Share On:

Basilica of Saint Mary

The Basilica of Saint Mary stands as a beacon of faith and history in Minneapolis, Minnesota. As the first basilica established in the United States, it holds a special place in both the religious and architectural heritage of the city. This iconic structure is known not only for its spiritual significance but also for its stunning architecture and community involvement.

Historical Significance

The Basilica of Saint Mary was designed by the French architect Emmanuel Louis Masqueray, who was also the chief architect of the 1904 World’s Fair in St. Louis. Construction of the Basilica commenced in 1907 and was completed in 1914. The church was consecrated as a basilica by Pope Pius XI in 1926, recognizing its importance as a center of liturgical life.


The Basilica showcases a Beaux-Arts architecture style, with its interior and exterior featuring classical influences and intricate detailing that draw visitors from around the globe. The structure is adorned with stained glass windows, a dome, and two bell towers that contribute to the Minneapolis skyline. The art and architecture of the Basilica of Saint Mary tell a story of faith and human artistry interwoven in an inspiring sacred space.

Community Involvement

The Basilica is not only a place of worship but also serves the community through social outreach programs, including assistance for the homeless and those in need. It is an active participant in addressing social justice issues and fostering community welfare.

Music and Art

The Basilica has a rich tradition of sacred music and art. It hosts concerts and art exhibits that are open to the public, enhancing the cultural tapestry of Minneapolis. The Basilica’s music program is particularly renowned, featuring choirs and ensembles that perform at various liturgical services and community events.

The Basilica Block Party

One of the most well-known events hosted by the Basilica is the annual Basilica Block Party. This music festival, which started in 1995, is a fundraiser for the structure’s restoration and maintenance, as well as for the Basilica’s community service programs. The event brings together people of all backgrounds to enjoy music and support the Basilica’s mission.

Visiting the Basilica

The Basilica of Saint Mary is open to visitors of all faiths, and guided tours are available to those interested in learning more about the history and architecture of this majestic building. Visitors are encouraged to attend a service or simply to sit in quiet reflection, experiencing the peace and spirituality that the Basilica offers.


The Basilica of Saint Mary is more than just a church; it is a historical monument, an architectural wonder, and a community hub. Its presence in Minneapolis is a testament to the enduring power of faith and the importance of cultural and community engagement. Whether you are drawn by spiritual, architectural, or historical interest, the Basilica of Saint Mary welcomes all who seek to experience its grandeur and grace.

Places to Visit


Foshay Tower

The Foshay Tower, a beacon of Art Deco architecture, stands as a testament to the ambition and economic boom of

Read More »
Outdoor Recreation

Surly Brewing Co

Surly Brewing Co. has carved out a significant place in the American craft beer landscape. Based in Minneapolis, Minnesota, it

Read More »
Outdoor Recreation

Minnesota Zoo

The Minnesota Zoo opens a window to the wonders of wildlife, offering an immersive experience that brings visitors face-to-face with

Read More »
Outdoor Recreation

Cedar Lake

Cedar Lake is one of the many natural gems in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Nestled within the bustling city, it provides residents

Read More »