The Difficult-to-Reach Churches of Antarctica

Sunday October 02, 2016 Written by Genevieve

Antarctic Churches

There’s something about the end of the world that can really get a person feeling religious. Though in this particular instance we’re thinking less ‘end-of-days’ end-of-the-world, and more ‘Antarctica’ end-of-the-world.

In spite of its isolation, or any mobility difficulties the average visitor to Antarctica might face, the great southern continent is surprisingly church-heavy. Ok, it's got about seven. Which is at least six more than we expected. What’s less surprising, though, is that these icy spiritual institutions have some cooler than cool stories attached to them.

Chapel of the Snows – a non-denominational place of worship, pictured at the top of this post – has been consumed by fire on two separate occasions, in spite of its watery name and location.

Antarctic Churches

Then there’s Trinity Chapel (above), an Orthodox church in the Russian zone of Antarctica, made from Siberian pine and manned by voluntary monks and visiting priests all year round.

Antarctic Churches

Argentinean-run San Francisco de Asis Chapel operates in the nation’s base, alongside a school, a museum, a bar and a hospital, while the Chilean Chapel of Santa Maria de la Paz, a converted shipping container, sits pretty in the midst of a post office, a hostel and a bank.

Antarctic Churches g3

There’s a lot more to know about these sacred structures of the land down, down under, and you can read it in this write-up over on Atlas Obscura.

Antarctic Churches