Take the California St. cable car from in front of Hyatt Regency @ the confluence of California / Drumm / Market st. up to the top of Nob hill and jump off at Grace Cathedral.
The beautiful bronze Ghiberti front doors at the entrance and inside coloured windows are great and worth checking out.
Watch people inside walking the Grace labyrinths
Then walk back down Nob Hill (east the way you came up) into Chinatown... wander through Chinatown (don't forget lunch) to Embarcadero, or (left/north) stroll through North Beach.
Do this on a sunny day, and I bet San Francisco becomes one of your alltime favorite cities.
Sitting high on a hill in Nob Hill is the enormous Grace Cathedral, which is an Episcopal church. The church building project was undertaken after the 1906 earthquake (specifically in 1928) and not completed until the 1964. Outside, the neo-Gothic structure is somewhat conservative in design with the most interesting feature seen here. These are exact replicas of Ghiberti's famous "Gates of Paradise" from the Baptistery in Florence, Italy. There are also some Spanish architectural influences, a reminder of California's Spanish roots.
On the interior of the church, there are a few interesting features. There is an interesting labyrinth near the rear of the church (and one outside) which symbolizes three stages of a holy life, Purgation (letting go), Illumination (receiving God) and Union (joining God).
I was also quite taken by the height of the central nave. It's enormous! The altar, on the other hand, was a bit disappointing in its simplicity.
On the other hand, the stained glass window were interesting. One set is done by an American artist Charles Connick and the other done by a French guy whose name I can't recall. There are also some great murals on the north side walls of the nave which are the work by Antonio Sotomayor and depict the founding of the church.
The church is actually the parish successor of Grace Church which dates to 1849, California's Gold Rush year.
Nob Hill - take in the temples of grandeur or sit on a bench in Huntington Park. Nob Hill is the old playground of railroad barons and high society, at the top of California Street, a short cable car trip from Union Square. Or climb the steep-grade on foot from Powell Street.
Gothic Grace Cathedral:
Grace Cathedral Website
Fairmont Hotel: Tea Time 2:30-6 p.m. daily. Meander through the lobby!
Mark Hopkins Hotel: Tea served in the Top of the Mark lounge.
Huntington's Nob Hill: Cozy Big Four restaurant, have a glass of port in a deep leather chairs by the fire.
The Ritz Carlton is a two-block walk down California Street.
If there was a downside to our otherwise spectacular trip to San Francisco, it was when my camera battery died just as we were ready to tour GRACE CATHEDRAL. I was so disappointed!!
Happily, located handily below the sanctuary, there was a gift shop which carried post cards of this magnificent cathedral, which was opportune!
picture #1 Grace Cathedral was constructed from 1927 to 1964 and is an Episcopal church. It sits atop Nob Hill, exuding good will, purity and righteousness--just like God's house should! The design was inspired by French Cathedrals.
picture #2 The central sanctuary is shown with the Connick choir windows. There are several services conducted each Sunday, among which is the 11 am service, placed on the web weekly.
picture #3 The east rose window (1964) depicts a famous poem of Saint Francis. Referred to as the Gabriel Loire window, it is 25 feet in diameter and has nearly 3800 pieces of faceted glass. As the sun shimmered through its multi-colored segments, it truly was a gorgeous sight!
These photo postcards are published by C. Harrison Conroy Co.
Wow! A Gothic church in USA! Am I dreaming?
Of course not. It's just one more sight of American complex for the lack of history, using their wealth and technology to reproduce the signs of European history. Finished in 1964 it's announced as one of the biggest churches in USA.
Anyway, it was an opportunity for some modern artists to apply their skills and became an acceptable visitable point.
Ok, if you feel not enthusiast going up walking Nob hill , then think how people living or working everyday do and..cheer up, this is waht i thought thinking of going back to the flat flat Netherlands.
See my general tips for much more on Nob Hill.
The Mark Hopkins Hotel was built in 1925 at the site of the mansion of Mark Hopkins, one of the 'Big Four' railroad tycoons. Like many other wooden mansions it was destroyed by fire in the aftermath of the 1906 earthquake.
It's interesting to note that not all fires were caused by the earthquake directly. Many people, not covered by earthquake insurance, chose to set fire to their place so they could claim fire insurance, which they had. Which isn't to suggest that this was one of those situations.
