People often associate churches with Europe; however, the United States offers stunning structures which are sure to take your breath away. These are by far the most famous churches in America.
Jamestown Church is one of America’s oldest buildings, constructed shortly after English colonists arrived on this continent in 1617. Its foundations date back even further, and an original brick church was completed three years later in 1639.
1. Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Washington D.C.
Although many think of stunning churches when discussing American architecture, America boasts its share of stunning structures as well. From elaborate cathedrals in large cities to missionary centers that were formed as America expanded westward.
The National Shrine is one of the ten largest Roman Catholic churches worldwide, boasting 81 Marian chapels, an upper church that seats 10,000 people, and its central Trinity Dome.
Frank Lloyd Wright‘s son created this remarkable structure from adobe and glass, creating an enclosure that lets nature define sacred space. Now designated a National Historic Landmark and listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
2. Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington D.C.
The Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception is one of America’s best-known churches and serves as the home for Catholic Church’s national university.
Between 1914 and 1917, this church was constructed. Bishop Thomas Shahan spearheaded its construction, producing a newsletter that circulated to various dioceses nationwide to raise funds.
This church celebrates and commemorates America’s rich diversity of cultures and histories through Marian chapels that pay homage to Mary – each chapel representing different ethnicities or cultures in America such as Hungarian, Croatian, Vietnamese, Filipino, or American Indian people – located on its lower level in Basilica.
3. Cathedral of Saint Patrick in New York City
St Patrick’s Cathedral in North America is an eye-catching Neo-Gothic cathedral that stands as an elegant counterpoint to New York City’s modern skyscrapers. Over 3 million visitors annually make pilgrimages here to this national landmark; which boasts an impressive pipe organ and replicas of Michelangelo’s Pieta three times larger than its original.
The cathedral boasts an illustrious history and serves as the final resting place of many notable Americans, such as F. Scott Fitzgerald and Zelda Sayre of Zelda Sayre fame as well as Babe Ruth. Additionally, it hosts various events and wedding ceremonies, making it a must-see when visiting New York City.
4. Cathedral of Saint John the Divine in New York City
The Cathedral of Saint John the Divine is the world’s largest cathedral. With Gothic architecture, Keith Haring sculptures, 17th-century tapestries, and a 9/11 memorial on display within, thousands visit every year to pay their respects at this church.
But it has never been designated as a landmark, and that decision will be up for a vote tomorrow. The city may modify the church’s status to enable further construction on its property.
Protecting an ongoing construction of a church may seem counterintuitive, but that is exactly why the landmarks process was introduced: to safeguard our city’s most important and historic structures from unexpected changes such as developers. Here, church developers could potentially cause irreparable harm.
5. Cathedral of the Holy Cross in New York City
At the center of a bustling city lies this church offering peace and serenity. Surrounded by taller, newer structures, this place of worship describes itself as “The Church at the Crossroads of the World.” You’re likely to come across it when exiting your bus at Port Authority Terminal.
At first glance, its grand exterior and interior are breathtaking – especially its intricate rose window crafted of over 100,000 pieces of stained glass. Visitors can take a guided tour to learn more about its history and beauty; special events throughout the year such as Blue Mass for first responders or Haitian Independence Day Celebration can also be attended here; in addition, deacons and priests are ordained at this cathedral.
6. Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Mexico City
Mexico City’s cathedral stands as one of its most magnificent landmarks, looking onto Zocalo Plaza and boasting elements from Renaissance, Baroque, and Neo-Classicism architecture. Construction took over 200 years!
The Virgin of Guadalupe is widely recognized as both the patron saint of Mexico and of continental Americas, revered by Native Americans alike and widely invoked as Patroness of Unborns – making her an invaluable ally for pro-life movements.
The Cathedral of Guadalupe houses an altar displaying Saint Juan Diego’s tilma (cloak), given by the Virgin of Guadalupe to him in 1531, as well as other objects associated with her appearances. Furthermore, several objects associated with her appearance are on display here as well. Additionally, it serves as the seat of the Catholic Diocese of Brownsville and contains a chapel dedicated to Saint Philip of Jesus that was completed early during the construction of this church.