The Basilica of Saint Louis, King of France, formerly the Cathedral of Saint Louis, and colloquially the Old Cathedral, was the first cathedral west of the Mississippi River and until 1845 the only parish church in the city of St. Louis, Missouri. It is one of two Catholic basilicas in St. Louis, and it is named for King Louis IX of France, also the namesake for the city of St. Louis.
Huge construction with a very beautiful interior, it put me thinking about the use or merit of copies:
It’s clearly a recent work, following carefully the pattern of old churches, with a dominant Byzantine style.
Beautiful? Yes. Rich? Sure. Does its value justify the costs? Who knows? I don’t.
The first Catholic church founded west of the Mississippi River still holds daily mass. The current building dates from 1831 but the area was set aside for worship upon Pierre Laclede's founding of the city in 1764.
This is a wonderful church right in the middle of the Arch area and alongside the main highway going through town. The church was started in 1770 and had been the Diocoses of the Catholics until 1914 when the new church was built further west. There is a nice museum and two gift shops in the church
"Entering through the massive oak doors the visitor steps back in time to a church built in the Byzantine tradition. Soaring domes, soffits, arches, pendentives and lunettes are paved with brilliant mosaics. There are 83,000 square feet of mosaic art that took over 75 years to install.
The artistry provides a visual lesson in faith, history, art and architecture, a source of inspiration, on many levels, to many visitors from around the world."
~ Cathedral Basilica of Saint Louis pamphlet
"The outstanding cathedral of the Americas." ~ Pope Paul VI
I grew up Catholic in St. Louis and attended Catholic school from Kindegarten through 12th grade. For some reason though, I never visited the St. Louis Cathedral. Recently I have seen it mentioned on some travel websites for St. Louis entries and decided it would be a worthwhile place to explore.
I had heard it has more mosaics than any other building in the world, though I honestly did not know what to expect. Upon entering the church my jaw surely hit the floor! I expected small murals scattered through the church. Instead, what I found was the interiors' entire walls and ceiling covered in mosaic pictures.
The interior was magnificent!! And it was beautiful!! Due to the lack of good lighting my photos hardly do the mosaics justice, but they provide you an idea of what treasures wait to be found within the church's walls.
There is also a museum in the basement that costs $1 and shows the history of the Cathedral. It was very interesting, especially the exhibits on the making of the mosaics and the visit of Pope John Paul II.
Call 314-373-8242 to schedule a tour with the Volunteer Guides and docents.
We visited the Cathedral of Saint Louis and it was totally awesome! It is decorated in a giant mosaic fashion. They said that it had like 41 million tiles in the whole cathedral!
This is the largest mosaic collection in the world created by 20 different artists and covering 83,000 square feet. The installation, containing 41.5 million pieces of glass tesserae employing over 7,000 colors, began in 1912 and was completed in 1988 by the Ravenna Mosaic Co.
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