The Russian Bishop’s House started out as the center of Russian Orthodox church authority when it built in 1842. It was occupied by Bishop Innokentii (Father Ivan Evseyevich Popov-Veniaminov) of the Russian Orthodox Church, a clergyman, teacher, scientist, and linguist, until 1859.
After that the house became a school, residence, and place of worship, run by the Russian Orthodox Church. It gradually became run-down and was closed in 1969 because of rotting walls, leaky roofs, and shifted floors and doorways that threatened the safety of everyone within.
Four years later, the National Park Service took the building under its wing and began restoring it to its former glory. It took 16 years to get it back into shape, as they installed plumbing, heating, and electricity, while trying to keep it as historically accurate as possible. The building is now one of four surviving examples of Russian colonial architecture in North America.
Now visitors can take Ranger-led tours through the building to get a feel for what it was like to live during the Russian-American era. The living quarters have been refurbished according to old diaries and drawings that showed what they used to be like. There are also exhibits and icons that help visitors understand the history of the Russian Bishop’s House and Russian-American history in general.
The Russian Bishop’s House is registered as a National Historic Landmark.
Ranger-led tours. They are offered every 30 minutes.
SUMMER HOURS AND FEES
Open daily, 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
$4.00/person • Free for children under 13
Phone: (907) 747-0110