The Basilica is the largest Roman Catholic church in the U.S and North America and one of the ten largest churchs in the world. When I heard about this fact, I told myself that I had to visit it no matter what. I love visiting cathedrals and churches regardless of dominations. However, the fact that this is a Roman Catholic church, makes it all the more special for me. :) Probably, the last time where I was this excited, was when I visited the Vatican City.
The construction of The Basilica started almost 100 years and took years to complete and was done in many stages - also because of World War II and the Great Depression that disrupted the building work.
Compared to the other large Catherdral in Washington D.C - the National Shrine which has a gothic style (I would write a separate entry on later), it's a typical Catholic architecture. It's Romanesque in style with not overly elaborate design details. It is similar to the National Shrine in terms of building composition as it is made entirely of stone, brick, tile and mortar with the absence of steel structures.
Although simple in design, The Basilica is still breathtaking in its own unique way in terms of architecture and details. My favorite part of the tour was seeing the various stained glass and mosaic artwork and the numerous chapels which each had a distinct indentity and trademark.
It's a bit of a trip out to visit (near the Catholic University) but it's near the Brooklyn-CUA Metro station (red line) and definitely worthwhile. I actually spent over 2 hours here!!
400 Michigan Avenue Northeast Washington
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