If this is your first time in Tashkent, then do not ask passers-by about the Roman Catholic Church of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. It is known to everyone simply as a Polish church. It is located on Sadyk Azimov street opposite the old Tashkent Medical Institute.
Compared to other religious buildings, this temple is relatively young, but in no other way is it inferior to other sights of Tashkent. Elegant, and at the same time impressive, young, but with charm inherent only to buildings that have experienced a lot, a mysterious and simply beautiful building in its magnificent architecture.
Few would not want to enter these doors, look through the windows, unravel what is inside there behind the thick walls. At the top of the temple is a bell tower, and the bell rings half an hour before the service and on public holidays during the service. The temple does not need additional decorations except stained-glass windows, small turrets on the roof, arch gates.
Hard to believe that such a building could be erected only at the beginning of the last century. Going down the stairs to the temple, you feel awe before such an impressive creation of human hands. Having crossed the threshold, you find yourself in a small hall and the crypt doors are wide open in front of you. To the left of the hall is the Ion Paul II Hall, where parishioners pray on Wednesdays or after a mass tea is served here. Near the hall of Ion Paul II is a library. To the right of the hall is St. Anthony's Hall, it was in this hall that services were carried out during the repair. Now this hall, due to its size, is often used for performances.
However, the very heart of the temple is on the second floor - the main hall, or the ascension hall. It is intended for a solemn Sunday service. The hall is decorated with beautiful stained-glass windows. For the first time you have entered this hall, you cannot look away from these beautiful painted windows. Accustomed to this divine beauty, the gaze rushes to the center of the hall, where a bronze statue of the soaring Jesus is placed. On the right side of the hall is a small confessional, where a person can repent of his sins.
History The Roman Catholic Church of the Sacred Heart of Jesus is as complex and interesting as the history of any religious building. In 1875, Catholics first appealed to the government of Turkestan for permission to build a Catholic church. After 9 years, in 1884, the construction of the first chapel was started to serve prisoners of war, especially Poles. In 1905, a temporary chapel was built, the remains of which were demolished in 1907.
The construction of the temple of concrete was begun in 1912 at the initiative of Fr. Justin Bonaventure Pranaitis. However, the architect was the famous Polish architect Ludwig Panchakevich. The workers were mainly prisoners of war, among them were highly qualified engineers, sculptors, masons, etc. In 1917, a misfortune happened, Ludwig Panchakevich died. His work continued about. Boleslav Rutenis. However, in those years, as everyone knows, the revolution began, the political situation in the region changed, the Bolsheviks came to power. Due to this, also due to lack of funds, construction was temporarily suspended.
In 1925, nationalization was carried out everywhere and in the unfinished church until 1976 various enterprises were located, such as a dormitory or warehouse. For all this period, while the temple was used for other purposes, all the sculptures were either stolen or destroyed. In 1976, thanks to the decree of the authorities on restoration, the building with such a difficult history was restored and given to the Ministry of Culture of UzCCR and in 1981 declared an architectural and historical monument of Uzbekistan. Since 1992, with the independence of Uzbekistan, the temple was returned to the Catholic parish of Tashkent. And in 1993, its full restoration began, led by architect Sergei Adamov and designer Alexander Ponomarev.
On October 22, 2000, the revived church, under the appeal of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, was consecrated by Archbishop Marian Oles, an Apostolic Nuncio in Kazakhstan and Central Asia from 1994 to 2001.
Now we can say that the construction of the temple was not an easy task, interrupted for many reasons, and finally, after 88 years, the business begun by Fr. Justin Bonaventura Pranaitis - the construction of the church in Tashkent - was completed.
The mass in the temple is conducted in three languages. From Tuesday to Saturday at 6 pm. Sunday at 10 o’clock in English, at 12 in Russian and at 4 in Korean. Visits to the temple are possible from 3 to 5 days.
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