CHURCHES AND TEMPLES
Los Angeles is rich in religious landmarks with exquisite or unusual architecture. Among them one stands in a bustling civic center and another that depicts a soldier in a tank in stained glass. Cultural diversity is part of the Southland’s history and well represented by the many historic churches and temples we have. These are just a sample of the many religious centers that have brought peace of mind, solidarity and unity, mutual support and a sense of meaning to the lives of past generations. While most still serve congregations, they also have historical value for visitors of any denomination. Come along with us as we explore these historical religious sites.
The Cathedral of Our Lady of The Angels (2002)
Religion continues to inspire some of the world’s finest buildings, and the stunning non-traditional Cathedral of Our Lady of The Angels is a perfect example. This contemporary design exudes a calming serenity achieved by soft filtering through alabaster panes and the wall sized tapestries depict 135 saints gaze towards the altar made of red Turkish marble.
Thien Hau Temple
The hip-and-gable roof and meticulously crafted columns of the Thien Hau Temple stand out amidst the neighboring boxy condos and apartment complexes. This Taoist temple at the center of activity with dance performances and firecracker displays every Chinese New Year. The Temple is dedicated to Mazu the goddess of the sea and patron saint to sailors, fishermen, and those whose cultures are associated with the sea. There are beautiful / intricate shrines allowing worshippers to pay respect to their Gods and Ancestors.
Hsi Lai Buddhist Temple
In the greater Los Angeles area there are many beautiful and historic religious locations that provide beauty and inspiration but none as spectacular as the Hsi Lai Temple in Hacienda Heights. The Hsi Lai Temple is massive and it encompasses 15 acres. It has a floor area of 102,432 square feet. The temple's Ming (1268-1644 C. E.) and Ching (1644-1911 C.E.) dynasty architecture is faithful to the traditional style of buildings, gardens and statuary of traditional ancient Chinese monasteries. A visit to a fantastic Chinese tea and herbal shop and a wonderful Chinese meal are also included on this tour.
Highlights of Hsi Lai Buddhist Temple tour:
Behind-the-scenes tour of His Lai temple
Gourmet Chinese meal
A visit to a Chinese tea and herbal shop
All Saints was founded in 1883, the First Episcopal parish in Pasadena. A new Gothic Revival-style church was built in 1923 and stands across the street from Pasadena's California- Mediterranean-style City Hall and within the confines of the Pasadena Civic Center District, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. One of the highlights of this 90 year old Gothic Revival church are the priceless and glowing stained-glass windows by Tiffany and the Judson Studios.
The Church of Our Savior (1868)
The oldest Protestant church in the San Gabriel Valley, this was also the first Episcopal Church in Southern California. It features a post-World War II addition of a stained-glass window depicting a soldier in a tank and a bronze statue of a uniformed soldier stands in the courtyard. The unique testaments are to Gen. George S. Patton, whose family helped build the church.
The Nishi Hongwanji Temple
Founded in 1905, and moved to its current location in 1969 the temple is a lively and beautiful landmark in little Tokyo. It belongs to the Jodo Shinshu Hongwanji-ha, one of the largest denominations of the Pure Land stream of Mahayana Buddhism. It is one of 62 temples affiliated with Nishi Hongwanji in the mainland United States.