Even though Charleston is known as the Holy City, there are more than a few beautiful houses of worship in Savannah.
Congregation Mickve Israel on Gordon Street is the only Gothic synagogue in the US. (Of course I never actually took a photo of it even though we passed it about five hundred times but you need to see it. Y’all thank Google for the image.) This is at the top of my list for the next time I’m in Savannah. Must pay homage to my ancestors. (And seriously? A Gothic synagogue!?! How freaking cool is that!)
We toured the First African Baptist Church on Montgomery Street.
The church was built by local slaves.
It was also a stop on the Underground Railroad. The lower level floor had about four and a half feet underneath it. And there are holes drilled in the floor in specific symbols that were used as air flow for those hidden below. But because they were religious symbols, no one was the wiser.
You can see that some of the floor boards have been replaced because the diamond and cross are incomplete.
Every one of the pews in the church is curved. They are absolutely beautiful! They’re curved so each congregant is equally close to the pulpit. (Or something more eloquent than that…) I told YBW I wanted one of their pews to have at home. He sometimes just looks and me with a look of gentle amusement with a dash of ‘are you for real?’
The stained glass was as beautiful. This teeny piece was my absolute favorite.
I do love me some daisies.
What moved me about this church is that it currently has a very active congregation. When we were there it was there food bank day. The lower level was filled with groceries, bags of food, and probably fifty people working. I kind of wanted to stay and help them…I loved seeing how hard they were working their ministry. There was laughter and singing and just general good fun in their hard work.
The Cathedral of St. John the Baptist is open every day. You can wander in any time except during their daily service between 11:30 and 12:30.
It had gorgeous Gothic architecture. The ceiling was the most beautiful color blue. The alters were stunning. The pews were straight (how boring)
We were in the the cathedral with a couple of school groups. I could hear the guides giving information and asking questions. It was all done in stage whispers. It was so deliciously quiet in that enormous room of worship.
I lit a candle and said a prayer while I was there.
Of course there are many more churches in Savannah. And they have many stories to tell…I’m going to go back and learn more!