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St. Lawrence Basilica, Asheville, North Carolina

Situated in the heart of Downtown Asheville is the St. Lawrence Basilica. Part of our Ashville, North Carolina bus trip; discover the history behind the largest freestanding elliptical dome in North America. A place of pilgrimage for over a century, the Basilica of St. Lawrence was built in 1905 by Rafael Guastavino and fellow architect R.S. Smith and was completed in 1909 by Rafael Guastavino, Jr. after his father’s death in 1908.

St. Lawrence Basilica, Asheville, North Carolina

St. Lawrence Basilica, Asheville, NC

St. Lawrence Basilica, Asheville, North Carolina St. Lawrence Basilica, Asheville, NC

Visiting the Basilica of St. Lawrence

Today the St. Lawrence Basilica is a Catholic sanctuary that provides a place for worship. Be one of the many visitors that explore the basilica each year. From the architecture of the building to the incredible art within, uncover the history of the St. Lawrence Basilica during your time in Asheville.

Exterior

An edifice that has endured for generations, the remarkable structure of the St. Lawrence Basilica is a solid brick superstructure that sits on a massive stone foundation of North Carolina granite. Known as the largest freestanding elliptical dome in North America, the basilica was built without the use of any wooden or steel beams. As you enter the Spanish Renaissance style basilica, delight in figures like St. Lawrence holding a palm frond in one hand and gridiron in the other, first martyr St. Stephen, St Aloysius Gonzaga and over the main entrance, a figure of Christ giving the keys of the kingdom to Peter and appointing him head of the church.

Interior

The basilica’s interior is a feast for the eyes, dating back to 1909 guests are welcomed to delight in the many stained glass windows, statues, art and artifacts found throughout that are of great historical significance.

Stained Glass Windows

Glistening throughout, stained glass windows awaken and nourish the mystery of Christ. Discover: the Nativity, Jesus in the Temple, the Conversion of St. Paul, the Resurrection, Calming of the Sea, Agony in the Garden, the resurrected Savior with Mary Magdalene and other stained glass art. All stained glass apart from those which hang above the doors separating the main vestibule from the interior of the church were made in Munich Germany and shipped to the St. Lawrence Basilica.

The Statues

Beautifully carved statues made by the Daprato Statue Company in Italy can also be seen throughout the basilica. Close to the altar is St. Patrick and near the choir loft St. Rose of Lima, on whose feast day it was determined that a parish would be formed in the area. Opposite St. Cecilia, the patron of music and St. Peter can be seen.

The Sanctuary and Main Altar

Inside the communion rail is the sanctuary and main altar. Hanging from above the main altar the powerful tableau depicting the crucifixion will move you. Other highlights of the sanctuary and main altar include life size reliefs of the four evangelists Matthew, Mark, Luke and John made from polychrome terra cotta and with Archangels Michael and Raphael on either side of them.

Chapel of Our Lady

The first chapel, to the left of the main altar, is the Chapel of Our Lady. Made of white marble, the statue of Our Lady of Assumption adorned by two angels is patterned after the famous painting by

Murillo.

Eucharistic Adoration Chapel

To the right of the main altar, you’ll find the Eucharistic Adoration Chapel. Originally called the Chapel of St. Joseph’s, today the Eucharistic Adoration Chapel is used for Eucharistic adoration and private prayer.

Basilica Gift Shop

Don’t forget to stop by the Basilica Gift Shop. From rosaries to bibles, candles to medals, the Basilica Gift Shop carries a variety of religious items that you can purchase to remember your time at the Basilica of St. Lawrence.

Travel Tips

  • All areas of the St. Lawrence Basilica are accessible by wheelchair.

 

  • Due to limited volunteers, the Basilica Gift Shop is only opened during certain times throughout the week and may or may not be opened during your visit to the basilica.