Architectural Crush: The Basilica of the National Shrine

Architectural Crush: The Basilica of the National Shrine

Late last week I took the short trip over to the Basilica of the National Shrine. It was absolutely breathtaking. Unlike the National Cathedral, admission to the Basilica is free everyday. It’s the largest Catholic Church in the United States and was opened in 1959.

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I took the self-guided audio tour, which I’d recommend. There were over 2 hours of information on the tape they gave me to listen to. You could skip around the map, so I didn’t listen to all 2 hours. I finished in about 45 minutes. Granted, there was a graduation going on, so there were sections that I couldn’t tour. 1018My favorite part of the Basilica was the Blessed Sacrament Chapel. It’s on the left wing right between the West Transept and the Sanctuary. It’s a bit tucked away and completely intimate. It’s covered in gold from gold to ceiling; the whole room was glowing.64It was hard to get a good shot of the main entrance, because everyone was coming in for graduation, but at least all the people in the shot help to show the massive scale of the building!3

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