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Old Cathedral of St. Mary

Address: 660 California Street at Grant Avenue, Chinatown, San Francisco, CA 94108 (Chinatown)
Phone Number: 415 986 4388
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Ranked #112 of 330 Attractions in San Francisco
Type: Religious Sites, Sights & Landmarks
Recommended length of visit: <1 hour
Owner description: This downtown San Francisco landmark was the first Catholic church in California.
Attraction details
Type: Religious Sites, Sights & Landmarks
Recommended length of visit: <1 hour
Owner description: This downtown San Francisco landmark was the first Catholic church in California.

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13 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Portuguese first
  • Any
English first
Long Beach, California
Senior Contributor
48 reviews 48 reviews
17 attraction reviews
27 helpful votes 27 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
174 helpful votes 174 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
174 helpful votes 174 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
101 reviews 101 reviews
44 attraction reviews
39 helpful votes 39 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
205 reviews 205 reviews
156 attraction reviews
96 helpful votes 96 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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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.

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Chandler, AZ
Top Contributor
176 reviews 176 reviews
86 attraction reviews
73 helpful votes 73 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
69 reviews 69 reviews
23 attraction reviews
25 helpful votes 25 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!

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Portland, Maine
Top Contributor
387 reviews 387 reviews
245 attraction reviews
334 helpful votes 334 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 25, 2013

This beautiful and historic Roman Catholic structure, built in 1854 and rebuilt in 1909, is located on California Street on the edges of both the Financial District and Chinatown. It’s a short walk from the Montgomery BART station. Some metered street parking is available and several garages are in the area. The cathedral is built primarily of a distinctive red... More 

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Morris County, NJ
Top Contributor
741 reviews 741 reviews
361 attraction reviews
2,325 helpful votes 2,325 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 29, 2012

We visited this Cathedrial while we were visiting Chinatown. It is beautiful. It is worth a stop, even for a few minutes if you are in the area. Its a glimpse into the past of San Francisco.

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