D.C. January 05, 2018
Most People Have No Idea These Catacombs Underneath DC Even Exist
There are quite a few secrets in DC and most people are surprised to discover what’s hiding all around or underneath the district. A perfect example of this is the catacombs hiding out underneath the Franciscan Monastery in Brookland. These spooky and fascinating halls are so worth a visit — if you dare.
The Franciscan Monastery of the Holy Land in America is a true hidden gem in DC. It's worth the visit, even if you aren't Catholic or even religious.
It's home to full-size replicas of Holy Land shrines, a stunning church, and is surrounded by gorgeous gardens.
Many people have visited the monastery to explore the chapels and gardens. But not many have take a trip to the catacombs that are hidden underneath the church. The catacombs were built in the late 1800s by a group of monks who want to create a similar experience of the Holy Land for Americans who could not afford the trip.
The catacombs are complete replicas of the original tombs and graves in Rome. However, even though the graves are fake, it doesn't take away from the experience of the catacombs.
Visitors can explore the eerie hallways and step into quiet crypts containing statues and stories of deceased saints.
For the most part, the remains are not real. But the stories of the saints and their lives are very real and the remains are in Rome.
There is an actual real life body buried in the catacombs in DC, the bones of Saint Innocent, a child martyr.
You will also find the bones of Saint Benignus, a Roman soldier in the second century. He was beheaded: his head remains in Rome, but his bones are in these DC catacombs.
The catacombs are free to visit. Staff will give you a guided tour between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. Monday through Sunday.
The Franciscan Monastery is located at 1400 Quincy St. NE, Washington, DC 20017. You can plan your trip
Have you ever explored these catacombs?
They are not the only thing underneath DC.
Check out this cool tunnel underneath DC