Minnesota’s Most Interesting Churches

July 28, 2014 6:00 AM

(credit: CBS)

Churches have been long-standing institutions in society. Around the world, churches signify old architecture and important details about the time in which they were built. Many churches have become landmarks and may not even be used as places of worship at the present. In Minnesota, many churches enhance neighborhoods and communities with their beauty and historic past. Check out these fantastic churches to enjoy important architecture and historic details.

(credit: CBS)

(credit: CBS)

The Basilica Of Saint Mary
88 N. 17th St.
Minneapolis, MN 55403
(612) 333-1381

The Basilica of Saint Mary in downtown Minneapolis has the unique distinction of being the first recognized basilica in the United States. This Roman Catholic basilica was built in 1913 after over six years of construction efforts led by French architect Emmanuel Masqueray. The building houses a sanctuary, school, sculptures and chapels. While there is still mass conducted on a regular basis, the Basilica remains open for interested tourists. The Basilica houses an art collection that comprises over 500 years of art as well as traditional stained glass windows located in the sanctuary. A public charter school for grades 5-8 is also located in the building.

(credit: CBS)

(credit: CBS)

Cathedral Of Saint Paul
239 Selby Ave.
St. Paul, MN 55102
(651) 228-1766

The Cathedral of Saint Paul on Selby Avenue is one of the most beautiful cathedrals in the world and the third largest church in the United States. Named for the same Saint Paul that the city is named for, this cathedral opened in 1904 and resides on the appropriately named Cathedral Hill. An example of classical architecture, the cathedral was designed by Emmanuel Masqueray, the same architect that designed the Basilica in Minneapolis. A beautiful copper dome sits atop this structure, which boasts 24 stained-glass windows and several cathedrals dedicated to the ethnic populations of the city. Daily mass is held in the Cathedral, which is listed on the National Registrar of Historic Places.

Saints Peter And Paul Catholic Church
10495 Golden Spike Road N.E.
Gilman, MN 56333
(320) 387-2255

The church of Saints Peter and Paul is a Catholic church located in Gilman, Minnesota. Gilman currently has an estimated population of 224. While this church resides in a small town, it is a beautiful example of European architecture. The building, listed on the National Register of Historic Places, houses a beautiful sanctuary with high ceilings and symmetrical design. Built in 1930 for the Polish-American community that settled near Gilman, The church houses a Catholic school that serves the locals and surrounding communities. Next time you’re in Gilman, check out this amazing structure.

Related: Best Literary Landmarks In Minnesota

Church of Scientology
505 Wabasha St. N.
St. Paul, MN 55102
(651) 222-6906

Minnesota is home to the largest Scientology parish in the Midwest. Adjacent to the Science Museum of Minnesota, the Church of Scientology is an immense structure that houses a school, library and cafe, among many other amenities. The Church of Scientology, founded by L. Ron Hubbard, was established in the Midwest in the 1960s and continues to serve a growing congregation. Inside of the beautifully designed structure, one can take a tour, sit in on a class, get a bite to eat in the cafe or just enjoy some quiet. The chapel consists of three stories of seating and an IMax theater for use during services and other events. Learn about the path to happiness and peace at the Church of Scientology.

(credit: Stboniface.com)

(credit: Stboniface.com)

Assumption Chapel
Pilgrimage Road
Cold Spring, MN 56320
(320) 685-82228

The Assumption Chapel sits on a bluff in Cold Spring and is known for its unusual history. Also called the “grasshopper chapel,” the Assumption Chapel was first built in the 1870s after the mayor declared a day of prayer. The day of prayer was a last-ditch response to an invasion of grasshoppers throughout the farming community. After months of praying, it is said that a hail storm occurred and wiped out the plague of grasshoppers. To honor the “Blessed Virgin,” townspeople constructed a wooden church. In 1894, a tornado destroyed the chapel and the current structure wasn’t built until 1951. The building is granite with a stone inlay over the door that depicts Mary banishing two grasshoppers.

Related: Best Historical Sites in Minnesota

Andrea Wodele is a freelance writer who has lived in the Twin Cities for eight years. She loves covering all things Minnesota and her work can be found on Examiner.com.

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