World's Most Remote Churches

Tucked away in some of the most remote parts of the world are both large and little churches. Some have been there a very long time. Others have sprung up to fill the religious needs of small rural communities. There is something very human and awe-inspiring in seeing a steeple rise on an otherwise stark and lonely landscape. Here are some of the world's most isolated churches.

The Church of Agis Triada
The Church of Agis Triada
Church of Our Lady Hozoviotissa
Church of Our Lady Hozoviotissa
Church of ittoqqortoormiit
Church of ittoqqortoormiit
Tiger's Nest Monastery
Tiger's Nest Monastery

The Church of Agia Triada -

Located on St. George's Island in the South Pole, the Church of Agia Triada (Holy Trinity) is likely the most remote church in the world. This Russian Orthodox church sits in the farthest and most inhospitable reaches of Antarctica. Weather there is harsh to say the least with frequent heavy snowfalls and high winds. The Church of Agia Triada was built in 1990 in a Russian architectural style entirely of Siberian wood and special measures were taken to protect it from the extreme weather. It has seating for 30 people and so far two couples have been married there. The church's priest says its existence just proves that "God is everywhere."

Church of Our Lady Hozoviotissa -

Situated on the side of a cliff on the rugged Greek island of Amorgos in the Aegean Sea, this Byzantine monastery can most easily be reached by ferry. It is said it was built in the 9th century following the sinking of a ship off the coast of Amorgos that was carrying a statue of the Virgin Mary. It is one of the most important monuments of its time. Dating from the middle ages is a unique pathway leading from the small village of Aigiali to the monastery. It is a beautiful walk but will take 4 to 6 hours to get there. Once you do, the monks who live there may offer you some local liquor for your efforts.

St. Mary's Church -

This small Anglican church can be found on one of the most isolated inhabited archipelagos in the world. Tristan da Cunha is nearest to South Africa which is approximately 1750 miles away across the South Atlantic. Almost all the 264 people who live on this British territory are Anglican. The church also serves as a school and community theater. Modern technology keeps the citizens of Tristan connected with the outside world and the island is self-sufficient. They grow their own food and earn money from postage stamps, crawfish and handicrafts. St. Mary's Church is currently looking for a parish priest. The ad says the ability to play a musical instrument would be an asset. job

Skjeberg Lutheran Church -

Angle Inlet, Minnesota is about as remote as you can get in the United States. Due to 18th century ignorance of geography, the northwest angle of Minnesota was cut off from the U.S. territory. Angle Inlet is located on the Canadian border of the United States. It is the only point in the U.S. besides Alaska that is north of the 49th parallel. The area is unspoiled and considered a sportsman's paradise though access to Angle inlet is by a small gravel road from Canada or by boat or air. The town boasts one of the last one-room schoolhouses. Skjeberg Church is Lutheran but offers non-denominational services to the approximately 152 people who live there.

Church of Ittoqqortoormiit -

Ittoqqortoormiit is a settlement in eastern Greenland with a current population of 469 hardy souls. It was founded in 1925 as a result of Norway's growing interests in Northeast Greenland. It is one of the last hunters' societies in the world. The population of Ittoqqortoormiit is Lutheran. When colonists first settled there, they were insecure in their surroundings and very much wanted a priest there. Their call was answered by Sejer Abelsen, a West Greenlandic Catechist. The church was built in 1928 with funding from the Danish. It houses the priest and schoolroom. Ittoqqortoomiit can only be reached by helicopter.

Hanga Roa Church -

Easter Island is mostly known for its mysterious moai monoliths but it is also home to approximately 3300 people. The island is far out in the South Pacific and is accessible by air from Santiago, Chile. Also called Rapa Nui, Easter Island is among some of the most remote places in the world. The unique Roman Catholic Church in Hanga Roa where the majority of the population lives combines symbols of the Rapanui culture with traditional catholic elements. Services on Sunday are alive with Polynesian rhythms and chants in Rapa Nui. The church building itself boasts some remarkable syncretic carvings and artwork.

Tiger's Nest Monastery -

Tiger's Nest Monastery (also called Taktsang) is located on a high cliff in Bhutan and is thought to have introduced Buddhism to the country. It is said Guru Rinpoche flew here on the back of a tiger where he meditated for three months in a cave. Built in 1692, this holiest of sites in Bhutan is difficult to access and requires a steep and laborious climb up pathways and steps more than two thousand feet from the valley floor. The monastery very often isn't open to the public and entrance is usually reserved for practicing Buddhists seeking retreat though occasionally entrance tickets can be attained. Tiger's Nest is 10,200 feet above sea level.

