Monday 31 October 2016

Abandoned Romanian Church

October 15, 2016 northwest of Hairy Hill, Alberta. Found this when I was looking for something else. That happens lots of times, looking for one thing and accidentally finding something spectacular. A friend of mine managed to dig up some history on this place from the internet.

The church is formally known as “Parochia Romana Ortodoxa Nasterea Fecioarei Maria din Hairy Hill, Alberta, Canada”. The sanctification was performed in the Romanian Orthodox manner by Father Archimandrite Silvestru (Ionescu) on 11 or 14 August, 1914. In 1913, Father Ionescu had established a Romanian Orthodox Deanery which was under the direct canonical jurisdiction of the Metropolitanate of Moldova and Suceava. The formal approval for this sanctification was given by his Eminence Metropolitan Pimen of Ia┼či, Romania. From Regina, he occasionally served at Hairy Hill.

The interesting thing is that there is another Romanian Church just a few miles up the road from this one. There was a split in the Romanian community and each group set up their own church. Many years later the groups reconciled and both parishes became one. The church up the road, St. Mary's of Boain and the subject of a later post, is beautifully restored. This one has been left to the elements.

The marker lists a person's name and "donated AD 1943" so guessing the land was donated for the church in 1943.

There was about five to six inches of snow on the ground and I was wearing running shoes. That was not going to stop me. I took what time I could to tour the place. The church is locked.

There is a date of 1954 on the steeple. It may have been the date the church was built.

Building for the church bell. It turned out to be unlocked.

A quick peek from the bottom of the bell building looking up. 

The cemetery is off in the distance. I could not pass this up.

Fascinating place. I loved every minute I was here.

From the cemetery looking to the church.


  1. How much snow did you get up there?

  2. What a wonderful place to explore.

  3. Beautiful photographs, BW. Interesting the vestibule has a side door! Wonder if the bell has an inscription on it?
    (P.S. Always carry an extra pair of socks and boots in the car)

  4. While the little church looks forlorn, the cemetery is very interesting. Those grave markers are quite impressive.