The story of St. Michael’s Cathedral is really the story of the Russian Orthodox Church in Alaska. Since the Russians settled in North America starting in 1741, sporadic attempts were made to Christianize the Natives, and in 1848 the capital of the Russian Orthodox Church moved to Sitka and St. Michael’s Cathedral was erected. Though partially destroyed in a fire in January of 1966, the rebuilt Cathedral stands as an outstanding example of Russian Orthodox architecture and was the major religious office in the area until Russia ceded Alaska to the United States in 1867. Today, St. Michael’s Cathedral houses an impressive collection of Russian Orthodox art and various church relics. Set against a sub-arctic skyline, it is a memorable sight for any photographer.
St. Michael’s Cathedral is located at 240 Lincoln Street in Sitka. In summer, the site is open from 9am-4pm.