St. Thomas' Parish Church -

At the northernmost point of Northern Ireland is the small island of Rathlin. It is the only inhabited offshore island in Northern Ireland and boasts a year round population of 100 people. During the summer months visitors brave the rough sea ferry ride to Rathin. St. Thomas' Parish Church stands on an elevated site with panoramic views. It is thought to have been built in 1812. It is a model of Anglican simplicity with a single bay design and castellated tower. The exterior is made of basalt and limestone. Rathlin is a favorite destination for birdwatchers where it is home to over thirty species of birds.

Church of Saint George -

The Church of Saint George is one of eleven rock-hewn monolithic churches near the village of Lalibela in a mountainous region of Ethiopia. Lalibela is a small town surrounded by a rocky dry area but is considered a holy place of Ethiopian Christianity. All eleven churches were each carved out of a single block of granite with the roof line at ground level. The churches were commissioned to be built in the 12th century by King Lalibela whose goal was to create a new Jerusalem for those who could not make it to the Holy Land. The churches were excavated rather than constructed. How it was done remains a mystery but local legend has it that angels took over when the workmen stopped. The village of Lalibela just recently got electricity and of the 8000 people who live there, 1000 are priests.

Svalbard Church -

Svalbard, Norway is considered the world's northernmost town. It was established by a coal mining company in 1906 though very little mining is done there now. Svalbard is an archipelago in the bay of Adventfjorden. The population of 2040 people is mostly young and male and is constantly changing likely due to the Arctic weather and relative isolation. Svalbard Church not only offers residents services but welcomes folks to its fireplace lounge where they can enjoy hot coffee, Norwegian waffles and the daily newspapers. The church is also active in organizing excursions and hosting lectures and concerts. There is no sun in Svalbard from October until February.

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Tiger's Nest monastery, Bhutan

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Comments 40 comments

writer20 profile image

writer20 4 years ago from Southern Nevada

Good information and great photo's. But it still makes wonderful and many poor souls lost their live building on steep hillsides.

Voted up and very interesting, Joyce.

suziecat7 profile image

suziecat7 4 years ago from Asheville, NC Author

Hi Joyce - I do appreciate you taking the time to read and comment. Yes, building some of these churches must have been an awesome trial. Especially those in Lalibela.

WillStarr profile image

WillStarr 4 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

We always learn something from a Suziecat Hub! Up and awesome indeed!

dahoglund profile image

dahoglund 4 years ago from Wisconsin Rapids

I had about forgotten Angle Inlet. I recall running acrossw reference to it when researching the Duluth area. This is an interesting and meaningful hub. There is something that seems important about churches surviving in these out of the way places.sharing.

suziecat7 profile image

suziecat7 4 years ago from Asheville, NC Author

Thanks, Bill.

B. Leekley profile image

B. Leekley 4 years ago from Kalamazoo, Michigan, USA

I enjoyed this tour of remote churches and holy sites.

suziecat7 profile image

suziecat7 4 years ago from Asheville, NC Author

Daho - You should write a Hub about Angle Inlet. It's in your neighborhood. Thanks so much for stopping by.

suziecat7 profile image

suziecat7 4 years ago from Asheville, NC Author

B. Leekley - Glad you enjoyed.

Mhatter99 profile image

Mhatter99 4 years ago from San Francisco

Great idea and report. Thank you. And the pictures were awesome too.

susiebrown48 profile image

susiebrown48 4 years ago from Clearwater, FL

Love the topic and the pictures were amazing. Thank you.

aviannovice profile image

aviannovice 4 years ago from Stillwater, OK

These are pretty remarkable places. You did a lot of good research to come up with these. Up and awesome.

michyoung profile image

michyoung 4 years ago from North Carolina, USA

wow. so it means that only few mass or service are held there? The church in the south pole looks more haunted than just a remote church.

Angie Jardine profile image

Angie Jardine 4 years ago from Cornwall, land of the eternally youthful mind ...

Hi suziecat - there is a reason why you have been collecting all those followers over the years and this sort of hub is it.

I found this absolutely fascinating … well done!

I try to limit my reading on HP because I need to have a life as well but this hub was so interesting and the photos really added to it. It made me want to find out more about the churches and if I ever could, visit some of them. And I’m not a religious person …

But I am a spiritual person and these places are definitely places to visit to learn about beliefs and the faith it takes to commit to those deeply held views.

suziecat7 profile image

suziecat7 4 years ago from Asheville, NC Author

mhatter99 - Thanks so much for stopping by!

