St. Mary of the Mount

St. Mary of the Mount: Defining the Pittsburgh Skyline

St. Mary of the Mount, with its origins dating back to the late 19th century, stands as a testament to the historical significance of the Catholic Church in Pittsburgh. The church’s towering structure, visible from numerous vantage points throughout the city, has become an integral part of Pittsburgh’s skyline.

Historical Background

The establishment of St. Mary of the Mount coincides with Pittsburgh’s developmental journey. The city’s growth in the 19th century is attributed to the burgeoning steel and oil industries, leading to an influx of population. Parallel to this, the Catholic Church expanded its presence, with St. Mary of the Mount being a prime example of this growth.

Architectural Marvel

Completed in 1897, St. Mary of the Mount is a masterpiece of Gothic architecture. The church was initially designed to incorporate a bell tower, a feature that was added later in 1999. Its stained-glass windows, depicting the life of Christ, underwent a ten-year renovation, enhancing the church’s aesthetic appeal.

St. Mary of the Mount

Location and Access

St. Mary of the Mount sits high atop Mount Washington, offering an overarching view of the city. The church is easily accessible via the Duquesne Incline, a historic railroad track that climbs up Mount Washington’s eastern face.

The Church’s Significance

The prominence of St. Mary of the Mount symbolizes the Catholic Church’s historical importance in Pittsburgh. The church grew along with the city’s population, serving as a spiritual beacon for the residents. Today, approximately 40 percent of Pittsburgh’s metropolitan population is Catholic, a proportion that has remained consistent for decades.

Tourist Attraction

St. Mary of the Mount is a popular tourist destination due to its historical significance and panoramic city views. The neighborhood surrounding the church offers numerous restaurants with scenic views of Pittsburgh, making it a perfect spot for sightseeing.

Other Noteworthy Churches in Pittsburgh

In addition to St. Mary of the Mount, Pittsburgh is home to several other noteworthy churches, including St. Anthony’s Chapel, which houses more than 4,200 saints’ relics, making it unique worldwide. St. Paul Cathedral, located in the heart of the city, is another must-visit spot for Catholic tourists.

St. Mary of the Mount Church is not just a place of worship; it’s a symbol of Pittsburgh’s unique history and cultural heritage. It stands as a testament to the city’s growth, mirroring the evolution of the Catholic Church in the region. Whether you’re a resident of Pittsburgh or a tourist, a visit to St. Mary of the Mount offers a glimpse into the city’s rich past, coupled with breathtaking views of Pittsburgh’s skyline.