Basilica of the Assumption
Baltimore, United States
Sat: 7 AM to 5:30 PM
Sun: 7 AM to 4:30 PM
Sat, Sun: 7 AM to 5:30 PM
The Basilica of the Assumption is the oldest Catholic Cathedral in the United States and the seat of the Archdiocese of Baltimore. At one time, all the Catholic churches east of the Mississippi were governed from here.
Construction of the Basilica began in 1806, but was delayed due to the War of 1812. It was finally completed in 1821. The church was designed by Benjamin Latrobe, the architect of the US Capitol. Unlike most Catholic Cathedrals that emphasized the Gothic style, Latrobe added elements unique to Catholic churches including a Greek temple styled portico with Ionic columns and onion domes that are associated with Russian Orthodox churches.
Inside the church, Latrobe installed skylights and painted the walls bright colors instead of a heavy, stone look. This created a lighter interior, also bucking tradition.
In 2006, the Basilica completed a $96,000,000 renovation, returning the church to its original 19th Century appearance. The skylights, covered since World War II, were reopened to allow the natural light to illuminate the interior for the first time in 60 years.
The Basilica has welcomed Pope John Paul II and Mother Teresa.
The light rail's Center Street Station (north of Inner Harbor) is the closest to the Basilica. Walk back on Howard Street the way you came to Mulberry Street. Turn left on Mulberry and two blocks to the Basilica.