buildings of Uralsk is located in the historic center of the city - the Kuren area. Initially on the site of the Cathedral there were old wooden Cossack houses and wooden churches. All of them were burnt in flames. And after another fire the Cossacks decided to build the following churches out of stone. The construction of the Cathedral was begun in 1740. Yaitsk Cossacks began the construction of the Cathedral under the guidance of Moscow masters in the manner of the Assumption Cathedral of the Moscow Kremlin. The construction was completed in 1751. Moscow architects built the Cathedral in the Pskov-Novgorod style and named it in honor of the heavenly patron of the Ural Cossacks - the Archangel Michael. And the main street of the city on which the Cathedral was located was called Archangel Michael Street. At one time the Cathedral was visited by famous people who found themselves at the mercy of fate in Uralsk. Among them was Russian poet A.S. Pushkin. The poet was very interested in this part of the city, because according to historical data and documents it was here that the Pugachev uprising took place. Particularly the Cathedral of the Archangel Michael interested the poet. Leaving the carriage, the poet silently walked around the Cathedral. In addition, according to data stored in the State Archives of the West Kazakhstan Region, during the uprising of peasants led by E. Pugachev in 1773-1775, the Cathedral served as a fortress. In addition to A.S. Pushkin, the Cathedral was visited by such celebrities as V.A. Zhukovsky, V.G. Korolenko, and L.N. Tolstoy.

Near the Cathedral there is a 4-storeyd bell tower. The bell tower was built in 1861. This building, called the "Old Cathedral" is a silent heritage of the 18th-19th centuries. In the 1930s, when religion was persecuted, the building served as a warehouse, then from 1943 to 1961 the Cathedral was returned to the faithful, and services were held here. In 1961 the cathedral was closed again. Later, the regional museum of local lore was opened here. Only in 1988 the Cathedral was returned to the believers of the Russian Orthodox Church. The building, which is an architectural monument of the 18th century, is under state protection.

The Cathedral of Christ the Savior

An ancient historical building, built in the end of the XIX century in the Yaitsk town. It was built as an army temple. The solemn laying of the Cathedral of Christ the Savior occurred in June 1891, construction was completed in 1907 and in the same year the church was consecrated. The drums are covered with a tent, built in the form of a dome. There is a cross on the dome. The walls of the structure, the drums (the base of the dome) are lined with light brown ceramic tiles. The Cathedral of Christ the Savior was built in memory of the 300th anniversary of the service of the Ural Cossack Host of Russia in the style of Moscow architecture of the XV-XVIII centuries. The temple was built on the donations of parishioners. The documents stored in the State Archives of the West Kazakhstan Region indicate the amount spent on the construction of the Temple. According to the data, 10 500 rubles were spent on the bell of the Temple, 14 000 rubles for the icon. The temple was built by architects - V. Chagin, Zheleznov and Tets.

Today, the Cathedral of Christ the Savior is an architectural monument that attracts tourists, residents and visitors of the city of Uralsk.

Over the years the Temple was the first museum of atheism and a planetarium in the republic; in 1983 the Temple was restored.


Translated by Raushan MAKHMETZHANOVA