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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
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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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Amazing Old Catholic Cathedral

On a recent tour of Chinatown, we had the opportunioty to stop at this old Catholic Cathedral. It is amazing that it survived the SF earthquake and fire. There are a number of... read more

5 of 5 starsReviewed August 24, 2015
CaboKing1
,
Phoenix, Arizona
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23 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Phoenix, Arizona
Level Contributor
65 reviews
10 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 24, 2015 NEW

On a recent tour of Chinatown, we had the opportunioty to stop at this old Catholic Cathedral. It is amazing that it survived the SF earthquake and fire. There are a number of pictures from that era and informnation regarding the Cathedral's history in the back of the church. If you are ever in Chinatown, you've got to stop by... More 

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London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
72 reviews
31 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed August 20, 2015

Do stop in here at this Cathedral - a very old building by US standards at 160 years old. California's first Cathedral in fact. (Roman Catholic)

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Beijing, China
Level Contributor
452 reviews
311 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 357 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed August 5, 2015

Feel bad giving a bad review for a place of worship but architecturally it is not impressive at all. I went as a tourist and not for a church service. I’m sure it’s a wonderful place to go and pray and get closer to your higher power but from an aesthetically pleasing perspective, there is much to be desired.

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Level Contributor
68 reviews
39 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 22, 2015

Lots of great historical info located at the front of the church. Beautiful and interesting. Peaceful inside, nice spot to step in and reflect after such a busy fast paced tourist day! Also, I enjoyed pairing this with going to see one of the temples.

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Cincinnati, Ohio, United States
Level Contributor
14 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 21, 2015 via mobile

My husband and I were in San Francisco for one night before heading to Napa to celebrate our anniversary and wanted to attend mass before heading out. What a beautiful homily on living a life outside of the, "It's all about me" way of thinking and how our attitudes can drive others response toward us. Amen! I hope I remember... More 

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South San Francisco
Level Contributor
139 reviews
31 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 44 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 

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Fremont, California
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2,774 reviews
1,731 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1,717 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
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70 reviews
22 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 43 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
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303 reviews
160 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 195 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 

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san francisco
Level Contributor
303 reviews
160 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 195 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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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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