National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception

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MaryLast weekend my dad was in D.C. for a quick visit. Basically, we were going to attend the Raiders/Ravens game in Baltimore (more on that later). However, we spent a rainy Saturday afternoon at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception.

Even after a week, I still don’t know how I’ll describe it.

According to Wikipedia, the Shrine is the largest Catholic church in the United States, and the tallest building in Washington D.C. It’s also the eighth-largest religious structure in the world.

Dedicated to Mary, the mother of Jesus Christ, there are dozens of smaller chapels that were completed in styles that originated from around the world. Marble columns from Africa, Europe, Asia and South America are also present.
Basilca Interior

But aside from the sheer size and grandeur of the place, the details are what really moved me. There are intricate mosaics located throughout the Basilica, many of golden and silver tiles, but others of beautiful blues, oranges, and greens. Entire scenes are created with the smallest of tiles, including pupils not much larger than a pin-head.

Intricacy

At any rate, for anybody in D.C. who’s never been, I highly recommend spending a few hours there. And if you ever come here and are looking for something beside the usual museum/monument tours, give it a look.

Domes, domes, domes Basilica Interior

National Shrine

The Crypt Church