Back Next St. Nicholas Russian Orthodox Church, Eklutna, Alaska  


1 August 1993:  The old church was replaced by this new church in 1962.

"The Three-Barred Cross existed very early in Byzantium, but was adopted by the Russian Orthodox Church
and was especially popularized in the Slavic countries. The upper arm represents the inscription over Christ's
head, and the lower slanting bar represents His footrest. The origin of this slanted footboard is not known, but
in the symbolism of the Russian Orthodox Church, the most common explanation is that it is the pointing
upward to Paradise for the Good Thief on Jesus' right who acknowledged Him and downward to Hell for the
Thief on His left (Luke 23)."

"A peculiar feature of Russian Orthodox churches is the presence of onion-shaped domes on top of the cupolas.
Historians are not in agreement as to the origin of this particular style, but some point to the possible influence
of Persia on this peculiar feature of Russian church architecture, while others argue that since this style was
more popular in the far North of Russia, it had a practical application, in that the shape was particularly suited
to shed the large amounts of snow common in the region."