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St. Mary's Cathedral, Austin

4.7
#4 of 18 in Historic Sites in Austin
Religious Site · Hidden Gem · Architectural Building
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Saint Mary's Cathedral is the cathedral parish of the Catholic Diocese of Austin located in Austin, Texas, United States. It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1973, as St. Mary's Cathedral.
The origins of this church date back to the 1850s when the Catholic community in Austin (then the new state's temporary capital with a population of around 600) built a small stone church named St. Patrick on the corner of 9th and Brazos Streets. In 1866, the church was renamed Saint Mary, and the parish decided they needed a new church and could afford masonry construction. In 1872, after Austin was made the permanent capital of the state, the parish laid the cornerstone for a new church choosing a location one block north of the original building.
The parish had laid out a basilica-shaped foundation and begun raising the walls, which were high when the architect Nicholas J. Clayton began to design their new church. Eventually to become the foremost Victorian architect in Texas, Clayton had never designed a church, and Saint Mary's was his first independent commission. Born in Ireland in 1840, Clayton learned masonry and building design in Cincinnati, and came to Galveston in 1872 on behalf of his Ohio firm. At the time, Austin was part of the Archdiocese of Galveston, and it may have been through the Holy Cross fathers that the bishop connected Nicholas Clayton with the first Catholic parish in Austin. This church began Clayton's long, prolific career centered in Galveston, building primarily ecclesiastical structures but also commercial buildings and homes.
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St. Mary's Cathedral reviews

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TripAdvisor traveler rating 4.5
135 reviews
Google
4.8
TripAdvisor
  • Very beautiful Cathedral. Going to mass here is always a pleasure. Artwork and sculptures are amazing as well. Architecture is breath taking 
    Very beautiful Cathedral. Going to mass here is always a pleasure. Artwork and sculptures are amazing as well. Architecture is breath taking  more »
  • Beautiful old church, near the capitol, very nice old stained glass windows and large rose window in the rear 
    Beautiful old church, near the capitol, very nice old stained glass windows and large rose window in the rear  more »
Google
  • This is a wonderful church. The community is very nice too. Thank you to this church and community for living the Catholic faith and helping to serve others. It was so nice to be able to find a place to confess in the middle of the week. They made the process so easy. Also, it’s a historical church with charm and character.
  • I loved the stained glass windows. The altar was beautiful. So serene and peaceful. And the gentleman who was there was super nice !

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