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St. Mary's Cathedral, San Francisco

(4.1/5 based on 90+ reviews on the web)
The Cathedral of Saint Mary of the Assumption, also known locally as Saint Mary's Cathedral, is the principal church of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of San Francisco in San Francisco, California. It is the mother church of the Catholic faithful in the California counties of Marin, San Francisco and San Mateo and is the metropolitan cathedral for the Ecclesiastical province of San Francisco. The rector of the cathedral is Msgr. John Talesfore.The cathedral is located in the Cathedral Hill neighborhood of San Francisco. The present cathedral replaced one (1891-1962) of the same name. The original Cathedral of Saint Mary of the Immaculate Conception was built in 1853-1854 and still stands today. It is now known as Old Saint Mary's Church.Second cathedralIn 1883, Archbishop Patrick W. Riordan purchased the northwest corner of Van Ness Avenue and O'Farrell Street in Western Addition. Riordan broke ground in December 1885. On May 1, 1887 the archbishop placed the cornerstone. Archbishop Riordan dedicated the edifice to Saint Mary of the Assumption on January 11, 1891. The second cathedral served the Archdiocese of San Francisco for seventy-one years. During the episcopal terms of archbishops Riordan, Edward J. Hanna and John J. Mitty. Papal Secretary of State Eugenio Cardinal Pacelli, (future Pope Pius XII) said Mass at the high altar in October 1936. On April 3, 1962, Joseph T. McGucken was installed as the fifth Archbishop of San Francisco in the cathedral on Van Ness Avenue, five months later the landmark was destroyed by arson on the night of September 7, 1962.
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Reviews
TripAdvisor
  • The visit is breathtaking! Very pure from the outside, there is still no voice on the way home. This work is absolutely beautiful and the vision of such a structure inside is worth the trip!
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  • Go to mass at St. Mary´s Cathedral is quite an experience, they're masses sung in English and some in Spanish, by choirs or single accompanied with the pipe organ. There are also free concerts on Sunday afternoon, you can consult them on the church website. Its architecture is very modern, so if listening to refer to it as the Washer Machine, is because according to the uninitiated, its architectural form is similar to the of a washing machine. The lamp that has the Center is impressive and has a few windows of which you can see part of the city.
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  • The Religious Images were beautiful and made me feel so peaceful. We dropped by because this was part of the tour group. 
Google
  • This place is magnificent. The architecture is awe inspiring while still being minimal and peaceful. Tourist often ruin the tranquility but what am I. Must see.
  • The Cathedral of Saint Mary of the Assumption is known locally as Saint Mary's Cathedral or Our Lady of Maytag (referencing the roof resembling the inside of a top loading washing machine). It's the Cathedral's interior that is stunning and worth a trip. The home of the San Francisco Catholic Diocese sits majestically at the top of Cathedral Hill, and has occupied that space since 1971. There seem to be perpetual storm clouds above St. Mary's of late, and the 5 star review applies to the Cathedral architecture. Our local diocese has lost sight of their pastoral role as a spiritual leader in the community, which is reflected by all those one star reviews. The Archbishop lacks empathy, compassion and humility and is ill-suited to lead Bay Area Catholics. Don't let that stop you from visiting one of the landmarks in our city. Plus you can't beat the view.
  • Amazing unique architecture. Very much worth exploring. A very tranquil place, great for meditation and contemplation. If you come at Thursday mornings around 9:30am you may get lucky and might be able to enjoy organ practice. Organ concerts are offeted most Sundays afternoon.
  • Well well, a place to collect money packaged as a religious place. I'm a devoted Christian and I'm pretty disappointed how the people inside of the church treated the visitors. Doesn't Jesus welcome everyone to come to His place? I came with the tour and the woman who stood by the door rudely hushed everybody to be silent. I understand that some of the people from the tour are ignorant and loud but She could have been asked more nicely. After being rude to everyone, she asked for donation emphasising that it cost 5500 dollars to run the place daily. What a disgrace...
  • I'm writing in the architecture only. Very modern and well designed. Massive church.