Kentucky is known for many things. Bourbon. Horse racing. And don’t forget bluegrass-the music and the land. Covington, Kentucky has a different and surprising claim to fame on Madison Avenue just a few miles from Cincinnati, Ohio.

America’s Notre Dame

The Cathedral Basilica of the Assumption is known as “America’s Notre Dame,” We learned about the beautiful cathedrals in Covington on a previous trip and made plans to return. The church allows people to tour the beautiful cathedral for free. “Why would we not want to share this?” said the gentleman overseeing tours the day we visited

A historic window

We entered from the north and the first thing that caught our eye was the North Transept Window. We travel a lot but I have never seen anything so breathtaking. The window is 67 feet high by 24 feet wide and is the largest stained-glass window in the western hemisphere, according to the cathedral. The window is an artistic rendering of the Council of Ephesus that affirmed the humanity and divinity of Jesus, we were told. 

Two other murals of interest are a three-panel triptych in the eastern portion of the cathedral and a mural on the west wall. These were finished in the early 20th city by Frank Duveneck. The eastern panel shows the three eras of worship and the western wall shows Christ’s resurrection. 

Some sections of the church are closed but you can still drink in their beauty. We thought this would be a short visit. We kept finding things of interest in the church that kept us there for more than two hours.

The cathedral has so much beauty and so many things to see. If you go, be sure to take time to visit the 14 Stations of the Cross. These mosaic art pieces were done in Venice Italy in by mosaicist Antonio Castaman, a well-known Venetian glassmaker. The panels contain between 70,000 and 80,000 individual pieces of glass. 

The beauty of the cathedral extends to its grounds. We visited in October and the weather was beautiful. It was comforting to sit in the gardens and enjoy the artwork. 

You can learn more about Saint Mary’s Cathedral Basilica of the Assumption at

Plan a visit to Covington

Covington is located across the Ohio River from Cincinnati. This was our second trip there and we plan to go back. You will find so much to do there. We enjoyed spending time in Mainstrasse, a cute German village. Along the banks of the Ohio River, you will find art work and gorgeous views. Northern Kentucky was an unexpected find for us many years ago. It’s now one of our favorite places.

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