My World #27: Grace Cathedral

11 May

Grace Cathedral is an Episcopal Cathedral in San Francisco’s Nob Hill neighborhood.  It’s one of those churches that I always wanted to go for a Sunday service, even if I’m not an Episcopalian.  We attended a Christmas midnight service a couple of years ago and the place was full. In February, my husband took me to the meeting of the newly elected Bishop committee members.  After the half-day meeting, we stayed behind to snap some photos.  And these are the ones I snapped that day.

The door was very interesting.  I did not think much about it, but found out a fascinating information about the door as I was doing some reading on Grace Cathedral from Wikipedia.  Here’s what I found about this door:

The cathedral entrance has an impressive pair of doors, often called the Ghiberti doors. They are a copy of the doors of the Florence Baptistry by Lorenzo Ghiberti, also dubbed Gates of Paradise. It has been said that they had been removed from a Renaissance church in Florence, but it is now known that during World War II the Nazi occupation government had ordered the doors to be removed from the church (to protect them from bombing and maybe to give Hermann Göring a chance to add them to his collection) and that they had been hidden in a disused railway tunnel and that reproductions had been made. The philanthropist Charles D. Field bought these replicas, and they were then shipped to San Francisco and installed on the newly-completed church in time for its official dedication in 1964.

Inside labyrinth

The cathedral has two labyrinths, one inside and another outside.  The labyrinths are themselves a tourist destinations.  The labyrinths are based on the famous medieval labyrinth of The Cathedral of Our Lady of Chartres in Chartres, France.  It is said that if a visitor walks the patterns of the labyrinth, it will bring them to a meditative state.

Outside labyrinth

MY WORLD is a weekly meme that features a ton of informative posts about different worlds from all over the globe.  Go and visit.

(I dont know how to undo the block quote so the rest of the text became quote; they’re not meant to be.)


Posted by on May 11, 2009 in My World


29 responses to “My World #27: Grace Cathedral

  1. chrome3d

    May 11, 2009 at 6:01 am

    It´s a truly grand and and fine church. The doors make one wonder in awe.

    We have that kind of small labyrinths in Finland too. They are in nature and made of rocks. Most of them date back to medieval age and are perhaps made for some forgotten pagan rituals.

  2. Erin

    May 11, 2009 at 4:41 pm

    loved the post and commentary…before i even finished reading i said those are copies of the doors from the bapistry in florence…and sure enough. beautiful church …abosolutely fabulous design.
    thanks for sharing this gem with us.

  3. sylvia

    May 11, 2009 at 7:13 pm

    What an incredible cathedral! And your shots are fantastic! Thanks, too, for the interesting information — great read! Have a great week!

  4. SandyCarlson

    May 11, 2009 at 7:23 pm


  5. Carver

    May 11, 2009 at 7:54 pm

    That’s such a beautiful cathedral and so well photographed.

  6. koala

    May 11, 2009 at 8:19 pm

    A meditative labyrinth is an amazing idea. Have you solved it?

  7. Guy D

    May 11, 2009 at 9:46 pm

    Gorgeous cathedral, you captured it perfectly. I’d love to see that in person some day.

    Have a great week
    Regina In Pictures

  8. Maria

    May 11, 2009 at 10:05 pm

    Thank you for this very interesting post and wonderful pictures. I especially like the labyrinth and I can well imagine that it makes you get into a meditative state.

  9. Mary Elizabeth

    May 11, 2009 at 10:16 pm

    Beautiful photos.
    Mary Elizabeth @ Now and Then

  10. Arija

    May 12, 2009 at 12:03 am

    The Ghiberti doors certainly are a find in a churh in America. Just wonderful that something good did come out of the art thefts of the war. A lovely post and the walking the maze is bound to put one into a meditative state because one needs to concentrate fully just on following the maze.

  11. Shannon - Photo Candy

    May 12, 2009 at 1:25 am

    What a beautiful and fascinating cathedral. My kids would love the labyrinths.

  12. Elaine Ling

    May 12, 2009 at 2:02 am

    Both interior and exterior looks beautiful.
    Beautiful cathedral :

  13. Barb

    May 12, 2009 at 2:45 am

    Hello- What a majestic church – wish I’d seen it on my recent visit to SF. Maybe next time – we come every spring. Your world is lovely!

  14. Rob Inukshuk

    May 12, 2009 at 3:38 am

    Nice pics of a beautiful building and the same one made famous in Armistead Maupin’s TALES OF THE CITY series and subsequent Channel 4 Film version staring the great Olympia Dukakis.

  15. magiceye

    May 12, 2009 at 5:18 am

    very impressive and beautiful

  16. lawstude

    May 12, 2009 at 5:52 am

    amazing detail and you have captured it magnificently. thanks for sharing.

  17. Ebie

    May 12, 2009 at 6:39 am

    Its a very interesting work of art.

  18. Mariz

    May 12, 2009 at 6:56 am

    It’s always fascinating to see great architecture in cathedrals, the intricate details are just beautiful. Loved your framing and composition.

    Thanks for the visit and enjoy your week!

  19. hip chick

    May 12, 2009 at 9:31 am

    Beautiful church. I’d love to get there and see it one day.

  20. Esther Garvi

    May 12, 2009 at 10:22 am

    That door is really amazing! Love the details!

  21. Leanne

    May 12, 2009 at 10:26 am

    Fantastic photos. I think I would like to walk that labyrinth.

  22. Indrani

    May 12, 2009 at 12:29 pm

    Beautiful cathedal1 Interesting info presented. You are lucky to be able to see them all.

  23. Lanny

    May 12, 2009 at 4:28 pm

    What a beautiful job prestenting a fascinating site. It makes my mind wonder about so many things.

  24. maryt/theteach

    May 12, 2009 at 6:10 pm

    The kind of Gothic architecture you see usually in Catholic churches…but of course Episcopalian/Anglican religion isn’t far from Catholicism. Beautiful shots, ewok! You would turn off “blockquote” in html this way: 🙂

  25. 2sweetnsaxy

    May 13, 2009 at 3:27 am

    Wow, what a beautiful church. The detailing is amazing. Great shots!

  26. Gunilla

    May 13, 2009 at 6:04 am

    What a fantastic Chatredal. Great shots.
    Thanks for sharing

    Gunilla in Sweden

  27. seniorhiker

    May 13, 2009 at 1:40 pm

    Thanks for sharing this beautiful cathedral with us.

  28. Tricia

    May 13, 2009 at 1:43 pm

    Those doors are exquisite! Beautiful!

  29. bw

    May 14, 2009 at 2:39 pm

    Nice pictures ! The architecture is great and the door designs are a work of art.


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