St. Nicholas Russian Orthodox Church Virtual Visit

Small blue and white wooden church with dome
St. Nicholas Russian Orthodox Church


St. Nicholas Russian Orthodox Church was built in 1893 in Juneau, Alaska. It is the second oldest surviving Russian Orthodox church in the state, and the only octagonal example. Although constructed twenty-six years after Secretary of State William H. Seward facilitated the US purchase of Alaska from Russia, the church can be seen as closely related to the period of Russian colonization (1741-1867). St. Nicholas Church was built soon after Juneau was founded (1880) and remains one of the oldest structures in the city. According to tradition, the construction of St. Nicholas was a joint effort between local Tlingit and Serbian miners.

Project Information

The documentation of St. Nicholas was the result of a collaboration between NPS Alaska Regional Office, ROSSIA Inc. (Russian Orthodox Sacred Sites in Alaska) and Heritage Documentation Programs (HDP). The church and rectory were documented using laser scanning, panoramic photography, and hand measuring in July 2013. HDP architects Mark Schara and Jeremy Mauro completed the documentation in partnership with Grant Crosby, Historical Architect, NPS Alaska Regional Office. The flythrough was created by Jeremy Mauro using point cloud data captured in the field with a Leica C10 laser scanner. The point cloud was colored with high dynamic range photography. The structure's relatively small footprint and plain exterior belies the spaciousness and ornamentation of the interior. Of particular note is the iconostas, which was fabricated in Russia in 1893 and shipped across the Pacific to Juneau. Most of the furniture was removed from the interior during the scanning and photography to allow for better coverage of the architectural elements.

Last updated: January 13, 2022