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“Outstanding Architecture” 5 of 5 stars
Review of The Cathedral of Christ the Light

The Cathedral of Christ the Light
2121 Harrison St., Oakland, CA 94612
(510) 832 - 5057
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Ranked #9 of 47 attractions in Oakland
Type: Architectural Buildings
Attraction Details
Alameda, Ca.
Contributor
16 reviews 16 reviews
4 attraction reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
“Outstanding Architecture”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 16, 2013

This is a destination from anyplace in California. Worth the trip to see amazing, world class architecture. Try to taken organized tour to see it all.

Visited July 2012
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34 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
  • English first
  • German first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Oakland, California
2 reviews
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
“Meditate Here”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 25, 2013

I love to go on a run around the lake and when I am finished I go into the cathedral and meditate. Such a great space. I'm not catholic or anything but I can definitely appreciate the beauty of this mega church. Great Acoustics!

Visited January 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
san francisco
Senior Contributor
40 reviews 40 reviews
20 attraction reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
19 helpful votes 19 helpful votes
“I am not religious, but I love this cathedral”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 10, 2013

It has terrible acoustics, so is not good for a concert, but the feeling of the place is wonderful. When my friend had cancer our family lit our candles there, and prayed, and she is now cancer-free! So it works even for the non-religious. My husband and father-in-law went for the Spanish Christmas mass, (no unfortunately, we aren't spanish-speaking), but my FIL decided last minute that he wanted to go to Christmas Mass. They both came home glowing. So I think of this place as sanctuary for all.

Visited December 2012
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
oakland
Top Contributor
59 reviews 59 reviews
15 attraction reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
“Nt all that great looking, and took land off the tax rolls”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed December 22, 2012

Great location right on Lake Merritt but it doesn't use the location at all. Is certainly lighter than if it had been a concrete monstrousity without the extensive windows, but really nothing special. Worst of all it now takes land off the tax rolls and Oakland needs the tax money far more than it needs another church dispensing fairy tales

Visited December 2012
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Dallas, Texas
Contributor
14 reviews 14 reviews
3 attraction reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
34 helpful votes 34 helpful votes
“Modern Cathedral for the New Century”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 4, 2012

While on a short trip to San Francisco we made a point to travel over to Oakland to see this newly opened cathedral designed by the well-known New York firm of Skidmore, Owings & Merrill. And, I was most glad we did. Situated on the northwest shore of Lake Merritt it definitely makes a bold statement.

The architecture is a radical shift from cathedrals of old as seen throughout Europe and the rest of the world both in it's exterior design as well as interior functions. In fact, I was struck by how very non-traditional everything about the layout was for a Catholic church, for example having the choir in a semi-circle at the front end behind the alter. Except for a few hints it could easily be a church of any denomination. And yet, looking closer and reading more about the architect's vision, you learn that it is filled with design elements that are religious-based and steeped in symbols of the church from ancient times.

The design is a very clean, modern look that is dominated by the theme of light. The projected window of Christ taken from a 12th century image found in the Chartres Cathedral is especially effective as is the interplay of the louvers and roof elements. The mausoleum downstairs is beautifully done and definitely worth a visit as well.

The cathedral is part of a large complex of buildings including an underground parking structure, plaza, gift shop, outdoor fountain, and rectory. Cross over to the lake to get nice overview pictures but unfortunately there is a very ugly building behind it that ruins much of the drama of the building so choose your camera views carefully.

There is a daily tour at 1:00pm on Mondays-Fridays. In addition, there is an advertised short organ concert on the 2nd and 4th Tuesdays. Unfortunately, although we were told the organ would be played the day we were there, we waited in vain and finally told apparently they had changed the schedule which was a shame.

This is a definite visit for the architecture fan, especially those interested in religious spaces. Much of the design is quite successful and innovative and you will definitely enjoy your visit.

Visited June 2012
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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