Cathedral of St John the Baptist

222 E Harris St
Savannah GA 31401
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Opening Hours

  • Mon: 9am-5pm
  • Tue: 9am-5pm
  • Wed: 9am-5pm
  • Thu: 9am-5pm
  • Fri: 9am-5pm

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One of Savannah's most popular tourist destinations, the Cathedral of St. John the Baptist was originally built in 1873, rebuilt in 1900 following its destruction by fire, and enjoyed a major restoration in 2000. The 28,000-square-foot cathedral, featuring steeples rising 207 feet in the air, is the Mother Church of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Savannah.

Parking and public transportation to the Cathedral of St. John the Baptist 
Located on Lafayette Square in Savannah's National Landmark Historic District, the Cathedral of St. John the Baptist is an easy walk from most downtown lodging facilities. Alternatively, you can park your car at nearby public parking garages, or in street-level metered parking spaces. Or, you could also ride here on "the dot," Savannah's free downtown transportation system.

Best and worst time to go to the Cathedral of St. John the Baptist
The Cathedral of St. John the Baptist can be visited most days, with the exception of much of Sunday. During these days, a sign in front of the Cathedral will let you know if it is closed to guests due to church-related activities. Otherwise, enter through far-right door on the front of the Cathedral.

Admission to the Cathedral of St. John the Baptist
Admission to the Cathedral of St. John the Baptist is free. Donations are suggested.

Must see/do at the Cathedral of St. John the Baptist
Prominent features of the Cathedral of St. John the Baptist include the 9,000-pound main altar, carved in Italy of premium Carrara marble; 81 magnificent stained glass windows, executed by the Innsbruck Glassmakers in the Austrian Tyrol; a unique collection of wall murals reflecting American Renaissance art; and a pipe organ with 34 ranks and 2,308 pipes, clad in a case of solid white oak with black walnut console trim.

Other places to visit near the Cathedral of St. John the Baptist
Nearby attractions include the Hamilton-Turner Inn. Featuring striking Second French Empire architecture, the inn was built as a residence in 1873, and was Savannah's first home with electricity; it is now an upscale bed and breakfast establishment. Directly across Lafayette Square, meanwhile, the Andrew Low House was built in 1848 as the home of a wealthy Savannah merchant. Now a museum, it provides an interesting glimpse into the genteel lifestyle of pre-Civil War downtown Savannah.

Insider tip for visitors to the Cathedral of St. John the Baptist
Spending a bit of quiet time in the sanctuary of the Cathedral of St. John is the perfect way to rest the mind and the body, especially while taking a walk around Savannah on a hot summer day.

Author's bio: Martin Sinderman is a Savannah-based freelance writer.