Charleston Harleston Village Churches Tour, Charleston

Charleston is very famous for its number of churches, as well as for being very open and tolerating different kinds of religious faiths. Charleston is the only city in the USA to have an independent Huguenot church. Here is a tour that will take you through Charleston’s Harleston Village churches.
You can follow this self-guided walking tour to explore the attractions listed below. How it works: download the app "GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities" from iTunes App Store or Google Play to your mobile phone or tablet. The app turns your mobile device into a personal tour guide and its built-in GPS navigation functions guide you from one tour stop to next. The app works offline, so no data plan is needed when traveling abroad.

Download The GPSmyCity App

Download 'GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities' app for IOS   Download 'GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities' app for Android

Charleston Harleston Village Churches Tour Map

Guide Name: Charleston Harleston Village Churches Tour
Guide Location: USA » Charleston (See other walking tours in Charleston)
Guide Type: Self-guided Walking Tour (Sightseeing)
# of Attractions: 7
Tour Duration: 1 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 1.8 km
Author: alice
1
First Baptist Church in Charleston

1) First Baptist Church in Charleston

First Baptist Church is a historic Baptist church in Charleston. The congregation was founded in 1682 under the leadership of William Screven. It is one of the oldest Baptist congregations in the American South. The church was originally organized in Kittery, Maine (then part of Massachusetts) under the guidance of the First Baptist Church of Boston. In 1696 twenty-six congregants followed Pastor Screven and moved to Charleston after being pressured by the New England authorities. The relocated congregation became the First Baptist Church of Charleston. Pastor Screven recommended that future any future pastor be "orthodox in faith, and of blameless life, and does own the confession of faith put forth by our brethren in London in 1689" declaring the church to be firmly Calvinist. First Baptist Church is currently affiliated with the Southern Baptist denomination. The current Greek Revival sanctuary was designed by Robert Mills and built in 1820.
Sight description based on wikipedia
2
First (Scots) Presbyterian Church

2) First (Scots) Presbyterian Church

First (Scots) Presbyterian Church (locally known as "First Scots") is a historic church located in Charleston, South Carolina. The congregation was established in 1731 when a dozen Scottish residents left the Independent Church of Charleston, now the Circular Congregational Church. The current building was constructed in 1814, making it the fifth oldest church building in the city. With an amazing architectural structure, it was finished in 1814 by Benjamin Latrobe, the same architect who designed the United States Capitol in Washington DCt. The church has two beautiful towers and an outstanding stained glass window. The buildings design was inspired by Baltimore Basilica in Baltimore, Maryland and contains a number of Scottish symbols in the stained glass windows and a symbol of Scotland, the thistle, on the wrought iron grilles. The church has two bell towers, but its bells were donated to the military during the Civil War. For years after, the story was told that the bells were never replaced to honor the Confederate dead.
Sight description based on wikipedia
3
St. Michael's Church

3) St. Michael's Church (must see)

St. Michael's Church, located at Broad and Meeting Streets, is the oldest surviving religious structure in Charleston, SC. It was built between 1751 and 1761 on the site of the original wooden church built in 1681 by St. Philip's Church, which was damaged in a hurricane in 1710. St. Michael's, part of the Charleston Historic District, was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1960 and added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1966.

The architect of St. Michael's is unknown but it shows the influence of St. Martin-in-the-Fields in London, England, which was designed in the 1720s by James Gibbs and built by Samuel Cardy. The walls are of brick that was stuccoed over and painted white. The two-story portico facing Broad Street was the first of its size in colonial America and features Tuscan columns. In the north wall is a stained glass window that was donated to the church in 1898. The design of the 6 by 10-foot window is a copy of "Easter Morning" using between 1,800 and 2,000 pieces and was created by Louis Lederlie for Tiffany Studios.

The church houses a clock and change ringing bells dating from colonial times. The tower clock strikes the hours and quarters. The bells are one of four sets in the Charleston area. They were cast in 1764 and recast in 1866, both times in London.

