Attraction

Cathedral Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul

The largest Catholic church in Pennsylvania

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Photo by B. Krist for Visit Philadelphia
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Overview

Opened in 1864, the Cathedral Basilica of Saints Peter of Paul serves as the principal or Mother Church of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, as it houses the chair or “cathedra” of the Archbishop.

The largest Catholic church in Pennsylvania, the Basilica was modeled after the Lombard Church of St. Charles in Rome and is the only cathedral in the United States built in the Roman-Corinthian architectural style.

With its massive stone columns and highly recognizable great dome, the Basilica is Philadelphia’s largest brownstone structure.

The building was designed by Philadelphia architect Napoleon LeBrun, whose notable work includes the Philadelphia Academy of Music, and John Notman, who also designed St. Mark’s Episcopal Church in Philadelphia.

 

The Experience

The Basilica is the largest Catholic church in Pennsylvania.

Throughout the interior of the great dome of the Cathedral Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul are paintings by Constantino Brumidi, famed painter of the U.S. Capitol in Washington D.C.

Inside the sacred structure, visitors will discover various shrines, altars, statues and art. For additional information, look for the helpful Cathedral Ambassadors dressed in maroon blazers.

Don’t Miss

Take a self-guided tour of the Basilica with a free, 20-minute audio tour available for download. While there, scan specially marked QR codes with a smartphone to begin the tour.

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