In the center of the Nob Hill district of San Francisco stands this beautiful old church which began its construction in 1928. Over the decades it took to make this cathedral many different artists and sculptors came to help it along. It was finished in 1968 and stands as a beautiful work of art that is as amazing on the inside as it is on the out. I would highly recommend a visit here but you can read on for the review and photos to see it for yourself.
- Suggested donation of 10 dollars
- Hours: 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday – Friday, 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday, and 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Sunday, when no special events or services are being held
- One of only seven remaining Episcopal men and boys cathedral choirs
- Has two labyrinths on the floors
Its ancestral parish, Grace Church, was founded in 1849 during the California Gold Rush. The cathedral is the daughter of historic Grace Church. The first little chapel was built in the gold rush year of 1849, and the imposing third church, for a time called Grace “Cathedral”, was destroyed in the fire following the 1906 earthquake. The railroad baron/banker Crocker family gave their ruined Nob Hill property for a diocesan cathedral, which took its name and founding congregation from the nearby parish. Dean J. Wilmer Gresham nurtured the young cathedral and work began on the present structure in 1928. It was completed in 1964 as the third largest Episcopal cathedral in the nation.
The exterior of the Grace Cathedral was designed in French Gothic style by Lewis P. Hobart. It is stunningly beautiful and a site to see as you walk the grounds. It is very reminiscent of the famed churches it was designed to mimic like Notre Dame in Paris.
When I heard that there were labyrinths I assumed they were the elevated mazes that you see in the movies; however when I got their I found out they have a religious significance as it is said that if a visitor walks the pattern of the labyrinth it will bring them to a meditative state. The labyrinths themselves are designed right into the ground and there are two labyrinths at Grace Cathedral, one outside and one inside.
To say the interior of this church is beautiful would be a serve understatement. It is stunning from the moment you enter it. With its beautiful pews, priest area, stained glass, sculptures and art you can spend hours here taking everything in.
I took my time walking the inside and was happy to donate 10 dollars to preserving such a beautiful old building and church.
As I made my way up to the front I couldn’t help but wonder what it would be like to attend a mass here. I was not able to on this trip but would love to on a future one.
It was hard not to take a lot of pictures as there was so much to see and so many beautiful angles to capture it all. I found black and white really added to the architecture of the church.
There is also a lot of beautiful art on display around the cathedral. I myself am not too versed in the arts so I didn’t know what I was looking at a lot of the time but there were many works that I really loved.
This sculpture really caught my eye as well. It was right when you walked into the church and was made completely of stone.
I could literally go on and on about this cathedral, it was like I was visiting Europe right in the heart of San Francisco. I loved being able to tour it and would even say that the photos do not do it justice, you really should check it out for yourself. You can get directions below and make sure to leave me a comment.