In the search of a quiet moment on campus, faculty and students alike may find themselves in a college chapel. Across the United States, campuses boast a variety of churches and cathedrals. Both public and private universities offer beautiful houses of worship for their students. Some are simple, reverent chapels and others large, echoing cathedrals.
When building this ranking, we took into account factors like student programming, campus architecture and aesthetic. The tradition and history of these cathedrals were also taken into account as well as community outreach.
These are 35 of the most beautiful college cathedrals throughout the country.
35. Julia Thompson Smith Chapel – Agnes Scott College
Only seating 110 people, the Julia Thompson Smith Chapel provides a feeling of small-town hospitality as those who worship there feel as if they are worshipping among family. The campus chapel is home to a Brombaugh Opus 31d organ, one of only six in the entire world. The grounds of the chapel are accented by a garden where students are often found enjoying the Georgia sunshine while the organ attracts many music enthusiasts. The chapel is the spiritual center of Agnes Scott College, providing a space for prayer, contemplation, and worship.
You can learn more about the Julia Thompson Smith Chapel here.
34. St. Francis Xavier – Saint Louis University
Serving Catholic parishioners for over 170 years, St. Francis Xavier Church was modeled after St. Colman’s Cathedral in Ireland. It is a Gothic Revival style chapel that is more known for the lively sermons delivered there as it is for its beauty. The parishioners also strive to provide for the poor and homeless in the area creating a location where St. Louis University students can contribute to the community through their spiritual beliefs as well.
You can learn more about the St. Francis Xavier here.
33. Thompson Memorial Chapel – Williams College
The Thompson Memorial Chapel has served a major role in the moral development of almost every Williams College student since it was built in 1904. The chapel was created in memory of American banker, Frederick Ferris Thompson. Alumni of Williams College feel a strong connection to this stunning campus cathedral and the connection is so strong many choose the location for their wedding. The stunning eight-foot cross, designed and executed by H. Lee Hirsche, assistant professor of art, has thousands of bronze two-inch rods at varying angles at its axis to represent the crown of thorns. The tower is a reproduction of St. Cuthbert’s Tower at Wells in southwest England.
You can learn more about the Thompson Memorial Chapel here.
32. Herrick Interfaith Memorial Chapel – Occidental College
Located on the campus of Occidental College in Los Angeles, California, the Herrick Interfaith Memorial Chapel was a gift from John Pierce Herrick, who dedicated it to the memory of his wife, Margaret Brown Herrick. The chapel is near the library and classroom buildings, creating a central feel for the chapel. The interior is designed in the shape of a Greek cross with arms of equal length, known as cruciform architecture. Despite its size, patrons claim that they feel as if they are attending a small, intimate service. Although Occidental College was founded as a Christian university, this college chapel serves members of all faiths.
You can learn more about the Herrick Interfaith Memorial Chapel here.
31. Hampton University Memorial Chapel – Hampton University
The Hampton University Memorial Chapel has a 150-foot tower and clock that illuminates the skies each night. There are six national landmarks on the campus, and the chapel is one of those landmarks. The campus chapel recognizes African and Native American history with wooden faces, which are hand-carved, displayed throughout the sanctuary. The chapel, originally constructed in 1886, and the yellow pine pews were handmade by trade school students during that era. Over the past 130 years, Hampton University Memorial Chapel has served students of all faiths.
You can learn more about the Hampton University Memorial Chapel here.
30. The Stauffer Chapel – Pepperdine University
Located on the campus of Pepperdine University, the Stauffer Chapel is surrounded by a serene garden and offers dramatic views of the Pacific Ocean. From a distance, visitors can see the cross that has become the chapel’s signature that extends above it. The campus cathedral offers interior and exterior beauty where students are often found meditating, praying silently or simply enjoying the serenity of the chapel.
You can learn more about the The Stauffer Chapel here.
