• Image of visitor center and totem poles

    Sitka

    National Historical Park Alaska

Russian Bishop's House

Photograph of the Russian Bishop's House
The Russian Bishop's House is a legacy of Russian colonization in the United States.
 

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?

Historic photograph of the Russian Bishop's House

The Russian imperial government maintained colonies in Alaska devoted to a lucrative fur trade. The Russian Bishop's House is one of a few remaining buildings from the Russian colonial period. More...