Thursday, November 19, 2009

The Basilica of Saint Lawrence

The Basilica of Saint Lawrence in downtown Asheville celebrates its centennial this year, 2009 AD. There are approximately 54 basilicas in the USA but Saint Lawrence is very original in its design. Rafael Guastavino (1842-1908) came to Asheville from Barcelona to work on the Biltmore House and subsequently designed the basilica. The elliptical roof is self-supporting and utilizes an ancient method of thin layers of tile and mortar that was revived by Guastavino in Catalunya. Guastavino died before construction was completed and his body is interred in the Chapel of Our Lady to the left of the main altar.

The bell tower to the left of the main entry showing the brick masonry, copper dome and statues.

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