29. Vasser Chapel – Vasser College
The Vassar Chapel is the only building on the Vassar College campus that has remained untouched over the years. It is the largest religious building in the town of Poughkeepsie. Stepping into the campus chapel is like traveling back more than 100 years in history. The chapel was built in 1904, designed by Shepley, Rutan, and Coolidge of Boston. Sets of stained glass windows adorn each side of the entrance, two by Tiffany. There are two-panel landscapes and one which is half of a two-panel window. There are several more Tiffany windows throughout the chapel as well.
You can learn more about the Vasser Chapel here.
28. Alumni Chapel – Michigan State University
Sitting on a hill overlooking Michigan State University is Alumni Chapel, providing visitors and students with vintage Tudor ambiance that feels more like an Elizabethan era chapel than a modern cathedral on a university campus. The chapel accommodates up to 190 people of all faiths, and many alumni have repeated their vows in the church. The chapel has soaring timbered ceilings, mellow floor tiles, beautiful stained glass windows with a simple elegance that draws people to it. Only MSU students, faculty, staff, alumni and their parents or grandparents may use the chapel for events.
You can learn more about the Alumni Chapel here.
27. Agnes Flanagan Chapel – Lewis & Clark College
The exterior of the Agnes Flanagan Chapel, located on the campus of Lewis & Clark College, is one if its most stunning features. The chapel is conical, paying homage to the heritage of the Native Americans who inhabited the area for hundreds of years. Relatively new compared to other college chapels, the Agnes Flanagan Chapel was built in 1968 and offers a massive organ with nearly 5,000 pipes and 85 ranks. The stained glass windows, created by French artist Gabriel Loire, illustrate both the Native American and Christian influences of the area. The chapel is named in memory of college trustee, Agnes Flanagan, whose vision and enthusiasm made the construction of the chapel possible.
You can learn more about the Agnes Flanagan Chapel here.
26. St. Joseph Chapel – Spring Hill College
St. Joseph Chapel on the campus of Spring Hill College has provided students and visitors with a center of faith for over 100 years. The chapel is built in the Gothic revival style and is located on the northern side of the Spring Hill College quadrangle. Cream-colored walls rise to form arches as sunlight pours from yellow, clear and amber windows. The altar features White Carrera marble with its amber, green and gray veins contrasting the dark-wood pews.
You can learn more about the St. Joseph Chapel here.
25. Chapel of Resurrection – Valparaiso University
The Chapel of Resurrection at Valparaiso University in Indiana is the largest university-oriented cathedral in the country. The cathedral seats more than 2,000 people and has a 30-meter chancel, nine-pointed apse, and 59-foot nave. There are stained glass windows over 90 feet tall, and the altar reaches 20 feet across the front of the building. It is of Lutheran denomination and only allows denominational events. The chapel bears a striking resemblance to the Coventry Cathedral prompting the donation of 1,545 Luke Hughes revived Coventry chairs. The chairs are stained to complement the chapel’s russet color palette and have been installed in the nave, replacing existing pews.
You can learn more about the Chapel of Resurrection here.
24. Annie Pfeiffer Chapel – Florida Southern College
Known as the “Child of the Sun,” the Annie Pfeiffer Chapel is the oldest building in the area referred to as the Florida Southern College Architectural District. It is a group of nine buildings designed by Frank Lloyd Wright and the first completed by the world-renowned architect in 1941. It was named as a national landmark in 2012 and is on the National Register of Historic Places. The college chapel has theater seating on the ground floor and balcony as well as a full organ and baby grand piano. The chancel has been extended to accommodate a wider variety of events, including the end-of-year Student Awards ceremony and multiple weddings.
You can learn more about the Annie Pfeiffer Chapel here.
23. Chapel of Immaculate Conception – Seton Hall University
Located on the campus of Seton Hall, the Chapel of Immaculate Conception is one of the oldest buildings still standing in the United States. It first opened its doors while the Civil War was at its peak in 1863 and the original structure remains intact, despite necessary renovations over the years. It served as a place of healing for Catholics as they dealt with the horrors of the Civil War and had guided many Seton Hall students back to their faith. The entryway, built in 1906, remains and, on each side are memorials to those whose generosity has sustained the chapel over the years. During the restoration, a terrazzo floor was uncovered with a stunning cross and that cross has been replicated on the altar which is made of coralline red marble.
