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French Huguenot Church, Charleston

4.5
#21 of 25 in Historic Sites in Charleston
Religious Site Church
The Huguenot Church, also called the French Huguenot Church or the French Protestant Church, is a Gothic Revival church located at 136 Church Street in Charleston, South Carolina. Built in 1844 and designed by architect Edward Brickell White, it is the oldest Gothic Revival church in South Carolina, and has been designated a National Historic Landmark and listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The congregation it serves traces its origins to the 1680s, and is the only independent Huguenot church in the United States.As Protestants in predominantly-Catholic France, Huguenots faced persecution throughout the 16th and 17th centuries. Following the Revocation of the Edict of Nantes in 1685, many Huguenots fled France for various parts of the world, including Charleston. The early congregation of Charleston's Huguenot Church included many of these refugees, and their descendants continued to play a role in the church's affairs for many decades. The church was originally affiliated with the Calvinist Reformed Church of France, and its doctrine still retains elements of Calvinist doctrine. The church's services still follow 18th century French liturgy, but are conducted in English.The church is located in the area of Charleston known as the French Quarter, which was given this name in 1973 as part of preservation efforts. It recognizes that the area had a historically high concentration of French merchants.
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Where to stay in Charleston

Charleston is serviced by dozens of local hotels and practically every major U.S. chain. Expect to pay top dollar for a room on the downtown peninsula, particularly if you wish to stay in one of the historic hotels. The upside of taking a room there is the proximity of all major attractions--you won't need a car to explore and enjoy your visit. Less expensive options are available in North Charleston, West Ashley, and Mount Pleasant, where you'll find all kinds of inns for the budget-conscious traveler.
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59 reviews
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4.3
  • Worth a 15 min visit. On some days they have the members available to provide tours and answer questions. Free but donations appreciated.  more »
  • We just loved it,,, the history of this church is beyond what we already knew..... I would say it's a must see..... loved it...  more »
  • I've performed well over 100 weddings -- attended one here and the venue was superb. Simply gorgeous and historical...  more »
Google
  • Attended a beautiful wedding @ this lovely church. Charleston is a magnificent old city that's managed to keep a hold on it's Southern Charm... Always enjoy going back...
  • If you are looking for a church that actually preaches the gospel as the Huguenots were known for, and were persecuted for, this is NOT the church. A 15 minute sermonette loaded with a few worldly quips to make the congregation laugh, followed with a meager commentary and no real gospel or scripture. Very disappointing. Perhaps this is what happens when a people boast more in their heritage than in the cross of Christ. May the Lord have mercy on this congregation and send them true, God-called pastors that will care for their souls.
  • My son and daughter-in-law shared their wedding vows last weekend at the church and it couldn't have been more beautiful! Many thanks to all the staff for their kindness and help.