Thursday, August 23, 2012

Russian Influence in Kodiak, AK

There is a large Russian influence in Kodiak.  The first Governor of Alaska (before the US purchased it, when the Russians still owned it) was Alexander Baronov.  He lived on Kodiak for a time until he moved the capital of Alaska to Sitka.  In any event, in town, there was this lovely Russian Orthodox Church and I just had to capture some images that reflected that influence on this island, and this State.  The first image, above, is of one of the 2 church steeples on this little church.  Notice the design of the Russian Orthodox cross.

I also loved hearing the bells ringing in the morning air. Since we visited Kodiak on a Sunday, they certainly did ring out! Again, can you see the cross in the bells? It seems to be a bit worn on the bell in the center of the photo, but check out the one on the left side – it’s much more pronounced.

There was a Russian cemetery within a couple of blocks of this church and we stopped by there.This was a headstone that I thought captured not only the age of the cemetery, but the Russian pride – on the headstone is the statement that this person was a native of Russia.One interesting thing about this cemetery that I wasn’t able to capture in photos was the somewhat odd terrain of it.It’s on a hill, and as I walked thru the cemetery, I noticed that there weren’t a lot of headstones that remained visible.A woman who was also in the cemetery noted that many of them seemed to be in stages of being buried, or already were buried, except when the families had added some additional foundation to their family plot to keep things level.It suddenly occurred to me that it might very well be that the reason for the headstones being buried and the very uneven, squishy, and almost undulating feel of the ground beneath my feet was that the graves/coffins are slowly sliding down the hill.I don’t know that for certain, but if you were there, I think you’d have to agree that the idea was really not far fetched at all.Kind of a disturbing thought, tho.

As I said earlier, it was Sunday morning, so although services were not going on when we walked around the church, there were some folks who were inside the church, and obviously had the lights on.I just loved the lighting of this window from within. It created such a peaceful feel.


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