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The extraordinary St. Mary’s Basilica in downtown Phoenix

St Mary's Basilica, downtown Phoenix
St Mary's Basilica, downtown Phoenix
Ron Elledge

Nestled between the modern Phoenix Convention Center and the Arizona State University - Downtown Campus stands one of the most impressive buildings in downtown Phoenix. The stately St. Mary’s Basilica, founded in 1881 and completed in 1914, is a stunning example of Mission-style architecture at its best.

The distinctive exterior is white stucco, which is in direct contrast to the contemporary glass and steel of neighboring hotels and retail centers in the area. The large staircases on both sides of the massive arched doors, dual bell towers, and circular windows grace the front of the church. The garden is a peaceful setting with cooling fountains, statues, and brightly colored roses and bird-of-paradise.

The interior of the building is just as impressive. High arched ceilings, stately pillars and the beautiful alter area are some of the features that make this historic building a favorite among visitors and residents, alike. This basilica is also home to the largest stained glass collection in Arizona.

As extraordinary as it is, this church is still in use. Mass is held on a daily basis, however, it is on Sunday mornings that the deep sounding chimes of the enormous bells can be heard in the downtown.

A visit to downtown Phoenix just wouldn’t be complete without stopping at this beautiful St. Mary’s . For more information on the history of the building, upcoming events, a map, and schedule of services, please click here.

The address is 231 North 3rd Street, Phoenix, Arizona. Phone 602-354-2100.