Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception

The Place: Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception

Where: 400 Michigan Avenue NE

Why Live Near Here: You don’t necessarily care that this is one of the 10 largest churches in the world, but want to live near this towering beauty that holds an incredible number of art pieces, mosaics, and sculptures that you can take in for free any day of the week.

Things to Know: The cornerstone of the National Shrine was laid almost a century ago in September 1920 and the Feast of the Immaculate Conception, the final architectural element of the Basilica, was completed on December 8, 2017 with the installation of the 24 tons of Venetian glass in the Trinity Dome, one of the largest mosaics of its kind in the world.

The Basilica is the tallest habitable building in the city. It is Byzantine-Romanesque in style and holds over 80 chapels and oratories that “relate to the peoples, cultures and traditions that are the fabric of the Catholic faith and the mosaic of our great nation.” It also houses the largest collection of contemporary ecclesiastical art on earth.

If you’re looking for something a little less religion-y and want something more pop culture-y to see there, head to the crypt level then to the Immaculate Heart of Mary chapel. Here you’ll find thousands of names inscribed to honor those who contributed to the church’s construction, one of which is dedicated to The Great Bambino.

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