One of the oldest buildings in Uralsk is the Archangel Michael Cathedral. The construction of the cathedral was begun in 1741, ten years later (1751) the cathedral was consecrated and began the church services.
Initially, there was a small wooden church, which was built by unknown masters on the place of cathedral in 1705-1706. A fire destroyed the wooden building in 1723. Two years later, residents built a new wooden church. In 1740, it was decided to build a capital brick temple instead of the wooden church. Michael the Archangel Cathedral was founded in 1741. Creation of the cathedral was a national construction. The local Yaik Cossacks put the brick factory near construction for their own expense. Construction was headed by master from Novgorod. Unfortunately, his name was not saved. However, it was known that the temple was built in Pskov-Novgorod style.
The temple's foundation was laid in 1740, and construction was completed after six years. The building was built according to Russian tradition church architecture, except erected four storey bell tower in the Gothic style on the north side.
History of Cathedral of Saint Michael the Archangel is linked to the events of the Pugachev rebellion. According to tradition this temple was called 'Old Cathedral' by local people.
In 1774, at the culmination of the rebellion in the fortress, Cathedral of Saint Michael the Archangel was defended by thousand faithful soldiers of Ekaterina under the command of Colonel Simon and Captain Krylov. Troops of peasant army were led by E.Pugachev and made repeated attempts assault, but they could not take the cathedral.
There is a legend that the captive E.Pugachev was already taken to the city, where he was put in a small cage and chained to the wall of the basement of Cathedral of the Archangel Michael. When he was taken to the cathedral, Pugachev looked at dome and sighed: "Oh, I could not take you ..."
In addition, A.S. Pushkin visited the Old Cathedral in autumn of 1833, from 21 to 23 September. Besides, I.Krylov, A.Suvorov, V.Zhukovsky, V.Korolenko and V.Dal visited the Cathedral.
Being as heirs of the emperors, the Russian Emperor Alexander II and Nicholas II prayed here.
After the revolution in 1917, during the Civil War and in the early 30s, Cathedral repeatedly opened and closed. Anti-religious museum was opened in the Old Cathedral, 1940. The Cathedral was returned to prayers in 1943 and until 1961 the worship committed in it. Since 1961, the cathedral was closed by the order of the local authorities and it was empty until 1966. From 1966 to 1988 it was the Regional Museum. City officials repaired the roof and dome of the cathedral during this period.
In 1988, in the year of the 1000th anniversary of the Baptism of Russia, Uralsk prayers appealed to the Executive Committee of the City Council of National Deputies to return the Orthodox Cathedral. The cathedral building was returned to prayers of the religious community of the Russian Orthodox Church after permission of the Council for Religious Affairs of the USSR Council of Ministers in 1989.
In 1997 -1998, restoration of the iconostasis was provided and a lot of work was done for the conservation of frescoes. External and internal renovation of premises was made, dome was gilded and new Kyotos were built. Furthermore, new bells were established. At the same time were landscaped adjacent to the cathedral grounds, and laid pavement, paved area, flowerbeds and flower beds.
At present time, the Cathedral of Saint Archangel Michael recognized as an architectural monument of the 18th century, and it is taken under state protection. It is one of the main attractions of Uralsk.