The Sanctuary and the major portion of the present day church were erected in 1826 in the Gothic Revival architectural style. Buildings of this style began to appear in the late 1740s in England. Adoption of this style grew rapidly in England and America in the early nineteenth- century, as a natural extension of the American Neo-Classical movement. The floor plan presents the classic cruciform design, although the two Transepts are offset at a slight angle from the central Nave of the church. The East-facing plan respects the Catholic tradition of locating the main altar of sacrifice in the direction of Christ Resurrected.See more
Renovations have been undertaken at various points in the history of St. Mary. In 1856, under the pastorate of Reverend Father John E. Blox, SJ, the church expanded significantly, adding a new marble altar and tabernacle, a new organ, stained glass windows, a new bell and belfry tower (then the highest in the City). Less than 40 years later in 1894, the church was rebuilt with a new 135-foot belfry tower and greater seating capacity. In 1995, new lighting was installed and the interior of the sanctuary painted for the Bicentennial Celebration. Fifteen years later in 2010, the parish further renovated the sanctuary and nave with black and white marble.See more
Beautiful stained glass windows in the historic Church of Saint Mary Catholic are among the most striking features of the church. Their artistic and symbolic meaning have inspired countless parishioners and visitors for over 190 years since the building of the church at South Royal Street.
The second major renovation of the Church of Saint Mary occurred after a devastating church re that resulted from a lightning strike in 1929. The current interior ceiling height of nearly 70 feet above the finished floor is actually much lower than it was in the original church, due to the damage that resulted from the fire. The most decorative areas of the ceiling appear above the Sanctuary.
The Basilica of Saint Mary
310 South Royal Street
Alexandria, VA 22314
313 Duke Street
Alexandria, VA 22314
Monday-Friday: 9:00am – 7:30pm
Saturday: 9:00am – 4:00pm