This is another of those, "If you have to ask the price you can't afford it" hotels. Start thinking around $400 plus.
Nob Hill is one of the famous San Francisco hills, very close to the city centre and Union Square. The hill hosts a park surrounded by a bunch of top-class hotels with excellent views to the city and the bay and Grace cathedral -- once imposing and now dwarfed by the towers.
The best way to go the hill is walking, but it may not be option for everybody. Taxis and rental cars are good choices, too, but maybe the best non-walking transport method is to take a cable car running on California street.
Located between California, Powell, Broadway, and Leavenworth streets, Nob Hill has been the locus of San Francisco high society for over a century. 19th century mining, railroad, and banking barons like Charles Crocker, Mark Hopkins, James Flood, and Leland Stanford built huge mansions on what was known as the “Hill of Palaces.” Unfortunately, almost all of these magnificent structures fell victim to the 1906 earthquake and subsequent fire. Only the old Flood mansion survives – today it is the Pacific Union Club.
Today Nob Hill is home to luxury apartments, condos, and hotels – such as the Fairmont Hotel (where Alfred Hitchcock filmed part of “Vertigo”), the Mark Hopkins (whose “Top of the Mark” is a great pace to have high tea of cocktails), and the Stanford Court (on the site of the mansion owned by Leland and Jane Stanford – whose money established Stanford University), as well as Grace Cathedral, a one-sixth replica of Notre Dame in Paris that took 53 years to build, and the Cable Car Museum on Mason and Washington streets.
This is trully amazing this cathedral has been built in the 20th century. Based on ND de Paris, this one is indeed made of concrete. However once you enter, you really have the feeling to be in one of these old multy-centenary european cathedrals.
Nob Hill is an affluent district, home to many of the city's old money families. Sometimes it is sarcastically referred to as Snob Hill. Its also home to some of the most expensive hotels in the city like the Farimont Hotel, Mark Hopkins, and the Huntington Hotel to name just a few. The Farimont Hotel has been used in many different Hollywood films so its the most famous of all the hotels. Grace Cathedral also resides on the hill which is located at the intersection of California and Powell, Grace Cathedral is one of the most beautiful churches in the city and was built in the same style as Notre Dame. There is also a small park with a beautiful water fountain if your looking for a place to relax and take in the rich folks that pass by!
SNOB Hill ooops Nob Hill (sorry, since most people here are snooty rich types) due to it's reputation as a privileged only area in the gold rush and recent times. The area is home to Posh hotels like the fairmont, Intercontinental, top of the Mark and others and also offers the best view of the bay area when riding the cable car so when the cable car stops at this area, I suggest you let your digicams and videocams ready!
Of The City's many hills, Nob Hill boasts perhaps the best view of San Francisco Bay, especially when observed from a California Street cable car, running from the foot of Market Street, over the hill and down to Van Ness Avenue. Nob Hill's noble tenants include Grace Cathedral, a replica of Notre Dame in Paris; Huntington Park, site of many arts shows and graced by a replica of a 16th century Roman fountain; Nob Hill Masonic Center, an architectural dazzler hosting various musical events; the Cable Car Museum; and grand hotels.
The aptly described 'hill of palaces', Nob Hill rises sharply from San Francisco's centre. Undevelopable before the 1870s because of its steepness, it was the invention of the cable car that finally allowed Nob Hill to be easily climbed. when it was, its commanding viw quickly drove up real estate prices, and the massive mansions that held court upon its hights gave th area the nickname 'Snob Hill'. Following the 1906 earthquake, however, many of the mansions were destroyed by the subsequent fire and the city elite moved on to the Pacific Heights area. Today, Nob Hill is a far more cosmopolitan hotel district. Some of the city's most expensive hotels, including the Fairmont and the Ritz, call this area home. Nob Hill's main attraction is Grace Cathedral, modelled after Notre Dame in Paris, which is frontd by elegant Huntington Park. Across the park is the exclusive Pacific Union Club, in one of the last remaining mansions. Of course, the area still rmains relatively affluent, and pompous French Empire architecture is now the area staple. Nob Hill can be reached rather easily via the California Street cable car line, otherwise there's a steep climb involved.