After our five hour excursion which included a sea otter and wildlife quest on a boat, a visit to the Alaska Raptor Center and a stop at the Fortress of the Bear, our tour bus returned us to the pier where the Westerdam's lifeboats were shuttling people back to the ship. Since we had about 2 hours before the ship was scheduled to depart, we decided to take about an hour to walk around and see a few sights in Sitka.
|Welcome to Sitka Sign|
|Totem Square and the Pioneer Home - Sitka, AK|
The top of the pole is a depiction of Alexander Baranov.
The bear is the symbol of Russia.
The third figure from the top represents Katlian, the military leader of the Tlingit Kiks.adi clan who fought against the Russians forcing Baronov to negotiate a peace treaty.
The Raven with the eagle crest under its beak is a symbol of the Raven branch of Tlingit tribes of which the Kiks.adi of the Sitka area belongs and the eagle represents the Kaagwaantaan, the Sitka area clan that is a part of the Eagle Branch of Tlingits. These crests are similar to heraldic crests or coats of arms used in Europe.
The double-headed eagle depicts the bronze eagle medallion presented by Barnov to the leader of the Kiks.adi as a peace offering after they reached an agreement to end their conflict.
The brown bear represents the Kaagwaantaan clan and and the frog is a symbol of both the the Kiks.adi clan and the Kaagwaantaan clan.
The Pioneer Home
The Pioneer Home was built in 1934 at the site of a former army barracks by the State of Alaska as a home for elderly Alaskans.
|Pioneer Home - Sitka, AK|
|Lincoln Street - Sitka, Alaska|
St. Michael's Russian Orthodox Cathedral
|St. Michael's Russian Orthodox Cathedral - Sitka, AK|
|The Bishop's Cathedra Throne|
|Archangel Michael with the Ikonostasis at St. Michael's Cathedral|
Most of the icons were donated by wealthy patrons in Russia and some date back to the 1700s.
|Vladimir Borovikovsky icons at St. Michael's Cathedral|
|Our Lady of Sitka Icon|
|Inside the dome of St. Michael's Cathedral - Sitka, AK|
There were many more treasures on display, but our time ashore was nearly over. On the way out I stopped to take a photo of the inside of the cathedral domed ceiling above the nave.
|Side view of St. Michael's Russian Orthodox Cathedral|
Walking around to the the south side of the building gives a view of the cathedral and the exterior of the dome that is not visible from the front entrance. I would have liked to have visited the Bishop's House nearby, but ran out of time.
|Lincoln Street westbound - Sitka Alaska|
|Holland America Westerdam anchored at Sitka Alaska|
|Life Boat from the Westerdam|
|Inside a life boat from the Westerdam|
On to our next destination: Ketchikan.
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|Weekend Travel Inspiration|