Photographer's Note

Karakol was basically a garrison town established in 1869 as an outpost on the edges of the Czarist Russian Empire. Built on the site of an earlier church, the current wooden the Holy Trinity Russian Orthodox Church was constructed between 1890-95. It is said that in its construction no nails or metal fastening were used. During the construction a yurt served as a church for local population. Over the years, particularly following the Russian Revolution in 1917, it has been used as an educational center housing a school, a theater, a dance hall and even as a coal store. Then, in 1991, following the collapse of the Soviet Union and the independence of Kyrgyzstan, the local authority once again gave the building back to the church. The building consists of wooden walls on a stone foundation and is highly decorative. The five onion domes, which used to adorn it, were destroyed in the Soviet period. The church has been returned to active service and is being renovated. Kyrgyzstan is today predominantly an Islamic country with around 82% Muslims, about 15% Christians and 3% other religions.

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Additional Photos by Zbigniew Kalinowski (fotka) Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 653 W: 10 N: 1943] (8206)
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