Experience Russian History
Sitka is known as the heart of the Russian influence in Alaska and once served as the capital of Russian America. In the 18th century, Russian missionaries erected St. Michael’s Cathedral, which became North America’s first Russian Orthodox church. Today, it offers services in Tlingit, Aleut, English and Slavonic. Designed with onion-shaped domes and gold crosses, its old-world architecture transports travelers back in time. Behind the church is the historic bishop’s house and nearby is the grave of Princess Maksoutoff, wife to Alaska’s last Russian governor. Baranof Castle, or Castle Hill, is the ceremonial site of the Alaska land transfer from Russia to the U.S. Today, it hosts the annual Alaska Day celebration and offers jaw-dropping views of the Sitka Sound. See traditional Russian and Ukrainian celebrations with authentic performances from the costume-clad New Archangel Dancers.
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