Church of Saint Elijah the Prophet is the Serbian Orthodox church in Coober Pedy, South Australia, built in 1993 and is dedicated to Saint Elijah. It belongs to the Serbian Orthodox Eparchy of Australia and New Zealand. The church is a popular tourist attraction because of its underground location. The whole church complex, with a church, a community hall, a parish house and a religious school, is carved in the sandstone between 3 and 17 meters under the ground level.
The church was built by Serbian Australians who settled in Coober Pedy as opal miners. Because of the hot climate, it was decided to build a church under the ground. The digging of the community hall begun in June 1992, and was finished in a month. The digging of the church itself began in February 1993, and was finished in August 1993, and consecrated on the St Elijah's day. All work was done by the volunteers. The church is 30m long, 5.3m wide, and 7m high, and is completely carved in the sandstone. The ceiling window is covered with stained glass. The floor is 17m under the ground level in the deepest point, and 3m under the ground level at the shallowest point. The church has a gallery with a baptismal font and the altar. The iconostasis is made of glass. The interior walls are covered with bas reliefs of saints carved in stone. The whole complex contains the church, the community hall, priest's home and the religious school, all carved under the ground.
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Serbian Orthodox Church Reviews
I flew over Kati-Thanda, known in the West As Lake Eyre. It is the largest Lake in Australia - And is indeed awesome. We flew over bubbling springs, salty waves and islands before flying over the... more »
It is free to visit and there is a donation box if you wish, we certainly did. Entering you walk down a fairly steep path, turning the corner you enter the church. It is peaceful and serene. Loved... more »
Loved the sombre atmosphere and was dazzled. To hear Byzantine chant in this church would be spectacular! It's open 24/7 but I'd recommend going before dusk. No one was there to attend so if you're planning on going the entry is the door to the far right.
Worth a look. Very interesting and unique.
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