Visit the Franciscan Monastery of the Holy Land!

Discover a different D.C.! The Franciscan Monastery of the Holy Land in America has been named one of the Top 5 places most tourists miss when sightseeing in Washington, D.C. We invite you to take a break from the museums, monuments, and memorials and make a “pilgrimage” to the Franciscan Monastery to take in the beauty of our gardens, find peace in the Monastery church and among the replicas of Holy Land shrines, attend a concert or event, or learn about the Franciscans’ work in the Holy Land. This is a free attraction that is easily seen by foot, and it’s one of the best natural views in the district!

We offer “pilgrimages” of the church and seasonal tours of our beautiful gardens.

Enjoy the outdoors and God’s creation by walking the recreation trail through our century-old gardens with replicas of sacred shrines, roses and many native plants; you can also volunteer in our vegetable garden.

If you cannot visit the Monastery, we encourage you to take our virtual tour. Use our interactive map to see photos and videos from the inside of the church.

Take time away to hear God speaking to you during a personal retreat in one of our two hermitages.

Plan a Local Pilgrimage
(Temporarily Suspended)

We welcome schools, parishes and other groups for tours, stations of the cross, retreats and other family-friendly activities.

The Franciscan Monastery has a range of meeting spaces with wifi and videoconferencing, as well as the beautiful event space, St. Francis Hall, which accommodates up to 250 people.

Guided Tours

Take a tour of the Monastery church, including full-size replicas of the Mount Calvary and Holy Sepulchre shrines in Jerusalem, plus reproductions of the Nazareth Annunciation and Bethlehem Nativity grottos and the Roman catacombs. After the tour, take time to experience the beauty and tranquility of the Monastery gardens on your own.

Based on docent availability, tours are scheduled for Tuesday through Saturday at 1 p.m. and 2 p.m. and on Sundays at 12 noon and 1:30 p.mMonday tours have been suspended until further notice. Use the reservation link below to view available dates and times.

Tours must be booked online in advance and are limited to a maximum of 30 people. Walk-ins are welcome to join a scheduled tour if space is available however, please note that a scheduled tour will not take place if there are no advance online registrations.

For large groups over 35 persons, tours must be arranged with the Director of Tours at least 45 days in advance via email to tours@myfranciscan.com.

  • Tour groups meet in the Tour Lobby.  To get there, walk through the Main Gate of the Monastery and enter the door marked ‘Visitors Entrance’
  • Tours last approximately 50 minutes
  • A minimum of two or more visitors are required for tours of the lower church/catacombs
  • The lower church is only accessible by stairs and is inaccessible by wheel-chair
  • Tours in Spanish can be arranged with advance notice of 30 or more days
  • Tours are free but donations are greatly appreciated to help support the work of the Franciscan Friars
Make a Reservation

Self-Guided Tours

Visitors can take a self-guided tour of the Upper Church and Gardens between the hours of 9:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. on Mondays thru Saturdays. Brochures are available in the Tour Lobby or at the Concierge Desk. Please note that the catacombs and lower church are only accessible on the Guided tours.

Special Guided Tours

2024 Marian Tours

This tour is called the Franciscan Crown Tour with Lourdes and is offered on Marian Feast days. The tour includes the Marian Chapel, Marian artwork and images in the Monastery Church and ends with a visit to the replica of Lourdes in the lower garden. (Marian Tours are not offered if the feast day falls on a Sunday.)

These Special Tours are by reservation only and will be held at 1 p.m. on the following dates:

February 2 (Friday) – Presentation of the Lord
April 8 (Monday) Annunciation (moved from 3/25 because of Holy Week)
May 13 (Monday) – Our Lady of Fatima
May 20 (Monday) – The Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of the Church
May 31 (Friday) – Visitation
June 8 (Saturday) – The Immaculate Heart of the Blessed Virgin Mary
July 16 (Tuesday) – Our Lady of Mount Carmel
August 22 (Thursday) – Queenship of the Blessed Virgin Mary
September 12 (Thursday) – The Most Holy Name of Mary
October 7 (Monday) – Our Lady of the Rosary
November 21 (Thursday) – Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary
December 10 (Tuesday) – Our Lady of Loreto
December 12 (Thursday) – Our Lady of Guadalupe

Reservations will open 60 days prior to each tour date.

