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 4.5
1,655 reviews
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4.8
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  • The history, artwork, chapels are fantastic. One of the worlds best Basilicas. It is the largest in the United States. To get most out of your visit join one of their tours which are free. Great books...  more »
  • The Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception has become the spiritual home of the Catholic Church in the United States. It is the largest Catholic Church in America. The many shrin...  more »
  • I have attended mass here twice. Once I went on the Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God which was a standing room only mass. I was lucky to get seats at this mass. The other mass I attended was Sunday in...  more »
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  • The Basilica is a beautiful, incredible, prayerful place. I am grateful for all the opportunities for worship, every day, from Mass to Confession to Adoration to the Rosary. Daily Mass is available at the following times: 7:00, 7:30, 8:00, 8:30 am; 12:15 and 5:15 pm Daily Confession: 7:45-8:15 am; 10:00 am - 12:00 pm; 3:30 - 6:30 pm. There is a newly consecrated Rosary Garden across from the Church, and as many Marian chapels as you could want! The Trinity Dome was also recently completed, which is beautiful. Truly a "crowning jewel". I have included some images of the Shrine at various times of the year and from various angles, the Rosary Garden, the Chapel of Our Lady of Guadalupe, and the Upper Church during Christmastime, an especially beautiful period where this Shrine celebrates fully the birth of Christ!
  • PLEASE GO FOR THE GUIDED TOUR! After all it's free so what do you have to loose. They will walk you through each chapel and give you the history of that section. There are 2 levels open to the public and in September they let you go up the bell tower. The over all architectural style is Byzantine.
  • One of the most inspiring churches in North America. Truly a national treasure. A great example of how architecture and art help asist in our contemplation and worship of God
  • First time I was ever here. Very nice place. A good place for spiritual prayer and meditation.
  • I visited during a Friday. I had bad luck with the tour guide - he was the worst guide I have ever had. He spoke very unclear and extremely fast, paying no attention to his audience. He would utter a few sentences in a certain shrine, than run off - we would find him in the next alcove, talking to himself about what was to be seen there, as none of the visitors had reached it yet. The building itself and all in it was very impressive. Richly decorated. Moreover, there was no need for the translations from Latin as I am used to in Europe, as most inscriptions are in English. As the entrance and tours are free, I would rate it 4 stars. Not 5, as some of Europe's cathedrals are just quite a bit more impressive.
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