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4.19 | Eastern Orthodox Christians in Chicago

Today marks Easter for Eastern Orthodox Christians—those who adhere to the liturgies and customs of the ancient Byzantine church, including using the Julian calendar, which places Easter at a later date. In Chicago, Greek, Russian, and Serbian believers were among the first to establish permanent Eastern Orthodox churches.

One example is the Holy Trinity Orthodox Cathedral (1903), which is one of only three surviving houses of worship designed by famed Chicago architect Louis Sullivan. Its bell tower and awning feature the ornate details that are Sullivan’s trademark. The building was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1976, designated an official City of Chicago Landmark in 1979, and now serves as the See Cathedral of the Diocese of the Midwest of the Orthodox Church in America. Learn more.

Holy Trinity Orthodox Cathedral, Chicago, 1906. CHM, ICHi-071983; Charles R. Clark, photographer

Developed in partnership with Lake Forest College, Digital Chicago is a collection of digital projects about forgotten or at-risk aspects of Chicago’s history and culture. Associate professor of religion Benjamin E. Zeller and his team created virtual reality walkthroughs of some of Chicago’s most historically and artistically important sacred sites, including Holy Trinity Orthodox Cathedral. See it now.



The Chicago History Museum is situated on ancestral homelands of the Potawatomi people, who cared for the land until forced out by non-Native settlers. Established in 1856, the Museum is now at 1601 N. Clark Street in Lincoln Park, its third location. As a major museum and research center for Chicago and U.S. history, the Chicago History Museum strives to be a destination for learning, inspiration and civic engagement. Through dynamic exhibitions, tours, publications, special events and programming, the Museum connects people to Chicago’s history and to each other. To share Chicago stories, the Museum collects and preserves millions of artifacts, documents, images and other items that are relevant to the city’s history. The Museum gratefully acknowledges the support of the Chicago Park District on behalf of the people of Chicago. 

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