Thursday, July 14, 2016

Basilica St. Lawrence

One of our stops in Asheville was to visit the Basilica St. Lawrence.  When we travel, if we know of a basilica or cathedral in the area we definitely try to visit.

The basilica was designed by Rafael Guastavino, an architect from Barcelona.  He emigrated to the US to work on the Biltmore House.  

He designed the church and construction started in 1905.  It was finished in 1909.  The style is Spanish Renaissance.  There are no wood or steel beams used in the construction.  It is made from layers of tile and mortar.

The roof is tile with copper covering.

The main entrance.

This is made from polychrome (glazed) terracotta and represents Jesus giving the 'keys' to the kingdom to Peter.

St. Aloysius Gonzaga

A beautiful detail.

The doors into the church interior.  On the left is Joseph.  These windows are from the old St. Lawrence and were moved here.  (You can see Himself sitting just through the doors.)

The main alter and side chapels.

The life size terracotta reliefs are Mark, Archangel Michael, Archangel Raphael, and Luke (Matthew and John are out of the view).  The crucifixion tableau shows Jesus, Mary and John.  It is carved from walnut.


A different angle.

The dome is the largest free standing elliptical dome in North America.  It is 82' x 58'.

The center window.

For my church pew series.

The stained glass was beautiful.  They were made in Munich, Germany.

Lovely, indeed.

This is the window in Chapel of Our Lady - to the left of the alter.  The window is titled "Mary, Queen of the Sea".

I'm not sure the story behind this representation.  She was in the vestibule.

Beautiful and so peaceful.

The rose garden was small and very nice.

The back of the building.

This sign made me smile.  In more than one way should we not "park here".

If you are interested in visiting these beautiful basilica and cathedrals in the US, this web site gives the locations:    


  1. I think that vestibule statue is a representation of Mary as Our Lady of Guadalupe, which is culturally important to Hispanic Catholics

    1. Thanks! I can't believe I forgot to get her information. I usually snap a photo of the info for reference.


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