Trinity Church the Only Church in the Antarctica
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Trinity Church the Only Church in the Antarctica

Located on King George Island, near Russian Bellingshausen Station in Antarctica, is a small Russian Orthodox Church known as the Trinity church. It is the southernmost Orthodox Church in the world.

Located on King George Island, near Russian Bellingshausen Station in Antarctica, is a small Russian Orthodox Church known as the Trinity church. It is the southernmost Orthodox Church in the world.

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During the 1990s, a charity named Temple for Antarctica had an ambitious project to establish a permanent church or even a monastery on Antarctica. The proposal for this project was approved by Patriarch Alexius II of Moscow, and received donations from across Russia.

They held a competition for the project that was won by architects from Barnaul P.I. Anisifirov, S.G. Rybak and A.B. Schmidt. The church was first constructed in Russia and then, was transported by a supply ship to its present location in the Antarctic. It was considered as the most important Russian monastery because it is the spiritual center of the Russian Orthodox Church.

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All the other structures on this continent was built on a lower altitude to withstand the polar winds, but the Trinity church was standing proud as it was assembled on high ground near the sea shore by the staff of Bellingshausen Station, under the general supervision of Father Kallistrat, who became the church's first priest. It stands 15 meters high; a wooden structure built from Siberian pine and carved in the traditional Russian style by master carpenters of Altay.

This church can accommodate about 30 worshipers. The wall of icons and religious paintings within the church was made by Palekh painters, and the church bells were commissioned by the descendants of Sergey Muravyov-Apostol.

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The church was opened on May 29, 2004, on the Pentecost or Trinity day according to the calendar of the Russian Orthodox Church, and that’s where its name was taken from. The church was blessed by Hieromonk Kallistrat (Romanenko), head priest of Troitse-Sergiyeva Lavra, who visited Antarctica for this occasion. The permanent priest of the church is Father Georgy, who has twenty years of polar experience and now lives permanently near his church.

One or two Orthodox priests, who are hieromonks of Troitse-Sergiyeva Lavra volunteering for the Antarctic assignment manned the church all-year round. Among their tasks are praying for the souls of the 64 Russian people who have died in Antarctic expeditions and serving the spiritual needs of the staff of Bellingshausen Station and other nearby stations. On occasions, the priest baptizes new adherents of Christianity in the Southern Ocean.

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The church is large enough to accommodate 30 visitors, but it is rarely filled to its capacity. Recently however, the church performed its first wedding - the first wedding ever celebrated in a church in Antarctica - between Chilean and Russian researchers. But besides Russian polar researchers, the church is also often visited by their colleagues from the nearby Chilean, Polish, Korean, and other research stations, as well as by tourists. Some church services are conducted in Spanish for the benefit of Latin American visitors.

The Trinity Church in the Antarctic is so far the only one of its kind which serves not just a place of worship, but also a great tourist destination to visit.

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Comments (14)

Nice one Alma, best wishes always.

Ranked #1 in Europe

excellent AJ, love the pics too.

An interesting post to break the silence, Alma. I wish you are doing well.

Amazing! A salute to the human spirit

Very interesting !

Ranked #3 in Europe

Love this! It makes me want to go there!

A great outpost of faith in a wilderness. Excellent work, Alma.

Ranked #17 in Europe

An interesting place to discover. Very well researched as usual. Bravo Alma!

It's a beautiful church with some very dedicated priests there. Hope you're feeling better!

Ranked #26 in Europe

nice to see you posting some interesting article again..hope you're just doing fine

Brrr. It must be cold worshipping there.

Ranked #4 in Europe

Interesting

Neat. I doubt I'll ever get to visit. *sigh* ; )

Ranked #13 in Europe

I am so glad I read this well presented article. Fully enjoyed.

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