Essential Travel Experience #65 – Check out a New World Church

     European churches are typically huge and magnificent. Many of them are well known and have been on the tourist and pilgrim scene for decades. In the Western Hemisphere, things are much newer. Except for Native cultures, most of the cities and towns in the New World are less than 400 years old.  

     Churches here tend to be somewhat smaller and less elaborate (although there are certainly exceptions). However, there are churches here that are deserving of the tourist’s time. Here are some examples of New World churches that Lee and I have been inspired and impressed with.

    In New England, with its Puritan history, the churches tend to be simple. The First Baptist Church in Providence is a prime example.

First Baptist Church, Providence

The Trinity Church in Newport is very similar.

Trinity Church, Newport

These two are wooden, perhaps the most popular building material, but there are others churches in New England that are  made of stone. Look for instance at the First Parish Church in Portland, Maine

First Parish Church, Portland

and Trinity Church in Boston

Trinity Church, Boston

 In the Southwest USA, the churches are typically made of adobe and have an obvious Spanish flavor.

San Xavier del Bac Mission

The use of adobe is extremely common in the churches of the Southwest. Check out San Geronimo Church of the Taos Pueblo

San Geronimo Church

and the San Miguel Mission, in Santa Fe.

San Miguel Mission

The missions of California also have a distinct style, with a Spanish influence. For example, look at the Santa Barbara Mission

Mission Santa Barbara

and Mission San Juan Capistrano, famous for its swallows,

Mission San Juan Capistrano

and the Carmel Mission.

Carmel Mission

Another Spanish-style church was later the scene of a pivotal battle in the fight for Texas independence. Yes, the Alamo was built as a chapel.

The Alamo

In Mexico, itself, there are many, many churches (Mexico is one of the most Catholic countries in the world). They were also Spanish-inspired. Of note are Our Lady of Guadelupe Church in Puerto Vallarta, with its distinctive crown atop its steeple.

Our Lady of Guadeloupe Church

 The Cathedral in Guadalajara is reminiscent of European churches.

Guadalajara Cathedral

 The headquarters of the Mormon Church are in Salt Lake City, Utah, on Temple Square.

Mormon Temple

St Louis Cathedral, in New Orleans, is also on a famous square.

St Louis Cathedral

 In St Augustine, Florida, the Flagler Memorial Church recalls the railroad baron who put the city on the tourist map.

Flagler Memorial Church

  New York’s St Patrick Cathedral is a Gothic Cathedral in the tradition of the great European churches.

St Patrick's Cathedral

Island churches tend to be small and rather distinctive. St Peter’s Church, in Bermuda, is a good example.

St Peter's Church

and the cathedral of Philipsburg, Martinique.

Philipsburg's Cathedral

In Canada, Montreal’s Christ Church Cathedral is dramatically juxtaposed against a skyscraper.

Christ Church Cathedral

The interior of the city’s Notre Dame Basilica is absolutely glorious.

Notre Dame Basilica

St Anne-du-Beaupre Church, in Quebec City, has become a significant pilgrimage location.

St Anne-du-Beaupre Church

St John’s Church, in Lunenburg, is adorable.

St John's Episcopal Church

On the other hand, Vancouver’s Christ Church Cathedral is rather nondescript.

Christ Church Cathedral


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