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“An "American" Cathedral”
Review of Old Cathedral

Old Cathedral
Grantsburg, Wisconsin
Level Contributor
81 reviews
15 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
“An "American" Cathedral”
Reviewed September 3, 2013

When you first walk in, you might be disappointed, because this cathedral - the first one built west of the Mississippi - doesn't have the grandeur of the "look at me" Gothic cathedrals. That was intentional! It's was not meant to be an imitation of the European churches, but is an "America" style. So, the multitude of windows are not stained glass, but meant to reflect the openess and vastness of our country. It was meant to be "our" church. I enjoyed it!

Visited August 2013
1 Thank Joanie M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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53 reviews from our community

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Saint Louis, Missouri
Level Contributor
62 reviews
43 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 39 helpful votes
“Historic Place That's Quick & Easy to See”
Reviewed April 13, 2013

The Old Cathedral is a historic place that doesn’t take a lot of time see, and is easy to visit. It may be small in size compared to some other religious places, but it makes up for that with its history. The Old Cathedral was the first cathedral in the United States west of the Mississippi River, and the Pope also visited it at some point in the building’s past.

Walking up to the Old Cathedral, you quickly notice the large amount of stone used to build the structure. The tall stone columns at the front entrance are a neat site to see. There is apparently a museum located towards the back western part of the building’s exterior, but it was closed when I visited. From the outside the Cathedral’s steeple is noticeable from a sizeable distance away, and catches the eye much more than the gray stone or the clear-glass windows.

Inside, the Old Cathedral is marked by some modest yet classy decoration, and the interior’s relative simplicity seems to reflect the building’s age. The big decorative umbrella that marks the Pope’s visit was a highlight of the building to me, and you can even get right up underneath it! There are some religious paintings in the interior, which fit in nicely with the other elegantly modest decoration. The wooden pews are fairly well maintained, but still look like they’ve been there at least a hundred years. Be aware there doesn’t appear to be any air conditioning in the building, and even at 9am on a sunny day in early April, the air was already uncomfortably stuffy and hot inside the Cathedral. Overall, I’m glad I went and can say I thoroughly toured the first Cathedral west of the Mississippi, and if you decide to go, I’ll bet you’ll be glad you visited as well.

Visited April 2013
2 Thank CTS2003
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Saint Louis, Missouri
Level Contributor
130 reviews
31 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 93 helpful votes
Reviewed February 14, 2013

The old cathedral is located next to the arch grounds with the gateway arch. This church dates back to or near to the founding of St. Louis. It is the only surviving building that once was an entire neighborhood of residences and businesses that was torn down to create the arch grounds with the gateway arch. This church is small in size yet elegant and peaceful.

Visited September 2012
Thank Andrew S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Round Lake, Illinois
Level Contributor
75 reviews
17 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
“The Old Cathedral in Downtown St. Louis Missouri”
Reviewed January 23, 2013

This is the first Christian Church west of the Mississipi River , the Cathedral is built in the style of the Great Catholic Churches of Rome it has much beauty in the design and style in which it was created . The peacful fealing of being in the structure itself is enough to enrichen ones faith in a supream being . I attended a wedding there back in the sixties and for a young man it was a very rewarding experience especialy for one not of the Catholic faith . To be in a house of God so created in His honer and to spread the christian faith to all that wanted to grasp it and follow the teachings .
The early Pioneers that visited the Church must have thought that they were in a palace to be in such beauty.

Visited February 2012
Thank Jerry L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Greenfield, Indiana
Level Contributor
176 reviews
67 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 35 helpful votes
“Beautiful piece of history”
Reviewed January 6, 2013

We visited as a family early (around 7:30am) on Saturday morning. We went to check out the arch and ended up walking through the cathedral. This cathedral was the first Catholic cathedral west of the Mississippi. It was built in the 1770s. We were able to tour with no one present, which was a cool experience. I was able to light an offering candle. There are several altars and of course the stations of the cross throughout.

Visited January 2013
Thank MarandaA36
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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