ST. LOUIS (KSDK) - The Cathedral Basilica in St. Louis is believed to have the largest collection of tiled mosaics in the world. More than 40 million polished glass tiles cover about 83,000 square-feet of space on the Cathedral Basilica's ceiling.
Visitors marvel at the priceless artwork above them on a daily basis. There are breathtaking images of angels, saints and Raggedy Andy.
"Yes, Raggedy Andy," says Nicole Heerlein at the Cathedral Basilica. "Most people think it's just religious figures but there are secular elements to it, which makes it interesting as well."
Construction on the famous Basilica began in 1907. The painstaking work of spreading the ceiling tiles began shortly after. And the awe-inspiring assortment of tiled mosaics on the ceiling wasn't completely finished until 1988.
Many of the mosaics are religious in nature, of course.
But many others, especially those closest to the entrance, tell the story of St. Louis. Upon closer inspection, you will be able to see local religious organizations and early St. Louis priests and nuns. The Raggedy Andy mosaic can be seen in the hand of a young girl who is speaking to a nun. There are other interesting St. Louis and American icons on the ceiling, too.
Would you believe the Statue of Liberty is also up there?
The Cathedral Basilica has a scavenger hunt map available for tour groups and children, so visitors can explore the wonder of the tiled mosaics.
The Basilica is open and free to all visitors who would like to look around, outside of normal mass hours.