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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
  • The Italian Chapel,standing as a lone structure at the top of a small hill of Lamb Holm, can be spotted from far as one approaches the famous Churchill Causeways in Orkney Islands. More than the build...  more »
  • last remainder of prison camp in which they were confined hundreds of Italians in World War II, is testimony to how even in wartime can be born of the testimonies of peace. The prisoners, led by two artists, in your spare time from the construction of Churchill barriers have transformed a hangar in this small church, decorating both indoors and outdoors and getting an artistic result unimaginable for the materials used. The war then ensured that it not be ever used, but was terminated is kept with care by the inhabitants of Orkney. Nice is the fact that for the restoration has been called upon the original building coordinators. The entrance fee, however not overdone (3 pounds), is difficult to justify.
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  • We are neighbours with the Swiss Ticino, Italy and arrive in Orkney and find the Italian Chapel surprised us. For this reason we visited and were very impressed by his story!
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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.