David Aylsworth: Either/And
January 17 - February 26, 2017
Beaumont's overnight oil boom of 1901 brought fortune seekers of all religious denominations to town. Find a breathtaking Catholic cathedral, a grand Presbyterian church of solid pink granite, a shrine to the Virgin Mary, as well as a Jewish temple and a Buddhist temple. From the awe-inspiring to the serene, these places of worship and reflection offer magnificent views that any visitor can appreciate.
There are only 12 basilicas in the United States, 5 are in Texas and most breathtaking is St. Anthony Cathedral Basilica located in Beaumont, Texas. Enter the copper-domed cathedral and your eyes are drawn upward to the intricate art and architecture modeled after San Clemente in Rome. See stunning stained-glass windows, Bernini Doves, 300 year-old icons, Pope John Paul II's zucchetto (signed by His Holiness himself!) as well as symbolic oil paintings and gorgeous mosaics.
At Temple Emanuel, the octagonal sanctuary holds many treasures including an impressive central chandelier gracing its visitors with its 60 lamps in the shape of the Star of David. The six leaded-glass windows depict the main prophets of Judaism and The Holy Ark contains three hand-lettered parchment scrolls known as the Torah.
In nearby Port Arthur, the Buu Mon Buddhist Temple houses a 7-foot gilt-bronze Buddha seated on the altar. Tourists are drawn to the lotus gardens that contain an array of impressive lotus flowers as well as several varieties of bamboo, banana and citrus trees.
A Greek-revival-style structure made of Texas pink granite and Italian marble, the First Presbyterian Church in Orange is the only angel adorned opalescent dome in the United States. Mahogany woodwork graces the interior along with layered stained glass windows. See the complete list of area historic churches and places of worship below.