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<div class="c1">The Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception of the Holy Virgin Mary is a neo-Gothic church that serves as the cathedral of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Moscow. Located in the Central Administrative Okrug, it is one of only two Catholic churches in Moscow and the largest in Russia. The construction of the cathedral was proposed by the Czarist government in 1894. Groundbreaking was in 1899; construction work began in 1901 and was completed ten years later. Three-aisled and built from red brick, the cathedral is based on a design by architect Tomasz Bohdanowicz-Dworzecki. The style was influenced by Westminster Abbey and Milan Cathedral. With the help of funds from Catholic parishes in Russia and its neighbouring states, the church was consecrated as a chapel for Moscow's Polish parish in 1911. In the aftermath of the Russian Revolution, to promote state atheism, the government ordered many churches closed; the cathedral was closed in 1938. During World War II, it was threatened with demolition, and was used after the war for civil purposes, as a warehouse and then a hostel. In 1996, following the fall of communism, it once again became a church, and in 2002 it was elevated to the status of cathedral. Following an extensive and costly program of reconstruction and refurbishment, the cathedral was reconsecrated in 2005.





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