Famous Mosaics—Saint Louis Cathedral

This summer the Tile Park is taking the show on the road! We’re paying a virtual visit to the most famous mosaics of the world… from China to Spain to the US… tile parks, record-breaking installations, ancient murals, points of interest and so much more. Join us!

When we think of churches, our minds often go to big stained glass windows. But the Saint Louis Cathedral, located in the Central West End of St. Louis, is adorned with something altogether different: famous mosaics!

Completed in 1914, this cathedral took over seven years to complete, and is named for—you guessed it, amigo—Saint Louis. It was officially designated a basilica by Pope John Paul II in 1997.

The church is known for its large mosaic installation (one of the largest in the Western Hemisphere), burial crypts, and the addition of an outdoor sculpture to promote racial harmony.
Installation of the mosaics began in 1912, but would not be completed until 1988. Incredibly, these mosaics are made up of 41.5 million glass tiles in over 7,000 colors. Covering 83,000 square feet (7,700 m2), it is the largest mosaic collection in the world outside of Russia. Some of the mosaics in the side chapels and sanctuary walls were designed and installed by Tiffany Studios, while the mosaics in the main cathedral areas were designed by August Oetken.

Dozens of artisans had their hands in the installation of the mosaics, and one special father/son team, Paul and Arno Heuduck, spent nearly their entire working lives on just this project. If you’ve been watching the Tile Park come together, you know how time-consuming some parts can be! It’s certainly within the realm of possibility for an artist to work on just one project in their lives. What a legacy to leave!

If you find yourself in St. Louis Missouri, this landmark church is worth visiting! If you do, be sure to check out the museum in the basement. It is a dedication to the mosaics and the other important artifacts found in the church, and is not to be missed!