SS. Peter and Paul Church, San Francisco

#14 of 49 in Historic Sites in San Francisco
Religious Site · Hidden Gem · Tourist Spot
Saints Peter and Paul Church is a Roman Catholic Church in San Francisco's North Beach neighborhood. Located at 666 Filbert Street, it is directly across from Washington Square and is administered by the Salesians of Don Bosco. It is known as "la cattedrale italiana dell'Ovest", or "the Italian Cathedral of the West", and has served as the home church and cultural center for San Francisco's Italian-American community since its consecration.
During 1926-1927, the church was the target of radical anti-catholic anarchists, who instituted five separate bomb attacks against the building in the space of one year. On March 6, 1927, police shot and killed one man and seriously wounded another, Celsten Eklund, a radical anarchist and local soapbox orator, as the two men attempted to light the fuse of a large dynamite bomb in front of the church. The dead man, known only as 'Ricca', was never fully identified; Eklund died of his wounds some time later without giving any information about his co-conspirators.
In recent years, Saints Peter and Paul has also become the home church for the city's Chinese-American Roman Catholic population, offering weekly masses in Italian, Cantonese, and English. Mass in Latin is offered monthly as well.
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SS. Peter and Paul Church reviews

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  • This church is best observed from Washington Sq. park out front. It's very handsome, noble and big and the spires make the design harmonious. A lovely site.  more »
  • I went to see S.S. Paul and Peter Church, which is in the North Beach area of San Francisco. It is by a beautiful park. This is an active congregation in the area. The church itself is...  more »
  • Across the street from Washington Square Park in the North Beach section. Built in 1924, best known for pictures of Joe DiMaggio and Marilyn Monroe after their wedding at City hall because he never had his first wedding annulled.
  • Amazing architecture! Have flown my drone over it multiple times and I'm always amazed at how cool it is! The inside is just as amazing, with a great surrounding area as well.

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