I often write about the landmarks of St. Petersburg, so I'm confident that many of my readers are familiar with the surname Benois. Among its representatives were famous architects, artists, and cultural figures. Today, I would like to introduce you to the Kirche building from the early 20th century. Created by a member of the mentioned dynasty, Alexey Leontyevich Benois, it is interesting both for its Gothic forms and its location – the building is situated in the center of the hot city of Tashkent.
How to Get There by Metro
The address of the building is Sadik Azimov Street, 37. You can reach it from the metro station Hamid Olimjon or the transfer hub Amir Temur xiyoboni – Yunus Rajabiy. In either case, the walk will take about 15 minutes.
When planning your trip, keep in mind that the church is open only during services, which take place at 10 a.m. on Sundays.
A Bit of History
The Tashkent Kirche is considered the first Lutheran church in the entire Central Asia. The initial project of the building was drafted in 1881, and after a few years, it was revised along with a change in the location for the construction of the church. In 1896, services began in the still unplastered church, and three years later, construction was fully completed.
As mentioned at the beginning of the article, the architect of the Kirche building was Alexey Leontyevich Benois. The architect is known for designing many beautiful buildings in the Turkestan region. He was the grandson of Leonty Nikolaevich Benois, the founder of the Russian branch of this famous family. Having graduated from the St. Petersburg Academy of Arts, the master erected buildings such as the Teacher's Seminary, City Duma, and participated in the creation of the palace of Grand Duke Nicholas Konstantinovich Romanov in Tashkent.
In 1937, the acting pastor of the church and his family were sent to camps, and by the end of the year, the church was closed. Like many similar structures, during the Soviet era, the former religious building was used completely differently: it served as storage space, housed the geological management, and for some time, there was a club for dog enthusiasts. According to a directory from 1984, at that time, there was a music salon of the Tashkent State Conservatory here.
The new history of the building began in 1990 when the decision was made to return the church to believers.
If you live in Tashkent or are planning to visit for a vacation, after exploring the Kirche building, you can head to see the Palace of Prince Romanov, as mentioned above. The walk to it will take about 30 minutes.
Have a nice trip!