Basilica of Saint Lawrence, Asheville

Designed by Spanish architect Rafael Guastavino, Basilica of Saint Lawrence has the largest freestanding elliptical dome in North America, measuring 18 by 25 m (58 by 82 ft). Marvel at the saint statues from Italy and German stained-glass windows. In 1993, the site was granted the status of a Minor Basilica by Pope John Paul II. The surrounding grounds feature a life-size statue of the Virgin Mary. See representations of Mary, Christ, and the apostles elaborately memorialized in stained glass. Visit two chapels with marble reliefs, mosaics, icons, and statues. If you'd like a guided tour, you must reserve your spot at least a week prior. You can schedule a 25-minute tour after mass on weekends, or opt for more in-depth weekday tours that last about 45 minutes. Self-guided tours are also an option--pick up a brochure inside the building. Use Inspirock's suggestions to plan your Asheville trip and find the best activities and attractions for your vacation.
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Basilica of Saint Lawrence Reviews
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  • October 2, 2017
    Beautiful basilica in Asheville. Amazing architecture and tourist friendly. Please be respectful of worshipers when walking around. 15 minute walk from most Asheville.  more »
  • October 1, 2017
    Did this as part of our bike tour and actually took the time to get off our bikes and go inside to see the largest unsupported dome in N. America. Architecture is something you usually only see in Eur...  more »
  • September 28, 2017
    While we’re not religious people by any means, but it’s really hard to not appreciate such a beautiful building. We were staying down the street so we just walked up. Beautiful architecture and staine...  more »
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  • June 4, 2017
    Every year we go for a stunningly beautiful Christmas Eve Mass. Always standing room only with people of every walk of life. Love the worship!
  • June 15, 2017
    The beautiful ceiling was done by the same man who installed the tile at the Biltmore.
  • May 22, 2017
    Beautiful architecture and history. We received a personal tour after mass.
  • February 28, 2017
    Very nice architecture. The dome on the inside is very impressive
  • November 2, 2016
    If you want to experience European architechture and a little bit of Spain (Rafael Guastavino) just enter and be silent. I am not Roman Catholic, yet I have sought refuge and peace here for decades. Sometimes the fragrance of the incense lingers while you look at the stained glass and dome structure. This is a true oasis from the hyperbolic tourism madness that plagues most of downtown.

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Where to stay in Asheville

To take advantage of the best Asheville has to offer without breaking the bank, stay at one of the city's small motels, many of which offer free breakfast buffets and plenty of secure parking. Asheville's historical district contains most of the city's bed and breakfasts, allowing you to stay within a short walk of downtown shopping, dining, and entertainment. The area also boasts numerous budget-friendly hostels, offering inexpensive private rooms for backpackers. For something completely different, rent an eco-friendly cabin in a wooded area just a short drive from the city.
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