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The State Advisor of the Republic of Kazakhstan visited the Ascension Cathedral in Almaty

January 18, 2024. Almaty. A meeting took place between the Head of the Orthodox Church of Kazakhstan, Metropolitan Alexander of Astana and Kazakhstan and the State Counselor of the Republic of Kazakhstan, Erlan Tynymbaevich Karin.

While on a visit to the southern capital, E.T. Karin visited, at the invitation of Metropolitan Alexander, the spiritual, historical and cultural pearl of the country - the Ascension Cathedral, which was included in the list of 100 national sacred sites of Kazakhstan as part of the presidential program “Rukhani Zhangyru”.

The meeting was attended by the head of the Metropolitan District’s public relations department, Archpriest Alexander Suvorov, and the assistant to the head of the Metropolitan District, Priest Georgy Sidorov.

Metropolitan Alexander told the guest about the history of the construction of the Ascension Cathedral, which is the tallest Orthodox wooden church in the world. During the conversation, the hierarch noted the uniqueness of the architecture and the historical role of the temple.

The Bishop emphasized that during the construction of the cathedral, erected according to the design of talented architects K.A. Borisoglebsky and A.P. Zenkov, innovative technologies and principles of seismic resistance were implemented, which brought visible results - the cathedral survived the terrible earthquake of 1911, which destroyed 90% of the buildings in the city of Verny.

During the excursion, the Head of the Metropolitan District dwelt in detail on the details of the large-scale professional restoration of the temple, carried out in 2017-2020. It was noted that all work was carried out under the control of the Ministry of Culture of the Republic and UNESCO, with the involvement of professional specialists of the highest level from Kazakhstan, Russia, Serbia, Italy, Germany and France. From UNESCO, consulting support was provided by Sergei Arkadyevich Lazarev, who headed the bureau of the international organization in Almaty, and a world-famous scientist, author of more than 25 books on art history, Alexey Mikhailovich Lidov. The author of the repair plan and curator of the restoration process of the Ascension Cathedral, architect-restorer T.N. Turekulov. Architect A.O. Itenov, under whose leadership the restoration of the Ascension Cathedral was carried out in the 1970s, advised specialists during the reconstruction. Another specialist who made a significant contribution to the revival of the shrine was Professor of the University of Berlin Jens Kickler. The chief architect of the Almaty diocese, Lyudmila Aleksandrovna Kaydash, was responsible for the implementation of the project. Advanced technologies and the highest quality modern materials were used in the restoration of this unique historical and cultural monument.

Archpriest Alexander Suvorov, who is the keymaster of the Ascension Cathedral, was awarded the State Order of Kazakhstan “Kurmet” for his efforts to restore the shrine.

Metropolitan Alexander emphasized that the President of Kazakhstan K.-Zh.K. Tokayev, who visited the cathedral in 2019, after getting acquainted with the results of the restoration, highly appreciated the unique work done and called the implemented project “the second birth of the national shrine of Kazakhstan.”

The State Advisor of the Republic of Kazakhstan noted the grace and grandeur of the external appearance of the temple and the beauty of the interiors, decorated with paintings made by talented Palekh isographers under the leadership of member of the Union of Artists of Russia V.K. Kurilova. The isographers used sketches by Nikolai Gavrilovich Khludov, a famous icon painter and artist who worked on decorating the interiors of the cathedral and one of the teachers of the first Kazakh professional artist Abylkhan Kosteev, after whom the State Museum of Art in Almaty is named. Consultation in the design of the interior decoration was provided by the outstanding figure of culture and art Zurab Konstantinovich Tsereteli, Honored People's Artist Vasily Igorevich Nesterenko and Honored Worker of Russia Mikhail Spelnik.

In memory of the meeting, Erlan Tynymbaevich Karin was presented with a booklet about the Ascension Cathedral and an artistically executed panel made in Yekaterinburg depicting the main temple of Almaty.