KING GEORGE ISLAND, Antarctica – A tiny Russian Orthodox church has been serving the spiritual needs of scientists and other personnel at Russia’s Bellingshausen base in Antarctica since 2004.
Holy Trinity Church, which was originally constructed in Siberia in 2002, is located at latitude 62 south, making it the southernmost Orthodox church in the world.
Russian Orthodox priests take turns serving at the church, celebrating Mass and attending to the spiritual needs of the base’s personnel.
The Rev. Palladium, who is currently assigned to the church, said it was a “privilege” to work in Antarctica, where he has been able to listen to God in a “deeper” way.
“Antarctica offers the opportunity to get to know yourself better and to get much closer to God,” the Russian Orthodox priest told EFE.
Visitors to the small church enter a world of Gregorian chant, burning incense and candles, providing a space for introspection.
“After four years, I’m convinced that Antarctica is a very special place whose landscape has an impact on visitors for the rest of their lives,” the priest said.
Holy Trinity Church was constructed to withstand the extreme weather conditions on King George Island, with the pyramidal structure anchored to the ground to protect it from hurricane-force winds that can top 150 kph (93 mph).
Antarctica is home to seven churches, but Holy Trinity is the only one serving members of the Russian Orthodox church.