Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, Washington DC

4.9
#6 of 54 in Historic Sites in Washington DC
Church · Hidden Gem · Religious Site
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The largest Roman Catholic church in the United States and the eighth largest church building in the world, Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception houses over 70 chapels and oratories. Over a million pilgrims travel to this large Neo-Byzantine building every year to admire its dome filled with mosaics. Colored marble shrines and altars throughout pay homage to saints. The baldacchino altar takes particular prominence under a green mosaic dome. Be sure to view the statuary depicting the pope and Pope Benedict XVI's gift of a golden rose displayed in the chapel. Six masses are held daily. Put Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception and other Washington DC attractions into our Washington DC vacation planner, and watch your holiday take shape.
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Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception reviews

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Google
4.9
TripAdvisor
  • We actually attended Mass on Easter for the first time here. It is a beautiful building with old time charm of years gone by. Next time in town we will go on a tour that they offer. 
    We actually attended Mass on Easter for the first time here. It is a beautiful building with old time charm of years gone by. Next time in town we will go on a tour that they offer.  more »
  • A beautiful building, well-kept, and very peaceful surrounding area. You don’t have to be religious to appreciate the beauty, and I highly suggest stopping by when visiting Washington DC. It appears.....  more
    A beautiful building, well-kept, and very peaceful surrounding area. You don’t have to be religious to appreciate the beauty, and I highly suggest stopping by when visiting Washington DC. It appears.....  more »
Google
  • Love to go to this Basilica for Mass and to pray. There are the Upper Church and the amazing Crypt Church. Beautiful mosaics, stained glass and many side chapels contributed by many nations to express their country's devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mother. There is a bell tower that opens up for tours only at various times of the year. Has a very good bookstore and a large gift shop.
  • After a rocky start, I had a glorious day at the Basilica. I found the staff to be rude upon my arrival. I was questioned in an unfriendly manner as soon as I walked in the door about my intentions for the day. I proceeded to the Upper Church for confession. I stopped at one of the Chapels and silently asked for prayers from our Holy Mother to give a good confession. I was rudely interrupted by a guard who chastised me for stopping at the Chapel. Needless to say, I went back downstairs and into the bathroom to recollect myself. I considered leaving. I am glad I did not. I returned to Confession. I prayed the Rosary at the Rosary walk, which brought me to tears. Then I spent the day in the Crypt Church. I spent time in Our Lady of Lourdes Chapel. I attended Mass in the Crypt Church. I took a tour of the Basilica. It ended up being a beautiful day. Words cannot describe the beauty and holiness of this site. The mosaic work and paintings are extraordinary. The Priests are very friendly. The gift stores have a wonderful selection of religious items from affordable to extravagant pieces. I would definitely recommend taking a pilgrimage. I would also recommend customer service training to some of the staff who are more than likely not Catholic.

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