Saint Sophia Greek Orthodox Cathedral was founded as a church in 1904 to serve the Greek Orthodox residents of the District of Columbia. In 1962, the church was elevated to a cathedral. The building is in the Neo-Byzantine style with a central dome that reaches 24m in height.

The congregation met in temporary quarters for several years, prior to the construction of its own church near 8th and L Streets NW which was dedicated in 1924. This site is currently occupied by the Walter E. Washington Convention Center. Construction on the current edifice at 2815 36th Street NW, near Massachusetts Avenue and a short distance from the Washington National Cathedral, began in 1951. The congregation began worshipping there in 1955 shortly after major construction was completed. Although the building has been in use for over fifty years, the interior decoration is incomplete. Work began on the interior in 1965 and continues to the present.

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Founded: 1904-1955
Category: Religious sites in United States

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4.7/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Christopher Chaconas (9 months ago)
Nothing else like the Saint Sophia experience. The Master Chanter is gifted. A definite must on Sunday.
Bo Mullins (10 months ago)
Oh my gosh this place is marvelous
The OverLord (12 months ago)
youtube wont show my great yia-yia Patra Hangemanole's funeral. i see someone else's funeral from the link sent. How can I find the service?
Betsy York (17 months ago)
Today was a very special day, a celebration of Jesus Christ birth. Saw some priests walking the streets with crosses in their arms. It helped to make everyone mindful of what a precious morning it truly was! Happy Birthday Jesus Christ!
Kathleen Mahurin Powell (2 years ago)
What a beautiful opportunity to worship with other Orthodox Christians in the city. The liturgy was beautiful as expected. At the time of our visit, the wheelchair ramp was under construction. Entry and exit from the church was not marked. When I asked parishioners, only the Theia in the wheelchair knew. This is not the most welcoming church to visitors, no greeters. No one looked at us during coffee hour. But that is not why we attended. We were glad to have the chance to see this magnificent space and share in the worship.
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Kirkjubøargarður ('Yard of Kirkjubøur', also known as King"s Farm) is one of the oldest still inhabited wooden houses of the world. The farm itself has always been the largest in the Faroe Islands. The old farmhouse dates back to the 11th century. It was the episcopal residence and seminary of the Diocese of the Faroe Islands, from about 1100. Sverre I of Norway (1151–1202), grew up here and went to the priest school. The legend says, that the wood for the block houses came as driftwood from Norway and was accurately bundled and numbered, just for being set up. Note, that there is no forest in the Faroes and wood is a very valuable material. Many such wood legends are thus to be found in Faroese history.

The oldest part is a so-called roykstova (reek parlour, or smoke room). Perhaps it was moved one day, because it does not fit to its foundation. Another ancient room is the loftstovan (loft room). It is supposed that Bishop Erlendur wrote the 'Sheep Letter' here in 1298. This is the earliest document of the Faroes we know today. It is the statute concerning sheep breeding on the Faroes. Today the room is the farm"s library. The stórastovan (large room) is from a much later date, being built in 1772.

Though the farmhouse is a museum, the 17th generation of the Patursson Family, which has occupied it since 1550, is still living here. Shortly after the Reformation in the Faroe Islands in 1538, all the real estate of the Catholic Church was seized by the King of Denmark. This was about half of the land in the Faroes, and since then called King"s Land (kongsjørð). The largest piece of King"s Land was the farm in Kirkjubøur due to the above-mentioned Episcopal residence. This land is today owned by the Faroese government, and the Paturssons are tenants from generation to generation. It is always the oldest son, who becomes King"s Farmer, and in contrast to the privately owned land, the King"s Land is never divided between the sons.

The farm holds sheep, cattle and some horses. It is possible to get a coffee here and buy fresh mutton and beef directly from the farmer. In the winter season there is also hare hunting for the locals. Groups can rent the roykstovan for festivities and will be served original Faroese cuisine.

Other famous buildings directly by the farmhouse are the Magnus Cathedral and the Saint Olav"s Church, which also date back to the mediaeval period. All three together represent the Faroe Island"s most interesting historical site.