Religious Buildings Tour in Seattle (Self Guided), Seattle

Seattle's religious buildings play a very important role in the city's social life, as they did at the moment of their construction. Besides their religious input, Seattle's religious buildings are an important source of the community's architectural and artistic heritage. This walking tour will lead you to some of the most beautiful and famous religious sights in Seattle.
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Religious Buildings Tour in Seattle Map

Guide Name: Religious Buildings Tour in Seattle
Guide Location: USA » Seattle (See other walking tours in Seattle)
Guide Type: Self-guided Walking Tour (Sightseeing)
# of Attractions: 9
Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 4.4 Km or 2.7 Miles
Author: doris
Sight(s) Featured in This Guide:
  • Trinity Parish Episcopal Church
  • St. James Cathedral
  • Seattle First Presbyterian Church
  • Plymouth Congregational Church
  • Capitol Hill Presbyterian Church
  • Saint Nicholas Russian Orthodox Cathedral
  • First African Methodist Episcopal Church
  • Temple de Hirsch Sinai
  • Immaculate Conception Church
Trinity Parish Episcopal Church

1) Trinity Parish Episcopal Church

The Gothic style Trinity Parish Episcopal Church is one of Seattle’s oldest churches that has a continually meeting congregation. The church is the Mother Church of all other Episcopal churches and mission activities in Seattle.

The Trinity Parish Episcopal Church started as a small congregation in a wooden church in 1870. Until the arrival of George Herbert Watson in 1878, the church did not have an organized parish. Rev Watson established the Grace Hospital and five mission churches and laid the foundation of the Episcopal mission in Seattle. The wooden church burned down in the Great Fire of 1889. A new church designed by Henry Starbuck in the Gothic Revival style was built in its place. Another fire burned the interiors in 1902. Local architect John Graham Sr. was asked to rebuild the church preserving its Gothic design. The new building included a Gothic style tower and spire, German stained glass and an Italian marble altar with mother of pearl, ceramic tile and Venetian gold glass.

All are welcome by the congregation at the Trinity Episcopal Church for daily Morning Prayer and weekly Eucharist services. The church also has a well known choir, a hand bell group, a pipe organ and musicians in residence group called The Sacred Music Chorale.
Sight description based on wikipedia
St. James Cathedral

2) St. James Cathedral

The mother church of the Archdiocese of Seattle, the St. James Cathedral is a Roman Catholic Church and the seat of the Archbishop of Seattle. Located in the First Hill neighborhood of Seattle, the church, in the name of St. James the Greater, the patron Saint of the archdiocese is the third St. James Cathedral to be the seat of the archbishop.

The first St. James Cathedral was located within Fort Vancouver. A new building was later constructed as the seat of the Archbishop in Vancouver, Washington. Edward O’Dea, the bishop of the diocese of Nesqually decided to relocate the cathedral and the seat of the archdiocese because of the prominence of Seattle as an economic center with a large population.

The land was purchased in 1903, construction began in 1905 and the cathedral was dedicated in 1907. In 1984 the City Council declared the cathedral as a City Landmark. The church has an extensive stained glass collection and two unique organs. The altarpiece of St. James Cathedral by Florentine artist Neri Di Bicci dates back to 1456 and depicts the Madonna and Child surrounded by six saints. The relics of Italian born nun Mother Cabrini the first American citizen to be declared a saint are enshrined beneath the altar.

Visitors are welcome to view the artistic treasures of the Cathedral by going on the tours that are conducted every Wednesday.
Seattle First Presbyterian Church

3) Seattle First Presbyterian Church

The Seattle First Presbyterian Church is located in Downtown, Seattle. It is a historic urban church that features beautiful architecture. The Seattle First Presbyterian Church is one of the largest Presbyterian Churches in U.S.A.
Plymouth Congregational Church

4) Plymouth Congregational Church

Plymouth Congregational Church is a historic congregation (second oldest) located in downtown Seattle and associated with the United Church of Christ. Plymouth is known for its history of social justice advocacy, music program and its creation of programs to serve the homeless, such as Plymouth Healing Communities and Plymouth Housing Group. Plymouth is led by the Reverend Brigitta Remole with Musical Director, Dr. Douglas Cleveland. Plymouth Congregational Church began in 1869 when the founders first met in a room above a drug store in Pioneer Square. The congregation moved to its own land when Arthur Denny donated a parcel for the church on the corner of Second Ave and Spring Street. The church building was damaged in the 1965 Olympia earthquake and was demolished the following year in order to pave the way for the current church structure. The four entrance columns were salvaged and stand today in Plymouth Pillars Park at the corner of Pike and Boren. During the year of rebuilding, the church held Sunday services in the nearby 5th Avenue Theater. In 1967, the current building was dedicated. Plymouth Church is a large oval-shaped building with a beautiful design and great paintings. Plymouth Congregational Church continues its commitment and history of social justice. Pastors and church members were active in efforts to approve Referendum 74 in Washington state which legalized same-sex marriage.
Sight description based on wikipedia
Capitol Hill Presbyterian Church

5) Capitol Hill Presbyterian Church

Capitol Hill Presbyterian Church was established in 2008 as a result of the merger of the Church at the Center and Westminster Presbyterian Church. The church's architecture is stunning, with stained glass windows, amazing paintings and a large and spectacular altar.
Saint Nicholas Russian Orthodox Cathedral

6) Saint Nicholas Russian Orthodox Cathedral

This City Landmark in Seattle is located at 1714, 13th Avenue. The cathedral is built in the traditional vibrantly colored Russian Orthodox Church architectural style.

