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Boston's Top 10 : Trinity Church

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Boston has a knack for creating curious visual juxtapositions, and one of the most remarkable is in Copley Square, where H. H. Richardson’s 19th-century Romanesque Trinity Church reflects in the blue-tinted glass of the decidedly 20th-century John Hancock Tower. The breathtakingly beautiful church was named a National Historic Landmark in 1971 and has earned the American Institute of Architects’ distinction of being among the ten greatest buildings in the country.

  • 206 Clarendon St

  • “T” station: Copley Sq (green line) & Back Bay (orange line)

  • 617 536 0944 (church)

  • www.trinityboston.org

  • Church open for self-tours 9am–5:30pm Mon–Sat, 1pm–5pm Sun

  • Bookstore Open 9am–6pm Sun–Fri, 9am–5pm Sat

  • Adm: $6 (tours: $6)


Trinity Sings “Hallelujah”

One of Boston’s most cherished traditions is the singing of Handel’s Messiah and its unmistakable “Hallelujah Chorus” at Trinity during the Christmas season. Hundreds pack the sanctuary to experience the choir’s ethereal, masterful treatment of the piece. Call 617 536 0944 for performance information.


Church Floorplan

Grab a quick bite at the Prudential Center food court, just two blocks away (

800 Boylston St
).

From September to June organ recitals are held every Friday, 12:15–12:45pm. By donation.


Please remember that Trinity Church is a place of worship.


Tours of the church are available and begin in the bookstore on the Boylston Street side of the complex.




Top 10 Features
  1. La Farge Windows

    A newcomer to stained glasswork at the time, John La Farge approached his commissions (like Christ in Majesty) with the same sense of daring and vitality that Richardson employed in his Trinity design.

  2. Burne-Jones Windows

    Edward Burne-Jones’ windows – on the Boylston Street side – were inspired by the burgeoning English Arts & Crafts Movement. Its influence is readily apparent in his David’s Charge to Solomon with its bold patterning and colors.

  3. Central Tower

    The church’s central tower borrows its square design from the Cathedral of Salamanca, Spain. On the interior, wall paintings by La Farge depicting biblical figures in vibrant hues are in sharp contrast to the austere church interiors of the artist’s day.

  4. Front Façade & Side Towers

    Inspired by the Romanesque church of St Trophime in Arles, France, Richardson redesigned Trinity’s front portico as well as two new side towers. The additions were implemented by his firm of architects some years after his death in the 1890s.

    Trinity Church façade
  5. Organ Pipes

    The beautiful organ pipes frame the church’s west wall. Exquisitely designed, ornately painted, and – of course – very sonorous, the pipes seem to hug the church’s ceiling arches.

  6. Phillips Brooks’ Bust

    Keeping watch over the baptismal font is Rector Brooks. Renowned for his sermons – bold, forthright, and fresh for their time – he was rector at Trinity from 1869–91.

  7. Pulpit Carving

    Preachers throughout the ages, including St Paul, Martin Luther, and Phillips Brooks of Trinity are depicted in high relief on the pulpit designed by Charles Coolidge.

  8. Embroidered Kneelers

    Trinity’s colorful kneelers have been stitched by parishioners in memory of people and events past. They serve as an informal, folk history of the congregation.

  9. Bookstore

    Apart from the requisite Christian literature and Bibles, the bookstore also sells high-quality replicas of designs that appear throughout the church.

  10. The Foundation

    As part of 34-year-old Richardson’s daring plan, the first of 4,500 wooden support pilings for the church was driven into the spongy Back Bay landfill in 1873. Rev. Phillips Brooks laid the cornerstone two years later.

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