Serbian Orthodox Church, Coober Pedy

Church of Saint Elijah the Prophet is the Serbian Orthodox church in Coober Pedy, South Australia, built in 1993 and is dedicated to Saint Elijah. It belongs to the Serbian Orthodox Eparchy of Australia and New Zealand. The church is a popular tourist attraction because of its underground location. The whole church complex, with a church, a community hall, a parish house and a religious school, is carved in the sandstone between 3 and 17 meters under the ground level.The buildingThe church was built by Serbian Australians who settled in Coober Pedy as opal miners. Because of the hot climate, it was decided to build a church under the ground. The digging of the community hall begun in June 1992, and was finished in a month. The digging of the church itself began in February 1993, and was finished in August 1993, and consecrated on the St Elijah's day. All work was done by the volunteers. The church is 30m long, 5.3m wide, and 7m high, and is completely carved in the sandstone. The ceiling window is covered with stained glass. The floor is 17m under the ground level in the deepest point, and 3m under the ground level at the shallowest point. The church has a gallery with a baptismal font and the altar. The iconostasis is made of glass. The interior walls are covered with bas reliefs of saints carved in stone. The whole complex contains the church, the community hall, priest's home and the religious school, all carved under the ground.
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Serbian Orthodox Church Reviews
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  • There are a few underground churches in the area but this is by far the biggest and best. A very interesting place to visit.  more »
  • I'm so very not a churchy person but this is certainly fascinating. The scale of the excavations is amazing and the carvings are magnificent.  more »
  • The churches are among the many underground facilities in Coober Pedy. Church was not well attended. For this you can work well on the environment.
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  • Worth a visit if you are in Coober Pedy. Interesting atmosphere of an underground church, lovely detailing inside. There was no-one in attendance when we visited; we entered via the doors second from the right at the front, these were the only ones that seemed open.
  • Interesting building. Most say it is the most impressive but I prefer the ones that actually are still active church's in the community
  • A beautiful and peaceful refuge in the desert. The church is cut into the side of a rock hill, so it's very cool in summer. The stained glass windows and frescoes are beautiful and you can see how the different cutting machines excavated the walls and arches. Well worth a visit and a chat with the caretaker.
  • A beautiful church - not what you would expect to find inside based on the exterior (but that's the story of Coober Pedy, isn't it?). There's lots of detail so make sure you have a look at all the decorative items inside. It doesn't take too long to see in total, though, because it's not that large.
  • Its a littlw bit run down. But its a great concept. I love the bees at the front.
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