In Nur-Sultan, interior design and artworks are highly valued, and people really pay attention to them. Thus the whole city and its buildings are full of beautiful artworks, including religious hubs like mosques and churches. Speaking of worshipping places, one of the best examples of a mesmerizing interior in Nur-Sultan is the biggest Orthodox cathedral of Central Asia - the Assumption Cathedral.
The decision to build the Assumption Cathedral in Nur-Sultan was taken in 2004. Two years after, the first stone was laid, and the foundation was consecrated. The first service in the cathedral took place on Easter in 2006. The bells of the cathedral were delivered in 2007, and they weigh around 20 tons overall. In 2009, the Metropolitan Methodius consecrated the five domes and crosses of the cathedral. One year later, the Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia, Kirill, consecrated the Assumption Cathedral of Nur-Sultan. In the cathedral's territory, one can find a hotel for pilgrims, a Sunday school, and the Astana Orthodox youth movement.
The Assumption Cathedral of Nur-Sultan is located in the old part of the city, and its full name is the Cathedral in honor of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary. The cathedral can welcome up to four thousand people and appears to be the largest in Central Asia. The area of the cathedral covers around two thousand square meters, whereas the height is 68 m. It consists of three chapels: the main one - built in honor of the Assumption of Virgin Mary, on the left side is the chapel that honors the Archangel Michael, and the one on the right side honors Saints Cyril and Methodius. The lower temple is made in honor of the new martyrs and confessors of Kazakhstan, whilst the upper and lower churches have two confessionals each. All the interior artwork was painted by artists from Palekh in Russia.
The cathedral is open every day from 8 am to 7 pm, and the services are performed every day. One can enjoy the interior artworks of the cathedral and the fresh air on the benches around. The morning service starts at 8.40 am, and the evening one begins at 5 pm, while on Sundays at 4 pm. On Sundays and holidays, the liturgy starts at 7 am and lasts until 9.20 am.
The cathedral is located on the right bank of the Esil (Ishim) River. It is one of the oldest districts of Nur-Sultan. There, one can see lots of housings from the Soviet time, and it is truly a great experience to feel the historical part of Kazakhstan. There is a bus navigating throughout the city, and it is one of the best options of transport. With a bus number 71 one can reach the cathedral from both parts of the city. The bus stop near the cathedral is 'Kyushi Dina', which translates from the Kazakh language as 'the musician Dina'. This bus stop is called after a legendary dombra instrument player and a composer Dina Nurpeiisova, who lived from 1861 to 1955. As for the taxi, one can download the app Yandex.taxi and order one. The rate is fixed, and once the deal is settled, the price will not rise despite the traffic jam.
After enjoying the magnificent view of the cathedral and its interior artworks, do not be surprised, but I suggest you visit a nearby shopping mall, one of the oldest shopping malls of Nur-sultan. At first, it was just one mall, and over 20 years, it was expanded and divided into Eurasia 1, Eurasia 2 and Eurasia 3. It has over 1000 stores that sell things from electronics to itsy bitsy daily stuff. One can find souvenirs along with clothes and even groceries. The newest part is called Eurasia 3 and has a food court, a bowling center and a cinema. In order to visit this place and perhaps do some shopping, make sure you have a couple of spare hours as the Eurasia mall is huge. The mall is open every day from 10 am to 8 pm.
For those interested in the historical part of Nur-Sultan, visit one of the oldest shopping malls in the city. But before you do it, you must explore the Assumption Cathedral of Nur-Sultan. The mesmerizing interior of the biggest orthodox cathedral of Central Asia is a must-visit for all first-comers to Nur-Sultan.
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