Lenten Reflection Tour

Fridays at 1:00 PM from February 16th through March 22nd (There will be no 1PM regular Monastery tour on these days)

The Lenten reflection uses the beautiful replicas and artwork of the Monastery Church, as well as the words from Sacred Scripture and from St Francis of Assisi, to reflect on our Lord’s Passion and Death. The reflection includes the replica of Grotto of Gethsemane in the lower garden as well as the replicas of the Altar of Calvary, the Anointing Stone and the Holy Sepulcher in the upper Church.

Note: This tour does not include the lower church or the catacombs replica.

Stained Glass Tour

This specialized tour is given at 12:00 noon on November 1, the feast of All Saints, to honor the saints of the Franciscan Order and others who are depicted in the church’s stained-glass windows.  Among the saints are St. Francis, St. Bonaventure, St. Clare, and St. Elizabeth of Hungary. Explanations are given of the symbols in the windows as well as a short synopsis of the life of the saints.


Make a Reservation

For questions regarding tours, call 202-526-6800 or email tours@myfranciscan.com Please do not call or email to register for tours that are already sold out online.

The Franciscan Monastery is a national, religious shrine. Please be respectful while in the church and the gardens. Eating and drinking are prohibited in church. Cell phones must be silenced, put on vibrate or turned off. Photography for personal use is allowed. Commercial/Professional photography and videography are not permitted in the Monastery and the Gardens. Please always keep personal belongings with you. The Monastery is not responsible for lost or stolen property.


The Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception

Saint John Paul II National Shrine

Garden Tours

Docents from our volunteer Franciscan Monastery Garden Guild offer free tours of the gardens on Saturdays from April to September.

You will learn about the history, architecture, plants and friars as you explore the formal upper garden, more natural lower garden and the vegetable garden and bee apiaries behind the monastery.

Tour Times

Franciscan Monastery Garden Tours will be held Saturdays, 11 am and 12 noon, April 6- September 28, 2024. Meet at the Visitor’s Entrance.

Group tours are available on request. Contact Pat Cunniff, Franciscan Monastery Garden Guild, 301- 927-7312, for further information.

Viewing Hours

Gardens are open daily to the public.
9 a.m. – 4:45 p.m.

We would love for you to visit, but go ahead and start with our virtual tour!

The Franciscan Monastery of the Holy Land in America is one of Washington, D.C.’s hidden treasures. It stands as an Oasis of Peace in the middle of bustling Washington. It is at once a house of worship, an architectural marvel and a sprawling expanse of gardens.

If you cannot visit the Monastery, we encourage you to take our virtual tour. Use our interactive map to see photos and videos from the inside of the church.

Take the Virtual Tour

Frequently Asked Questions

Generally, a tour lasts from 45-60 minutes.
The monastery church is handicapped accessible. But to visit the lower church, you must be able to use steps. There are more than 20 steps descending, several in the lower church, and at least 20 ascending.

Tours in Spanish can be arranged however we do need a minimum of 30 days advance notice to schedule a tour guide.

Yes, the Monastery has ample free parking in our parking lot across the street from the Church, 1400 Quincy Street. Buses must park on the street in front of the Monastery. The Security Guard will reserve spaces for buses on the street with parking cones.
A fair amount of walking is required to see the upper and lower church. But if you do not want to walk much, you may sit in the church, which includes several replicas, and wait.
Two weeks advance notice is required.
Respectful dress is required for the church. For summer, no short shorts or other inappropriate clothing is permitted.

