There is a hidden gem in the small town of Covington, Kentucky, which has become an invaluable destination for faithful in light of the recent tragedy that befell Notre Dame Cathedral in France. St. Mary’s Cathedral Basilica of the Assumption is a replica of the great French church, albeit a tad smaller.
Right near the Ohio river, and not too far from Cincinnati, the majestic building stands tall amidst the modest-sized buildings of Covington. While the Cathedral is only about a third of the size of the French Notre Dame, the smaller structures around it makes it pop out as though it were the real thing.
There are slight differences, but the look of the building is generally the same. The entrance way is adorned with a replica of the iconic rose windows, as well as the two towers rising up at either side. There are also 26 Italian carved stone gargoyles installed on the facade.
St. Mary’s was built over 100 years ago, in 1895, and is still under construction after over 100 years. This is in part due to finances, as the church does not have the largest congregation for a cathedral this size. Covington, though the seat of a diocese, is home to little more than 40 thousand people.
The interior, marvelous in its own right, was modeled after St. Denis Cathedral, a medieval abbey church also in France. The walls are covered in murals painted by Covington native Frank Duveneck and the cathedral houses no less than three pipe organs. With so many organs and such high ceilings, their music ministry must be something to envy.
St. Mary’s welcomes all visitors and one could spend a day or two examining all the splendid art and architecture on the premises. For more information and history of the cathedral, visit its website here.
Take a look at our slide show to see this gorgeous replica of Notre Dame.