Roman Catholic Church in Tashkent
More than 100 years ago in Tashkent, on the far outskirts of the Russian Empire, construction began on a Roman Catholic cathedral.
Few people know that by the end of the 19th century, nearly one-quarter of the 40,000 inhabitants of the capital of the Turkestan Territory were Catholics, mostly Poles from the western provinces of Russia at that time: officers and regular soldiers, labourers and officials sent here on the orders of the Emperor. Being deeply religious people, beginning in the 1870s they began to petition the authorities to create a church.
The walls of the church were erected in the early 1920s, but the building was not finished and it was never used for worship. It slowly fell into disrepair, a familiar landmark to generations of citizens of Tashkent who knew it as a grand ruin on the edge of the city…