College chapels are often central places of worship for students, providing a space for solitude separate from the day to day stresses of student life.
Many of the chapels are massive structures meant to replicate the marvels of European architecture, while others are more intimate spaces for worship. The majority of college chapels seem to be non-denominational and are open to all religious beliefs.
We’ve compiled a list of some of the most beautiful chapels on American college campuses below:
University of Notre Dame — Basilica of the Sacred Heart
The mother church of the Congregation of Holy Cross in the United States, Notre Dame’s basilica has the world’s largest collection of 19th Century French stained glass.
Stanford University — Memorial Church
A part of Stanford’s central quad, MemChu was one of the earliest non-denominational churches in the American West, reflecting the university founders’ religious views.
Princeton University — University Chapel
One of the largest university chapels in the world, Princeton’s University Chapel was designed in the early 20th Century to evoke the Gothic style of the English Middle Ages.
Columbia University — St. Paul’s Chapel
Although part of the university’s original master design plan, St. Paul’s Italian Renaissance style is markedly different than the other neoclassical buildings that define Columbia.
Loyola University Chicago — Madonna della Strada Chapel
Loyola University’s chapel is built on the edge of Lake Michigan and recently recieved a new 70 rank and three manual pipe organ.
Bowdoin College — Bowdoin College Chapel
Completed in 1857, the chapel’s has undergone several renovations recently, with the building’s towers being rebuilt stone by stone over the past decade.
Massachusetts Institute of Technology — MIT Chapel
The Eero Saarinen designed MIT Chapel is notable for its inclusion of natural light and has been non-denominational since it was dedicated in 1955.
Vassar College — Vassar Chapel
The majority of the Vassar Chapel windows were designed in the beginning of 20th Century as memorials to the college’s alumnae and were meant to reveal the school’s early history.
University of Pittsburgh — Heinz Memorial Chapel
The chapel’s 73-foot high stained glass windows are among the tallest in the world and are designed to represent tolerance, courage, temperance, and truth.
Duke University — Duke University Chapel
One of the tallest buildings on Duke’s campus, the chapel’s entrance features 10 figures important to Methodism, Protestantism, and the American South — including John Wesley and Robert E. Lee.
United States Naval Academy — Naval Academy Chapel
The remains of American Revolution naval hero John Paul Jones are held in a bronze and marble sarcophagus in a crypt beneath the chapel.
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