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Franciscan Monastery of the Holy Land in America
Founded by Franciscan friars in 1899, the Franciscan Monastery of the Holy Land in America is one of Washington's hidden gems, with a stunning Byzantine-style church; replicas of Holy Land shrines, Lourdes Grotto and catacombs; cloister walk; and beautiful gardens with more than 1,000 roses and other plants, flowers and herbs located on 42 acres.
This peaceful oasis is in the Brookland neighborhood, near Catholic University and the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception. Visitors of all faiths and ages are welcome. Daily tours of the church and catacombs are at 10 and 11 a.m., and 1, 2 and 3 p.m. Sundays at 1, 2 and 3 p.m. Tours are free (donations appreciated). Reservations are required for 6+ people. Free garden tours are offered, Saturdays, April-September, 11 a.m. and noon. The monastery also holds concerts and special events, and workshops sponsored by the volunteer Franciscan Monastery Garden Guild.
Other facilities: one-person hermitage for overnight retreats, meeting rooms for up to 70 people and St. Francis Hall, a charming event space offering modern amenities and classic Renaissance architecture that accommodates 250 people. Free parking for visitors to the church, gardens and St. Francis Hall.
Capacity, Classroom-style: 35