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St. Michael's Cathedral, Sitka

#7 of 50 in Things to do in Sitka
Religious Site · Hidden Gem · Tourist Spot
St. Michael's Cathedral (Russian: Собор Архангела Михаила Sobor Arkhangela Mikhaila, 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, though this structure burned down in 1966. After 1872, the cathedral came under the control of the Diocese of Alaska. It had 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 (Veniaminov), is also nearby, operated by the National Park Service as part of the Sitka National Historical Park.

By using our Sitka day trip site, you can arrange your visit to St. Michael's Cathedral and other attractions in Sitka.
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St. Michael's Cathedral reviews

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TripAdvisor traveler rating 4.5
391 reviews
  • The church’s best feature is its architecture. Very old and photogenic. It is still an active church, and is historic. The story about the icon is amazing - worthstopping.  more »
  • This is a great little church and a wonderful example of Russian architecture from the 1800's. There is an admission charge to go inside, with the proceeds going to its ongoing restoration.  more »
  • I took a quick look around the church. It's not very big but $5 is worth it to see relics and icons from another church if you are interested. It is fascinating to learn some of the things the Russian church brought here and their efforts to translate the Bible into the native language.
  • Beautiful church. I live in Sitka and to clarify, they charge $5 entry to tourists because they are a tiny congregation of mostly elderly and receive no outside help to maintain the structure. The “required donation” helps keep the building standing.

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