Thursday, June 18, 2009

My favorite chapels

One of the things that always intrigues me are these little chapels near our Alaska home. 

This is Holy Assumption of the Virgin Mary Church. According to their parish listing, this building was constructed between 1894 and 1896 (although the church was founded even earlier), and is the oldest standing Orthodox church in Alaska. Services are regularly held here, and the building has had restoration work done to it.  However, restoration is still needed to preserve the ornamentation and artifacts inside it.

This the interior of the church.

This is the St. Nicholas Memorial Chapel across the street from the Holy Assumption Church. It was built in 1906 to honor the memory of Fr. Igumen Nikolai Militov and Makary Ivanov, Catholic missionaries who worked during the mid-1800s to inoculate the Dena'ina people from smallpox. This chapel was constructed on the site of the original 1849 church, which was located in the northwest corner of the Fort St. Nicholas, the original Russian fur trading post. (see the link above)

The interior of the St. Nicholas Memorial Chapel.

It is with some embarrassment that I admit I do not remember which church this little stick chapel is affiliated with. It's located on the Kenai Spur Highway and sits quite near the road in the corner of the main church's parking lot. I just love this one. I've never seen it open but hope to some day be there at the right time so I can go inside it. The entire footprint of the chapel is not as large as the living room in my current house, and is built log-style, except instead of logs, there are skinny sticks. If you look closely at the right front corner of the building, you can see the interleaving sticks of wood.

The interior of the stick chapel. There are only three pews in it.


  1. How adorable! They remind me of a few like that in Nova Scotia. Thank you for sharing.

  2. Interesting chapels. They remind me a bit of the original Sacred Heart Catholic Church here in Rowlett (, the white building on the left of the banner picture), which was the operating church when we moved here. I think it's only used for weddings and special events now.

  3. It does look a bit like the Sacred Heart church!

  4. But there are no churches in yurts here! sure livened things up last time. :)

  5. The Church of the Yurt? With Yurt and Ernie as Altar boys?

    I think we better quit while we're ahead.....

  6. Don't force it, James. Let the yurt come to you... :-)