Carving religion out of rock – Serbian Church in Coober Pedy

Are churches one of the most photographed subjects in the world?

I don’t know if I’m honest, but I have to admit I’ve photographed my share. I am also on board when I’m with someone who wants to photograph them as well.

When Suzzanna and I started discussing spending a day in Coober Pedy one of the places she really wanted to go and see was the Serbian Church there.

It is dug out from the side of a rock face and when you walk inside it is quite different. It wasn’t what I was expecting.

From the outside, if you didn’t see the signs you wouldn’t pick what it was.

It was very unassuming.

Inside was quite different. You can see from the header photo how different it is.

I don’t know a lot about the church. I just went in and photographed it.

I’m going to leave you with a gallery today. Don’t forget to click on one of the images so you can then scroll through the photos.

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  1. That is spectacular. I visited Coober Pedy while on a small-group van tour in Australia (yonks back), we stayed overnight yet I don’t remember this church. So frustrating, that it escaped our attention! Thank you for giving me this belated visit…

    1. You’re welcome Penny. I only knew about it because Suzzanna found out about it, otherwise I wouldn’t have gone. Thank you Penny

  2. This is beautiful! I’m an Orthodox Christian living in the US, and I’ve never seen anything like it. Thank you for sharing the photos with us. 🙂 I was wondering why it looked so modern at the same time that it looked old, and from the wikipedia page, it says that it was built in the early 1990s, which definitely explains that. It’s not the only example of an Orthodox Church being built in stone, but I believe most of them that exist are very, very, very old.

    1. You’re welcome Katja. there you go, you found out more than me. I do admit I was just along for the ride there. Though I think this one is also unique because it is carved out of the rock face. So much like that in Coober Pedy. Thank you

  3. The church is amazing, Leanne, I wonder how it is Serbian? This place is a long way from Serbia! The carvings are very beautiful!

    1. Thanks John, it is quite amazing. I think it would have been built by Serbians who went to Coober Pedy to mine for opals. We have lots of churches here from just about every place in the world. I’m sure much the same as the US has.

    2. Hi – When an Orthodox Church says it is “Russian Orthodox” or “Greek Orthodox” or “Serbian Orthodox”, it refers to the jurisdictional head the parish is under. Being as there is no “Australian Orthodox Church” (yet), you find things like this. (Rarely, there are even churches that have changed jurisdictions.) There probably is – or was – a Serbian community in the area, enough so that a church was established.

    1. Thank you Ted, it isn’t always easy taking photo like that when you are essentially underground, though I have to say I was really impressed with the Fujifilm, it is really good in low light.

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