Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, Washington DC

The largest Roman Catholic church in the United States and the eighth largest church building in the world, Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception houses over 70 chapels and oratories. Over a million pilgrims travel to this large Neo-Byzantine building every year to admire its dome filled with mosaics. Colored marble shrines and altars throughout pay homage to saints. The baldacchino altar takes particular prominence under a green mosaic dome. Be sure to view the statuary depicting the pope and Pope Benedict XVI's gift of a golden rose displayed in the chapel. Six masses are held daily. Put Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception and other Washington DC attractions into our Washington DC vacation planner , and watch your holiday take shape.
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Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception Reviews
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TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 5.0
1,874 reviews
Google
4.9
TripAdvisor
  • Attended 9AM mass Sunday, 11/10. We are not Catholic and we’re warmly welcomed nonetheless. Our attire was jeans and we were not underdressed. All are welcome to partake in communion here—not what we’...  more »
  • My deeply religious mother was especially thrilled with the Basilica. Although I'm not Catholic, even I found it to be truly beautiful and inspirational. The statuary and the various chapels are breat...  more »
  • I'm a newly reconstructed cradle Catholic back for only a year so of course I had to attend Mass on the Holy Day of Obligation falling when I was there. What an awesome church, especially for those wh...  more »
Google
  • The basilica and grounds of The Catholic University are an amazing living tribute to Catholicism in the United States. Easy to get to by Metro from downtown D.C. The basilica tour was very informative and well worth taking. The tour is fast-paced as there is so much to see. The faith-inspired art everywhere, stone sculptures, the paintings, mosaics, on walls domes and ceilings, the 70 chapels dedicated to Mother Mary from all over the world, and solemnity of the Basilica were awesome and uplifted my spirit! There is an excellent gem of a cafeteria and bookstore underneath! I would love to attend a mass next visit. A must see when touring Washington for Catholics and non-catholics alike.
  • A stunning church; simply amazing cultures dedicated chapels that were in line with their heritages. But in my opinion the crypt chapel takes the cake for beauty and ambiance; everything just feels holy! Oh, the tour guides are extremely knowledgeable and friendly! I definitely would suggest taking a tour if you have the time!
  • The place was absolutely beautiful. It's so serene and calming, the different saints, ladies and different sculptures really gave the place a beautiful unique atmosphere. I recommend sitting at one of the benches and just closing your eyes. It gives a very soothing aura, and makes you happy immediately. Definitely recommend going.
  • I visited the Basilica in November 2015 while in D.C. on a business trip. I just came across my photos and felt the same calm warmth as I did as I walked through this amazing sanctuary. I definitely recommend planning your visit since there is so much to see and appreciate. Since I arrived with only an hour left until closing, and there are an impressive 70 chapels and a fantastic book store to visit, I had to choose my stops accordingly. What drew me in the first place was hearing a friend speak about seeing The Universal Call to Holiness frieze in person. This is a Call for all of us, and a Call only possible because we have the protection of a Humble and Loving Patroness. A visit will fill you with serenity and warmth. And it is definitely a pilgrimage. For the perfect West Coast bookend, if possible you should also visit The Grotto in Portland, OR. The Shrine and Chapel to Our Lady of Leche in Saint Augustine, Florida is a beautiful and serene place as well (I have reviewed both of these as well).
  • I lack the words needed to express how amazing this church is. It is enormous. It is beautiful. The artistry is carefully planned and is also high quality. For those that have any kind of relationship with Jesus, his mother, and the saints, this is a meaningful place.
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