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Cathedral of St. Helena, Helena

#2 of 33 in Things to do in Helena
Must see · Religious Site · Architectural Building
The Cathedral of Saint Helena is the cathedral of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Helena, Montana. Modeled by architect A.O. Von Herbulis after the Votivkirche in Vienna, Austria, the construction began on the Cathedral in 1908, and held its first mass in November 1914. The Cathedral sustained significant damage during the 1935 Helena earthquake, which required extensive renovations. The Cathedral was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1980.
ConstructionThe site for the cathedral was purchased in 1905. A.O. Von Herbulis of Washington, D.C., was commissioned as the architect. Von Herbulis was trained abroad and was chosen for his knowledge of the cathedrals of Europe. Rough sketches were prepared in two styles, Romanesque and Gothic. When the drawings were presented, the Building Committee chose the Gothic form; a motion to authorize that design passed unanimously. Von Herbulis modelled the Cathedral after the Votivkirche in Vienna, Austria, which he had become familiar with while studying at university in Vienna.
The Columbia Construction Company of New York City began construction of the Cathedral in 1908; the cornerstone was laid on October 4 that year. On November 8, 1914, the Catholic community of Helena gathered to celebrate Mass for the first time in the new church, and the first funeral held in the Cathedral was that of Thomas Cruse, a benefactor, December 26, 1914. The Cathedral remained under construction for ten more years; in June 1924, the Cathedral was consecrated. Its total cost of construction amounted to $645,000.
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  • Beautiful peaceful place. The stained glass is stunning. We enjoyed walking through and then just sitting for a few minutes to soak it all in. Well worth a stop.  more »
  • Wonderful cathedral with amazing window art. Gorgeous throughout. My wife and I often tour churches when traveling and although it didn't compare to others we have visited, it's well worth a stop.  more »
  • It was breathtaking to walk inside and see this place. You can see it towering above the town from almost anywhere in town. It's great that the let anybody walk in and see it. There is art and decoration on every square inch of the outside and inside of the building.
  • Such a remarkable place! Being Catholic going to Mass when I'm Helena most spiritual event! Irishman of early Helena built in the late 1800's...with Stained glass fr Germany & other places. Remarkable experience!

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