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Russian Orthodox churches draw crowds

Posted: Saturday, May 26, 2001

Providing a link to the past, capturing the attention of innumerable artists and serving the needs of the faithful are the Kenai Peninsula's Russian Orthodox churches.

Introduced by Alaska's previous owner, Russia, the orthodox faith spread as Russian exploration spread. By the time the United States purchased Alaska in 1867, congregations were well established, including those on the peninsula.

Built in Kenai in 1896, on a bluff overlooking the mouth of Kenai River, the Holy Assumption of the Virgin Mary Russian Orthodox Church sits on Mission Avenue in the Old Town section of the city. Brightly-colored icons of Jesus Christ, the Virgin Mary and various saints adorn the walls of the church. Dating back before the construction of the church, some of the icons are 150 years old.

Photographs may be taken inside, but visitors are asked not to enter the roped-off areas, and men are asked to remove their hats.

Services are held Saturdays at 6 p.m. and Sundays at 10 a.m. For information about tours of the church or to visit the small gift shop, call 283-4122, 283-0922 or 262-4103.

Visitors are welcome. A $1 donation is encouraged, which helps maintain the church and restore the icons.

Across a nearby field is the chapel of St. Nicholas, built in 1906. Considered a sacred site by Alaska Russian Orthodox faithful, the chapel is the final resting place for Father Nicholas and church song leader Makar Ivanoff.

Ninilchik's Holy Transfig-uration of our Lord Russian Orthodox Church was built in 1901 on a hill above Ninil-chik Village, situated on the shores of Cook Inlet. The site is a photographer's dream, with Cook Inlet and the peaks of mounts Iliamna and Redoubt on the inlet's far shore, serving as a backdrop.

Services in Ninilchik are held at 10 a.m. on the first and last Sundays of the month. Vespers are scheduled for 6 p.m. on the Saturdays preceding Sunday services.

Providing a link to the past, capturing the attention of innumerable artists and serving the needs of the faithful are the Kenai Peninsula's Russian Orthodox churches.

Introduced by Alaska's previous owner, Russia, the orthodox faith spread as Russian exploration spread. By the time the United States purchased Alaska in 1867, congregations were well established, including those on the peninsula.

Built in Kenai in 1896, on a bluff overlooking the mouth of Kenai River, the Holy Assumption of the Virgin Mary Russian Orthodox Church sits on Mission Avenue in the Old Town section of the city. Brightly-colored icons of Jesus Christ, the Virgin Mary and various saints adorn the walls of the church. Dating back before the construction of the church, some of the icons are 150 years old.

Photographs may be taken inside, but visitors are asked not to enter the roped-off areas, and men are asked to remove their hats.

Services are held Saturdays at 6 p.m. and Sundays at 10 a.m. For information about tours of the church or to visit the small gift shop, call 283-4122, 283-0922 or 262-4103.

Visitors are welcome. A $1 donation is encouraged, which helps maintain the church and restore the icons.

Across a nearby field is the chapel of St. Nicholas, built in 1906. Considered a sacred site by Alaska Russian Orthodox faithful, the chapel is the final resting place for Father Nicholas and church song leader Makar Ivanoff.

Ninilchik's Holy Transfig-uration of our Lord Russian Orthodox Church was built in 1901 on a hill above Ninil-chik Village, situated on the shores of Cook Inlet. The site is a photographer's dream, with Cook Inlet and the peaks of mounts Iliamna and Redoubt on the inlet's far shore, serving as a backdrop.

Services in Ninilchik are held at 10 a.m. on the first and last Sundays of the month. Vespers are scheduled for 6 p.m. on the Saturdays preceding Sunday services.



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