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Holy Trinity Orthodox Church

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1921. 523 1st St.

In the undulating open countryside of Barron County rises Holy Trinity Orthodox Church, a small, red brick Byzantine Revival church. The design reflects the tradition of European Orthodox ecclesiastical architecture, with a narthex at the west end, a wider and taller nave, and a semicircular apse containing the altar at the east end. On the sides, three large round-headed windows are tightly grouped to express the nave’s compactness and centrality. The west tower, topped with a prominent onion dome and a three-bar cross, marks the church as Russian Orthodox. On the interior, the nave is barrel vaulted with a choir loft at the west end and, at the east end, a tall iconostasis, which almost completely separates the nave from the sanctuary. Ablaze with color, it holds three tiers of icons. The iconostasis is pierced by the central paired royal doors and deacon doors on each side, permitting the clergy and altar servers to pass through the screen during the service.

Construction of this church was used to promote the settlement of East Slav and Russian immigrants in the area. The Lohrbauer Land Company donated the lot, and in 1897 the Russian-American Orthodox Messenger published eye-catching plans and elevations by Victor Cordella of Minneapolis for an ornate, monumental masonry church. Instead, the congregation erected c. 1900 a modest wooden church, which was replaced by the current structure following a fire. It is the only masonry rural Orthodox church in the state and was built by a contractor from St. Paul. Cordella may have been the architect, judging by the design’s sophistication and his other commissions for Slavic congregations.

Writing Credits

Marsha Weisiger et al.



Marsha Weisiger et al., "Holy Trinity Orthodox Church", [Clayton, Wisconsin], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—,

Print Source

Buildings of Wisconsin

Buildings of Wisconsin, Marsha Weisiger and contributors. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2017, 312-312.

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