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“Hidden Gem”

Franciscan Monastery
Ranked #78 of 454 things to do in Washington DC
Certificate of Excellence
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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.
Reviewed December 27, 2011

Fascinating place which has copied many other holy sites and incorporated them into the location. There is a relic in the basement worth checking out. Very few people even know this place is there. Absolutely stunning when the plants are in bloom.

Thank lbdc
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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143 - 147 of 156 reviews

Reviewed December 12, 2011

OK, if you celebrate Mass, this is a wonderful venue to worship. However, If you just like great gothic architecture, beautiful peaceful gardens, underground catacombs, stained glass and fabulous mosaics, you will revel in the artistry. Though this monastery holds the distinction of representing the Catholic "Holy Land in the US" it can be a pleasure for all religions and a great example of Catholic pagentry. Take a tour and get the interesting historical facts or stroll on your own and soak up the view. Plenty of free parking across the street. Gift Shop - yes and wonderful too - for everything "holy". (crosses and crucifixes, candles, rosaries and statues, the perfect merchandise). If you are in the area of Catholic University, the Immaculate Conception Shrine, Newman Catholic bookstore, its in the Brookland area of DC - so you are in the vacinity ... you may want to visit all at one time.

4  Thank Rosetravels39
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 27, 2011

A hidden gem in the city that not many know about. Their gardens are gorgeous, and the tour is interesting even if you're not Christian. My Jewish mother and I enjoyed it.

Be careful in the surrounding neighborhood. It's come a long way, but it's still not the best part of the city.

Thank 955jessican
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 2, 2006

There are replicas of the Holy Land at this Monastery (also known as Mount St Sepulchre). The replicas include the Nativity Grotto in Bethlehem and the tomb of Christ in Jerusalem. The Monastery was established about 100 years ago to accommodate people who could not travel to the Holy Land.

There is also full size replicas of the catacombs and Martyr's Crypts. One crypt has the actual body of the3 year old St Innocence. I think this area is too intense for younger children. This area can only be reached with a tour guide.

The upper and lower gardens are beautiful as is the portico or Cloister Walk. A chance to get away from the "mall" crowds. We visited in September 2006. There was only 10 vistors or so.
Free parking is located across the street. Mass is said everyday. The Gift Shop is open everyday but Monday.
I enjoyed our visit and would go again.

7  Thank pat m
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 17, 2006

I wanted to take my partner to a beautiful garden while we were on vacation in DC. I am so glad that I found this place right here on Tripadvisor.

We had a car so we were able to drive here without much trouble. (Besides the general chaos associated with trying to drive in DC.) The gardens were immaculatly kept. And inside the church was breath taking.

We were there over Esater weekend so there were quite a few people about. Still, the place inspires hushed tones. It was a peaceful, perfect place. And the photos do not fully convey the beauty.

4  Thank m24601h
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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