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Basilica of Saint Joseph Proto-Cathedral, Bardstown

(50+ reviews on the web)
Church Landmark
The Basilica of Saint Joseph Proto-Cathedral is a Catholic parish church at 310 West Stephen Foster Avenue in Bardstown, Kentucky. It is the former cathedral mother church of the former Roman Catholic Diocese of Bardstown. During its years as a cathedral, the pastor was Benedict Joseph Flaget, the first Bishop of Bardstown.ConstructionThe cornerstone was laid on July 16, 1816, with construction beginning thereafter. Materials used for its construction were found in the immediate area. The architect and builder was John Rogers of Baltimore. By 1819 it was sufficiently completed for Mass to be held. The interior was fully complete by 1823. Many of the paintings and interior decorations were donated by Pope Leo XII, King Louis-Philippe of France and others. The gift from the King of France included paintings by Murillo, Van Dyke and others. Gifts of royal embroidered vestments — the handwork of the queen and her court — and sacramental vessels were also made.Paintings from King Louis The Crucifixion, Phillippe Van Bree Descent of the Holy Ghost, Van Eyck The Winged St. Mark, Van Dyck St. Peter in Chains, Van Dyck St. John the Baptist, Van Dyck The Coronation in Heaven of the Mother of God, Murillo The Annunciation, Van Eyck Teaching the Boys, artist unknown The paintings were stolen from the church November 12, 1952. The paintings were valued at $875,000 at the time. The paintings were recovered during April and May 1953.
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Reviews
TripAdvisor
  • We visited the Bardstown area and visiting the Basilica was high on our list. We were greeted by Margaret, a life long parishioner, who gave us a tour and told us the history of the church. She was an...  more »
  • The cathedral is awesome with fantastic artwork. Mass is very typical. Congregation was OK but didn't come across as very welcoming. Great history and within walking distance of downtown.  more »
  • For a church that was built over 200 years it is a work of art right from Heaven. We missed the morning mass but stopped and prayed the rosary. Met a very nice older lady and gave a brief history of t...  more »