One of Sitka’s strongest distinguishing features is the cultural fusion of the Tlingit intermingled with Russian American influences. This robust duality emanates from the local galleries, art, downtown architecture, dance performances, and local museums. The Tlingit have lived continuously in Sitka for over 50 centuries. Discover age-old stories of the Tlingit people at Sitka National Historical Park and the adjacent Sitka Cultural Center. Totems carved by the masterful hands of Tlingit and Haida Indians can be seen along a pathway that meanders through the rain-forest. Sitka was the cultural and political hub of Russian America in the early 19th century. While San Francisco was only a sleepy cow town, Sitka’s opulence had already earned it the distinction as the “Paris of the Pacific”. A casual downtown stroll will reveal such gems as St. Michael’s Cathedral, an active Russian Orthodox Church whose onion-shaped domes have graced Sitka’s skyline for nearly two centuries.