The Italian Chapel
The Italian Chapel
4.5
About
Duration: < 1 hour
Suggest edits to improve what we show.
Improve this listing
Tours & experiences
Explore different ways to experience this place.
What is Travellers’ Choice?
Tripadvisor gives a Travellers’ Choice award to accommodations, attractions and restaurants that consistently earn great reviews from travellers and are ranked within the top 10% of properties on Tripadvisor.
Plan your visit
See what travellers are saying
  • canuckduet
    87 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Small and beautiful
    Lovely spot, but well out of Kirkwall. We took a city bus (about 20 mins) and caught the same bus back to Kirkwall about 45 mins later - very convenient and that was long enough to see the chapel. Easy enough to wait till the crowds ebb to get better pictures inside and out of the chapel.
    Visited May 2023
    Travelled as a couple
    Written 14 June 2023
  • FirstTC
    Watford, United Kingdom18 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    A hidden gem
    Made from nothing but concrete and old bits of metal, this chapel is a hidden gem. The painted 3D effect interior is to such a high quality that it was difficult not to touch it, even though we were instructed not to. A must to visit.
    Visited June 2023
    Written 28 June 2023
  • Suzanne M
    Lancaster District, United Kingdom6 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    History at its best
    This is truly a hidden gem in Orkney. The history of the Chapel and its people is so interesting. If you are going as a couple or small family try first or last thing of the day, this is very popular with coaches and can get very busy, we went at 9am this time but have been later in the day. Small entrance fee but worth every penny
    Visited June 2023
    Travelled as a couple
    Written 2 July 2023
  • WendyLou03
    Lincolnshire, United Kingdom180 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Absolutely Awesome would not hesitate to go back to this amazing place
    This place is well worth a visit!!! The kiosk has a moderate amount of memorabilia that can be purchased as well as a ticket to go into the Chapel. Wheelchair users and certain other Disabilities are allowed a carer for free. The staff are very helpful and friendly. Take a good look at the outside of the Chapel and go round to the side, you will see the Chapel is 2 Nissan Huts that were painstakingly and lovingly remodeling by the Prisoners of War in the 2nd World War so that they could have a place of worship. Its worth knowing that all the work on the outside and inside of the chapel was all completed by hand! Inside the paintings are unbelievably detailed and so beautiful, whether you are religious or not, this Chapel has the WOW factor! Linger for a while and take in all the little decorations like the candle holder lights. The wood carvings and other peices that make this special place magical and remember the work that went into this building was done during a World War some 70 odd years ago!
    Visited May 2023
    Travelled as a couple
    Written 5 July 2023
  • maryan5456
    Sydney, Australia161 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    A must see in Kirkwall
    We came back to the Orkney’s because we wanted to visit the Italian Chapel at St Mary’s. It didn’t disappoint. It is 15 minute bus journey from Kirkwall. The achievement of the Chapel is an inspirational journey of Italian POW who were homesick for their own country is this very isolated part of Scotland during WWII and they built their own Chapel to remind them of home, out of whatever materials that were on hand at the time. Well worth a visit!
    Visited August 2023
    Travelled as a couple
    Written 22 August 2023
  • Barry and Nicol... G
    Reading, United Kingdom1,061 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    An Italian master piece?
    Make sure you visit the Italian Chapel, its lovely. The Italian prisoners of war built it, in the 2nd world war and its a joy to be hold. The love and care is there to be seen. The paintings are superb. Its £3.50 which goes to the upkeep. There is a large car park but it can get busy if you arrive when a coach party is there.
    Visited August 2023
    Written 27 August 2023
  • empathology
    Rotterdam, The Netherlands542 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    Odd quirky chapel
    An interesting curio next to the Churchill Barriers steeped in wartime histry (as are a lot of locations in Orkney around Scapa Flow). It's worth a stop for the ornate interior but it won't keep you occupied for long. Small entrance fee
    Visited August 2023
    Travelled as a couple
    Written 27 August 2023
  • Gerry S
    Herne Bay, United Kingdom220 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    A "must See" place
    An amazing sight. Trop l'oyle at its best. Done by Italian POW's as an expression of their faith in their God and truly remarkable in its execution and detail. One of the prime tourist sites and a "must See" site on Orkney
    Visited October 2023
    Travelled as a couple
    Written 6 November 2023
  • YHZGlobetrotter
    Waverley, Canada768 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    Not to be missed
    We were enthralled by this little gem of a chapel. Its story was so poignant. Built by POW’s, known as Camp 60, prisoners in a strange land, built the chapel to practice their faith. The distinctive Italian exterior catches your eye immediately, but the inside will really impress. The ceiling of the basic quonset hut was done in trompe l’oeil and is stunning. Also equally impressive are the wrought iron railings in front of the altar and the cement carvings. What these men were able to do with next to nothing is astounding.
    Visited September 2023
    Travelled as a couple
    Written 16 November 2023
  • John S
    Halkirk, United Kingdom62 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Spiritual
    Visited this wonderful chapel today. We were greeted by a friendly team who took our £8 feet for entry by card. A guide book was also purchased for a pound. The chapel was very busy when we arrived with two coaches from the visiting cruise ships. Luckily they were at the end of their visit and departed quite quickly. Leaving the chapel fairly empty to explore. It is beautiful inside. The atmosphere is peaceful and reflects the fact it’s an active place of Christian worship. The surrounding area is very scenic. Overall well worth a visit.
    Visited May 2024
    Travelled as a couple
    Written 15 May 2024
These reviews are the subjective opinion of Tripadvisor members and not of TripAdvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Most Recent: Reviews ordered by most recent publish date in descending order.

