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“I really enjoyed it”

Russian Bishop's House
Ranked #6 of 45 things to do in Sitka
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Owner description: Located within the Sitka National Historical Park, this is one of the last surviving examples of Russian colonial architecture in North America.
Level Contributor
78 reviews
22 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 77 helpful votes
“I really enjoyed it”
Reviewed 3 June 2012

I really enjoyed this attraction. I am interested in history and architecture so it was right up my alley. The downstairs area is free to visit and shows how the building was built with low ceilings and doorways to conserve heat, etc. There are a number of displays and even a movie that a person can watch. I took the upstrairs tour ($4). I enjoyed it. I recommend it to anyone interested in history.

Visited May 2012
Thank IdrivealotMaine
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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167 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • German first
  • Russian first
  • Any
English first
Texada Island, Canada
Level Contributor
832 reviews
630 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 331 helpful votes
“Not a lot to see inside”
Reviewed 30 May 2012

This is an interesting building, however the push is on to view upstairs. After viewing the downstairs we were disappointed that it does not have a lot of displays. We were going to go upstairs, but after talking with people that just came down they said it was not worth it, just more of the same as downstairs.
For free, the downstairs is worth a visit.

Visited May 2012
1 Thank Teresa H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
67 reviews
28 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 45 helpful votes
“A Real Sitka Gem”
Reviewed 5 January 2012

This is DEFINATELY worth seening. Much of the history of Sitka (and early Alaska) the centers this house, The park rangers give an excellent presentation. There is a short movie that is well worth seeing. There are some antiques remaining. If you take a tour (rather inexpensive) of the house you will see the rooms furnished just as they were when Alaska was ruled by the Russians. There is a chapel in the house that was visited by Boris Yeltsin......A real gem...

Visited August 2011
1 Thank travlgypsy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Minneapolis, MN
Level Contributor
342 reviews
234 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 325 helpful votes
“Look for the linen lining”
Reviewed 18 November 2011

Simply rating this on a 1 to 5 scale doesn't really do it justice. Just because there are a half-dozen things in Sitka that you ought to see before coming here, does not mean that this is not worth the time, if you have it. A lot of these things are what you make of of them, by looking a little deeper and asking a few questions. So it is here.

Sure they have an extensive display of pictures and artifacts from the days of the Russian fur traders, but just on the first floor we were intrigued by sections of the wall that had been left uncovered so that we could see the huge Sitka spruce timbers it was built with, and the unique joints which made the structure resistant to earthquakes. In another room, a section of the ceiling was left on restored so that you could see how fabric was used to cover the entire interior, rather than paint. If you go, you might ask why that was. Upstairs we found a large gold (or polished brass) Samovar and velvet furniture that seemed quite out of place for a Bishop, until we learned that the bishops duties included being a representative of the Czar – a sort of chief diplomat, required to entertain and project a picture of wealth to others in the area. The other half of the upstairs was quite an austere monk's quarters, befitting his religious role. It wasn't until we stepped outside that we found how this dual role really manifested itself throughout the building. From the outside, it appears that there are lots of large windows, a sign of wealth at the time. From the inside, though, you can see that there's really only glass in about one fourth of them, and the rest are simply black paint covered by window trim on the outside, to look like real windows.

Visited June 2011
1 Thank snochasr
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Washington DC, District of Columbia
Level Contributor
14 reviews
9 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
“If you're a real history buff.”
Reviewed 29 September 2010

We visited Sitka while on an Alaska cruise. We stopped by the Russian Bishop's House on our way to Totem Park. It's free to walk around the downstairs (which has a lot of artifacts out on display), but they charge (I think it was $4) to take a guided tour of the house which includes the upstairs (we didn't do the guided tour.) What I saw downstairs was interesting, but given the limited amount of time that we had on shore, there were some other places that I would've liked to explore more and definitely could have skipped this site.

1 Thank KLS_SW_DC
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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