Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, Washington DC

#6 of 54 in Historic Sites in Washington DC
Church · Hidden Gem · Religious Site
The largest Roman Catholic church in the United States and the eighth largest church building in the world, Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception houses over 70 chapels and oratories. Over a million pilgrims travel to this large Neo-Byzantine building every year to admire its dome filled with mosaics. Colored marble shrines and altars throughout pay homage to saints. The baldacchino altar takes particular prominence under a green mosaic dome. Be sure to view the statuary depicting the pope and Pope Benedict XVI's gift of a golden rose displayed in the chapel. Six masses are held daily. Put Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception and other Washington DC attractions into our Washington DC vacation planner, and watch your holiday take shape.
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Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception reviews

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1,896 reviews
  • A beautiful building, well-kept, and very peaceful surrounding area. You don’t have to be religious to appreciate the beauty, and I highly suggest stopping by when visiting Washington DC. It appears.....  more »
  • This place is huge! catholic or not, you have to go at least once. They have four masses during weekdays, parking is free, on-site.  more »
  • The basilica and grounds of The Catholic University are an amazing living tribute to Catholicism in the United States. Easy to get to by Metro from downtown D.C. The basilica tour was very informative and well worth taking. The tour is fast-paced as there is so much to see. The faith-inspired art everywhere, stone sculptures, the paintings, mosaics, on walls domes and ceilings, the 70 chapels dedicated to Mother Mary from all over the world, and solemnity of the Basilica were awesome and uplifted my spirit! There is an excellent gem of a cafeteria and bookstore underneath! I would love to attend a mass next visit. A must see when touring Washington for Catholics and non-catholics alike.
  • A stunning church; simply amazing cultures dedicated chapels that were in line with their heritages. But in my opinion the crypt chapel takes the cake for beauty and ambiance; everything just feels holy! Oh, the tour guides are extremely knowledgeable and friendly! I definitely would suggest taking a tour if you have the time!

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