James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 4 years ago from Chicago

I love your choice of topics. You have a real knack for coming up with such interesting subjects. I very much enjoyed reading this article and viewing the wonderful photographs. Thank you for this pleasure. One of your best. :)

suziecat7 profile image

suziecat7 4 years ago from Asheville, NC Author

Susiebrown - Glad you liked it. Thanks for reading.

suziecat7 profile image

suziecat7 4 years ago from Asheville, NC Author

Aviannovice - Thank you so much!

suziecat7 profile image

suziecat7 4 years ago from Asheville, NC Author

Michyoung - Perhaps they are all a bit haunted. Glad you could stop by.

suziecat7 profile image

suziecat7 4 years ago from Asheville, NC Author

Angie - Great to see you. I know what you mean about keeping up with reading and life. I would also like to visit some of these churches especially the monastery in Bhutan.

suziecat7 profile image

suziecat7 4 years ago from Asheville, NC Author

James - always great to see you. Thank you so much.

billybuc profile image

billybuc 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

When I was teaching in Akiachak, Alaska, I thought that church was pretty remote....until I saw this hub! That kind of remote would send me over the edge of sanity. :) Great hub; very interesting!

suziecat7 profile image

suziecat7 4 years ago from Asheville, NC Author

Billy - I don't think I would like to live in any of these places. But it's nice to know that God is everywhere :)) Thanks for reading.

Gordon Hamilton profile image

Gordon Hamilton 4 years ago from Wishaw, Lanarkshire, United Kingdom

Hi, Suzanne. I love this topic and it is curiously comforting to know that churches do exist in some of the most inhospitable locations known to man. I've been in a lot of very small and remote churches, in different countries, all of which have their own tales to tell but you've certainly come up with some fascinating extremes here. Really enjoyed the read and the true learning experience.

Robert Erich profile image

Robert Erich 4 years ago from California

I love this list! These are some beautiful churches in some incredible locations. I certainly hope that I can visit some of these one days. Thanks for sharing the beautiful pictures and inspiration to travel.

suziecat7 profile image

suziecat7 4 years ago from Asheville, NC Author

Gordon - Glad you enjoyed.

Robert - Hopefully you'll get to visit some of these churches. Thanks for reading.

Dexter Yarbrough profile image

Dexter Yarbrough 4 years ago from United States

Great information. Especially, I learned something about Angle Inlet, Minnesota!

KerryAnita profile image

KerryAnita 4 years ago from Satellite Beach, Florida

All these churches are so beautiful!

suziecat7 profile image

suziecat7 4 years ago from Asheville, NC Author

Thank you all for reading my Hub.

Robert - I hope you get to visit too.

Dexter - I never knew about Angle Inlet before either. Thanks for stopping by.

Kerry - They surely are.

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sccanseco 4 years ago

What a great hub topic! It was a wonderful read and I found it all very fascinating....well done! Cheers!

SonQuioey10 profile image

SonQuioey10 4 years ago from Williamston NC

Nice Hub. Lovely timeless churches.

suziecat7 profile image

suziecat7 4 years ago from Asheville, NC Author

Thank you!

ryanjhoe profile image

ryanjhoe 3 years ago from Somewhere over the rainbow

Most of the churches looks pretty even it's isolated. Nice hubs you have anyway!

Lor's Stories profile image

Lor's Stories 3 years ago from Central New Jersey

My dream is to be away from crying babies and adults who leave church before it's over. Why go to church at all?

I have only left church if I wasn't feeling well.

And even then I felt bad.

I'd take a month on a mountain alone in a remote church to feel my soul relax in Gods hands.

midget38 profile image

midget38 3 years ago from Singapore

This was so interesting, Suzie Cat! Am heartened by the presence of churches or monasteries in remote areas because it proves that He is everywhere. Thanks for sharing!

Phyllis Doyle profile image

Phyllis Doyle 3 years ago from High desert of Nevada.

There is serenity and peaceful feeling for me when I look at pictures of old churches, regardless of the religion. I really enjoyed this hub and appreciate the great pictures you chose.

suziecat7 profile image

suziecat7 3 years ago from Asheville, NC Author

Thanks, everybody. I enjoyed researching and writing this too.

ladydeonne profile image

ladydeonne 3 years ago from Florence, SC

This hub is terrific! I have never given any thought as to the many churches that may exist in out of the way and remote places. These buildings are a testament to the determination of man to follow his heart. I enjoyed this hub immensely and learned a great deal. Thanks for sharing!

suziecat7 profile image

suziecat7 3 years ago from Asheville, NC Author

Thanks - Ladydeonne.

Cassie 2 years ago

Taking the oveirvew, this post hits the spot

Anne Harrison profile image

Anne Harrison 19 months ago from Australia

What an interesting hub - thanks for sharing! The effort to build in some of these places is truly impressive.

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