- Trinity Church, Antarctica
Trinity Church ( _ru. Церковь Святой Троицы) is a small Russian Orthodox church on the
King George Islandnear Russian Bellingshausen Stationin Antarctica. It is the southernmost Eastern Orthodox[World Wide Antarctic Program. " [http://www.waponline.it/ChurchinAntarctica/tabid/65/Default.aspx A Catholic Church in Antarctica ... a Challenge from WAP] ", 29 January 2006. Visited 15 April 2006.] church [The St. John of RilaChapel at Bulgarian St. Kliment Ohridski Baseis an Eastern Orthodox chapellocated further south and the Chapel of the Snows, Antarcticaat United States McMurdo Stationis the southernmost religious building in the world. Whether a chapel is a type of church depends on the definition.] in the world.
The ambitious project to establish a permanent church or even a
monasteryon Antarctica surfaced during the 1990s. A charity named "Temple for Antarctica" (Храм - Антарктиде) was approved by Patriarch Alexius IIand received donations from across Russia. They organized a competition for the project that was won by architects from BarnaulP.I. Anisifirov, S.G. Rybak and A.B. Schmidt.
The church is a 15m-high wooden structure built in traditional Russian style. It can accommodate up to 30 worshippers. The structure was built out of
Siberian Pineby Altay carpenters led by K.V. Khromov, then dismantled, shipped to Antarctica (by the ship "Academician Vavilov") and assembled there by the staff of Bellingshausen Station. The iconostasiswas created by Palekhpainters. The church bells were paid for by the descendants of Sergey Muravyov-Apostol.
The church was opened on
May 29, 2004, the Pentecostor "Trinity day" according to the calendar of the Russian Orthodox Church. The church was blessed by HieromonkKallistrat (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. Among his 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.
Notes and references
Religion in Antarctica
*ru icon [http://r-oc.1gb.ru/viewpage.php?cat=antarctic_continent&page=1 History of the church]
*ru icon [http://www.rusk.ru/newsdata.php?idar=410602 Itar TASS press release]
*ru icon [http://community.livejournal.com/ru_woodarch/82379.html?mode=reply Photos]
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