The Basilica of Saint Mary Minneapolis Reviews
America's Oldest Basilica:One of many Religious Attractions of the Twin Cities Apr 22, 2011
The Basilica of Saint Mary is a highly recommended Landmark and Religious attraction in Minneapolis. If you have read my blogs and reviews, you know I love architecture and religious attractions. While in Minneapolis for a 4 day stay, I took half a day to tour the city with Travbuddy Alyssa. It was a gray, gloomy, rainy and cold day on this Friday afternoon, when we ventured out from Saint Paul and then to Minneapolis.
Located at the really busy intersections of Interstates 94 and 394, the Basilica of Saint Mary stands out in the city. It is considered America's Oldest Basilicas. As a Christian, I have always sought to feel the spirit of prayer in building designated as altars of praise to the deity. As such, I find I'm drawn to churches, cathedrals, Basilicas, Mosques, Temples and places of worship.
On this Friday, I was particularly astute as it is the one Friday in Lent when we Christians celebrated the risen Christ. It was Good Friday and across the state, the churches were filled up for service. At 12 noon both Saint Paul's cathedral in Saint Paul and Saint Mary's Basilica filled up for service. We decided to wait until service was over to access the inside.
The architecture is Baroque if not neo-baroque. It is representative of the olden building styles of the catholic church. The Basilica of Saint Mary in Minneapolis is the capitol of Catholicism in the state. The structure took 18 years to construct. The architect Emmanuel Louis Masqueray, was also the architect of Saint Paul's cathedral (they are quite similar). The Saint Mary's was designated by Pope Pius XI as a Basilica in 1926, becoming America's first Catholic Basilica.
In built with high ceilings that cause the music to resound. The huge marble columns stand over 270 ft high, the huge stained windows covered with images of Mary and the saints. The alter is reminiscent of the alter inside Saint Peter's basilica in Rome. A high arched stone alter with a dome over it. A huge pipe organ at the back, when played echoes the chorus making the words aspire to the beyond.
The way of the cross was the theme of service on Good Friday. Alyssa and I, entered the basilica just as the service was ending and managed to join in the chorus at the end. The priest and altar aides were holding the cross of Jesus, while the crowds lined up awaiting their turn to kiss the cross. The feeling of reverence was unmistakable and I, felt convicted.
This is a highly recommended attraction if you should find yourself in the Twin cities. No cost to see it, the more reason to go. I believe it is even more beautiful when the weather is good. Do not let the weather stop you though, we run in the rain like little children to be rewarded with the breath-taking views of the interior of this great prayer room.
When we visit places and take time to see the landmarks, understand the cultures and identify with the peoples of that community, we encourage, and applaud the Human Spirit!
PS: Do not leave for tomorrow what you can accomplish today!
Part of the Minnesota Travels (31) travel blog
Part of the list Sacred & Religious Destinations
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