What is your favorite cathedral?

Hello all,

I was wondering about some great cathedrals (Catholic or otherwise), and what are some fellow CAF members’ favorites.

I live in the SF Bay Area, and we are blessed with a plethora of cathedrals. In Oakland there is a stunning Greek Orthodox cathedral with what is said to be the largest head of Christ on the ceiling. There is also the very modern Roman Catholic cathedral of Christ the Light.

In San Francisco, we have several Orthodox cathedrals, Russian, Greek, as well as the stunningly modern Roman Catholic cathedral of St. Mary of the Assumption, and of course Grace Cathedral. Grace Cathedral is by far the most traditional, being in French Gothic, though of concrete, not stone. I really love it, and I was a parishioner there for about a year. It has terrible acoustics, but there is a wonderful love of the drama of the building.

Abroad, nothing really compares to Chartres, though I love Amiens and Paris as well. We Episcopalians have a cathedral in Paris as well, the Cathedral of the Holy Trinity, on Rue George V (cushy neighborhood). It is in the English gothic style and is perhaps the most beautiful Episcopal church I have ever seen. Small by the standards of most cathedrals, it has the intimacy of a parish church.

In England, I have only seen Oxford and St. Paul’s London. I like Oxford for its small size and the fact that it is also a college chapel. Westminster Abbey isn’t a cathedral, but who cannot be impressed?

Although Pisa is known for its famous leaning tower, the cathedral there is beautiful.

Classicism always spoke to me above all other styles. Sir Christopher Wren made the biggest impression of all. :slight_smile: Pretty much any cathedral by him makes me drool and swoon simultaneously, but St. Paul’s in London really does win the prize.

I must say that Old St. Mary’s in San Francisco is infinitely better than the current cathedral.


Though it’s technically not a cathedral, the Italians of North Beach have nicknamed Sts. Peter and Paul the “Italian cathedral,” and I am quite partial to it.

Though as for true cathedral, Milano’s is my favorite, and the 4th largest church in the world.


The most beautiful cathedral I have ever visited is Notre dame in Paris. Milan comes 2nd on my list, Florence 3rd.

There are many beautiful, grand, old cathedrals around but my favourite has to be my local cathedral, in the main because it is where a few years ago whilst shopping in the city centre, for no apparent reason I stepped in and since then I have been on a bit of a journey back to the faith. It all started there for me!

It recently reopened after being renovated and when I went back to visit it, I was struck by the simple beauty, the light, the peace, God’s presence. St. Andrew’s Cathedral is, for me, a beautiful, calm, tranquil and inspiring place.

I don’t know if this counts, but this is my personal favorite. It’s a church in Rome, called Santa Maria degli Angeli e dei Martiri (St. Mary of the Angels and Martyrs):

When I was in Rome, I made sure I visited it more than once. Too beautiful for words.

Living in the neighboring diocese to the Archdiocese of St. Louis I have to say that the most beautiful cathedral that I have ever seen is the Cathedral-Basilica of St. Louis.

The Cathedral-Basilica is home to the largest collection of mosaics in the world.


Of course St. Louis has two Basilicas in the city, both named for the city’s patron. If you plan a trip make sure to visit the right one.

I actually haven’t been in a lot of our cathedrals (churches, yes, and I highly recommend the old mission churches of California and Texas). The most impressive Catholic CATHEDRAL I’ve been in is Westminster Cathedral (Cathedral of the Most Precious Blood of Jesus) in London, England:http://www.zmetravel.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/10/westminster-cathedral.jpg

Of course, Christ Cathedral, Canterbury, is even more magnificent (to stand at the Altar of the Martyrdom, where St. Thomas Becket was slain was amazing), but it’s not ours anymore. :frowning:

Saint Pauls Cathedral
Diocese of Pittsburgh

My wife and I really enjoyed visiting the Cathedral of Notre Dame in Chartres, France.

I really like Salisbury Cathedral in England

St. Patrick’s in NYC.

Probably the Cathedral Basilica of the Assumption in Covington, Kentucky. It’s one of the only Ordinary Form-renovated churches I actually like. It’s been renovated a lot from pre-Vatican II days, but it was all done extremely well. The light show that the glass gives is great.

Virtual tour:

Oh, and yes, there’s two organs. So they can “respond” to one another.


Covington, KY? Beautiful!!!

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