Attraction Spotlight: The Basilica of Saint Mary

The Basilica of Saint Mary - Image Credit:

The Basilica of Saint Mary is a place of refuge, peace and worship. It’s more than just an amazing building with plenty of history. The facility provides a gathering place for those of all races, faiths and backgrounds. It’s a center for the arts and a place for the poor to seek refuge.

The membership at the Basilica of Saint Mary includes more than 6,500 families and the vision for social outreach is quite aggressive. They partner with Meals on Wheels and provide the St. Vincent de Paul society to help those within the community. Along with the outreach, the John XXIII Art Gallery provides a place to display international, national and even local work from artists.


The Basilica of Saint Mary was created in 1014 as a cornerstone for the Catholic faith in Minneapolis. It’s not just a regular local parish and it’s not just an impressive display of architecture downtown. The Basilica of Saint Mary has a school, amazing archives and so much more.

It was the first Basilica in America and construction began in 1907. The Basilica of Saint Mary was named to the national Register of Historic Places in 1975 and has been well preserved ever since.


Tours of the facility can be planned for groups or individuals. Docent-led Tours are available free of charge, year round 15 minutes after the 9:30am and 11:30am masses on Sundays. Group tours can be scheduled during the week, as well. You can take a self-guided tour any time during regular office hours.

Liturgical Celebrations

Many celebrations happen at The Basilica every year. Whether it’s a holiday celebration or a regular Sunday celebration, the place is always packed with visitors and members. Regular service times include:

  • Weekdays – 7am and 12pm
  • Saturdays – 5pm
  • Sundays – 7:30am, 9:30am, 11:30am, 4:30pm and 6:30pm

The Basilica of Saint Mary is located at the corner of Hennepin Avenue and North 17th Street in Minneapolis. Office hours are from 6:30am to 5pm, Monday through Friday, from 8am to 6:30pm on Saturdays and from 6:30am to 7:30pm on Sundays.

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