PIERRE, S.D. – There is an interesting building, nestled into the Black Hills near Rapid City, that is unlike any other place in this area of South Dakota. Chapel in the Hills is one of South Dakota’s Great Places.
Built in 1969 as the home for the Lutheran Vespers radio ministry, Chapel in the Hills is now used primarily as a tourism stop, but also serves as a wedding venue and as an informal place of worship on summer evenings.
The Lutheran Vespers were looking to expand their popular radio ministry in the 1960s and chose the Black Hills as their location. It was suggested the chapel be built in the style of an original stave church, because of the Norwegian ancestry in the Dakotas. The Chapel in the Hills mirrors the construction of the famous Borgund stavkirke in Norway.
The chapel, museum and gift shop are open May 1-Sept. 30, from 7:00 a.m. until dusk, seven days a week.
The grounds are open on a limited basis during the off season. All monetary support for the chapel is obtained from free-will donations, purchases from the gift shop and weddings that are held at the Chapel. Original funding for the Chapel in the Hills came from Arndt Dahl of Rapid City.
South Dakota’s Great Places weekly press release series is a project of the South Dakota Department of Tourism, designed to highlight places in South Dakota that are unique to travelers and residents alike. Click on the special “South Dakota’s Great Places” link at www.MediaSD.com
to access the complete list of articles.
Information for this release was obtained from the Chapel in the Hills website.
Photo: Photo of the stavkirke structure. Photo credit to South Dakota Department of Tourism.