Tip:
Adjacent to the church is St. Michael's Churchyard, the resting place of some famous historical figures, including two signers of the U.S. Constitution. You can wander at your leisure, so be sure to include it as part of your tour.

Opening Hours:
Mon-Thu: 9am–4pm; Fri: 9am–12:30pm; Sunday Worship: 8am, 10:30am, 6pm
Sight description based on wikipedia
4
French Huguenot Church

4) French Huguenot Church (must see)

Built in 1844 and designed by architect Edward Brickell White, the French Huguenot Church is the oldest Gothic Revival church in South Carolina and has been designated a National Historic Landmark. The congregation it serves traces its origins to the 1680s and is the only independent Huguenot church in the United States.

As Protestants in predominantly-Catholic France, Huguenots faced persecution throughout the 16th and 17th centuries. Following the Revocation of the Edict of Nantes in 1685, many Huguenots fled France for various parts of the world, including Charleston. The early congregation of Charleston's Huguenot Church included many of these refugees, and their descendants continued to play a role in the church's affairs for many decades. The church was originally affiliated with the Calvinist Reformed Church of France, and its doctrine still retains elements of Calvinist doctrine. The church's services still follow 18th-century French liturgy but are conducted in English, although since 1950, an annual service has been conducted in French to celebrate the spring.

Why You Should Visit:
Docents are usually on duty to provide a short tour and oral history at your request. The tour is as much about the surprising Huguenot influences in early America as it is about the church itself.
The old organ, the gothic ceiling, the external buttresses are all worth a good look. There is no admission or tour charge but they are glad to take donations for the preservation of the building.

Church Tours (Spring & Fall):
Mon-Thu: 10am-4pm; Fri: 10am-1pm
Sight description based on wikipedia
5
Circular Congregational Church

5) Circular Congregational Church (must see)

The Circular Congregational Church is a historic church in Charleston used by a congregation established in 1681. Its parish house, the Parish House of the Circular Congregational Church, is a highly significant Greek Revival architectural work by Robert Mills and is recognized as a U.S. National Historic Landmark.

The church was a Pantheon-type building 88 feet (27 m) in diameter with seven great doors and 26 windows. On its main floor and in the gallery it was said to accommodate 2,000 worshipers! The first major domed building in North America, it was described by one observer in 1818 as "the most extraordinary building in the United States."

On December 11, 1861, a great fire started near the Cooper River. During the night, a "hurricane of fire" swept all the way across the city, leaving in its wake the ruins of Old Circular. However, the church managed to raise the eyebrows of the establishment once again. The present Romanesque style, quite modern in 1890, was inspired by Henry Hobart Richardson and designed by Stephenson and Greene of New York City. The building combines two powerful forms: the circle (the exterior plan), reminiscent of the former church and universal symbol of eternity and wholeness, and the Greek Cross (the interior plan), the Christian symbol of death and resurrection.

Why You Should Visit:
Definitely a one-of-a-kind sanctuary, easy to walk to from local downtown lodging.

Tip:
This is an excellent venue for various musical events throughout the year, so check out their website for events!
Make sure to also stroll through the historic graveyard located next to the church.
Sight description based on wikipedia
6
Unitarian Church in Charleston

6) Unitarian Church in Charleston (must see)

The Unitarian Church in Charleston claims to be the oldest Unitarian church in the Southern USA. In any case, it is the second oldest church in downtown Charleston. Its construction began in 1772 when the Society of Dissenters (now known as the Circular Congregational Church) needed more space than its Meeting Street location could provide. It was nearly complete in 1776 when the Revolutionary War began, finally being repaired and officially dedicated in 1787. It was declared a National Historic Landmark in 1973. The interior is amazing with painted glass windows. The church is active and it also has an interesting garden and a graveyard.

Why You Should Visit:
The sanctuary is lovely; the intentionally overgrown cemetery (free to visit if gates are open) is a serene place to stroll or sit and reflect.
Pathways are well kept while maintaining the wild beauty that draws you in.

