The Baltimore Basilica

Baltimore, United States

The Baltimore Basilica


The Basilica of the National Shrine of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, also called the Baltimore Basilica, was the first Roman Catholic cathedral built in the United States, and was among the first major religious buildings constructed in the nation after the adoption of the U.S. Constitution. As a co-cathedral, it is one of the seats of the Catholic Archdiocese in Baltimore, Maryland. Additionally it is a parish church (ranked minor basilica) and national shrine. It is considered the masterpiece of Benjamin Henry Latrobe, the "Father of American Architecture".

The Basilica was constructed between 1806 and 1863 to a design of Benjamin Henry Latrobe, America's first professionally trained architect and Thomas Jefferson's Architect of the U.S. Capitol. It was built under the guidance of the first American bishop of the Roman Catholic Church, John Carroll. The Basilica was blessed and opened for use on May 31, 1821, by the third Archbishop of Baltimore, Ambrose Maréchal. It was consecrated on May 25, 1876, by Archbishop James Roosevelt Bayley.

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