Peek into part of Kenai’s history at the St. Nicholas Memorial Chapel, built in 1906. It honors Father Igumen Nicolai as well as Makary Ivanov, and has become a staple of the Kenai landscape. Father Nicolai was the first priest in the town, and became locally famous for bringing the smallpox vaccine to the village. If saved hundreds of people. The chapel was built on top of the original 1849 church which was a post in part of the Russian fur trading area of Kenai.

Although technically still a Catholic parish, the St. Nicholas Memorial Chapel is also historic and welcomes all visitors. Both practitioners and history buffs adore visiting the chapel and getting an idea of what Kenai was like over 100 years ago. Quaint and charming, it’s an excellent spot for reflection.

Peace and Quiet in Kenai

Visitors will find numerous trails, hiking options and meditative spots throughout Kenai. However, for many St. Nicholas Memorial Chapel holds a special place in their heart. You’ll be treated to the natural sounds of the region, and photographers, artists and writers have found the space to be fantastic for inspiration.

Look at the “steeple” of St. Nicholas, and you’ll easily see the Russian inspiration that remains even after several decades. It’s a unique testament to a diverse blending of cultures.