The word basilica always conjures up memories of Rome and the Vatican. There are four major basilicas in the world, all located in Rome, with St. Peter’s basilica being the largest of them all. But these four are not the only basilicas around the globe, there are 1,757 minor basilicas throughout the world. Of these 1,757 minor basilicas, three have the title of papal minor basilica and four the title of pontifical minor basilica. All seven are located in Italy. Of the remaining 1,750 minor basilicas twenty are located in America. One of which, Cathedral Basilica of Saint Louis, is located, you guessed it, in St. Louis, Missouri.
"The word basilica is granted as a title by the Pope traditionally because of their antiquity, dignity, historical value, architectural and artistic worth, and/or significance as centers of worship. A basilica must “stand out as a center of active and pastoral liturgy,” according to the 1989 Vatican document Domus ecclesiae."(source)
The building of the Saint Louis Cathedral was initiated by Archbishop John Glennon in 1907. The exterior of the building is in the Romanesque style of architecture while the interior has the Byzantine style of architecture.
Once inside, the beauty of this Cathedral becomes apparent with the presences of the mosaic art adorning the ceiling and walls of the narthex, depicting the life of Saint Louis IX, King of France. This is only a preview of the beauty that lays ahead when entering the main body of the church.
The center dome and two lesser domes and half domes, including the arches, reveal in mosaic art the story of the Catholic faith from creation to the last judgement.