This week’s featured Baltimore Building of the Week from Dr. John Breihan is the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, a National Historic Landmark, National Shrine, Marian Shrine, and Co-Cathedral of the Archdiocese of Baltimore. You can become a fan of this incredible building on Facebook or take a guided tour Monday through Saturday.
By far the greatest architectural masterpiece in Baltimore is its long-time Catholic cathedral, now known as the Basilica of the Assumption. Designed by Benjamin Henry Latrobe for Archbishop John Carroll, the Basilica was built between 1806 and 1820. The great domed church with its curious cylindrical towers, our Hagia Sophia, long dominated the Baltimore skyline. To mark its bicentennial in 2006, the Basilica underwent a much-needed rehabilitation of its basic systems and a conjectural restoration of the interior to its appearance in 1820. While some welcome the new bright pastels, others miss two centuries’ accretions of church furniture, gold leaf, and stained glass.