In the center of Tashkent, a kilometer from Amir Temur Square, the majestic building of the Cathedral of the Sacred Heart of Jesus (Roman Catholic Church) is located. Its Gothic style stands out the background of the buildings of the city and the country. Unusual features, sharp spires of the roofs of the building and surrounding structures inspire a strange sense of awe, fascinating with the grace of forms. The gray marble and granite used to clad the temple give it even greater greatness. Locals call this place simply the Church.
Its construction began in 1912. Construction was initiated by Justin Bonaventura Pranaitis, a Catholic priest sent to Tashkent back in 1902. Justin speech was so convincing that the construction was carried out by the forces of Catholics serving in Tashkent, despite the dissatisfaction of the officers. Instead of the rest, soldiers voluntarily helped to build the temple, devoting all their resources to it. Later, prisoners of war had continued the construction. Among them there were many people with specialized skills that were very helpful in construction. Polish architect Panchakevich led the construction works. Unfortunately, neither the chief architect nor the priest survived to the completion of the construction.
Until 1976, the premises of the unfinished building were used for enterprises, military dormitories and warehouses. Sculptures and other valuable exhibits of that period have not been preserved until today.
Later, the building was restored and transferred to the Ministry of Culture. Only in 1992, when the attraction was transferred to the Catholic parish, a second restoration began. In 2000, after consecration by Archbishop Marian Oles, the Church began to fulfill its original role.
Today the Church is one of the most popular locations for wedding photo sessions. It’s not surprising, because the unique style of architecture attracts the attention of all people without any exception. Tourists are happy to study the complex, marveling at the unusual neighborhood of Gothic architecture with Eastern arches and domes.
The doors and furniture of the temple are wooden and decorated with carvings. All metal items, chandeliers, gates, fences and railings of the temple are made in the Gothic style. All this stuff was made by Vladimir Pilipyuk, one of the parishioners of the temple.
The temple has an organ, one of the biggest in the country. The organ concerts are regularly arranged there. Services are available in 4 languages. One of the oldest rooms, the chapel, has been preserved since 1916. Mass is held here on weekdays. The first floor of the main building is represented by a huge hall. The main part of the hall is the panel, which symbolically depicts the secret of the Sacred Heart of Jesus.
It is impossible to miss the cathedral even at night. The cross on the top is highlighted and visible from afar. The building itself is located at a distance from large buildings and that’s why it stands out. The facade consists of so many parts that it is difficult to notice them all at close range. You can walk around the territory for hours and each time find something new in architecture. The Cathedral of the Sacred Heart of Jesus is recognized as an architectural and historical monument of Uzbekistan.
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