You can learn more about the Chapel of Immaculate Conception here.
22. St. Mary’s Chapel – Saint Paul Seminary and School of Divinity
Construction began on St. Mary’s Chapel in 1891 under the direction of Archbishop John Ireland. The campus chapel has elements of the Romanesque-Byzantine, Renaissance and Gothic eras. Long wooden beams line the flat ceiling, as were the ceilings of many churches during that period. There is an apse, nave, and sacristies. The stained glass windows add to the richness of color displayed in the sanctuary. The chapel is in the heart of the Saint Paul Seminary and School of Divinity, serving the worshiping community as well as the university.
You can learn more about St. Mary’s Chapel here.
21. Weaver Chapel – Wittenberg University
Located on the campus of Wittenberg University in Springfield, Ohio, Weaver Chapel was the subject of a National Geographic special based on their stained glass windows. Outside of the building stand statues of prominent religious figures such as Martin Luther. Graphics in the famous stained glass windows are created using a solid lead with glass as the background. They depict the history of Wittenberg from Germany to the present. Lutheran services are held on Sunday morning, and Catholic Mass is offered on Sunday afternoon. There are also weekday chapel services on Tuesday and Thursday morning.
You can learn more about the Weaver Chapel here.
20. West Point Cadet Chapel – West Point University
The West Point Cadet Chapel was constructed by Bertram Goodhue in 1910 for West Point University, the most prestigious military academy in the United States. The Gothic revival layout resembles a cross with statues carved in stone and exaggerated stone arches. The organ in the campus cathedral has 23,000 pipes and is the largest in any chapel. The chapel may only be used by members of West Point University. It is constructed of native granite and the building blends naturally into the surrounding landscape.
You can learn more about the West Point Cadet Chapel here.
19. Madonna Della Strada – Loyola University Chicago
The Madonna Della Strada was built for the Jesuit district at Loyola University in Chicago with Lake Michigan just a few feet from its white walls. It is built in Art Deco style and was completed in 1938. In 2007, it was remodeled into a more elegant, modern style. There is a mural entitled “Crowning of Mary: Queen of Heaven and Earth, and the Society of Jesus” painted by Melville Steinfels and completed in 1947. The college chapel is used for weekly devotions, mass and other occasions. It is also rented often for weddings.
You can learn more about the Madonna Della Strada here.
18. Christ Chapel – Gustavus Adolphus College
Christ Chapel, located on the campus of Gustavus Adolphus College, is the symbol of faith at the church-related college. The cross at the tip of Christ Chapel’s spire is 187 feet above the ground. The lower portions of the stained glass windows contain contemporary forms of historical symbols. When the sun shines through them, they cast colorful patterns along the walls and throughout the building. The grounds of the college chapel, as well as the sanctuary, are decorated with detailed, lifelike structures sculpted by Paul Granlund. The windows allow light from within to shine out onto life outside while the light from the world illuminates the intimacy of worship.
You can learn more about the Christ Chapel here.
17. Alice Millar Chapel & Religious Center – Northwestern University
The Alice Millar Chapel & Religious Center, located at Northwestern University, was named for an English musician who performed for Queen Victoria. The chapel is unique because it was created to illustrate the relationship between music and religion. The chapel has a 151-foot spire Aeolian-Skinner organ that accentuates the acoustics of the sanctuary. It is designed so that the organ tones almost overwhelm those in attendance during worship. The large stained glass windows which reach from the floor to the ceiling on two walls as well as a stunning, intricate window directly behind the pulpit. Patrons say that the sounds of the organ in the chapel overwhelm them as they worship, connecting spirituality and music in a unique way.
You can learn more about the Alice Millar Chapel & Religious Center here.
