The Basilica Cathedral of St. John the Baptist National Historic Site of Canada - Historic Places Days

The Basilica Cathedral of St. John the Baptist National Historic Site of Canada

St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador
Type
Places of Faith
Address
200 Military Road, St. John's, NL, Canada
Get directions
Hours
Monday to Saturday, noon to 4pm; Sundays 1pm-4pm.
Phone
709-754-2170

The Basilica Cathedral of St. John the Baptist is the Metropolitan Cathedral of the Roman Catholic Church in Newfoundland and Labrador and is a National Historic Site of Canada. Began as the dream of Bishop Michael Anthony Fleming, who laid the cornerstone in 1841, the church took 14 years to build and was consecrated in 1855. It was built in the Lombard Romanesque style and at its completion was the largest neoclassical style cathedral build by the Irish Diaspora anywhere outside Ireland. Daily Mass is livestreamed and open for attendance for a maximum of 150 as per government Covid regulations, which also require masks, hand sanitization, contact tracing, and following directions for movement through the Basilica. For Summer 2021 the Basilica will be open for tours from 5 July to 30 August, from Mon-Sat Noon-4pm and Sundays from 1-4pm. In-person socially-distanced guided tours are available in English; self-guided audio tours are available in EN/FR/DE/SP in exchange for a voluntary donation. For summer 2021, the Basilica Cathedral Museum will display exhibits in the West ambulatory; a voluntary donation will be accepted for admission to the Museum. For information please contact 709-754-2170 or basilica@rcsj.org.

Amenities

  • Family-Friendly
  • Guided Tour
  • National Historic Site
  • Parking
  • Washrooms
  • Wheelchair Access

Fun Facts

The Basilica took 14 years and 30,00 tons of Newfoundland granite and Dublin granite, and 400,000 Hamburg bricks to build. Its cornerstone was laid in 1841 and it was completed and consecrated in September 1855.

The Basilica is 55 feet high inside, is 246 feet long, and 186 feet across the transept. Its towers are 140 feet high and hold 9 Irish bells.

The Basilica holds 66 stained glass windows by English, French, German and Irish artists.

The ceiling was originally flat and white and made of plaster. It was the work of the Conway family of plasterers. In 1903-5, it was coffered and made to look like the ceiling of a Roman basilica. In 1955 it was painted, polychromed, and highlighted in gold leaf.

For the 100th anniversary in 1955, two Casavant Freres pipe organs were installed as a memorial to cathedral parishioners who died in both World Wars. With 4050 pipes and 66 stops, the instruments may be played separately, or together from the console in the organ loft. Together, they comprise the largest musical instrument in Newfoundland and Labrador.

Location

200 Military Road, St. John's, NL, Canada
Get directions

Nearby Places

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