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Saturday, July 28, 2018

The US island that feels like Russia, by John Zada (from BBC Travel)

Unalaska Island in the remote Aleutian archipelago was part of an epic, but now mostly forgotten, military campaign during World War II.
(Credit:John Zada)
⇒ A slice of Russia in the US

After Danish explorer Vitus Bering and his Russian colleague Alexei Chirikov became the first known Europeans to visit the Aleutian Islands in 1741, waves of Russian fur traders flocked to the archipelago to hunt sea otters and fur seals. In the late 1700s, the islands became a colony of the Russian Empire. Today many inhabitants still have Russian surnames.

The Russian Orthodox Church followed the fur hunters, building small houses of worship across the islands and converting many Unangax to their faith. Although the US gained control of the Aleutian Islands when it purchased Alaska from Russia in 1867, the Russian Orthodox legacy has survived. Unalaska’s Church of the Holy Ascension (pictured above) is one of a few Russian Orthodox houses of worship that remain. Built in 1896, it is the oldest cruciform-style cathedral in North America and contains original icons and interior sections from earlier churches built on the same site in 1808 and 1825. (Credit: John Zada)

🔗 Go to FULL ARTICLE ⇒ The US island that once belonged to Russia


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