Russian Bishop's House
The Russian Bishop's House is one of the few surviving examples of Russian colonial architecture in North America. Imperial Russia was the dominant power in the North Pacific for over 125 years. Sitka (known as New Archangel at the time) was the Russian colonial capital. The Bishop's House was completed in 1842 and was the center of Russian Orthodox Church authority in a diocese that stretched from California to Siberian Kamchatka.
The Russian Orthodox Church closed the Bishop's House in 1969. The spruce walls had rotted, the roof leaked, and the floors and doorways tilted. The building was in danger of collapse. In 1973, the National Park Service obtained the property and began a 16 year project to restore the building to its 1853 appearance. The restored Russian Bishop's House offers visitors a chance to step back into history and feel and understand what it was like to live in Sitka during the Russian-American period.
Did You Know?
The transfer of Alaska from Russia took place in Sitka. On October 18, 1867, the Russian flag was lowered on Castle Hill, home of Alaska's Russian governors, the American flag was raised, and a brief exchange of statements completed the transfer of Alaska to the United States.