Faith and Footprints: Baltimore Basilica – Baltimore, Maryland

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The Baltimore Basilica was founded in 1806 and is one of America’s premier architectural exhibitions, as well as the first major cathedral built in America after the signing of the Constitution. The Basilica, also known as America’s First Cathedral, has been a symbol of religious freedom in America for over 200 years and is a spectacular sight with a massive dome, 24 skylights, and classic European styling.

The Baltimore Basilica was built between 1806 and 1863, designed by two prominent Americans, including John Carroll, cousin of a signatory of the Declaration of Independence, and Benjamin Henry Latrobe, who is considered the “father of architecture American ”. Latrobe was also the principal architect of the United States Capitol. The basilica, which culminated in years of refinement by Latrobe, is now considered one of the world’s finest examples of 19th century architecture.

During construction, the only building that could compete with it in terms of size, scale, and architectural sophistication was the United States Capitol. It was considered at the time to be the most advanced building in the country.

For over 100 years until the American Revolution, the Catholic Church consisted of a persecuted minority. With the adoption of the Constitution, religious leaders wanted to build a cathedral to celebrate their newly acquired right to pray publicly.

As the first Catholic cathedral in the United States, the basilica is an important part of Catholic history, hosting important events and prominent visitors including Mother Teresa of Calcutta and Pope Saint John Paul II, who have called the building a “global symbol of religious freedom”. “The Basilica was listed on the National Register of Historic Places on October 1, 1969. Until recent years, more priests were ordained at Baltimore Basilica than in any other church in the United States.

Today it is the center of a diverse and revitalized neighborhood, the Mount Vernon Cultural District. Each year, more than 100,000 people visit the basilica, making it one of Baltimore’s top tourist destinations. To experience one of America’s most historic places of worship and a masterpiece of American architecture, visitors can register to tour the building and gardens through a guided tour or self-guided tour. . Lectures, concerts and other cultural activities are also organized regularly at the Basilica.

The Baltimore Basilica is located at 409 Cathedral St. in Baltimore, Maryland. For more information, visit www.americasfirstcathedral.org.


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