Welcome to America's First Cathedral, the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, in Baltimore, Maryland. In addition to our rank as a Minor Basilica, the church is also a National Shrine, Marian Shrine, National Historic Landmark, and Co-Cathedral of the Archdiocese of Baltimore, and we welcome all to visit and worship in what Pope John Paul II referred to as "the worldwide symbol of religious freedom."
The Baltimore Basilica, built from 1806-1821, was closed from April 2004 until November 2006, for a major restoration to return the church to its original design, as envisioned by America's first bishop, John Carroll, and as planned by renowned architect Benjamin Henry Latrobe. The Basilica reopened with much fanfare and celebration, just in time to commemorate her 200th Anniversary. Within the first year of reopening, over 200,000 visitors were welcomed from all over the world, to walk through history, rejoice in faith, and admire the Basilica's stunning architecture and artwork. The Basilica is also one of Baltimore's beloved cultural institutions, offering educational tours daily, as well as hosting uplifting concerts and informative lectures. We also invite you to visit the beautiful Pope John Paul II Prayer Garden, adjacent to the Basilica, at the corner of North Charles and Franklin Street.