Charleston is nicknamed the Holy City for a reason. It is believed that Charleston came to be known as “The Holy City” due to the religious freedom that was found on the peninsula several hundred years ago. In the early days, the church steeples towering over the skyline were an extremely useful landmark in guiding ship captains into Charleston, one of the most important ports on the eastern seaboard. Each church has its own unique look that really captures the eye, but we find a few to be particularly more eye-catching than others. Here are 4 of the most beautiful churches to visit in Charleston!
The Cathedral of St. John the Baptist
The Cathedral of St. John the Baptist today is located on 120 Broad St.
Back in 1821, the first Bishop of Charleston, Bishop John England, bought a piece of property with plans to build a Cathedral. The Cathedral cost $103,000 to assemble and seats 1,200. However, in 1861 a fire broke out that essentially burned most of the city of Charleston which included the Cathedral. The Cathedral was re-built between 1890 and 1907, but now only seats 720 people. The Cathedral is notorious for having hand-painted stained-glass Stations of the Cross.
St. Phillip’s Church
St. Phillip’s Church is located on 142 Church St. and is the oldest European-American religious congregation in South Carolina. This church has gone through a few catastrophic storms, in the beginning, like in 1710 and 1713 the church was almost demolished by hurricanes during those years. The church has endured many storms, wars, fires, and reconstructions, but is still one of the most beautiful churches we have here in Charleston. You can visit the church and attend masses Wednesdays and Sundays!
St. Michael’s Church
St. Michael’s Church is the oldest church here in Charleston and is located on 71 Broad St. St. Michael’s has maintained most of its original structure and very little changes have been made to the building. A chandelier, ordered from London in 1803, is one of the most alluring pieces inside the church. The exterior of the church although is magnificent, painted white all around with stained- glass windows, this a church you will want to make sure you have on your list of places to visit in Charleston! The church is opened Monday- Friday at 12:10 PM for midday prayer.
St. Matthew’s Lutheran Church
St. Matthew’s was founded in 1840 and is located on 405 King St. Originally, many Germans worshipped their so prayers could be said in their native language, but later grew with a more diverse congregation and is now South Carolina’s largest Lutheran church! St. Matthew’s has both a ravishing interior and exterior. Since it is located on King St and next to the College of Charleston, it makes it very hard to miss. You can attend Sunday services and see the beauty for yourself!
Learn about the history of the Holy City on a Charleston carriage ride and harbor tour combination trip! The carriage ride takes you through the downtown Charleston area, introducing you to the history behind some of Charleston’s famous landmarks, while the Charleston Harbor Tours’ 90-minute, narrated historical tour takes you along the coast of downtown Charleston. For more ticket information, click here.