16. Perkins Chapel – Southern Methodist University
The heart of Southern Methodist University, Perkins Chapel has elements that demonstrate its Greco-Roman inspiration with four white columns. The chapel was modeled after churches found in colonial New England and, although it does not have a stunning, grand exterior that many college chapels offer, the size is a testament to the community surrounding Southern Methodist University. The university focuses on an active spiritual community, providing students moral as well as educational guidance.
You can learn more about the Perkins Chapel here.
15. Naval Academy Chapel – United States Naval Academy
A historic landmark since 1961 the Naval Academy Chapel provides the honorable attitude that creates strong naval cadets. The campus chapel has a domed roof that looks magnificent whether you are viewing the chapel from the outside or sitting inside the sanctuary. There is a 268 rank organ controlled by a 522-drawknob console that is one of the largest in existence. The crypt of John Paul Jones, who is considered the first naval soldier, is also housed in the chapel. The chapel is symbolic of the vital role that moral and spiritual guidance play in the development of naval officers.
You can learn more about the Naval Academy Chapel here.
14. Sage Chapel – Cornell University
Sage Chapel, designed by Reverend Charles Babcock who served as a professor at Cornell University where the chapel is located, was built in 1875. In 1898 and 1904, additions, including the mausoleum, were added. Every renovation, even one in 1940 to improve the organ and add a loft for the choir, were planned to so that the building kept to its roots. There is a stained glass window that is a monument to three civil rights workers murdered during the Summer of 1964, known as the “Freedom Summer.” One of those murdered was a Cornell alumnus.
You can learn more about the Sage Chapel here.
13. United States Air Force Academy Cadet Chapel – United States Air Force Academy
Designed to stand out when it was built in 1963, the United States Air Force Cadet Chapel has 17 spires that stretch over 150 feet high, making it visible to travelers on Interstate 25 in Colorado. Panels of stained glass allow diffused light to enter the cathedral. Inside, there are three distinct chapels with separate entrances. There is a 900-seat Protestant chapel, a 500-seat Catholic chapel and a 100-seat Jewish chapel allowing cadets of all faiths to worship in the building. The Protestant chapel is on the main floor with windows of special laminated glass while the Catholic chapel is on the terrace-level with precast masonry forming the ceiling panel, windows of faceted glass and walls of amber glass.
The Jewish chapel is circular and enclosed in stained-glass and cypress with a foyer created by brown Jerusalem stone that was a gift from the Israeli Air Force. The walls of the foyer are purple stained glass with green and blue accent windows. Paintings created by Shiomo Katz depict a Bible story. In 2007, a Buddhist Chapel was built as freestanding inside the existing structure. Dharma Hall was donated by Ed Shure and is made of Port Orford cedar, a rare wood used in Japan to build temples. There is also an All-Faiths Room with no religious symbols and it is made available to cadets of various faiths. Special symbols are available for use during worship services in the room. Falcon Circle, outside the chapel, was designed with Earth-Centered Spirituality followers in mind. There is a fire pit and stones are placed in a circular pattern to facilitate services in the Wicca, Paganism and Druidism faiths. The multi-denominational nature of the USAF Academy Cadet Chapel has provided a location for meditation, prayer and spirituality for any cadet, who is attending the academy.
You can learn more about the United States Air Force Academy Cadet Chapel here.
12. All Saints Chapel at Sewanee – The University of the South
Located on the campus of Sewanee, University of the South, All Saints Chapel tells a story of perseverance. Construction on the school chapel began in 1860 and was formerly known as St. Augustine’s. It was not completed before the start of the Civil War which eventually destroyed almost all the buildings on campus. The chapel was finally completed in 1868 but the years took its toll on the beautiful structure. In 1904, renovation began on the chapel, but this construction was also halted after the Bank of Winchester, which financed the construction, failed in 1907. To complete the renovation, a temporary wooden floor and ceiling were added so the chapel could be used. The chapel was not completed as it was originally designed until 1959. The chapel stands 61-feet high with a 134-foot tower. The chapel serves as a gathering space for Convocations, Commencement, and other celebrations as well as a place to explore religious faith. The central location of the college chapel expresses Sewanee’s Episcopal university identity.
