Our Lady of the Snows - Atlas Obscura

This statue of the Virgin Mary stands on a lonely outcrop on the Hut Point Loop trail, overlooking McMurdo Station and Observation Hill. Though the statue itself would not seem out of place in any Christian church, it sits inside an unusual housing: a galvanized iron cage created by engineers at the Antarctic research base. 

Built in 1957, the small shrine serves as a memorial to Richard T. Williams, a U.S. Navy Petty Officer who died in 1956 when his bulldozer fell through the sea ice.

Our Lady of the Snows sits atop one of the windiest and most exposed places in Winter Quarters Bay, and the harsh environment has taken a toll on the shrine. When it was first built, the statue was framed by rocks that made it look like a small grotto. Over time the rocks disappeared, with the curved iron frame remaining.

In partnership with KAYAK

Plan Your Trip

From Around the Web