Franciscan Monastery of the Holy Land in America
From its Byzantine-style architecture to replicas of shrines that can be found in Israel, the Franciscan Monastery of the Holy Land in America appears as if it were transported from a different continent and time period. Established in the 1800s, the monastery provides a tranquil escape for visitors and a place of worship for Catholics.
Leave behind the busy streets of Washington DC and immerse yourself in the monastery’s 24 acres (9.7 hectares) of gardens, chapels, and shrines. Visitors are welcomed to take part in religious services and can also join a guided tour or explore the monastery on their own. Tours give you the chance to visit areas that are not otherwise accessible. Plus, by exploring with a guide you can learn more about the Franciscans and the monastery. Special events and concerts are also hosted at the monastery.
Things to Know Before You Go
- The monastery attracts religious visitors as well as architecture and history buffs.
- Tours are free and no reservations are needed for groups of five or fewer.
- The monastery does not serve food but you can bring your own picnic to enjoy in the garden.
- The monastery church is wheelchair accessible but the lower church is accessible only by steps.
How to Get There
You can drive to the monastery (located off 14th Street Northeast) and make use of free, on-site parking. Or, take the Metrorail (Red Line) to the Brookland-CUA station and walk to the monastery from there. To avoid the walk from the Metro station, take the H6 Metrobus, which stops in front of the monastery.
When to Get There
You can visit the monastery year-round, any day of the week—tours are offered five times a day Monday–Saturday and three times on Sundays. Mass is also held multiple times each day. Check the museum’s online schedule for more details and special events. From April–September, visit on Saturdays to join a docent-led tour of the gardens.
An Overnight Retreat at the Monastery The monastery offers one-person retreats in a small cottage known as a “hermitage.” The retreat is designed to give an individual the chance to further connect with God and is not intended to be used simply as accommodations. With only two cottages on-site, the hermitage must be booked in advance.
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