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Old Cathedral of St. Mary

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Chinatown
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Address: 660 California Street at Grant Avenue, Chinatown, San Francisco, CA 94108
Phone Number: 415 986 4388
Website
Recommended length of visit: <1 hour
Description: This downtown San Francisco landmark was the first Catholic church in...
This downtown San Francisco landmark was the first Catholic church in California.
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TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

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A nice refuge - great place for relaxation and reflection

Located right smack in the middle of Chinatown, I always carve out time to visit even for a few minutes. Inside, the lights are subdued and it is easy to feel the solemn and... read more

5 of 5 starsReviewed March 8, 2015
Chito D
,
South San Francisco
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17 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Portuguese first
  • Any
English first
South San Francisco
Top Contributor
119 reviews 119 reviews
27 attraction reviews
39 helpful votes 39 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 8, 2015

Located right smack in the middle of Chinatown, I always carve out time to visit even for a few minutes. Inside, the lights are subdued and it is easy to feel the solemn and relaxing atmosphere, away from the rushing vehicles along California Street and the non-stop tourist traffic along Grant Avenue. Historically, it has been classified as a cathedral,... More 

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
Fremont, California
Top Contributor
2,419 reviews 2,419 reviews
1,495 attraction reviews
1,379 helpful votes 1,379 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 1, 2015

We enjoyed visiting Old Cathedral of St. Mary, a historic church that has been in San Francisco for well over 150 years. It became a church in 1853. On Tuesdays they have a 12:30 music concert which is nice to go to. The congregation is an active congregation; its best to see their web site for more information. With its... More 

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Long Beach, California
Top Contributor
65 reviews 65 reviews
21 attraction reviews
35 helpful votes 35 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 30, 2014

Whenever I'm in the vicinity, I always stop in and light a candle at the foot of St Anthony. Sometimes there is a Mass or service going on and I stay for a bit. It's peaceful and beautiful and serene just on the edge of bustling Chinatown.

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san francisco
Top Contributor
303 reviews 303 reviews
160 attraction reviews
185 helpful votes 185 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 13, 2014

First off --- there are two postings for the same Cathedral at 660 California; this is the correct name. Old Saint Mary's Cathedral was the first cathedral built in California; the cornerstone was laid in July 1853 (California became a state in 1850). The foundation was made of granite quarried and cut in China, and the bricks for the structure... More 

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
san francisco
Top Contributor
303 reviews 303 reviews
160 attraction reviews
185 helpful votes 185 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 13, 2014

This is a duplicate posting for Old St. Mary's Cathedral --- please post your comments there. This is a gorgeous Cathedral so please post your comments under the correct name.

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Manteo, North Carolina
Top Contributor
110 reviews 110 reviews
44 attraction reviews
46 helpful votes 46 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 25, 2014

The city's first Catholic cathedral. When you visit Chinatown and come through the main entrance where the gate is you will automatically see this cathedral. Nice to sight see and learn about the history.

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Tczew, Poland
Top Contributor
209 reviews 209 reviews
157 attraction reviews
98 helpful votes 98 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 23, 2013

The mass in which we took part was beautiful! What makes this place so special is the grand piano standing near the altar - amazing! And outside the building you may relax sitting on the bench.

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 26, 2013 via mobile

If you're in the area, you have to see this. It's so beautiful. Takes your breath away. It just caught our eye as we passed, and for no reason decided to go in. So glad we did.

Was this review helpful? Yes 2
Chandler, AZ
Top Contributor
177 reviews 177 reviews
87 attraction reviews
81 helpful votes 81 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 13, 2013

Old St. Mary's Cathedral is a wonderful Church in the heart of Chinatown. The stained glass windows are magnificent. My wife and I planned to visit this Cathedral and to our surprise at noon time they have music provided by a quartet playing classical songs - what a treat. This Cathedral was dedicated in 1854. It is very convenient to... More 

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
Sao Paulo, SP
Top Contributor
94 reviews 94 reviews
25 attraction reviews
45 helpful votes 45 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 28, 2013

Stopped by at this church in the morning on my way to Chinatown. I just wanted to get to know the church and pray to thank for all the good things that happened during my trip. But I was surprised by a pianist playing beautifully inside the church. Really enjoyed, very touching!

Was this review helpful? Yes 1

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Staying in Chinatown

Neighborhood Profile
Chinatown
As the oldest in North America, San Francisco's Chinatown is an exotic experience. A unique neighborhood decorated with colorful shops, historic streetlights, hanging lanterns, and pagoda roofs awaits behind the stone-carved dragon gates. Feast on dim sum at the tea houses, or meet the locals who gather at historic Portsmouth Square to play chess or practice Tai Chi. Fish markets, produce stands, tourist shops, jewelry stores, fortune tellers, temples and restaurants come together to create a world unto itself in this historic neighborhood.
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