4 votes

Holy Cross-Immaculata

30 Guido St, Cincinnati, Ohio 45202 USA

“a beautiful church poised on a peak”

Known most for the Good Friday tradition of people praying the steps leading up to it from the Ohio River, Holy-Cross Immaculate is a beautiful church poised on a peak of Mt. Adams. With a beautiful view of the river, downtown Cincinnati, and Northern Kentucky, Holy-Cross Immaculata is a perfect place to snap a stunning picture of Cincinnati. The church was built in 1859, just before the American Civil War, for the German congregation in the city’s Mt. Adams neighborhood. Archbishop John Baptist Purcell decided to build the church while praying during a severe storm at sea. He promised God that if he survived, he would build a church on the city’s highest point.  The nearby Holy Cross parish primarily served Irish immigrants. When the Holy Cross monastery closed in 1977, the parishioners joined with Immaculata to become the Holy Cross–Immaculata parish. The Mt. Adams Preservation Association raised enough funds to commission the restoration of seven paintings by Johann Schmitt. The paintings were mounted over the main altar and side altars between 1863 and 1870.  A painted scroll stretches above the main altar across a depiction of the Immaculate Conception.

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Reviewed by
Austin Coop

  • 486 Reviews
  • 426 Helpful
April 09, 2014

I participated in the Good Friday step climb once. A very special thing to climb hundreds of steps praying your way to the top. Their summer festival may be the most quaint and charming one in the city too.

1 person found this review helpful

Reviewed by
Natalie Akers

  • Road Warrior
  • 371 Reviews
  • 117 Helpful
February 05, 2016
Rated 4.0

There's a commercial of Serena Williams taking this climb. The stairs start from the columbia parkway and go all the way up the hill to a great view. Take a few more streets to get to the final pitch - some stairs up to the church. Usually 1-5 people here no matter what time of day or night you hit it but enough serenity to be a great place to catch a view and some thoughts. Historical markers at a few locations on the stairs to give you more info than I know!

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