The St. Nicholas Orthodox Cathedral was built by Russian emigrants who fled Russia during the Russian Revolution and the Japanese occupation of Manchuria and settled in Seattle in 1932. It served as the beacon of the Russian orthodox worship and culture in the American Northwest. The church was consecrated by Archbishop Tikhon of Western America in 1937 and dedicated to St. Nicholas, the Wonderworker of Myra in Lycia. The church also served as a memorial to the executed Tsar Nicholas II and all the soldiers who died defending the faith, Tsar and country during the revolution.

The St. Nicholas Foundation helps to preserve the building and serve the local community. The foundation holds charity events to preserve the cathedral and to provide for educational and other programs organized by the Russian Orthodox community in Seattle.

Visitors can view the service at the cathedral on Saturday evening and on Sunday mornings. The choir is sung a capella and attracts many visitors especially on Sundays. On the 2nd week of October, the St. Nicholas Cathedral hosts an annual Russian food bazaar with stalls serving traditional Russian food and a Vodka tasting bar.
First African Methodist Episcopal Church

7) First African Methodist Episcopal Church

The First African Methodist Church in Seattle grew from a small Sunday gathering to the Church building that is now located on 14th Avenue. When the church was first built, the street that is now 14th Avenue was called Jones Street. Historically the FAME was known as the Jones Street Church.

In 1886, prominent African American Seattle resident, Seaborn J. Collins who later became the first African American to be elected to office in Kings County started a small Sunday school gathering. All African American Seattle residents were welcome at the gathering. As the congregation grew, an old house was purchased at 1522 Jones Street in 1890 to serve as parsonage and place of worship. When the premises required expansion to accommodate larger congregations, a new building, the present First African Methodist Episcopal Church was constructed in 1912. Two lots north of the church were purchased for future expansion and a separate parsonage was established.

The FAME church is the oldest house of prayer founded by African Americans in the Pacific Northwest and has grown from a small gathering of 17 deeply religious individuals to a congregation of over 2000 members. The church from its inception till today conducts social and religious programs to help and support people from all sections of society.
Temple de Hirsch Sinai

8) Temple de Hirsch Sinai (must see)

Named after the German Jewish philanthropist Baron Maurice de Hirsch, the Temple de Hirsch Sinai is a reform Jewish Synagogue and the largest reform congregation in the Pacific Northwest.

The Temple de Hirsch was founded in Seattle in 1899 and celebrated its centenary in 1999. The first congregation was small and as the members increased, the cornerstone for a new establishment was laid at Boylston Avenue and Marion Street. This new building was not raised higher than the basement. In 1907 a larger site at 15th Avenue and Union Street was purchased for the purpose of building a larger temple to accommodate the large and growing reform Jewish congregation. In 1908, construction on the building was completed and the new temple was dedicated. The organ was donated by Babette Schwabacher Gadzert, the wife of the Jewish Mayor of Seattle in 1876, Bailey Gadzert. In 1960 a new larger sanctuary was built by Temple de Hirsch for a larger congregation designed by Benjamin Marcus Priteca, John Peck and John Dettie. The new sanctuary is located at 16th Avenue and Pike Street.

The Temple de Hirsch Sinai has a long history of preserving and promoting Jewish ethical and moral concepts and for providing outreach and community service including promoting education and life-cycle events.

Opening Hours:
Mon-Fri: 9am-5pm
Immaculate Conception Church

9) Immaculate Conception Church

Seattle’s oldest standing church, the Immaculate Conception Church was established by the Society of Jesus in 1891. The Seattle University stands on the site of the first church building. The present building at 820, 18th Avenue was constructed in 1904.

The Immaculate Conception Church building has a record of being built in a period of six months. The brick Italian style construction has a wooden roof and twin towers with gold cupolas. The design was by Williams and Clark. All the frescoes covering the wooden ceiling were hand painted by the Jesuit priests in the 1920s and at one time the building had the biggest auditorium in Seattle. The grotto designed by William Morgan in 1930 is small but exact replica of the Lourdes grotto in France.

The church was dedicated by the then Bishop of Nesqually, Edward O’Dea 1in 1904. In 1929, the Jesuits transferred the church to the Diocese of Seattle and the dynamic Rev Theodore Ryan became its pastor. Monsignor Ryan remained the pastor till his death and a pipe organ known to be the finest in the Northwest was donated in his memory.

The Immaculate Conception church was declared a City Landmark because of its architecture and the service rendered in educating all sections of the population through the history of Seattle.

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