Experience our beautiful Cathedral Basilica. You can click on an image for a closer look. It is our hope that all who visit the Cathedral, online or in person, are spiritually uplifted, well-informed, pleased, and moved to glorify God for his goodness and presence among us.
- The Nave
- North Transept
- South Transept
- Sacred Heart Chapel
- St. Joseph Chapel
- Blessed Virgin Chapel
- St. Anthony Chapel
- 10 Blessed Sacrament Chapel
- 1Former Baptistry
- Sacristy Areas
- Vestibule or Narthex
- North & South Towers
The Blessed Sacrament Chapel
Here, the real presence of Christ under the form of Eucharistic bread is reserved in the tabernacle. This tabernacle, gold plated and inlaid with semi-precious stones, is set into an elaborately adorned retable designed and made in Ghent, Belgium in 1913. The stained glass windows of the Blessed Sacrament Chapel (10) portray scenes of the Old Testament and of the first Eucharistic Congress. The chapel is the site of two inspirational mural paintings of the artist Frank Duveneck.
The Duveneck Mural Paintings
As early as 1903, Bishop Maes discussed with Covington artist Frank Duveneck (10) the project of painting large murals to adorn the walls of the Blessed Sacrament Chapel. The completed murals, dedicated to Duveneck’s mother, were placed on the chapel walls in May 1910.
On the east wall of the Blessed Sacrament Chapel, the artist’s triptych depicts the mysteries of the Eucharist. From right to left, the first panel shows the sacrifice from the Old Testament offered by the High Priest Melchizedek. The central panel shows Christ’s sacrifice on the cross. At the foot of the cross, Mary Magdalene personifies sinful humanity redeemed. The left panel presents the Eucharist, the Bread of Life. The Trinity is tied into an eternal present by the choirs of angels which unite the three scenes.
On the west wall above the organ chamber balcony arch is the second mural, which depicts Christ breaking bread with his disciples at Emmaus.
Duveneck was educated at St. Walburg Academy, the Cincinnati Art Academy and in Munich and Venice. His work has received international acclaim and can be seen on permanent exhibition at the Cincinnati Art Museum and at other international galleries.
The Marian Shrine (8) was designed by August Schmidt, carved by him in his native Cologne, Germany and installed in 1957. Frieze carvings of lindenwood in the massive oak frame of the shrine trace the seven joys and seven sorrows of the Blessed Mother of Jesus.
The St. Joseph Shrine (7) was designed by Schmidt and installed in 1959. Note the canopaeum (umbrella) and tintinnabulum (bell) symbols of the Cathedral’s status as a Basilica maintained near this shrine.
Completed in 1974, the Sacred Heart Shrine (6) is the work of artist Ferdinand Stuflesser of Ortisei, Italy.
(11) The baptistry forms a small chapel located under the organ balcony in the south transept. Four different types of Italian marble were used in its construction in 1934.
The octagonal font traditionally represents the eighth day of God’s creation when the baptized are recreated in the image of Christ.
The Mosaic Stations
(15, 3, 4) Spaced along the ambulatories and the north and south transepts, the fourteen stations of Christ’s passion and death are reproduced in mosaic art of exceptional excellence. Created in tiny porcelain ceramic tiles, the artworks reproduce the original oil paintings of Bavarian Redemptorist Brother Max Schmalzl.
As many as 80,000 tiles are required to capture the details of expression and shading that mark each mosaic work. Crafted in Venice, Italy, the stations were installed in 1917 in triptych frames of Italian marble and brass.
The Cathedral’s Organs
(4, 5, 13) The pipe organ in the south transept balcony (4) was expanded in 1982. A Wicks organ that had performed for over 50 years was rebuilt and modernized. The resulting Aultz-Kersting organ doubles the capacity of the original and may be played in conjunction with a smaller Wicks companion organ (5).
At the rear of the church, above the west portals (13), another instrument lends a unique artistic capacity to the Cathedral’s music programming. This organ was built around 1859 by Mathias Schwab. When all three instruments are played, the Cathedral’s organs equal eighty-two ranks and 4,576 pipes resounding under the eighty-one foot vaulted ceilings.
The Cathedral Gardens
Surrounding the exterior of the south transept (4) and sacristy areas (12) are gardens designed by the eminent landscape architect John Bentley.
The fountain in the east garden behind the apse was created by William Schickel. The renowned artist uses the fountain’s flowing water to depict those moments of Christ’s life memorable for their relationship to water.
In the south gardens stands the statue of Our Lady of LaSalette which was sculpted in Italy and dedicated by Bishop Maes in 1913 at LaSalette Academy.
A fountain birdbath is a gift to Bishop Richard Ackerman from the Vietnamese community in appreciation of his support of their settlement in Northern Kentucky following the fall of Saigon.
A lovely statue of the Immaculate Conception, dedicated in 1896 at a parish of that name in nearby Newport, KY, now graces the gardens in the courtyard area.
The Exterior Facade
An historic temple of worship, the Cathedral remains after a full century one of the most beautiful works of religious architecture in America.
The central entrance features statuary and stone carvings by the honored American sculptor, Clement Barnhorn. At the summit of its twin-towered facade, 26 gargoyles carved in Italy stand watchful guard against evil spirits.
Click the link below to see a panoramic view of our Cathedral
(NOTE: Page will open in a different window and you will be transferred to a third-party site.)
PANORAMIC VIEW OF THE CATHEDRAL hosted by Rack Photography