Mary's Garden – Washington, D.C. - Atlas Obscura

Mary's Garden

An overlooked oasis of quiet on the grounds of Washington's monumental basilica. 


Washington’s Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, the largest Roman Catholic Church in North America, is an imposing structure with 70 different chapels. Visitors often need a few minutes of quiet contemplation after taking in the majesty of this building.

As if aware of this fact, in June 2000 the church added in Mary’s Garden, an oasis often overlooked by the millions who visit the shrine each year.

The circular garden was designed by landscape architect Brian Kane and is located on the north terrace. At one end of the garden is a reflecting pool and a life-size limestone statue of the Virgin Mary. The bubbling Magnificat Fountain has a red granite border and is inscribed with words from the Bible: “My being proclaims the greatness of the Lord, my spirit finds joy in God my savior.”

Know Before You Go

Mary’s Garden is on the Northwest corner of the Basilica near Harewood Road NE.  There is a walking path leading to the garden from the sidewalk along Harewood Road NE and from the CUA campus.  The Basilica and Mary’s Garden are near the Brookland/CUA metro (red line).

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