Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania: 5,000 Religious Relics at St. Anthony's ChapelThe second largest collection of relics in the world after the Vatican. ALL the big saint names are here. Museum and gift shop across the street.
St. Anthony's Chapel
- 1700 Harpster St., Pittsburgh, PA
- St. Anthony's Chapel. SOUTHBOUND: I-279 exit 8-B. East on North Ave./Spring Garden Ave. for a mile, then right onto Wickline Lane, right onto Cowley St., right onto Ley St., right onto Froman St., then left onto Harpster St. NORTHBOUND: I-279 exit 7-C. Merge onto Hwy 28, then take the Chestnut St. exit. Left onto Chestnut, then right onto Phineas St./Troy Hill Rd./Gardner St. for about three-quarters of a mile. Turn right onto Hatteras St., then left onto Claim St., then right onto Harpster St.
- Sa-Th 1-4 pm, closed F and holidays. Gift shop Tu, Th, Sa, Su 1-4 pm. (Call to verify)
- RA Rates:
- Worth a Detour
Visitor Tips and News About 5,000 Religious Relics at 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.