Mount St. Sepulchre Franciscan Monastery. How did I miss this?

Franscican monstaery DC

Front view of the monastery from:


Have you ever visited the Mount St. Sepulchre Franciscan Monastery in the Brookland neighborhood of DC? I take a lot of pride in my knowledge of Washington DC’s many fine buildings but was totally taken aback a few years ago when I stumbled on this one. Being a Realtor, my wife and I love to just go off on little side trips to look at homes and neighborhoods-just to get a feel for the communities. We were blown away when we discovered the monastery while trolling through the Brookland neighborhood. Modeled after classical Byzantine Churches such as the Hagi Sophia the main church building is certainly one of the loveliest in the United States.

Fransciscan Monstery, Washington DC

Visit in the spring to see the lovely gardens. Image from


Built in the late 1800’s the Franciscan Monastery “includes gardens, replicas of various shrines throughout Israel, a replica of the catacombs in Rome, an archive, a library, as well as bones of Saint Benignus of Armagh, brought from the Roman Catacombs and originally in the Cathedral of NarniItaly.” It is usually open to the public daily from 10 AM to 4PM but you should check their website before venturing down. The building is extraordinary inside and out but I recommend going in the warm seasons as the outdoor gardens are also stunning. We like to go in spring or fall when as the summer season draws more tourists as the monastery and grounds are best enjoyed when it is peaceful and quiet.  The last time we visited was in the spring and about the only activity going on was a lovely young couple taking wedding photographs in the garden.

Franciscan Monstery, Washington DC

The interior of the church is amazing. Image from

The Mount St. Sepulchre  Franciscan Monastery is located at 1400 Quincy St. NE in Washington, DC., only six blocks from the Brookland Metro station.  We recommend taking Metro as the walk from the station to the monastery is not long and takes you through a fine residential neighborhood with many of the homes dating back to the 1920s and 30s. Although we just like to show up and wander about, they do offer guided tours for those who have an interest in the history and details of the monastery. For the tours, drop-ins are welcome but it is best to call ahead for reservations. Take some time out of your busy life and visit this Washington DC landmark. You won’t be disappointed.

Like a lot of communities in DC, the Brookland neighborhood is undergoing a great amount of change. The area around Catholic University has grown quite popular in the past few years and home values are going through the roof. With change comes controversy as some of the long time residents are finding themselves priced out of their own community and the pace of development has raised controversy both with old and new residents. You can go to my website at to see what homes are selling for in Brookland.

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