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    FIRST ORTHODOX CHURCH IN ANTARCTICA

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    MOSCOW, February 16 (RIA Novosti) - Bishop Feognost of Sergiyev Posad, the head of the Troitse-Sergiyeva Lavra (one of the main Orthodox shrines in the Moscow region) consecrated in the name of the St. Trinity the first Orthodox church in Antarctica built at Russian polar station Bellinsgauzen.

    Patriarch's representation (Podvorye) of the Troitse-Sergiyeva Lavra was established by the polar church, the Orthodox Encyclopedia research center of the Moscow Patriarchy told RIA Novosti on Monday.

    The consecration ceremony of the unique church gathered a lot of Russian and foreign polar explorers and pilgrims, who were delivered to Bellinsgausen station by a special flight.

    The church can seat up to 30 believers. It was built of cedar and larch, the most cold and wind-resistant wood, in the Altai territory (South Siberia). After that, the church was dismantled and transported to Antarctica. Here it was assembled again.

    Palekh's painters created icons for the new church and bells were ordered by offsprings of well-known Russian Decembrist Muravyov-Apostol.

    The site of the first Antarctic church was chosen so that it was seen from the distance of 30 kilometers. Now the St. Trinity church is the first thing, which is seen by passengers, coming to Antarctica from Tierra del Fuego, said the Orthodox Encyclopedia research center.

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