Kazan Cathedral

Alexander Zelikov/TASS

Kazan Cathedral is the main church of the Volgograd and Kamyshin diocese. The Cathedral managed to survive both the period of persecution of the church, and in the days of the Battle of Stalingrad.

Initially, Kazan Cathedral was a simple cemetery church without a bell tower, and was shaped as an absolutely symmetrical cross in the plans. The church was consecrated on August 23, 1899. The building was designed in pseudo-Russian style, including all decor elements. The funds for the construction were donated.

According to some sources, Michael Grudistov was the author of the project - at the time a leading architect of the Saratov province. According to the newspaper Tsaritsynsky Vestnik, on September 1, 1899, "the church is an exact copy of the Orthodox church at the Russian Embassy in Paris" (currently the Alexander Nevsky Cathedral in Paris).

With the growing population of Tsaritsyn, it was decided to expand the church of Our Lady of Kazan and construction of the bell tower. Upon completion of work, in 1904, the church mostly had a modern look. The church was open until December 15, 1939, and was the last one to be closed in the city, becoming a production facility for a bread factory for a time. During the Great Patriotic War heavy fighting took place near the church. The church was badly damaged, but in April 1946 the city authorities have made a decision to restore the building, which was carried out under the supervision of the famous architect Vasily Simbirtsev. The funds for construction works were donated. There were not enough funds to return to the the church to its original state, so it was rebuilt in a simplified form. The residents of the city have returned the icon of Our Lady of Kazan and the crucifix to the church that are now on display in the cathedral.

More than 8,000 people came to the church for Easter of 1946, the majority of them stood next to the church in the open air. At the time people who lost relatives during the war came to the church - its walls were covered in white from missing person announcements.

In 1949, Moscow based artist Konstantin Sarkhosh, born in Tsaritsyn, in the time of war air gunner, painted Kreshenie (Baptism), Ascension (Voznesenie) and a number of other icons.

On June 30, 1954, by the decree of His Holiness Patriarch Alexy I of Moscow, the church became a cathedral. In the 1980s, a baptistery was built near the historic former vicarage, as well as several service buildings.

In 2005, the cathedral interior restoration works began. For four years the Cathedral was under reconstruction works to return to its historical, pre-revolutionary guise: the bell tower dome was changed to steepled, four steepled domes for a quadrangle were returned, the central dome was replaced. Now, the territory of the cathedral has a playground and a small park, which give a special warmth to this historic site