The Basilica of St. Mary is a historic Catholic church located in Minneapolis MN. It is considered to be one of the finest examples of Beaux-Arts architecture in the United States and is a prominent landmark in the city. The church was built in 1914 and was designated a basilica by Pope Pius XI in 1926.
The basilica’s exterior is adorned with intricate details and ornamentation. The entrance is marked by a large, arched doorway with a row of columns on either side. Above the doorway is a massive, round window with a stained-glass depiction of the Holy Trinity. The exterior is made of light-colored limestone and features multiple domes and towers, giving the church an impressive appearance.
The interior of the basilica is equally impressive, with a vast nave that spans 92 feet in width and 70 feet in height. The ceiling is decorated with ornate frescoes depicting scenes from the Bible, while the walls feature large murals that tell the story of the Catholic faith. The nave is supported by 24 massive columns, each made of marble and standing 45 feet tall.
The altar is situated at the east end of the nave and is made of Carrara marble. Above the altar is a large, circular apse that contains a mosaic of the Virgin Mary. The choir loft is located at the west end of the nave and features a large pipe organ that is one of the largest in the state.
Throughout the basilica, there are numerous stained-glass windows that depict various religious scenes and figures. The windows were created by some of the most prominent stained-glass artists of the early 20th century, including Charles Connick, John LaFarge, and Franz Mayer.
One of the most notable features of the basilica is its chapel, which is located in the lower level of the church. The chapel is dedicated to St. Anthony of Padua and features a replica of the saint’s tomb in Padua, Italy. The walls of the chapel are adorned with exquisite mosaics that depict scenes from the life of St. Anthony.
The Basilica of St. Mary has undergone several renovations and restorations over the years to preserve its historical and architectural significance. In 1990, a major restoration project was undertaken to repair the limestone exterior and replace the roof. The interior has also been restored, with the frescoes and murals being cleaned and repaired.
The basilica remains an important part of the Catholic community in Minneapolis and attracts visitors from around the world who come to admire its beauty and learn about its rich history. Its impressive architecture, stunning artwork, and spiritual significance make it a truly remarkable place of worship and a cherished landmark in the city.