Top 3 famous churches in the Twin Cities

Top 3 famous churches in the Twin Cities

According to Sperling’s Best Places, folks in the Twin Cities are a religious bunch—relative to the rest of the United States, that is. The average percentage of religious people in a given U.S. city is 48.78%, while Minneapolis and St. Paul are 54.34% and 50.38% respectively. The most popular religion in both cities, and particularly St. Paul (not too surprising considering the name of the city…), is Catholicism. So, with Easter coming up, we thought it would be interesting to take a look at the Twin Cities’ most famous churches. Here are the top ones we found:

Cathedral of Saint Paul

Built in 1907, the Cathedral of Saint Paul is a grand church both in stature and architectural accomplishment. Designed by E.L. Masqueray, it exemplifies a 19th century Parisian style of architecture called “Beaux Arts”. Even though its style is largely French, the rock used to build both the exterior and interior walls is 100% Minnesotan. It is comprised of granite from Saint Cloud and American Travertine from Mankato. Other notable features of the church include its height (4th tallest church in the United States) as well its unique copper dome. Ranked number one on TripAdvisor’s list of things to see in St. Paul, this is a church truly befitting of its place on the National Register of Historic Places and admired by tourists from all over. 

The Basilica of Saint Mary

Across the Mississippi is the beautiful Basilica of Saint Mary. The Basilica holds a number of similarities to the Cathedral of Saint Paul in that it was designed by the same person, draws from some of the same architectural traditions, and is a Roman Catholic church. However, the Basilica of Saint Mary does have have quite a few things that make it special, and most of them are musically related. Since 1995, the church has held an annual summer music festival called the Basilica Block Party to raise funds for the church’s repairs as well as to assist needy families. Additionally, the Basilica hosts the Minnesota Sinfonia’s free concert series during the winter months. The church also features a wonderful volunteer choir and a powerful organ.

The Lakewood Memorial Chapel

Also listed on the National Register of Historic Places, Lakewood Cemetery’s Memorial Chapel features an architectural style you probably won’t see anywhere else in the U.S. The Chapel was designed after the Hagia Sophia in Turkey, and as such, features intricate Byzantine-style mosaics. It also sports a 65-foot-high dome with stained glass windows incorporated into it. The Chapel is gorgeously unique and is certainly worth a visit if you’re in the area.