Sitka, Alaska, US
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Approximately 3½ Hours
Meals not included
Several distinct periods of Alaskan history are preserved within the island community of Sitka -- from the early Native American civilization through the Russian Colonial period and the Pacific Theatre of World War II. Long before the European colonists arrived in Alaska, Inuit, Aleut, Athabascan, and Tlingit native groups lived off the land here.
The Sheldon Jackson Museum boasts the oldest collection of Native and Inuit artifacts in Alaska, showcasing the ingenuity and skill of the Native settlers living in a very unforgiving land.
Learn about the Russian colonial period that forever changed the lives of the Native groups as you visit Sitka National Historical Park -- the site of the 1804 Battle of Alaska, signifying the beginning of the Russian colonial period in Sitka. An extensive collection of Tlingit and Haida totems is on display throughout the park grounds. As you leave the National Park, you will learn about the time when Sitka was dubbed 'the Paris of the Pacific.'
Your route will take you past the Russian Bishop's house, Castle Hill, and the Russian Blockhouse.
Stop at St Michael's Cathedral, the Mother Cathedral of Orthodoxy for All of America, and step inside this small church to see icons and priceless religious artwork dating back to the late 15th century. Hear the miraculous story of how this artwork was saved from the Main Street fire in 1966, which destroyed one-third of downtown Sitka.
Your final stop is at Centennial Hall to watch Alaska Storytellers, a dynamic 30-minute live performance showcasing Sitka's rich history and featuring music, dance, photos, art, and video.
This is an excellent way to discover Sitka and identify other historical attractions to visit on your own.
Wear comfortable walking shoes.