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Religious Sites of Nashville (Self Guided), Nashville

Being at the heart of Tennessee, Nashville features a great number of churches, cathedrals and other places of worship. Take the following walking tour to discover the most beautiful and interesting religious buildings in the city.
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Religious Sites of Nashville Map

Guide Name: Religious Sites of Nashville
Guide Location: USA » Nashville (See other walking tours in Nashville)
Guide Type: Self-guided Walking Tour (Sightseeing)
# of Attractions: 5
Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.9 Km or 1.8 Miles
Author: mary
Sight(s) Featured in This Guide:
  • St. Mary's Church
  • Downtown Presbyterian Church
  • First Baptist Church
  • Christ Church Cathedral
  • Cathedral of the Incarnation
1
St. Mary's Church

1) St. Mary's Church

St. Mary's Catholic Church is a historic Catholic parish in downtown Nashville. The church building, built in 1845, is the oldest extant church in Nashville and the oldest Catholic church in Nashville.

The church was designed by Adolphus Heiman (1809–1862), who also designed a number of other notable Nashville buildings, including the State Asylum and the Italianate-style Belmont Mansion. The late antebellum Greek Revival structure features a gabled front entrance of two fluted Ionic order columns supporting a classical pediment. The cornerstone was laid in 1844 and the church was dedicated on October 31, 1847. Richard Pius Miles, the first Bishop of Nashville, was the driving force behind its construction, and he is now buried there.

The church was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1970.
Sight description based on wikipedia
2
Downtown Presbyterian Church

2) Downtown Presbyterian Church

Sitting at the corner of 5th Avenue and Church Street, the Downtown Presbyterian Church probably can't match the history of its two predecessors (both of which burned down), but has built an international reputation for some rather unique architecture; in fact, mostly due to its distinctive Egyptian Revival style, it earned a National Historic Landmark designation in 1993. The two other surviving sanctuaries with such architectural themes in the U.S. are the First Baptist Church of Essex, Connecticut, and the First Presbyterian Church (Sag Harbor), New York, also known as the Whalers' Church.

Designed by William Strickland, who also designed the Tennessee State Capitol, the Downtown Presbyterian Church features exterior design elements such as Egyptian-style lotus columns and a winged sun disk, while interior elements include stained glass windows, woodwork and perspective renderings of Egyptian scenes on the walls. Besides, the twin towers are reminiscent of similar ones at St. Stephen's in Philadelphia, where the architect lived before moving to Nashville.

Check the availability of tours, but also get to know the people. This church has a limited membership yet offers a Saturday meal program for the homeless and works with a non-profit to train the homeless in restaurant skills. What a pleasure to find a place where the people are just as impressive as the building!

Opening Hours:
Mon-Fri: 9am–3pm; Sun: 11am–12pm
3
First Baptist Church

3) First Baptist Church

The Baptist Church of Nashville, also known as First Baptist Nashville, was opened in 1820. It is located in downtown Nashville within a walking distance of the Sommet Center. Both men and women serve here as deacons and assist in the Lord's Supper.
4
Christ Church Cathedral

4) Christ Church Cathedral

Designed by Francis Hatch Kimbal from New York City in the 1890s, Christ Church Cathedral is Victorian Gothic, an English architectural style that used to express the strength and solidity of the Industrial Revolution. The exterior is modeled after European cathedrals with wide stone steps leading to heavy oak doors that open into tiled vestibules or "porches". The church has a broad nave, with slightly pointed barrel arches supported by sturdy polished granite columns on heavy bases.

The Cathedral offers tours providing information regarding the history of Christ Church, the architecture and appointments of the Nave (listed on the National Register of Historic Places), and worship at the Cathedral. Tour guides are available for drop-in tours on Fridays between 12:30pm and 2:30pm, Saturday mornings from 10:30am until noon, and Sundays after the 8:30 a.m. and 11 a.m. liturgies (summer tours after the 8 a.m. and 10:30 a.m. liturgies).

Why You Should Visit:
The magnificent windows, the wooden arched ceiling, the gorgeous altar, and the organ with many displayed pipes all make for a truly breathtaking interior.
5
Cathedral of the Incarnation

5) Cathedral of the Incarnation

The Cathedral of the Incarnation, located at 2015 West End Avenue in Nashville, is the cathedral seat of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Nashville. It is named after the Feast of the Incarnation, which commemorates the miraculous conception of Jesus in the womb of the Virgin Mary.

There have been three cathedral churches in Nashville. The first was the Holy Rosary Cathedral which is now demolished and occupied the site of what is now the Tennessee State Capitol. The second was Saint Mary's Cathedral, which still stands on the corner of Fifth and Church Streets.

Construction of the Cathedral of the Incarnation began in 1910 under the direction of Bishop Thomas Sebastian Byrne. It was completed and dedicated July 26, 1914. The church has undergone two major renovations in 1937 and 1987. The latest renovation was supervised by Father Richard S. Vosko, a liturgical design consultant and priest of the Diocese of Albany who has overseen the redesign and renovation of numerous churches and cathedrals around the country.

The church's architecture is modeled after the traditional Roman basilica, specifically the basilica San Martino ai Monti in Rome.
Sight description based on wikipedia

Walking Tours in Nashville, Tennessee

Create Your Own Walk in Nashville

Create Your Own Walk in Nashville

Creating your own self-guided walk in Nashville 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.
Downtown Music and Food

Downtown Music and Food

Walking the busy streets of Downtown Nashville is a music lover's and/or food lover's joy. In fact, there are dozens of places that offer both! The food is great and music is even better. There are places with country music, of course, but also others with a more eclectic (sometimes quieter) vibe. If you ever visit Downtown, follow this walk to have a good time with good food, good...  view more

Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 0.7 Km or 0.4 Miles
Nashville Introduction Walk

Nashville Introduction Walk

Nashville has always been about country music and creative energy. Places like the Grand Old Opry, the Ryman Auditorium, and the Country Music Hall of Fame are among Music City's main landmarks. Still, other than country music, there's more to Nashville than one can imagine. Find out yourself by taking this orientation walk and exploring all of downtown's top attractions.

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.4 Km or 2.1 Miles
Music City Landmarks

Music City Landmarks

A trip to Nashville is a chance to visit the center of the country music industry. From the historic tradition preserved and performed at museums and Nashville's live music venues to the current industry alive on and near Nashville's famed Music Row, Nashville has successfully branded itself as the home of country music, or "Music City, USA".

This is a tour guide of...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.3 Km or 2.1 Miles