You can learn more about the All Saints Chapel at Sewanee here.
11. St. Thomas of Villanova Chapel – Villanova University
Originally founded in the Augustine tradition, St. Thomas of Villanova Chapel began in the 1840s through the American branch of the Church of St. Augustine. The current chapel is the result of four years of renovation which completed in 1887. The campus cathedral is patterned after French cathedrals. There are two towers flanking the cross that extend from the midpoint of the roof. Each tower, standing at 63-feet tall, has a white cross that extends higher. Initially, the chapel was built as a prep school for young Roman Catholics who wished to become priests but it eventually became the official worship location of Villanova University. Today, the chapel not only functions as the worship center for the university, but also for the St. Thomas of Villanova parish. Sunday night student-oriented masses are conducted by Villanova University pastoral musicians, the largest music group on campus. The group has over a dozen instruments and over 60 choral members. The church has been the site of many student weddings as well as funerals of prominent Villanova faculty and alumni.
You can learn more about St. Thomas of Villanova Chapel here.
10. Saint Ignatius Church – The University of San Francisco
The University of San Francisco’s official chapel, Saint Ignatius Church is a Jesuit cathedral that was built in 1914. The design of the college cathedral has elements of the Renaissance, Baroque and Italian architecture. The floor plan resembles ancient basilicas in Rome. Four of the alcoves inside the church have been converted to the Manresa Gallery, displaying the works of many Bay Area artists from many different religious backgrounds. The original chapel was located on Market Street, leading to a dispute between the pastor and the archbishop in 1863 that resulted in Saint Ignatius being stripped of parish status. Eventually, the church moved to the corner of Hayes Street and Van Ness Avenue, but that building was destroyed in the 1906 earthquake and fire. Today, the church sits at the corner of Fulton Street and Parker Avenue. In 1994, parish status was reinstated allowing worshipers from neighborhoods surrounding the University of San Francisco to attend. The church today is an active community of families, retirees, empty-nesters and students who aspire to do great things in the name of God. The church offers many interfaith events based on the beliefs of their patron, St. Ignatius of Loyola.
You can learn more about the Saint Ignatius Church here.
9. The Baughman Center – The University of Florida
Through a donation by George F. Baughman, The University of Florida created The Baughman Center, a non-denominational campus chapel designed for silent prayer and contemplation. The chapel feels as if it grew from the ground with exterior wood that is native to Florida and stained to resemble the plant life that surrounds the chapel. The wood is grooved to provide the look of tree trunks, symbolically connecting spirituality with environmental harmony. The roof is composed of yellow pine and copper to provide the look of medieval chapels and the front door is made of maple with Gothic patters of cherry and mahogany. The marble floor is arranged in a geometric pattern and the pavilion is oriented so that sunrise and sunset at summer solstice follows the principle of East-facing that is common in significant religious buildings. The chapel is located on the shores of Lake Alice and was completed in 2000. The chapel is open for private contemplation on weekdays and is often used for weddings or memorial services.
You can learn more about the The Baughman Center here.
8. Stanford Memorial Church – Stanford University
The design of the Stanford Memorial Church is based on the Ravenna district of Venice. It was built in 1903 and also includes styles of the American Renaissance era. Statues, paintings and stained glass windows are showcased in the chapel, all of which have been incorporated into the design. It is one of the most prominent, interdenominational churches in the West. Stanford University was established as a memorial to Leland Stanford, Jr., the son of Senator and Mrs. Leland and Jane Stanford. The Stanford’s were religious but did not follow any specific religion which is why when Mrs. Stanford donated funding to build the church, she decreed that it be open to all. The Stanford’s also saw spiritual and moral values as critical to the education of young people.