Tip:
Make sure you swing through the church itself when docents are available – they put on a pretty great tour and are very helpful for other recommendations for things to do in town.

Opening Hours:
[Church Tours] Fri, Sat: 10am-1pm; Sun: 12:30-3pm (Sep through mid-June)
[Churchyard] Mon-Thu: 8am-4pm; Fri-Sun: 9am-5pm
Sight description based on wikipedia
7
Cathedral of St. John the Baptist

7) Cathedral of St. John the Baptist (must see)

The Cathedral of St. John the Baptist is the mother church of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Charleston. The first brownstone cathedral was built in 1854 and named the Cathedral of Saint John and Saint Finbar. It burned down in a great fire in December 1861. After being rebuilt it was renamed the Cathedral of St. John the Baptist. It is actually built on the foundation of the previous cathedral. Architect Patrick Keely designed both the original cathedral and its replacement.

The Cathedral seats 720 people and is noted for its Franz Mayer & Co. stained glass, hand–painted Stations of the Cross, and neo-gothic architecture. The cornerstone was laid in 1890, and the church opened in 1907. The spire was not built at the time due to the lack of funds during the construction of the cathedral and its numerous renovations. The church was finally completed on March 25, 2010, with the addition of the steeple and bells.

Why You Should Visit:
To admire one of the most beautiful churches in N America – the stained-glass one-of-a-kind windows, the alter, and the architecture are all spectacular.

Tip:
Try to go on a sunny day to get the most from the glass windows and their patterns.

Opening Hours:
Mon-Fri: 9am-4pm
Suggested donation: $2
Sight description based on wikipedia

Walking Tours in Charleston, South Carolina

Create Your Own Walk in Charleston

Create Your Own Walk in Charleston

Creating your own self-guided walk in Charleston is easy and fun. Choose the city attractions that you want to see and a walk route map will be created just for you. You can even set your hotel as the start point of the walk.
Charleston Children's Entertainment Tour

Charleston Children's Entertainment Tour

Charleston is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Southern USA and it has many tourist attractions that can be enjoyed by the entire family. Take the tour below to discover some of the best locations for some fun with your children and the family!

Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.6 km
Charleston Downtown Architecture Walk

Charleston Downtown Architecture Walk

Charleston is a very beautiful city, with a rich history, famous for its southern hospitality. Those who like architecture will find some marvelous buildings, structures, churches, mansions and other outstanding sights here. Take the tour below to see some of the most beautiful Downtown architecture.

Tour Duration: 1 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.0 km
City Orientation Walk

City Orientation Walk

Charleston is the oldest and the largest city in the U.S. state of South Carolina. Known for its rich history, well-preserved architecture, distinguished restaurants, and mannerly people, Charleston is a popular tourist destination and has received a large number of accolades, including "America's Most Friendly City" and also "The most polite and hospitable city in America". It is also home to some amazing and interesting art galleries, historic houses and museums, astonishing churches and architectural structures. Take the walk below to see some of the most popular and interesting tourist attractions in Charleston.

Tour Duration: 4 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 5.6 km
Charleston’s Downtown History Museums Walk

Charleston’s Downtown History Museums Walk

Charleston is very famous for its large number of historic houses and history museums. Take the tour below to see some of the most famous and interesting history museums in Downtown Charleston. Take this walking tour and you will learn more about history of Charleston.

Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 5.1 km
Charleston Downtown Art Galleries Walk

Charleston Downtown Art Galleries Walk

Charleston is a very beautiful, southern city, with a rich history and very friendly people. It is also home to some amazing and interesting art galleries and museums. Take the following driving tour and discover Charleston's most appreciated art galleries.

Tour Duration: 1 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.5 km
Charleston Downtown Historic Houses Walk

Charleston Downtown Historic Houses Walk

Charleston, founded in 1670, is very popular for its historic houses.The houses speak of the glorious past of Charleston,being of high cultural value to the entire community. Take this tour the get a glimpse of some of the most famous historic houses in the city of Charleston.

Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.2 km