Cathedral of St. John the Baptist
Savannah, GA 31401
Hours: Open to the public
Monday - Saturday 9:00a - 5:00p
The Cathedral of St. John the Baptist is one of the most awe-inspiring buildings in all of historic Savannah Georgia. It is also one of the most popular tourist attractions in all of Savannah.
The Cathedral of St. John the Baptist is a beautiful French Gothic cathedral, certainly one of the most amazing cathedrals in the south. It is the Mother Church for the Roman Catholic Diocese in Savannah.
Cathedral of Saint John the Baptist, a Victorian Gothic design, is home to the oldest and largest Roman Catholic Church in the southeast. Baldwin and Price designed the original building in the 1870s, The Cathedral of St. John the Baptist was built back in 1873. The building was almost destroyed by fire in 1898.The entire interior of the Cathedral was lost in the fire. Only the outside walls and the two spires survived the fire. After the 1898 fire the building was rebuilt using the original plans. The beautiful and impressive stained glass windows were made in Austria and were installed around 1900.
The cornerstone for a new larger Cathedral on the present site was laid in 1873 on land obtained from the Sisters of Mercy. The brick cathedral, built with bronze-colored iron columns and groined arches was completed in 1896 with the building of the spires.
In September 1998 for the Cathedral underwent a major restoration. The exterior project included the replacement of the slate roof.
The interior restoration (see: http://www.savannahcathedral.org/about/facts) included:
- Each of the 24 murals by original artist, Christopher Murphy, were painstakingly restored and preserved beneath a reversible protective varnish.
- Within the body of each stained-glass window, deteriorated lead and damaged stained glass were carefully removed. Restoration artisans precisely selected and installed new kiln-fired stained glass and lead to closely match the original look and patina.
- The Cathedral's Stations of the Cross, which had been whitewashed, were artistically brought to life in full color through a process of rich polychromy.
The restoration was completed in November 2000.
The Cathedral is open most days, with the exception of Sunday. When you approach the Cathedral you will notice if they have a sign out front. The sign will usually let you know if the Cathedral is closed to guests. The hours open to the public is generally 9:00 to 5:00 each day except Sundays.