World’s Largest Mosaic Collection outside of Russia | Cathedral Basilica of St. Louis
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 neighborhood of St. Louis, Missouri. Completed in 1914, it is the mother church of the Archdiocese of St. Louis and the seat of its archbishop, currently Mitchell T. Rozanski. 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 Saint Louis Cathedral, now the Basilica of Saint Louis, King of France, located along the Mississippi River. Although workers began clearing ground for the building on May 1, 1907, dedication of the Cathedral and its first Mass did not take place until October 18, 1914, when the superstructure was complete.Consecration of the church took place more than a decade later on June 29, 1926. The church is known for its large mosaic installation (he largest in the Western Hemisphere), burial crypts, and the addition of an outdoor sculpture to promote racial harmony.
Installation of the cathedral's extraordinary collection of mosaics, which covers some 83,000 square feet, was not finished until 1988. The cathedral's gray granite Romanesque exterior gives way to a Byzantine interior distinguished by yellow and white marble banded wall courses and those mosaics, composed of some 41.5 million glass tesserae pieces lining the domes, chapel walls and most of the upper structure.
The cathedral invites visitors of all faith traditions to view the mosaics, tour the building, and engage in quiet contemplation. The cathedral also offers a season of concerts featuring outstanding artists from around the world.