“When we send polar explorers to the South Pole we don’t ask about their confession, but every person can have a wish to be alone, to pray. Why don’t we build a church?” said Director of the National Ukrainian Antarctic Scientific Center, Valery Litvinov .
The St. Volodymyr Chapel, named after Vladimir the Great, is a Ukrainian Orthodox chapel located in the Ukrainian Antarctic Station of Vernadsky Research Base. It is not the first Orthodox church on the ice continent: Russian carpenters built a 15-meter Orthodox church from Siberian cedar in 2004 that is dedicated to the Holy Trinity.
“When you pray there you get unspeakable impressions. It is zero altitude, but you have such a feeling that the church almost flies above Earth,” said Archbishop Augustine of Lvov and Galicia who did consecrate the Ukrainian chapel.
The chapel is small but its work is excellent. It has been sent to Antarctica while a new group of polar explorers was there. The building and installation of the chapel has been paid by philanthropists. The church is located on Galindez Island at the site of the Ukrainian research Base. It was built in 2011 and it’s the latest addition to the base buildings.