List of Antarctic churches

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Map of the Antarctic

There exist a number of Antarctic churches, including both Christian churches on Antarctica proper and those that were built south of the Antarctic Convergence. According to the 6th article of the Antarctic Treaty, Antarctica is defined politically as all land and ice shelves south of the 60th parallel, while the nearest natural boundary is the Antarctic Convergence.

There are eight churches on Antarctica proper,[1] with another two located south of the Antarctic Convergence.[2] The southernmost of these religious buildings is the Chapel of Our Lady of the Snows, a Catholic chapel carved out of the ice surrounding the Belgrano II Base, at Bertrab Nunatak.[3] While there are currently only a few freestanding structures dedicated solely to Christian religions, most research stations have small meeting rooms that are dual-purposed partially for religious services. These rooms are also commonly used by adherents of other world religions.[4] The Chapel of the Snows also hosts services for other faith groups such as Latter Day Saints, Baha'i, and Buddhism.[5] These religious structures serve the entire population of Antarctica, which varies from approximately 4,400 in summer to 1,100 in winter. This population is spread across approximately 40 year-round stations and a range of summer-only stations, camps, and refuges.[6]


This list catalogs churches and other religious buildings built south of the 60th parallel.

Name Denomination Location Year opened Picture Notes
Chapel of Our Lady of the Snows Catholic Belgrano II Base, Bertrab Nunatak After 1979 [7]
San Francisco de Asis Chapel Catholic Esperanza Base, Hope Bay 1976 [8]
Chapel of Santa María Reina de la Paz Catholic Villa Las Estrellas, King George Island ? A white building with a black roof, a small porch, and a double height central tower topped with a white cross [8]
Chapel of Santisima Virgen de Lujan Catholic Marambio Base, Marambio Island 1996 [9]
Chapel of the Snows Non-denominational Christian McMurdo Station, Ross Island 1956

Destroyed 1978
Rebuilt 1989

A low slung white and blue clapboard building with a single central steeple. [10]
St. Ivan Rilski Chapel Eastern Orthodox St. Kliment Ohridski Base, Livingston Island 2003

rebuilt 2011

A small red Quonset Hut sittign on a concrete and metal pilings and topped with a cross sits among grey rocks. [11]
St. Volodymyr Chapel Ukrainian Orthodox Vernadsky Research Base, Galindez Island 2010–2011 [1]
Trinity Church Russian Orthodox King George Island 2004 A small but detailed wooden structure built with a front staircase and topped with two onion domes. [12]

Antarctic Churches not on Antarctica[edit]

This list catalogs churches and other religious buildings built south of the Antarctic Convergence, but north of the 60th parallel.

Name Denomination Location Year opened Picture Notes
Norwegian Lutheran Church
The Whalers Church
Norwegian Lutheran Grytviken, South Georgia 1913 A white wooden church nestled within snow-covered mountains. [13]
Notre-Dame des Vents Catholic Port-aux-Français, Kerguelen Islands 1950s A white concrete church with a skeletal bell tower and thickly leaded stained glass. [8]


List of Antarctic churches is located in Antarctica
Chapel of the Snows
Chapel of the Snows
San Francisco de Asis Chapel
San Francisco de Asis Chapel
Trinity Santa María Reina
Santa María Reina
Belgrano II Base Ice Chapel
Belgrano II Base Ice Chapel
Norwegian Lutheran Church
Norwegian Lutheran Church
Notre-Dame des Vents
Notre-Dame des Vents
St. Ivan Rilski Chapel
St. Ivan Rilski Chapel
Chapel of Santisima Virgen de Lujan
Chapel of Santisima Virgen de Lujan
List of Antarctic churches
Locations of churches in Antarctica

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Riedel, Dr. Katja. Faith in Antarctica – Religion in the land of eternal snow. Polar News. April 27, 2016. Retrieved January 18, 2017.
  2. ^ Merchant, Brian. Prayer on Ice: The Six Churches Giving Sermons to Scientists on Antarctica Archived 2017-01-03 at the Wayback Machine. Vice. March 18, 2013. Retrieves January 2, 2017.
  3. ^ Inside Antarctica’s Catholic Ice Chapel, the World’s Southernmost Church. Church Pop. Retrieved December 29, 2016.
  4. ^ Gabrielle Walker: Antarctica: An Intimate Portrait of a Mysterious Continent, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2013, ISBN 0-15-101520-1
  5. ^ Chapel of the Snows. A history of the Chapel of the Snows. Retrieved December 29, 2016
  6. ^ Antarctica. World Factbook. CIA. February 16, 2016. Retrieved December 29, 2016.
  7. ^ [1]
  8. ^ a b c Stagnaro, Angelo. Antarctica: Faith in the Land of Eternal Snows. National Catholic Register. February 21, 2016 Retrieved December 29, 2016.
  9. ^ Oratorio de la Capilla de la Base Marambio. Marambio Base. Retrieved December 29, 2016.
  10. ^ Chapel of the Snows. Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station. Retrieved December 29, 2016.
  11. ^ Ivanov, L. General Geography and History of Livingston Island. In: Bulgarian Antarctic Research: A Synthesis. Eds. C. Pimpirev and N. Chipev. Sofia: St. Kliment Ohridski University Press, 2015. pp. 17–28. ISBN 978-954-07-3939-7
  12. ^ Trinity Church on King George Island. Atlas Obscura. Retrieved December 29, 2016.
  13. ^ Quinn, Liam. Grytviken Church, South Georgia. Wondermondo. Retrieved December 29, 2016.