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The Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament, California : You Shouldn’t Miss

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Tourist Attraction – A must visit in California – The Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament


The Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament, founded in 1886, is a beautiful and historic Catholic church, located in Sacramento, the capital of the state of California. It is the mother church of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Sacramento. The cathedral is located downtown on the corner of 11th Streets and K Streets.

Jaime Soto is the present ordinary of the Diocese of Sacramento. He was appointed by Pope Benedict XVI. 

The Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament

The diocese stretches from the southern edge of Sacramento County north to the Oregon border serving approximately 1,000,000 Catholics which encompasses 102 churches under its wing.

The Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament is one of the largest cathedrals west of the Mississippi River and is considered both a religious and civic landmark. It is one of the most important religious buildings in the state.


Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament is a masterpiece, a shining example of the strength and history in Sacramento’s architecture. Its architecture was inspired by the church of the Holy Trinity in Paris.  

While the exterior of the building is in Italian Renaissance style, its interiors are Victorian-inspired. The interior has intricate paintings and stunning stained-glass windows. One can find many paintings with scenes inspired by scripture quotes. 

The design :The Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament

The cathedral has a large dome which measures 110 feet in height. The dome has 16 decorative roundels. The crucifix suspended above the dome weighs 2,000 pounds. The oculus has a seven-foot wingspan and depicts scenes from the Eucharist.

In 1886, Patrick Manogue was appointed as Sacramento’s first bishop. The Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament was his brainchild. Inspired by churches he’d seen in European plazas, Monaque’s dream was to build a cathedral in Sacramento.

He modeled the cathedral after L’Eglise de la Sainte-Trinite (The Church of the Holy Trinity) in Paris. The building is approximately 200 feet (61 m) long, 100 feet (30 m) wide, with the seating capacity of 1400 people. The central bell tower rises 215 feet (66 m).


Over the years, with repairs, changes in color schemes and changes to the liturgy, the church lost its stylistic unity.

For extensive restoration, the cathedral was closed in March 1987. Considered as the richest church in the Pacific Coast, it was once the tallest building in Sacramento. However, the cathedral could not stand strong enough to withstand an earthquake.

In 1930s, the original dome was taken down and was replaced by a shorter ceiling. In 1939 the hanging Sanctuary Lamp was demolished. And in 2005, the stained glass above the altar was restored with the angels.

The Cross: The Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament

This renovation included significant additions such as a Eucharistic chapel and two side chapels – the Martyrs Chapel and the Chapel of Our Lady and Saints of the Americas and a large crucifix below the domed crossing.

However, the most important change was the reopening the dome. This dome was originally closed in the 1930s because of acoustic reasons.

The Restoration: The Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament

Each part of the cathedral was renovated during the restoration. This included expanded pews, better lighting and decorative painting on interior walls and ceilings. The enormous stained glass windows of the cathedral were cleaned and releaded.

The restoration was the largest financial undertaking the diocese ever undertook. It cost $34million.

FAQs About The Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament, Sacramento, California

Why is it called the Blessed Sacrament?

The Blessed Sacrament, also Most Blessed Sacrament, is a devotional name to refer to the body and blood of Christ in the form of consecrated sacramental bread and wine at a celebration of the Eucharist.

How many churches are in the Sacramento Diocese?

he Diocese of Sacramento has more than 150 parish and mission churches spread over 20 counties.

How old is Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament?

Its 133 years old.

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