"National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception" Top 5 Page for this destination National Cathedral / Other Churches / Temples Tip by Ewingjr98

The Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception is far off the beaten path, but is one of the most impressive structures in the city, certainly rivaling the more famous architecture on the National Mall. The church was begun in 1920 and the great upper church was dedicated in 1959 (though not really completed until 1965). This is the tallest building in Washington, the largest catholic church in the US, and the seventh or eighth largest religious building in the world. Rather illogically, it was dedicated as a national historic landmark before it was even completed. The Basilica is 459 feet long, 240 feet wide, and 237 feet tall. The diameter of the main dome is just slightly smaller than the dome on the Capitol Building.

Sharing this location with the basilica is the Catholic University of America. This school is the official national university of the Roman Catholic Church and the only catholic university founded by US Roman Catholic bishops. The school was established in 1887 and officially began undergraduate classes in 1904. Catholic University has some 6000 students participating in 83 undergraduate, 90 graduate, and 42 doctoral programs. CU occupies 193 acres, making it the city's largest school in terms of land area.

The university and the basilica are located in the Brookland neighborhood of Northwest Washington DC. This area is home to some 60 Catholic institutions and is sometimes referred to a Little Rome.

Catholic University is located at 620 Michigan Ave NE and is accessible via the Brookland-CUA metro station on the Metro's Red Line.

othercontact: 400 Michigan Ave NE
Website: http://www.cathedral.org/cathedral/index.shtml

Review Helpfulness: 3.5 out of 5 stars

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  • Updated Dec 23, 2008
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