Orthodox Church in Karakol was built in 1869 the same year when the town was founded. It served the Russian troops who stationed in Karakol until it was destroyed by an earthquake. In 1895 a new wooden church was built on the same spot and became the tallest building in the town being 26 m. The church served the parishioners until 1917 and during the Soviet purges it became a state property for using for different purposes: from a theater to warehouse. For a short period between 1947 to 1960’ it was given back to Christian community but later was again used for other purposes. Finally following the independence of Kyrgyz Republic, the church was returned to Orthodox community who immediately started reconstructions.
The Orthodox church has a rectangular-broken configuration, and its area makes 36 x 18 meters. Tourists can observe five octagonal domes and a bell tower which can be reached from the inner wooden staircase top the shrine. The facade of the church is decorated with carvings. The walls inside of the church have the relics of holy martyrs - Proma, Tarakh and Andronicus, as well as The Icon of the Virgin Mary of Tikhvin which has a unique story of rescue during routs of Soviets. It was limned about a century and a half ago in Athens and preserved by brave hearts who hid this icon from the exterminators risking their lives.
Today the church is one of the most visited sites in Karakol. You can visit it during your tour in Kyrgyzstan where you can take a car for rent from Bishkek. Car rent is the most effective and convenient way to discover all the interesting sites during your tours in Kyrgyzstan.