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NORDLAND - TROMS - FINNMARK - SVALBARD

 St. Georgs greskortodokse kapell

 
St. George's Greek Orthodox Chapel ( The Skolt Chapel in Neiden)
Address: 9930 Neiden
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Client: The holy monk Trifon, church father, saint and missionaries from Petchenga, Russia.
Construction System /
Materials:
Wooden house; cogging jointed timber; wooden roof
Building Type: Church
Keywords: Sami, chapel, woodwork, timber, cog joint, gable roof, Orthodox cross, graveyeard
Year of Construction: 1565
St. George's Chapel is found in Skoltebyen by the Neiden River. During the summer this area transforms into a flowery meadow, while in the winter the ground is covered with snow. The chapel is a small and modest structure, constructed of cogging jointed timber without panelling. The pitched roof is supported by purlins and clad with wooden panelling. An orthodox cross crowns the roof ridge. The interior ground plan measures 3.55 x 3.25 m, and the highest point of the ceiling measures 2.05 m. The low entrance door, on the west side gable, offers a view of the interior. An iconostasis dominates this part of the chapel.

A large graveyard surrounds the chapel. According to tradition, there is holy water in a pool in the river above the waterfall. This water was used for purification and baptisms. It is believed that the chapel was consecrated on the 24th of June 1565, as the chapel for the Eastern Smi 'siida' in Neiden. (A 'siida' was the fundamental unit of the traditional Smi society, indicating both the occupied area and the family group(s) making use of it.) The Russian Orthodox faith became the religion practiced by the Eastern Smi, subsequent to the influence of the monk Trifon and the monastery in Petchenga.

Neiden, located in the municipality of Sr-Varanger, historically has been a seasonal settlement for the Skolt Smi. According to written sources, the Skolts have been influenced by evangelising since the middle of the 16th century. The missionaries were sent from Russian monasteries. The present chapel is Norway's smallest sacred building and it houses 16 Russian icon panels. Each panel is at least 100 years old. As Smi cultural monuments, both the chapel and the icons are automatically protected under the Cultural Heritage Act.
Literature: Hanssen, Sigvald Normann: St. Georg's Greskortodoxe Kapell, Kirkenes 1978
Norsted, Terje: Ikonene i St. Georgs kapell, Neiden, Sr-Varanger kommune. Kontekst, motiver, teknikk og restaurering. NIKU Rapport 11, 2007. Pdf-fil p www.niku.no
Wikan, Steinar: Grensebygda Neiden, Sr-Varanger kommune 1995
Publisher: The University of Troms, 05.02.2007
Author: R.S; I.H
Photographer: R.S; I.H 1991; T.N 1997



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