chain of islands in the Northern Pacific

The Aleutian Islands are a chain of island to the west of Southwestern Alaska.


Map of Aleutian Islands

  • 1 Unalaska on Unalaska/Dutch Harbor island

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The Aleutian Islands are made up of more than 200 islands which are divided into 6 major groups. The archipelago is 1,800 km (1,100 mi) long, dividing the Pacific Ocean from the Bering Sea. Some of them are west of the 180th meridian, and thus in the eastern hemisphere.

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  • The impressive Museum of the Aleutians, within easy walking distance of the Grand Aleutian Hotel, traces the Aleutian culture from prehistory and the Russian America period to WWII and the present. The museum is best known for its collection of Aleut grass baskets, but for many visitors the most interesting exhibit is devoted to the mummy caves of the Aleutian Islands.
  • Unalaska is dominated by the Church of the Holy Ascension, the oldest Russian-built church still standing in the country. It was built in 1825 and then enlarged in 1894, when its floor plan was changed from to a pekov (the shape of a crucifix). On Broadway overlooking the bay, the church and its onion domes are a photographer's delight. The church contains almost 700 pieces of art, ranging from Russian Orthodox icons and books to the largest collection of 19th-century paintings in Alaska. The best time to view the church and its icons is at 18:00 on Saturday when staff members give an informal 30-minute tour just before service. Outside the church is a small graveyard, where the largest grave marker belongs to Baron Nicholas Zass. Born in 1825 in Archangel, Russia, he eventually became bishop of the Aleutian Islands and all of Alaska, before his death in 1882. Next door to the graveyard is the Bishop's House.




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