The Cathedral Basilica of Saint Louis,
commonly known as the Saint Louis Cathedral or the New Cathedral was built
in between 1907 and 1909 as replacement for the Church of St. Louis IX, King
of France (the Old Cathedral.) The Old Cathedral, on the historic St. Louis
riverfront since 1770, served as the seat of the Diocese (later Archdiocese)
of the Roman Catholic Church until the completion of the New Cathedral. The
exterior of the Cathedral Basilica was designed in the Romanesque style. The
massive granite walls boast rose windows supports the massive central dome
tiled in green. Two half domes stand beside the main dome, and pointed twin
towers flank the center of the front of the church. The distinctive dome and
pitched roofs are a prominent sight in the St. Louis skyline. It
has been said the Cathedral "possesses a majesty and magnificence
unmatched in the American Midwest." In recognition of its beauty and
historical significance, the Cathedral was designated a basilica by Pope
John Paul II in 1997.
Entering through the
massive oak doors will take visitors into a sancuary decorated in the
Byzantine tradition with soaring domes, beautiful arches, pendentives,
lunettes, soffets and mosaics. The mosaics are made with over 41,000,000
glass tesserae tiles using over 8,000 shades of color. The designs tell
stories of faith and history. The mosaics show Christ's 12 apostles, 4
teachers of the early church, a portrayal of the Last Supper and scenes of
Old Testament prophesies of Christ's coming. Other areas throughout the
Cathedral contain equally stunning mosaic panels. Tiffany's of New York
created the panels in the Blessed Vergin's Chapel of the Cathedral in the
Italian style and show scenes of Mary's Presentation, Annunciation,
Visitation to Elizabeth and the Assumption. Other panels depict the major
events in the life of Saint Louis IX, King of France and namesake of the
city, and milestones in the establishment of the Catholic Church in St.
The Mosaic Museum is
on the lower level of the cathedral. The museum dedicated to the mosaics in
the church with displays on the construction of the building and the
creation of its mosaics. The museum also contains displays of the other
artifacts that can be found in the Cathedral. Also in the church basement is
a mortuary chapel with a number of crypts for former leaders of the
Archdiocese. Currently, Cardinals John J. Glennon, Joseph Ritter, and John
J. Carberry, as well as Archbishop John L. May are buried in the Cathedral's
with children can pick up a brochure entitled "A Quest Among the
Mosaics of the Cathedral Basilica of Saint Louis." Children can use the
list of 20 items in the brochure in a search for the unexpected among the
mosaics of the Cathedral. The items include a boy on crutches, a deer, a
dolphin and anchor, a globe of the world, a skull and the Statue of Liberty.
Cathedral Basilica of St. Louis
The church is open
daily from 7 am to 5 pm.
Tours are available
from 10 am to 4 pm Monday - Friday and at 1 pm on Sundays.
The Mosaic Museum and
the Cathedral Shop Hours:
Monday – Saturday: 10 am to 4 pm
Sunday: 12:30 pm to 4 pm
There is no charge to visit the Cathedral Basilica of St.
There is a $1 admission fee to visit the Mosaic Museum.
Location: The Cathedral Basilica of St. Louis is located the
Central West End neighborhood of St. Louis. Free parking is available behind
the Cathedral and on the side streets.
N 38 38.518
W 90 15.330
Learn more about the
St. Louis area.