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Utah's Cathedral of Madeleine: One of Salt Lake City's

February 8, 2013 - 7:10pm
Utah's Cathedral of Madeleine: One of SLC's Major Historic Sites

Salt Lake City has plenty to offer travelers, from its many museums and parks to its historic sites, like the Cathedral of the Madeleine. This church was the first Roman Catholic house of worship built in Utah's capital, making it a unique sight for those on an escorted vacation. The religious center offers mass services every day, and visitors can also tour the building or even take in a musical performance at the cathedral.

History of the cathedral
The Cathedral of the Madeleine was constructed between 1900 and 1909, under the order of the Right Reverend Lawrence Scanlan, the city's first bishop. According to the cathedral's website, the building was designed after both Roman and Gothic architectural designs - the exterior is predominantly Romanesque, while the interior of the building is modeled after Gothic styling. Bishop Glass, who succeeded Bishop Scanlan, brought in John Theodore Comes, a top American architect in the early 1900s, to design the interior. Comes decorated the walls and columns with vibrant murals and polychrome highlights to exemplify the Spanish Gothic style.

The exterior was renovated in the late '70s, and the cathedral got a new copper roof. The gargoyles that protect the cathedral were restored as well, so travelers will be able to see these high-flying creatures when they visit the church on their trip to Salt Lake City.

Cathedral events
The Cathedral is still used regularly, and mass is held every day of the week, numerous times each day, with some vigil masses held in Spanish. Visitors can attend a service if they wish, or they have the option to tour the venue. The website indicates public tours are offered on most Sundays around 12:30 p.m. for those who want to see the inside of the church but would prefer not to attend the religious ceremony.

In addition to worship services, the cathedral also hosts cultural events like the Madeleine Festival, which began in 1988 with the intention of reinvigorating the cathedral in the practice and celebration of the arts. There are live performances by musicians, singers and choirs at this event, hosted annually in May.

Those visiting Utah on their senior travel tour should make time in their schedules to visit the Cathedral of the Madeleine. People of every faith can appreciate the beauty of the architecture inside and out, and they might be lucky enough to visit on a day when a concert is being held. This destination can be an interesting addition to affordable travel packages, making any trip through America's Western region memorable.