Cathedral of St. John the Baptist

#4 in Best Things To Do in Savannah
Cathedral of St. John the Baptist picture1 of 3
Cathedral of St. John the Baptist2 of 3
Dominik /Flickr

Key Info

222 East Harris St.

Price & Hours

Free
9 a.m.-5 p.m. daily

Details

Churches/Religious Sites, Sightseeing, Free Type
1 to 2 hours Time to Spend
4.4scorecard
  • 5.0Value
  • 0.0Food Scene
  • 5.0Atmosphere

Towering over Lafayette Square in the Historic District, the Cathedral of St. John the Baptist's Gothic towers should lure in any architecture buff. The original cathedral was constructed in 1799 by the first French colonists to arrive in the area. At the end of the 19th century, the old building was torn down to make room for the larger, stone cathedral that you see today. If you've ever seen photos of it, you've likely seen the cathedral's intricate gold-leaf designs, Italian marble altar and stunning stained-glass windows.

Most travelers who took the time to see this cathedral were flabbergasted by its beauty, comparing it to Europe's medieval churches. Even if you're not interested in attending Mass, you should still set aside 10 to 15 minutes to take a brief peek inside the stunning interior. However, recent visitors said attending Mass here is worth considering (even if you're not Catholic), thanks to the beautiful atmosphere and talented choir. Feel free to take a self-guided tour inside the cathedral, but remember to be respectful as it's still an active house of worship.

The Cathedral of St. John the Baptist is open Monday through Saturday from 9 to 11:45 a.m. and from 12:45 to 5 p.m., while Sundays are reserved for religious ceremonies. You don't have to pay to look around, but a $2 donation is appreciated. Photography is permitted inside the cathedral. For more information, including Mass times, visit the cathedral's website.

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More Best Things To Do in Savannah

Forsyth Park1 of 14
History Tours2 of 14
Type
Time to Spend
#1 Forsyth Park

Go to this 30-acre park in the heart of Savannah's Historic District to relax after a long day of sightseeing. Keep your camera ready, though, as there is plenty to see here as well. Stroll past the stunning white-stone Forsyth Fountain, memorials dedicated to the Confederacy and the Spanish-American War, the Fragrant Garden for the visually impaired and the 300-year-old Candler Oak tree. From the park, you can see several historic sites within walking distance, including Hodgson Hall (home to the Georgia Historical Society) and the old Poor House and Hospital, which was used to treat wounded soldiers during the Civil War.

Recent visitors noted the park's urban cosmopolitan vibe, with locals and tourists alike picnicking, dog walking and even painting. They also say that street parking nearby the park is free on Sundays.

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