AAA Editor Notes
Franciscan Monastery of the Holy Land in America is at 1400 Quincy St. N.E. (at 14th St. N.E.). Officially the Mount St. Sepulchre Franciscan Monastery, it stands on a wooded hillside in a Northeast Washington residential neighborhood. Built more than a century ago, the monastery is a religious center for visitors and pilgrims of all faiths and offers an opportunity to see replicas of famous Holy Land shrines.
In the shape of a Jerusalem cross, the design of the church is based on the Hagia Sophia in Constantinople. A majestic altar stands beneath the central dome. Four chapels—dedicated to St. Joseph, St. Anthony of Padua, St. Francis and the Blessed Virgin—feature wood carvings and beautiful stained-glass windows. In the lower church, which can be viewed on a guided tour only, are short passageways, reminiscent of the maze-like Roman catacombs used as burial places by early Christians, that lead to more chapels.
Surrounding the church grounds is the Rosary Portico, a roofed, colonnaded walkway. The beautifully landscaped upper garden contains shrubs and seasonal plantings of flowers. The lower garden hugs a hillside and is shaded by tall trees. Stations of the cross blend in with the natural surroundings. The lower garden also contains replicas of Holy Land shrines, including Gethsemane and Ascension in Jerusalem and Lourdes in France.
Note: The monastery is an approximate 5-block walk from the Brookland-CUA Metro station, including an uphill trek on Quincy Street; visitor parking is available in a lot at Quincy and 14th streets N.E.