A Tale of Two Domes
Earlier this summer we took a 2-week road trip to attend a conference (for me), visit family, and see the sights on the East Coast between Washington and Philadelphia. We also enjoy what I call “ecclesiastical tourism,” that is, looking for old or notable churches in the places we visit. Our trip did not disappoint.
St. Nicholas Catholic Church in Zanesville, OH was built in 1898, a new Romanesque Revival building for a parish founded in 1842. The octagonal dome with its eight angels was quite an impressive sight.
The Basilica of the National Shrine of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Baltimore, MD, better known as the Baltimore Basilica, is the first Catholic cathedral built in the United States. Designed by Benajmin Henry Latrobe and built between 1806 and 1821, it witnessed many important events in the history of the Church in America, including the Plenary Councils of Baltimore that gave us the Baltimore Catechism and the Catholic University of America.
Latrobe’s dome features a ring of windows which illuminate the medallion representing the Holy Spirit before the light is filtered down to the nave, giving the interior an open, airy feel.