Nestled on the mountainous Baranof Island on the outer waters of the Inside Passage, Sitka is considered by most Alaskans to be the most beautiful sea-side town in Alaska. The Sound's pristine waters are abundant with wildlife including Giant humpbacks, sea otters, eagles, harbour seals and boisterous sea lions.
As the capital of Russian-America, Sitka was the site of the ceremony in which the Russian flag was lowered and the United States flag raised after Alaska was purchased by the United States in 1867. Sitka served as the capital of the Alaska Territory until 1906, when the seat of government was relocated to Juneau.
Sitka's Russian heritage is still evident and celebrated through out the city. Two iconic buildings include The Russian Bishop's House, the oldest intact Russian building in Sitka, built in 1842 and St. Michael's Cathedral, the first Russian church built in America. The cathedral was destroyed by fire in 1966, but rebuilt and today displays precious icons and religious artefacts which were saved from the fire.