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St. Michael's Cathedral, Sitka

4.2
#8 of 29 in Historic Sites in Alaska
Religious Site Tourist Spot
St. Michael's Cathedral, also known as the Cathedral of St. Michael the Archangel, is a cathedral of the Orthodox Church in America Diocese of Alaska, at Lincoln and Matsoutoff Streets in Sitka, Alaska. The earliest Orthodox cathedral in the New World, it was built in the nineteenth century, when Alaska was under the control of Russia. After 1872, the cathedral came under the control of the Diocese of Alaska. It has been a National Historic Landmark since 1962, notable as an important legacy of Russian influence in North America and Southeast Alaska in particular.An accidental fire destroyed the cathedral during the night of January 2, 1966, but it was subsequently rebuilt. The new building’s green domes and golden crosses are a prominent landmark in Sitka. Some of the icons date to the mid-17th century; two icons are by Vladimir Borovikovsky.St. Michael's Cathedral is located in the downtown business district in Sitka, on the southwestern coast of Baranof Island in the Alexander Archipelago of Southeastern Alaska. Its surroundings along Lincoln Street and Maksutoff Street, which ends at the cathedral, have not altered much during the last more than 100 years. Harrigan Centennial Hall on Harbor Drive lies behind the cathedral, while Pioneers' Home is to its left. The restored Russian Bishop's House, home of the first Orthodox Bishop of Alaska, Innocent loan Veniaminov, is also nearby, operated by the National Park Service as part of the Sitka National Historical Park.
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Reviews
TripAdvisor Traveler Rating
252 reviews
Google
4.4
TripAdvisor
  • Friends recommended the Cathedral as their favorite spot on their Alaska tour, but we didn't have the background to appreciate or understand the art. We needed more than free reading material to expla...  more »
  • Went here to visit this Russian church but it was closed. It still was worth visiting the outside. You will the onion top from all over town.  more »
  • Built in 1844-48, this Russian Orthodox Church was burned down in Jan. 1966. Fortunately, many of the religious objects were salvaged by concerned citizens and the structure was rebuilt. An interestin...  more »
Google
  • Not a museum, not a landmark, this church is a holy house for those who wish to take time to pray, reverence the icons and know the history of Christianity brought to Alaska. It is small but very beautiful, a living church with local congregation and services.
  • This handsome, earnest cathedral is less ostentatious than most, presenting its Orthodox iconography in a sparse, honest setting that feels almost like a large family's home than a place of worship. The chilly exterior belies the warmth inside, where gold and red tones dominate. The small donation taken at the door (five bucks) is entirely appropriate if it helps keep a space like this one up and running. Not a destination, precisely -- but well worth seeing if you're in Sitka for the day.
  • This Church is about healing broken relationships, and living in a warm community that cares for one another and those around them. The vision is the vision and command of Christ from Matthew 28 "go and make disciples, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you."
  • I have live here for over 20 years and it has been one of the premier tourist spots. I work near the church in the middle of the road is what we call it. Ya in the middle of road though traffic on both sides. And one of my best friends work there.
  • Very cool...history

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