Boston Area’s Best Historic Churches

March 31, 2014 6:00 AM

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(Photo from St. Leonards)

(Photo from St. Leonards)

While Boston was founded on the concept of religious freedom, it was never about freedom from religion. Of course, people have that choice today, but at that point in history, it was about freedom to follow the religion of a person’s choice. Therefore, since its inception, Boston has been home to countless churches. Some of the oldest churches in the city still stand and date back to before the American Revolution.
Old North Church (Photo Credit: Kristen Fenton)

Old North Church (Photo Credit: Kristen Fenton)

Old North Church
193 Salem St.
Boston, MA 02113
(617) 523-6676
www.oldnorth.com

Perhaps the most famous church in Boston, the Old North Church, or Christ Church in the City of Boston, is known for its role in the first battle of the American Revolution. On April 18, 1775, the sexton of the church lit two lanterns in the church’s steeple. It was a sign that the British were moving inland by sea. This Georgian church was founded in 1722 and has more than one claim to fame. Paul Revere was once a bell ringer for the church. Visitors are welcome to tour this church every day.

Related: Boston’s Best Bars With History

(Photo from King's Chapel/Facebook)

(Photo from King’s Chapel/Facebook)

King’s Chapel
58 Tremont St.
Boston, MA 02108
(617) 523-1749
www.kings-chapel.org

The congregation of King’s Chapel was founded in 1686 and the building was erected between 1749 and 1754. Today, the church blends a number of religious traditions in Christian Unitarian worship. The current bell in the church was mended by Paul Revere, making it one of several churches in the city with connections to the patriot and artisan. Beside the church is the King’s Chapel Burying Ground. It is the oldest cemetery in Boston and was the only in the town from 1630-1660.

(Photo from St. Leonards)

(Photo from St. Leonards)

St. Leonard’s Church
4 N. Bennet Place
Boston, MA 02113
(617) 726-1191
www.saintleonardchurchboston.org

St. Leonard’s Church was founded in 1873 as the first Catholic Church in the city built by Italians. It is located in the North End, where it still serves the Catholic community there. It is not part of the Boston Freedom Trail, but is along it, so it is easy to locate. Of the city’s historic churches, this is the most artistic, containing high ceilings with paintings fit for a contemporary church in Italy.

(Photo from Park Street Church/Facebook)

(Photo from Park Street Church/Facebook)

Park Street Church
1 Park St.
Boston, MA 02108
(617) 523-3383
www.parkstreet.org

Currently an Evangelical Protestant Christian church, the Park Street Church has been servicing its congregation in Boston since 1810. It is one of the first stops on the Freedom Trail coming from the Boston Common. When it was built, the steeple was the tallest structure in Boston. It is still quite visible. The church stands next to the Granary Burying Ground, which was part of the city before the church was built on the granary for which the cemetery was named. It is the final resting place for such individuals as John Hancock, Samuel Adams, Benjamin Franklin’s parents and the victims of the Boston Massacre.

Related: Boston’s Best Historical Sites

(photo credit: trinitychurchboston.org)

(photo credit: trinitychurchboston.org)

Trinity Church
206 Clarendon St.
Boston, MA 02116
(617) 536-0944
www.trinitychurchboston.org

Trinity Church houses an Episcopal congregation in Boston’s Back Bay. It was constructed over five years in the 1870s and is an impressive Richardsonian Romanesque design. The interior of the church was used to shoot scenes of 1999 film “Boondock Saints.” The choirs of Trinity Church are famous in the city, particularly for the free annual Christmas carols offered in the church. The congregation itself supports a multitude of charities both in and out of Boston.

Shelly Barclay is a professional freelance writer and amateur author. She writes on a variety of topics from food to mysteries. She loves to share the culture and rich history of her birthplace and home, Boston, with the rest of the world. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.

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