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St. Francis Basilica, Dyersville

Categories: Churches, Tourist Spots
Inspirock Rating:
4.9/5 based on 40+ reviews on the web
The Basilica of St. Francis Xavier is a parish church in the Archdiocese of Dubuque located in Dyersville, Iowa, United States. The church was named in honor of the missionary Saint Francis Xavier. It was raised to the status of a Minor Basilica in 1956. The church and rectory were listed together on the National Register of Historic Places in 1999.HistoryDyersville was originally settled by English immigrants. Within a few years the English moved on, and many German immigrants began to arrive in the area. A parish was founded to serve these immigrants in 1859. The first St. Francis Xavier Church was completed in 1862. The parish grew quickly and the church had to be doubled in size by 1869. By the 1880, it became clear that with the increasing Catholic population of Dyersville and the surrounding area that the old church building would no longer be adequate.A new church building program was begun in the mid-1880s. The parish decided on a large Gothic Revival style building in order to serve the increased population. Dubuque architects Fridolin Heer, Sr. and his son Fridolin Heer, Jr. designed the church. The pastor at the time, the Reverend Anton Kortenkamp (1834-1889), also had the foresight to have the altar placed upon a foundation of solid rock, which is one of the requirements for an altar to be consecrated. Construction was begun in 1887, and the cornerstone was laid on June 3, 1888. The new church was dedicated by Bishop John Hennessy on December 3, 1889. When the building was dedicated, special trains brought people from all over the state of Iowa to witness the ceremony. It cost approximately $100,000 dollars to build the church. After the completion of the present building, the old church was converted into classrooms. It was later torn down after a new school was completed. Electric lights were added to the church in 1904.
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  • This church is a hidden gem. Never would I expect to find such a stunning place of worship in a small town in Iowa. The stained glass windows were beautiful. The ornate wood work and paintings on the ...  read more »
  • None of us are baseball fans, so we skipped the fabled Field of Dreams and instead visited the Basilica. It was stunningly beautiful! The front door was open, so we got see the inside. Ornate woodwork...  read more »
  • An impressive Bascilica in small town USA. The St Francis Bascilica in Dyersville is beautiful. Not the grandeur you would find in a European city but none the less magnificent. Located at the bottom ...  read more »
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