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Best Religious Sites in Boston

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This architectural splendor, located adjacent to the Mission Hill Playground, is a tribute to Our Lady of Perpetual Help. The Basilica of Our Lady of Perpetual Help also known as the Mission Church was established in 1878 thanks to the efforts of Boston’s Archbishop Williams. The enigmatic portrait of Our Lady of Perpetual Help is the centerpiece of the shrine and draws visitors to this church. The beautiful exterior of the church was built using Roxbury puddingstone. The interior, with its opulent decor, offers visitors a sacred space to bow down in prayer. Check the website for varying mass schedules.

The Old South Meeting House was originally built as a church by Puritans in 1729. This building went on to play an important role in the American Revolution as a gathering point for those seeking American independence from Britain. On December 16, 1773, over 5000 colonists met here to protest a tea tax. From the meeting, these protesters went to the waterfront and tossed crates of tea into the harbor. The act later came to be known as the Boston Tea Party. An in-house shop in the museum basement has small articles of the historic events that occurred here, as well as copies of books and documents of historical importance.

Still an active Episcopalian church, Old North Church is possibly the oldest religious structure in Boston, dating back to 1723. It occupies a special place in American history. On a fateful night in 1775, Paul Revere watched for the signal, “One if by land and two if by sea.” After the church sexton hung two lanterns from the steeple, he began his famous midnight ride to wake and warn the countryside of the British troops' arrival. Every April, members of the colonial militia begin a lantern service commemorating this historic event.

As you sit in Copley Square, in the Back Bay area of Boston, you can't help noticing the incredible detail on the facade of this Episcopal church. Finished in 1877, Trinity Church's Romanesque structure designed by Henry H. Richardson is considered one of the finest examples of church architecture in the nation. This style, characterized by heavy arches, rough stone, a large tower and clay roof, later became known as Richardsonian Romanesque and was soon spread throughout the United States.

This historic church, built in 1749 and part of the Freedom Trail, has the distinction of being the first Anglican congregation in the American colonies. Then, in 1785, it became the first Unitarian church in the country. There is still an active congregation that uses the Anglican Book of Common Prayer. The interior is considered a paragon of Georgian architectural design. The 18th-century bell from England tolls even today. The church also has an historic cemetery. Although the church doesn't charge an admission fee, offerings will be appreciated.

Looking a tad out of place among busy expressways, apartment buildings and the adjacent "Foodies Urban Market", Cathedral of the Holy Cross still draws in parishioners. The largest cathedral in New England, Holy Cross has been a community meeting place since 1875 when ecclesiastical architect Partick Keely's design was finished and the rite of dedication read. In that time, Holy Cross has absorbed a number of nearby congregations with three different Catholic denominations worshiping at the site, and continues to act as the mother church of the Boston Diocese. Stunning architecture and points of historical interest relating to Boston's Catholic past round out travelers' experience at Cathedral of the Holy Cross.

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