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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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Peaceful stop for the history buff!

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... read more

4 of 5 starsReviewed July 22, 2015
Amber G

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20 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Level Contributor
60 reviews
34 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 19 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
119 reviews
27 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 43 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 2
Fremont, California
Level Contributor
2,745 reviews
1,714 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1,685 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
Level Contributor
70 reviews
22 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 45 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
Level Contributor
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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Manteo, North Carolina
Level Contributor
136 reviews
52 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 61 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
Level Contributor
248 reviews
187 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 109 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.

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Level Contributor
8 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 11 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 3

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Additional Information about Old Cathedral of St. Mary

Address: 660 California Street at Grant Avenue, Chinatown, San Francisco, CA 94108
Phone Number: 415 986 4388
Location: United States  >  California (CA)  >  San Francisco>  > Chinatown

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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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