Detailed Reviews: Reviews ordered by recency and descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as waiting time, length of visit, general tips, and location information.

Popular mentions

4.5
4.5 of 5 bubbles1,196 reviews
Excellent
857
Very good
262
Average
60
Poor
13
Terrible
4

John S
Halkirk, UK62 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2024 • Couples
Visited this wonderful chapel today. We were greeted by a friendly team who took our £8 feet for entry by card. A guide book was also purchased for a pound.
The chapel was very busy when we arrived with two coaches from the visiting cruise ships. Luckily they were at the end of their visit and departed quite quickly. Leaving the chapel fairly empty to explore.
It is beautiful inside. The atmosphere is peaceful and reflects the fact it’s an active place of Christian worship.
The surrounding area is very scenic.
Overall well worth a visit.
Written 16 May 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Johnlobster
Morpeth, UK2,551 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2023 • Couples
Went here on our visit to Orkney. It is a wonderful small building and has a wonderful story to tell. Definitely go here when visiting Orkney.
Written 4 December 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

YHZGlobetrotter
Waverley, Canada768 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Sept 2023 • Couples
We were enthralled by this little gem of a chapel. Its story was so poignant. Built by POW’s, known as Camp 60, prisoners in a strange land, built the chapel to practice their faith. The distinctive Italian exterior catches your eye immediately, but the inside will really impress. The ceiling of the basic quonset hut was done in trompe l’oeil and is stunning. Also equally impressive are the wrought iron railings in front of the altar and the cement carvings. What these men were able to do with next to nothing is astounding.
Written 16 November 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Gerry S
Herne Bay, UK220 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2023 • Couples
An amazing sight. Trop l'oyle at its best. Done by Italian POW's as an expression of their faith in their God and truly remarkable in its execution and detail. One of the prime tourist sites and a "must See" site on Orkney
Written 6 November 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

KarenM1_10
Bloomfield Hills, Michigan1,045 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2023 • Couples
We stopped here on our tour to Skara Brae. The Chapel was constructed by Italian POWs. Very fascinating history and worth the stop. The Chapel is small and looks very simple on the outside, but the interior is very beautiful. You only need about 15 minutes here to view the interior and read the placards on the outside.
Written 5 October 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Struan101
Dollar, UK60 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Sept 2023 • Couples
Small but utterly beautiful. What these PoWs achieved with meagre resources is beyond my imagination.
Also, the two ladies in the ticket office on my visit (18 September 2023) were very helpful and interesting.
Written 19 September 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Ayrdiver
Bowmore, UK95 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Sept 2023 • Couples
The Italian Chapel at Lamb Holm is an amazing tribute to the Italian prisoners of war who build and detailed it with minimal tools and facilities. A must-visit part of any trip to Orkney!
Written 13 September 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

empathology
Rotterdam, The Netherlands542 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2023 • Couples
An interesting curio next to the Churchill Barriers steeped in wartime histry (as are a lot of locations in Orkney around Scapa Flow). It's worth a stop for the ornate interior but it won't keep you occupied for long.
Small entrance fee
Written 27 August 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Barry and Nicol... G
Reading, UK1,061 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2023
Make sure you visit the Italian Chapel, its lovely. The Italian prisoners of war built it, in the 2nd world war and its a joy to be hold. The love and care is there to be seen. The paintings are superb. Its £3.50 which goes to the upkeep. There is a large car park but it can get busy if you arrive when a coach party is there.
Written 27 August 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Patric D
Sandbach, UK971 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2023 • Couples
This is quite amazing.
Joining together a couple of Army Nissan huts and with a lot of inventiveness and determination, the Italian soldiers interned at this camp during WWII created a most incredible Italianate chapel.
The hand-pained fake stone carving looks every bit to be real, and there are just so many intriguing details.
Truly uniqie!
Written 25 August 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Showing results 1-10 of 1,105
Is this your Tripadvisor listing?
Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.
Claim your listing

The Italian Chapel, St. Mary's - Tripadvisor

RestaurantsFlightsTravel StoriesCruisesCar Hire