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Basilica of St. Josaphat

Visit this Franciscan basilica to learn about its Polish heritage and admire the elegant architecture that echoes the design of St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome.

The Basilica of St. Josaphat is a landmark structure in the Lincoln Village neighborhood of Milwaukee. Learn about the basilica’s history, which stretches back to the original St. Josaphat Parish that was formed by Milwaukee’s Polish community in 1888. The basilica reflects the tenacity of the burgeoning community of Polish-Catholic immigrants, who in 1901 completed the largest church in Milwaukee and the third basilica to be built in the United States.

Check out the basilica’s magnificent Renaissance-style architecture from across the street. The church features the same design elements as St. Peter’s Basilica in Italy, from its cross-shaped floor layout to the top of its enormous 250-foot (76.2-meter) tall dome. At the time of completion, it is believed the basilica’s immense copper dome was second in size only to the United States Capitol.

Walk around to the west side of the basilica to reach the Pope John Paul II Pavilion, which contains the visitor center. Pick up a walking-tour brochure and peruse the informative displays and treasured showcases. Stroll through the spacious nave. Imagine how it would have appeared in 1901 when it was dedicated with an audience of thousands. Admire the basilica’s interior decorations, which include detailed oil paintings of biblical scenes. Painted by the Roman artist Gonippo Raggi in 1926, these paintings cover the walls and inner dome. The artist also finished the ornamental plasterwork and painted the columns with a marble effect.

Join local parishioners for a service or a concert to hear choir performances and organ music. Learn more about the basilica’s history by joining a free tour, which begins after Mass has concluded on Sundays. The visitor center is open between Monday and Saturday.

The Basilica of St. Josaphat is located in Lincoln Village, south of downtown Milwaukee. The area is easy to reach via public bus. On-site parking is available at the basilica’s parking lot. The basilica is free to visit on any day of the week.


Guide to Exploring around Basilica of Saint Josaphat


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Lodging Near Basilica of Saint Josaphat

See all 138 Hotels near Basilica of Saint Josaphat
Potawatomi Hotel & Casino $89
Potawatomi Hotel & Casino

Potawatomi Hotel & Casino

1611 West Canal Street, Milwaukee
     
    4.4
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    4.5 out of 5.0

    Situated in Milwaukee, this luxury hotel is within 1 mi (2 km) of Marquette University and Harley-Davidson Museum. Henry W. Maier Festival Park and Miller Park are also within 3 mi (5 km).

    The Pfister Hotel $161
    The Pfister Hotel

    The Pfister Hotel

    424 E Wisconsin Ave, Milwaukee
       
      4.7
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      Opened in 1893, this grand dame of Milwaukee is set in the financial district, 3 blocks from the Lake Michigan waterfront, and within 8 blocks of cultural, entertainment, and convention venues.

      The Muse Gallery Guesthouse $129
      The Muse Gallery Guesthouse

      The Muse Gallery Guesthouse

      602 E. Lincoln Ave., Milwaukee
         
        4.9
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        3.5 out of 5.0

        Situated in Milwaukee, this bed & breakfast is close to Alchemist Theater, Milwaukee Brewing Co., and Clock Shadow Creamery. Also nearby are Henry W. Maier Festival Park and Next Act Theatre.

        Kinn Guesthouse MKE
        Kinn Guesthouse MKE

        Kinn Guesthouse MKE

        2535 S. Kinnickinnic Ave, Milwaukee
           
          4.9
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          3.5 out of 5.0

          Situated near the airport, this boutique hotel is 0.1 mi (0.1 km) from Alchemist Theater and within 3 mi (5 km) of Milwaukee Brewing Co. and Clock Shadow Creamery. Next Act Theatre and Great Lakes Distillery are also within 3 mi (5 km).

          Inviting Milwaukee Home w/ Loft - Walk to Beach!
          Inviting Milwaukee Home w/ Loft - Walk to Beach!

          Inviting Milwaukee Home w/ Loft - Walk to Beach!

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            5.0
            of 5, from 5 reviews
            0.0 out of 5.0

            Situated in Milwaukee, this vacation home is 0.4 mi (0.7 km) from Alchemist Theater and within 3 mi (5 km) of Milwaukee Brewing Co. and Clock Shadow Creamery. Next Act Theatre and Great Lakes Distillery are also within 3 mi (5 km).

            Charming Victorian In The Heart Of Bay View
            Charming Victorian In The Heart Of Bay View

            Charming Victorian In The Heart Of Bay View

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              4.8
              of 5, from 14 reviews
              0.0 out of 5.0

              Situated near the bay, this romantic bed & breakfast is 0.1 mi (0.2 km) from Alchemist Theater and within 3 mi (5 km) of Milwaukee Brewing Co. and Clock Shadow Creamery. Next Act Theatre and Great Lakes Distillery are also within 3 mi (5 km).

              Ramada by Wyndham Milwaukee Downtown $89
              Ramada by Wyndham Milwaukee Downtown

              Ramada by Wyndham Milwaukee Downtown

              633 W Michigan Street, Milwaukee
                 
                3.0
                of 5, from 1,515 reviews
                3.0 out of 5.0

                Located in the heart of Milwaukee, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Wisconsin Center, The Shops of Grand Avenue, and Harley-Davidson Museum. Marquette University and Milwaukee Art Museum are also within 2 mi (3 km).

                The Iron Horse Hotel $199
                The Iron Horse Hotel

                The Iron Horse Hotel

                500 W Florida Street, Milwaukee
                   
                  4.8
                  of 5, from 823 reviews
                  4.0 out of 5.0

                  This romantic hotel is located in Milwaukee (Fifth Ward), close to Great Lakes Distillery, BMO Harris Bradley Center, and Milwaukee Art Museum. Also nearby are Discovery World and Mitchell Park Horticultural Conservatory.