Today, multi-faith services are held in the chapel, which is located on the Main Quad. The building has stunning stained glass windows and mosaics based on religious paintings admired by the Stanford’s when they travelled in Europe. It has been said that Mrs. Stanford had an aversion to blank space leading to a chapel that is richly decorated. It has five pipe organs and, in the 1960s, Chaplain B. Davie Napier introduced jazz and other types of experimental worship to the chapel. A political activist, Chaplain Napier also engaged in provocative preaching which led the college chapel to be the location for undergraduates to congregate on weekends.
You can learn more about the Stanford Memorial Church here.
7. Bowdoin Chapel – Bowdoin College
Originally, the chapel at Bowdoin College began as a Christian Church as the murals lining the interior walls depicting Christian spiritual figures indicate. Although the murals remain, the campus chapel is now non-denominational, providing services for all faiths who attend Bowdoin College. The pews are designed in classic English style as they turn to face each other. The building is designed so that it extends narrowly from the front to the back. The chapel contains both an organ and a grand piano. A balcony area is designated for musicians and photographers. The Bowdoin Chapel is a popular site for weddings, although only alumni, staff and students may reserve it between May 1 and October 31.
You can learn more about the Bowdoin Chapel here.
6. St. Paul’s Chapel – Columbia University
Located on New York’s Broadway, St. Paul’s Chapel is the oldest church in Manhattan. It was built in 1766 by Andrew Guatier. The four columns in the front demonstrate the Greco-Roman influence that appears throughout. The church was designed as a reproduction of the Choragic Monument of Lysicrates. Three colorful windows line one wall of the chapel, and there is Guastavino tile in intricate patterns on almost every curved surface of the interior. There is an “Altar for Peace” that consists of a wooden table with natural edges in the signature style of designer George Nakashima.
The cathedral is well known for its acoustics and its pipe organ renowned for its tone. The exterior of the building is red brick with limestone trim and is ornamented with terra cotta and bronze. The dome may have been the first self-supporting dome in an American church. The names of prominent New York families who supported the university adorn the 24 windows around the dome. The wrought iron gates were brought from the North Reformed Dutch Church, which closed in 1875. Columbia University was established as an Anglican institution of higher learning, and the church was important to the university from the beginning. Today, Baccalaureate services, weddings, concerts and other events are held at the campus cathedral.
You can learn more about the St. Paul’s Chapel here.
5. Battell Chapel – Yale University
Originally constructed as a monument to those who died in the Civil War, the Battell Chapel was heavily inspired by Victorian-era Gothic cathedrals. It was funded by Joseph Battell and designed by Russel Sturgis Jr. The original building was constructed in 1874 but an apse was added in 1947 as a memorial to those who died in World War II. This makes it an attractive location for Yale University students and alumni, especially those who have lost loved ones who were serving the country in the military. When it was constructed, Yale students used the church daily as chapel was mandatory in the late 1800s. The chapel’s complex color scheme uses rustic sandstone. There is a chapel clock that would ring at each quarter hour and all other clocks at Yale were synchronized to the chapel clock. However, the chimes have not been used in years. The organ was a gift from Joseph Battell’s sister, Irene Battle Larned.
At the top of the center window is the name Elihu Yale, an early benefactor of the University. His name is surrounded by the first nine presidents of Yale College. The nave’s stained glass windows commemorate past benefactors and professors. Today, the chapel is used for weekly services and is also the site of concerts as well as performances of the Greater New Haven Youth Ensembles of Neighborhood Music School, The Greater New Haven Youth Orchestra the Greater New Haven Symphonic Wind Ensemble and Concert Band plus the Chamber Orchestra.
You can learn more about the Battell Chapel here.
