St. Mary's Church, Nashville

St. Mary's Church, Nashville

Saint Mary of the Seven Sorrows Church, commonly known as Saint Mary's Catholic Church, is an important historic Catholic parish located in downtown Nashville. Situated at the intersection of Charlotte Avenue and 5th Avenue, this church was constructed in 1845. It holds the distinction of being the oldest surviving church in Nashville and also the oldest Catholic church within the present-day Diocese of Nashville. Saint Mary's Church replaced the first church of the diocese, Holy Rosary, which had previously stood on the site currently occupied by the Tennessee State Capitol.

The architectural design of the church is credited to Adolphus Heiman (1809–1862), who was also responsible for designing several other notable buildings in Nashville, including the State Asylum and the Belmont Mansion, which features an Italianate style. The church itself, built during the late antebellum period, showcases elements of Greek Revival architecture. Its front entrance is adorned with two fluted Ionic order columns supporting a classical pediment. Construction of the church commenced in 1844, shortly after the establishment of the diocese in 1837, but was hampered by financial constraints. It was ultimately consecrated on October 31, 1847. The construction of Saint Mary's was driven by Richard Pius Miles, the first Bishop of Nashville, who is now interred within the church.

Saint Mary's Church served as the cathedral until 1914, when the episcopal see was relocated to the Cathedral of the Incarnation. In recognition of its historical significance, the church was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1970.

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St. Mary's Church on Map

Sight Name: St. Mary's Church
Sight Location: Nashville, USA (See walking tours in Nashville)
Sight Type: Religious

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