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Hidden Gem: The Basilica of St. Josaphat in Milwaukee was the third Basilica in the U.S.

Cassandra's Hidden Gems
The Basilica of St. Josaphat
Posted at 5:03 PM, Jul 05, 2022
and last updated 2022-07-06 20:24:54-04

MILWAUKEE — It stands as a testament to the commitment, faith, and fortitude of days gone by. The Basilica stands in place of a church built by Polish immigrants and lost in a fire in 1889.

The story goes something like this...

The Basilica of St. Josaphat
The Basilica of St. Josaphat is a Milwaukee gem hidden in plain sight.

Father Wilhelm Grutza, the pastor, vowed to never build a church from wood, and hired an architect to design the new church in the style of St. Peter’s in Rome. After learning about a Post Office-Customs House in Chicago, which was built on sand and then sinking, he paid $20,000, had it dismantled and filled into 500 railroad flatcars and brought up to Milwaukee.

After five years of construction, the church was completed in 1901 and became the third Basilica in the country in 1929. Today, even though it operates as a Catholic Church, it is the second most visited site in Milwaukee. Both guided and self-guided tours are available, and all are welcomed.

Basilica
After five years of construction, the church was completed in 1901 and became the third Basilica in the country in 1929.

The Basilica of St. Josaphat is a Milwaukee gem hidden in plain sight. Click here to learn more.

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