4. Princeton University Chapel – Princeton Chapel
Princeton University Chapel incorporates Collegiate Gothic architecture with a modern outlook. The campus chapel cost $2.3 million to construct in 1928 and was designed by Ralph Adams Cram. There is a depiction of Christian stories engraved into windows with four stained glass windows extending toward each other. The chapel evokes feelings of a small cathedral during the English Middle Ages, and there are those who believe it may have been patterned after King’s College Chapel located at the University of England as it was the only university chapel of its size at the time Princeton’s Chapel was completed. The main sanctuary includes a narthex, gallery, nave, two transepts joined by a crossing and an elevated choir loft. It is non-denominational, and weekly ecumenical Christian services as well as daily Catholic masses are held at the chapel. Countless students and visitors to Princeton have entered the chapel to discover faith, peace, inspiration, challenge and courage. The same community that founded Princeton University in 1746 convenes at the chapel to pray and provide service to humanity.
You can learn more about the Princeton University Chapel here.
3. Immaculata Parish – University of San Diego
The Immaculata Parish was originally only used by the University of San Diego and the Immaculate Heart Seminary. Today, the church is open to all in the community. The red Cordova tile roof is visible throughout the campus and demonstrates the Spanish influence on the chapel’s design. A 300-pound cross sits atop the bell tower and there is an 8500 pound, sculpture of Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception. The exterior has a solid bronze door adding to the stunning look of the building from the outside. The interior contains statues and paintings that add to the rich feel of the sanctuary. Stained glass windows spread diffused light throughout the building. Parishioners strive to build a loving, supportive community and to celebrate life in the sacraments. They promote peace and justice while administering to the poor and needy. The Church is a popular location for weddings and other special events. Mass is held daily with a Saturday vigil held each week at 4:30 PM.
You can learn more about the Immaculata Parish here.
2. Duke Chapel – Duke University
An ecumenical Christian church located on the Duke University Campus, Duke Chapel’s pointed arches embody the Collegiate Gothic style traditionally found on older college campuses. It is Durham’s tallest building and seats over 1,800 people. The tower stands over 200 feet and the chapel cost $2.5 million to construct in 1932. Ten figures are carved on the entrance to the chapel representing those important to Methodism, Protestantism and the American South. One of, the carvings is of General Robert E. Lee whose sculptors added the “US” to his belt buckle. Because of General Lee’s role as the leader of the Confederate Army, the letters were partially chiseled away, but remain visible. The Bell Tower is modeled after one found in Canterbury Cathedral and is constructed of stone from Duke Quarry near Hillsborough. Inside, there are 77 stained glass windows depicting the artistry of 15 artists and craftsmen. The chancel includes religious figures carved in limewood and oak. One of the most unique features of the Duke Chapel is the dedication to music in spiritual worship. There is a 50-bell carillion as well as three organs. One of the organs is comprised of 6,000 pipes and another more than 5,000. The campus chapel is used extensively for worship and events today.
You can learn more about the Duke Chapel here.
1. Basilica of the Sacred Heart – The University of Notre Dame
The Basilica of the Sacred Heart reflects many neo-Gothic elements with high towers rising over 215 feet high. The campus cathedral was completed in 1888 and has over 40 windows, permitting natural light to fill the sanctuary. Housed on the campus of Notre Dame, it is the most identifiable church in North America. The bell tower is over 218 feet making it the largest university chapel in the United States. There is a mural that took Luigi Gregori, a Vatican painter, more than 17 years to complete.
The high altar is created of bronze and was built in Paris then sent to Philadelphia for the Centennial Exposition before being purchased by Father Edward Sorin for placement in the church. The ceilings are painted as a starry sky filled with angels while the walls are decorated with saints. Over the central nave, Gregori painted an exaltation of the Cross with the True Cross exalted under the congregation motto “Ave Crux Spec Unica.” A painting of St. Patrick was added after students requested his image included in honor of their Irish heritage. There are seven side chapels, including the Lady Chapel, a common feature in medieval cathedrals. Mass is held at the Basilica twice each day and it serves as the mother church of the Congregation of Holy Cross. Seminarians are ordained, and deceased religious leaders laid to rest at the Basilica.
You can learn more about the Basilica of the Sacred Heart here.