While most research stations in Antarctica are equipped with a dual-purposed room for religious services, Holy Trinity Church was built to accommodate those in search of a more traditional worship experience.
Constructed of cedar, larch and pine, the small Russian Orthodox house of worship was hand-crafted by local carpenters in Siberia before being deconstructed and transported more than 10,000 miles to the bottom of the world. Once it hit the icy shores, it took almost two full months to reconstruct in the harsh conditions.
The southernmost continent is home to a total of seven churches – Holy Trinity is the only one that operates year round – and at least one priest is on location at all times. With services every Saturday & Sunday – in both Spanish & Russian – the gatherings typically consist of five or six parishioners depending on the time of year.
The church recently performed its first wedding ceremony, celebrating the union of Russian and Chilean researchers. Rumor has it ‘Hand Warmers’ was the top item on their registry.
Story: Wally Koval