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Italian Chapel on Lamb Holm, St. Mary's

(4.7/5 based on 600+ reviews on the web)
Commemorating a chapter from World War II, Italian Chapel on Lamb Holm preserves the legacy of Italian prisoners brought in for forced labor from the North African front. While working on the construction of a series of causeways connecting the island with the mainland, they used some of the material to make themselves a little piece of their homeland. From the side, the church looks like a tunnel, which it actually is: only its front facade resembles an Italian chapel. Its modest exterior belies the warm, ornate interior; step inside to see its frescoes and carved stone baptismal font. Plan your visit to Italian Chapel on Lamb Holm and a wealth of other attractions, well-known and undiscovered, using our St. Mary's trip itinerary planner.
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Reviews
TripAdvisor
  • ... there is no doubt that this is interestingly and beautifully done, and we loved the history of the site. We are happy to pay to support remote attractions in remaining open and viable, but it was ...  more »
  • Rip off, don't visit. Charges recently introduced mean someone is profiteering by over £300,000 cash every year. This is insulting to all visitors, the Italian prisoners who originally built the chape...  more »
  • If you are pressed for time, perhaps this is the sight to skip? I prefer nature to structure so of course this is just my opinion. It has a nice story, very aged and quaint. 
Google
  • These men had been forced into an army for a cause few of them really believed in. I don't know how they were captured but then they were taken to an unimaginably different place. The work they were brought to do has made a significant difference to this day. We are grateful. In their own time with few resources, they made this wonderful thing. A fine memorial.
  • I was moved almost to tears at the sheer beauty of something created by tese POWs at a time of brutal conflict. Everything made from scrap materials scavenged from around their prison, transformed with artistry and conviction that a place of worship would grow from the spoils of war. It has to be seen and, as in my case, experienced on the inside. I saw this amazing building during a shore excursion while on a P&O cruise.
  • This is a small chapel built by Italian POW's in a WWII prisoner of war camp. They were given just an empty drab hut and nothing else, and yet managed to make do with what little they had to make a magnificent little chapel. This building on Lamb Holm island is definitely worth a quick stop, e.g. along the way to (or way back from) the Tomb of the Eagle on South Ronaldsay island.
  • Really a very moving place built not exactly in the best conditions by poor prisoners of war.
  • This is a lovely and very moving place to visit. The effort the Italian POWs put into making this chapel is amazing. Can't recommend visiting highly enough. If you're visiting, take a couple of hours.