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“A beautiful hidden gem” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Franciscan Monastery

Franciscan Monastery
1400 Quincy St Northeast, Washington DC, DC 20017
202 526 6800
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Ranked #35 of 234 Attractions in Washington DC
Type: Religious Sites, Gardens, Churches/ Cathedrals, Cultural
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Attraction details
Owner description: The monastery in DC is the closest that some will get to visiting the Holy Land. The Monastery of Mount St. Sepulchre, designated a National Historic Site in 1991, has been a place of worship and pilgrimage for thousands of visitors since the church's dedication in 1899. Free tours are given daily of the catacombs, church, and gardens.
North Carollina
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
6 attraction reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
“A beautiful hidden gem”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 26, 2014

I've visited D.C. many times over the years and had the usual "where can we go that we haven't been to umpteen times already?" conversation. Someone suggested the Monastery (many times), and we finally went. I want to go back on every visit now! I don't agree that only Catholics can love and appreciate the visit. Can only Catholics appreciate St. Peter's in Rome? A basic knowledge of Christianity and an open mind is all that is needed to appreciate the faith that is exemplified here. (BTW, we are agnostics and atheists...)

That being said--the church is beautiful and well worth seeing by anybody, though small children and strollers might have trouble getting through some passages.

There is also a garden area that contains replicas of famous sites in Europe and the Middle East. This is best viewed in warm weather. It is locked when the church is closed to visitors.

Tours are provided and are the only way to see the catacombs (a MUST SEE). The information provided by the tour guides is essential to a full appreciation of the chapels and other areas of the church. If possible, visit on a nonweekend nonholiday, so that the tour group is smaller and more congenial.

Go to the web site for the hours of tours. Also check the calendar of events on the web site, especially around holidays, because the church may be closed to visitors.

Re the carol singing--I found it very touching and sort of sweet. Go with the flow, man!

Visited December 2013
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70 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
  • English first
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English first
Arlington, Virginia
Contributor
14 reviews 14 reviews
11 attraction reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
“Tucked away in NE”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 1, 2013

The building and gardens are beautiful, although it can also feel a bit too opulent. My tour guide was very informative, although if you don't have a basic understanding of the sites of the Holy Land, or Franciscians, you might feel lost at times. One word of warning - they will not do a tour of the grottoes if there's only one visitor on the tour, so make sure to come with someone else if you want to see them.

Visited November 2013
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Seattle, Washington
Senior Contributor
31 reviews 31 reviews
11 attraction reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
19 helpful votes 19 helpful votes
“Great if you are Catholic”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed November 29, 2013

This is objectively an amazing gem of a monastery in NE D.C. But frankly only Catholics will probably love and appreciate what this place has to offer.

Tour is under an hour and very informative. The space was constructed so as to provide an idea of what the Holy Land (and some catacombs from Rome) are like. And the care and attention with which this is done are pretty cool, though I'm not sure how non-Catholics will appreciate all the history about some of the figures of early church history and from the Franciscan order.

The tour guide was very succinct and full of information. Only part that was weird was how he wanted everyone to sing a Christmas carol to end the tour (a replica of Bethlehem).

Visited November 2013
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Senior Contributor
32 reviews 32 reviews
19 attraction reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
“Inspiring”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 27, 2013

We loved the personal tour from James our tour guide. His love and passion for the church and his faith shone through. Great stories. Loved seeing the catacombs.

Visited November 2013
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Silver Spring, Maryland
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
4 attraction reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
“A wonderful place to visit and meditate”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 14, 2013

The church at the monastery is unique and beautiful. If you are Catholic you may want to attend mass Their gardens are very beautiful, even in the fall and winter, as they have grottoes where one can see different saint statues. It is a nice place for meditation, relaxation, tranquil strolling. There is a small shop where one can buy rosaries, medals, and nice mementos. I believe it is one of the most beautiful places in Washington, DC. and it does not cost a penny to visit.

Visited June 2013
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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