The Cathedral Basilica of Saint Louis, also known as the Saint Louis Cathedral, is a cathedral of the Roman Catholic Church located in the Central West End area of St. Louis. Completed in 1914, it is the home of the Archdiocese of St. Louis and the seat of its archbishop. The cathedral is named for Saint Louis and was designated a basilica by Pope John Paul II in 1997.
The cathedral was built as a replacement for the previous Cathedral of St. Louis located downtown along the Mississippi River. Although workers began clearing ground for the building in 1907, the dedication of the Cathedral and its first Mass did not take place until 1914, when the superstructure was complete. Consecration of the church took place more than a decade later in 1926. The church is known for its large mosaic installation (which is one of the largest in the Western Hemisphere), burial crypts, and the addition of an outdoor sculpture to promote racial harmony.
In 1912, the installation of mosaics in the interior began. Completed in 1988, the mosaics collectively contain 41.5 million glass tesserae pieces in more than 7,000 colors! Covering 83,000 square feet, it is the largest mosaic collection in the world outside Russia. The mosaics in the side chapels and sanctuary walls were designed and installed by Tiffany Studios, but the mosaics in the main cathedral areas were designed by August Oetken. Installation of the mosaics was completed by dozens of artisans, including Hildreth Meiere, Ravenna Mosaic, Inc, and Paul and Arno Heuduck, who worked on the mosaic for nearly their entire working lives. The narthex, or antechamber of the church, depicts the life of King Louis IX of France, the namesake of the city and church. The main dome by Jan Henryk de Rosen depicts Biblical scenes from both the Old Testament and the New Testament.
Information sourced from Wikipedia. Cover image by Nheyob and licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0