8 Most Beautiful and Awe-Inspiring Churches and Cathedrals in Wisconsin

Written by Alyssa Shea
Published: August 22, 2023
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Did you know that there are many beautiful and historic churches located in Wisconsin? Builders created these works of art not only as a safe haven for the faithful but also as a beacon for the community. Not only that, but most churches leave parishioners feeling uplifted and closer to their God. Let’s explore some breathtaking churches in Wisconsin!

1. Holy Hill Basilica

This Wisconsin church is quite a sight to behold, with an extensive history! Irish settlers first called the area Holy Hill and the name was later cemented by a formal sermon from Fr. George Strickner on May 24, 1863. Holy Hill was also declared a Shrine with “Portiuncula privilege” by Pope Leo XIII in 1903 and, in 2006, was elevated to the status of a Basilica. This church is located on 435 acres of gorgeous scenery on the highest elevation in Southeastern Wisconsin! It sees over half a million people from all over the world, and many worshipers plan a pilgrimage to visit this holy site.

Holy Hill at sunset

Holy Hill Basilica sits atop a large hill surrounded by an ocean of beautiful trees.

©iStock.com/lavin photography

2. St. Willebrord Catholic Church

Did you know that Willebrord Church was laid on June 14, 1891? Located in Green Bay, Wisconsin, this church has an interesting reason for the spelling of its name. Stonemasons made a mistake when carving the name, as it was dedicated to St. Willibrord! The name stuck, though, as changing a carving in stone is pretty tricky. Beloved football coach Vince Lombardi faithfully attended mass during his ten years in Green Bay.

St. Willebrords Holland Church

Dutch immigrants founded this beautiful church.

©PaaschPhotography/iStock via Getty Images

3. Basilica of St. Josaphat

The largest immigrant groups coming out of Europe were Polish people that settled in Milwaukee after 1870! They broke ground on this beautiful church back in 1901, located in the now-historic Lincoln Village area of Milwaukee. Now, the Basilica hosts events, performances, and more! The St. Josaphat Basilica Foundation constantly works to preserve and restore the church.

basilica of st josaphat

Polish immigrants formed the Saint Josaphat Parish in 1888 as an offshoot of Saint Stanislaus Parish.

©lavin photography/iStock via Getty Images

4. St. Roberts Roman Catholic Church

This gem in Shorewood, Wisconsin, and this parish has much to offer its worshipers. Not only is it a beautiful church, but it’s also a school! The church is still operating and offers daily mass. The mixture of dark brick and pale stone is very striking. It’s not a lavish church, but the carefully-placed marble touches have a truly beautiful effect.

Historic Church in Shorewood Wisconsin

Facade of a historic church in Shorewood, Wisconsin, built in Lombard Romanesque style architecture.

©jferrer/iStock via Getty Images

5. Old St. Mary’s Catholic Church

Old St. Mary opens its doors to everyone and has a vibrant parish! They offer several different events, grief support, baptism, and more. A group of German-speaking women founded this church called St. Ann’s Frauenverein. The beautiful interior decor was completed in 1868, and much of it is still preserved. The church was recently added to the National Register of Historic Places, which ensures that the exterior of the building will be upgraded and restored following strict guidelines.

St Marys Church Milwaukee

Old St. Mary’s Catholic Church was recently added to the National Register of Historic Places.

©welcomia/iStock via Getty Images

6. First Unitarian Society of Madison

This Wisconsin church definitely wins when it comes to a unique design, thanks to architect Frank Lloyd Wright! And officials agreed because it has been designated a U.S. National Historic Landmark for its architecture. The history of this church reaches all the way back to 1879, and it’s still active to this day. An organization named Friends of the Meeting House advocates for the preservation of this building’s beautiful features.

First Unitarian Society of Madison

First Unitarian Society of Madison worships through music, poetry, stories, and meditations.

©benkrut/iStock via Getty Images

7. Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church

This church prides itself on consisting of many Eastern Orthodox ethnicities. The thought process behind the design is that it would follow the basic design of the Greek cross inscribed with a circle. We have Frank Lloyd Wright to thank yet again for this breathtaking structure. This was one of the very last designs that he created. Most of the structure has remained unchanged since it opened on July 2, 1961.

Detail of the Greek Church in Milwaukee

This closeup picture shows the beautiful detail of the windows near the roof of the Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church.

©benkrut/iStock via Getty Images

8. St. Stanislaus Catholic Church

This incredible building was first founded in 1866 by Polish immigrants. The owners have worked hard over the years to renovate this beautiful cathedral. Renovations include a restored sanctuary and sacred art, recreated stained glass windows, and a new copper roof, among other improvements and restorative work. Today, you will find that the Milwaukee Latin Mass community calls this cathedral home.

St Stanislaus Catholic Church in Milwaukee

St. Stanislaus Catholic Church was dedicated to Polish martyr Stanislaus of Szczepanów.

©Henryk Sadura/iStock via Getty Images

Summary of the 8 Most Beautiful and Awe-Inspiring Churches and Cathedrals in Wisconsin

1Holy Hill Basilica
2St. Willebrord Catholic Church
3Basilica of St. Josaphat
4St. Roberts Roman Catholic Church
5Old St. Mary’s Catholic Church
6First Unitarian Society of Madison
7Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church
8St. Stanislaus Catholic Church

The photo featured at the top of this post is ©

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About the Author

I'm a 36-year-old mother of 2 and military wife. I have 2 dogs and a cat that I'm thoroughly obsessed with. When I'm not writing for work, I'm writing as a hobby. You can find me knee deep in a pile of books or way too invested in a video game.

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