Behold, the Cathedral Basilica of St. Louis, Hidden Gem of the Midwest

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Nheyob, Wikipedia / Dan Kenemore, Wikipedia / ChurchPOP

You’ve probably heard of St. Patrick’s Cathedral in New York City, NY, and maybe the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington D.C.. But perhaps the most beautiful (certainly one of the most beautiful) churches in the United States is one many people haven’t even heard of – and it’s located in Missouri (and yes, Missouri is a part of the mid-west).

The history of Cathedral Basilica of Saint Louis goes back 1871 when a formal organization for promoting the building of a new cathedral was formed in St. Louis, MO. Planning stalled and groundbreaking didn’t begin until 1907. Seven years later, enough of the church was complete for a dedication ceremony, and the church was consecrated in 1926. However, the church’s incredible mosaics weren’t completed until 1988.

So from the time that the diocese started planning the new cathedral to when it was completed, 117 years passed!

Here’s how it looks on the outside:

Nheyob / Wikimedia Commons
Nheyob / Wikipedia

What a beautiful church!

But even as stunning as the outside is, the inside is where things get amazing.

Here’s what you see when you step inside the sanctuary:

Dan Kenemore / Wikipedia
Dan Kenemore / Wikipedia

Wow. The interior is full of incredible mosaics.

According to Wikipedia, “the mosaics collectively contain 41.5 million glass tesserae pieces in more than 7,000 colors, [and] [c]over 83,000 square feet (7,700 m^2).”

The mosaics depict scenes from Scripture, the life of St. Louis IX, King of France, and important events from the history of the archdiocese.

Below are some more pictures from inside the cathedral:

Thomas Hawk / Flickr
Thomas Hawk / Flickr
Thomas Hawk / Flickr
Thomas Hawk / Flickr
Thomas Hawk / Flickr
Thomas Hawk / Flickr
Thomas Hawk / Flickr
Thomas Hawk / Flickr
Daniel Schwen / Wikipedia
Daniel Schwen / Wikipedia
Andrew Balet / Wikipedia
Andrew Balet / Wikipedia
Pete unseth / Wikipedia
Pete unseth / Wikipedia
Andrew Balet / Wikipedia
Andrew Balet / Wikipedia
Bill Herndon / Flickr
Bill Herndon / Flickr
Claudia Daggett / Flickr
Claudia Daggett / Flickr
Tim Hamilton / Flickr
Tim Hamilton / Flickr
Tim Hamilton / Flickr
Tim Hamilton / Flickr