You are here

Church of the Protection of the Holy Theotokos

-A A +A
  • Iconostas (Alison K. Hoagland)
  • Exterior (Jet Lowe)
  • Iconostas (Jet Lowe)

Set apart from the village, perched on a windswept hill, the green-trimmed Russian Orthodox Church of the Protection of the Holy Theotokos is an exceedingly well-proportioned wood-framed building. The gable-roofed nave measures approximately 20 feet by 30 feet, being three bays long. The sanctuary, with a lower gable roof of the same pitch, is about 14 feet by 15 feet. The two-story bell tower, with a pyramidal-roofed belfry with round-arch openings, measures about 10 feet by 12 feet.

The square belfry is matched by a square cupola over the nave. The entrance to the building, rather than being on the west end, is on the south side of the bell tower, respecting the strong winds. On the interior, the cupola above is matched by a false dome; the octagonal space, which has a flat ceiling space that is recessed into the main ceiling, is an obvious reference to the cupola above. The iconostas is a simple board wall with unpainted wooden moldings marking the seven bays.

Constructed by the Alitak Packing Company, owners of a nearby cannery, the Russian Orthodox church provides shelter to two spruce trees, the only ones on the southern part of Kodiak Island. The bleak landscape is enlivened by this neatly maintained building, which, despite the absence of an onion dome, is unmistakably an Alaskan Russian Orthodox church.

Nearby is a reconstructed barabara, the traditional Aleut dwelling. Sod-covered and plank-lined, the building was constructed by the Kodiak Area Native Association in 1989.

Writing Credits

Alison K. Hoagland



Alison K. Hoagland, "Church of the Protection of the Holy Theotokos", [Kodiak, Alaska], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—,

Print Source

Buildings of Alaska, Alison K. Hoagland. New York: Oxford University Press, 1993, 288-289.

If SAH Archipedia has been useful to you, please consider supporting it.

SAH Archipedia tells the story of the United States through its buildings, landscapes, and cities. This freely available resource empowers the public with authoritative knowledge that deepens their understanding and appreciation of the built environment. But the Society of Architectural Historians, which created SAH Archipedia with University of Virginia Press, needs your support to maintain the high-caliber research, writing, photography, cartography, editing, design, and programming that make SAH Archipedia a trusted online resource available to all who value the history of place, heritage tourism, and learning.