Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania: 5,000 Relics in St. Anthony's Chapel
- 1704 Harpster St., Pittsburgh, PA
- I-376/Parkway West to downtown Pittsburgh. Stay in the left lane going through the Fort Pitt Tunnel, then merge into the far left lane onto I-279 (North Shore). While crossing the Fort Duquesne Bridge, get into the right lane and take Exit 1D (Hwy 28/Chestnut St./E. Ohio St.), then quickly get into the far right lane and exit onto Chestnut St. At the light, turn left onto Chestnut St., staying in the right lane to the second light. Make a quick right at the St. Anthony's Chapel sign onto Phineas St./Troy Hill Rd. Drive past the brewery and continue up Troy Hill Rd, past North Catholic High School, then turn right at the funeral home onto Lowrie St. Drive to the UniMart and medical building, turn left onto Claim St., then right onto Harpster St., rounding the Most Holy Name Church. St. Anthony's Chapel is next to the Most Holy Name Rectory.
- Sa-Th 1-4 pm. Gift shop Tu, Th, Sa-Su 1-4 pm. (Call to verify)
- Donation requested.
- RA Rates:
- Major Fun
World's largest public collection of Catholic relics, holy bodily remains in Pittsburgh's bit o' heaven, a chapel built specifically for their display. Photography prohibited. Roadsideamerica.com Report... [12/23/2013]
Visitor Tips and News About 5,000 Relics in St. Anthony's Chapel
I'm not a religious person, but this left me in awe. Even from a strictly historical point of view, this collection is staggering; the reliquaries themselves will leave art aficionados panting, and the relics themselves (bones, skulls, pieces of the True Cross, to name a few) could potentially choke a person up. Again, I'm not religious, but there were times during the tour where tears stung my eyes.
You are free to peruse the chapel on your own, but I highly recommend taking the tour. It takes about an hour and the information the guides will tell you is extremely interesting (Carol was the guide the day I went and at first I thought she could see right through to my black soul, but she ended up being super-friendly and easy to talk to; I even asked a Pee Wee in the Alamo-question at the end and she didn't treat me like an idiot.).
Don't forget to stop at the gift shop across the street, which shills memorabilia for any saint your heart desires, books about the chapel, holy water, etc. Upstairs is a tiny museum for Father Mollinger, the priest who brought the relics to America in the 1800s.[Erin Honestly, 12/08/2011]
This is an extremely odd attraction and a best kept secret. St. Anthony's Chapel houses 5,000 religious relics. In fact, it has the second largest collection of religious relics in the world (the largest is in the Vatican). Looking for big names? This place has them: Mary Magdalene, St. John the Baptist and supposedly a piece of the True Cross. Even if you're not religious, it's still rather impressive. What really makes it impressive is it's FREE! (But leave a donation anyway) Ask the nun inside for a tour.[Ken, 09/02/2003]
Feb. 2012: Heidi reports that the principle tour nun retired in late 2011 and no longer leading tours.