Victoria Things to Do

  • St. Fidelis Church, Victoria
    St. Fidelis Church, Victoria
    by atufft
  • St. Fidelis Church, Victoria
    St. Fidelis Church, Victoria
    by atufft
  • St. Fidelis Church, Victoria
    St. Fidelis Church, Victoria
    by atufft

Best Rated Things to Do in Victoria

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    See the Stained Glass and Exterior

    by mrclay2000 Written Feb 25, 2003

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    Cathedral of the Plains (1907)

    In rural Kansas, several towns along I-70 have the requisite water towers and other ornamentation besides. Some have grain silos to prove their agrarian heritage, but several villages/towns (such as Victoria, Park and Collyer) have a dominating church steeple almost as majestic as the silos. These structures prove that the religious aspect was no farther from village life than sewing and the scythe.

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    Stained Glass in Rural Kansas

    by mrclay2000 Written Feb 25, 2003

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    One of many stained glass windows inside

    In rural Kansas, several towns along I-70 have the requisite water towers and other ornamentation besides. Some have grain silos to prove their agrarian heritage, but several villages/towns (such as Victoria, Park and Collyer) have a dominating church steeple almost as majestic as the silos. These structures prove that the religious aspect was no farther from village life than sewing and the scythe.

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    St. Fidelis Church Exterior

    by atufft Written Oct 2, 2008

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    St. Fidelis Church, Victoria
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    St. Fidelis is located at 900 Cathedral Avenue but can be easily found because the spires can be seen even from I-70. Church constructon began in 1908 and lasted three years. The native Flint Hills limestone was quarried just 7 miles from the church location. The stones, which range in weight from 50 to 100 lbs, were placed by hand, without aid of power lifts or tools. The Romanesque style church has the floorplan of a cross, with towers that are 141 feet high, and a seating capacity of 1,100. The website claims that this church was at the time of its completion, the largest church west of the Mississippi.

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    St. Fidelis Church Interior

    by atufft Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    St. Fidelis Church, Victoria
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    The inside is unbelievably large for such a small town. Some 15,000 tourists visit the church annually, and so there is a budget for a restoration project that has been underway since 1994. Outside also, is a marvelous statue of St. Fidelis that is the work of Pete Felton, I believe.

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    Volga-German Pioneer Memorial

    by atufft Written Oct 2, 2008

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    Volga-German Tribute, Victoria, KS
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    Very near St. Fidelis Church is an impressive limestone statue dedicated to the Volga-German pioneers that founded Victoria. The stone sculpture is the work of venerable local artist, Pete Felton, who has the Stone Gallery in nearby Hays. Felton is himself a descendent of Volga-German immigrants, I believe.

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    Miscellaneous Residential Buildings

    by atufft Updated Oct 2, 2008

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    Limestone Home in Victoria, KS
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    In additon to the water tower, the small town has a few early 20th century homes typical of the midwestern architecture. There are a couple of limestone homes, likely built by wealthier residents of town during the late 19th and early 20th century. The railroad has donated a caboose for kids to play in at a small park in town.

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    St. Fidelis Church

    by basstbn Updated Sep 5, 2003

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    This massive Romanesque church is a tribute to the dedication and hard work of the devout Volga German farmers who settled this land. The limestone was quarried seven miles from the site of the edifice, hauled to the site by church members, then dressed by local masons. Each stone, weighing from 50 to 100 pounds, was lifted into place without the automatic lifts and power tools. The building was completed in 1911.

    St. Fidelis is commonly known as "The Cathedral of the Plains," a name given it by William Jennings Bryan during a presidential campaign stop in 1912. Technically, it is not a cathedral, but it reminds one of the finest cathedrals of Europe. St. Fidelis was added to the National Register of Historic Places as a building of architectural significance in 1971.

    Sculpture in the foreground honors the Capuchin Franciscan friars who have ministered at St. Fidelis and in its environs since 1878.

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    The Altar

    by basstbn Updated Sep 5, 2003

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    The altar and pulpit, made of Carrara marble, were cut, polished and imported from Italy. They are a relatively recent addition to the church, the altar having been installed in 1986, the pulpit in 1954.

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    Tribute to the hard-working Volga Germans

    by basstbn Updated Sep 5, 2003
    Tribute to those who endured the hardships

    Victoria, Kansas, a town with a very English sounding name, is actually a very German town.

    English aristocrats arrived here first with the intentions of farming just as they had on their native soil, named their little village after their beloved queen, then failed miserably attempting to adapt to the harsh conditions of the Kansas plains. The poor, but hardy, Germans who had immigrated here from the Volga region of Russia were able not only to survive, but to prosper.

    The memorial in this picture is a tribute to those who made this town with an English name live.

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    Miscellaneous Commerical Buildings in Victoria

    by atufft Written Oct 2, 2008

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    The Library, Victoria, KS
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    Victoria's downtown is extremely small and very little is there except the "Library", a bar and restaurant. However, there are also a few old stone or brick buildings of some interest.

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    Church interior

    by basstbn Updated Aug 27, 2003

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    Recently renovated. Painters and historians took great care to return the interior to its original colors.

    The 18 large granite pillars were brought by train from the state of Vermont.

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