There are several restaurants nearby including the establishments listed below. Check the individual websites for menu, prices and other details. Do a Google search for ‘Brookland DC Restaurants’ to view additional eateries in the area:

San Antonio Bar and Grill. 3908 12th Street NE, 202-832-8080.  http://www.sabarandgrill.com/

Busboys and Poets. 625 Monroe St NE,  301-779-2787. https://www.busboysandpoets.com/

Brookland Pint. 716 Monroe St NE,  202-758-2757. https://brooklandpint.com/

Menomale. 2711 12th St NE, 202-248-3946. https://menomale.us/

Brookland’s Finest.  3126 12th Street NE, 202-633-0050. Parking is available on side streets. Go down Quincy Street to 12th Street, turn left and follow 12th Street beyond St. Anthony’s Catholic Church. http://www.brooklandsfinest.com/

Busboys and Poets. 625 Monroe St NE,  301-779-2787. Go down Quincy Street and make a left on 12th Street. Go several blocks and make a right on Monroe St. Go over the bridge and Busboys and Poets will be on your left just before Monroe ends at Michigan Avenue. https://www.busboysandpoets.com/

Cafeteria at The Basilica of the Immaculate Conception. Michigan Avenue and Harewood Road, NE. The Basilica cafeteria offers special menus for large groups who wish to incorporate breakfast or lunch into their visit, including boxed lunches to-go. Arrangements for these meals require prior notice. Please contact Visitor Services at visitorservices@bnsic.org. From the Monastery, go down Quincy Street past 12th Street to Michigan Avenue. Turn left on Michigan Avenue, go over the bridge, and past Catholic University Campus. You can drive up to the front of the Basilica and let people off and then park free in the big lot off Harewood Road.

The church closes at 4:00 p.m. Sunday, Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. On Tuesday, the church closes after the 5:30 p.m. St. Anthony Mass and Novena and on Saturday after the 5:00 p.m. Vigil Mass. The gardens close at 4:45 p.m. daily.

The gardens close at 4:45 p.m.
You may take photos for personal use in church. You may take photos during the tours, but without tripods. (Tripods require advance permission.) When taking photos during tours, you may not disturb the tour guide or other visitors, or you will be asked to stop taking photos. Any photos for other-than-personal use require advance permission.
No, there is no place for overnight visits.

Currently the maximum number of people allowed on a guided tour is 30.

Tours are given by Franciscan friars and by trained lay personnel, depending on the scheduling.

The Brookland Metro stop on the Red Line is several blocks away. From there, the H6 Fort Lincoln bus will take you directly in front of our building.

You can have a picnic in Angel Park which is just across the street from the Monastery and adjacent to the Visitor Parking Lot.  This is a large area with picnic tables that can seat up to 42 people. There is no charge for parking or use of the site.  Please contact tours@myfranciscan.com or 202-526-6800 ext 364 in advance if booking a group of 10 or more.  
There are no hotels near the Monastery. However, there are many hotels in the downtown area, in nearby College Park, and close to the Red Line metro stops.
Since the tour requires a certain pace to be accomplished within the time frame allowed, it is not possible to stop and pray for long periods in the lower church. However, you are encouraged to offer short prayers at each shrine along the way, and to remain in a prayerful attitude during the entire visit.

No, but a donation is greatly appreciated. Cash, or checks made payable to ‘Franciscan Monastery USA’, may be deposited in the Tour Donation box located in the hallway between the Concierge desk and the Tour Lobby.

The Monastery does not have a cafeteria. Groups are welcome to bring their own lunches and can eat outside in Angel Park, weather permitting. There are also meeting rooms at the Monastery that can be rented for a nominal charge for your group to eat lunch.  Contact tours@myfranciscan.com  or 202-526-6800, ext 364, for further information as to availability and cost.

Unfortunately, The Franciscan Monastery does not have guest accommodations. We encourage visitors to stay at area hotels, in College Park or, by Metro, downtown Silver Spring.

Housing for Priests/Consecrated Religious

Rooms are available in our friary for priests and male consecrated religious who are studying at CUA and other religious schools of higher learning. Please contact us at mail@myfranciscan.com for details.


Our on-site hermitage is intended solely for use a a spiritual solace and reconnecting with God. If you are seeking a personal retreat experience, you can learn more about the hermitage here or contact us at hermitage@myfranciscan.com to schedule your retreat.

Please note that the sole purpose of the Hermitage is for spiritual solace and reconnecting with God. Use of the lodgings for the sole purpose of accommodations is not in keeping with this purpose and mission.