Visit Now2017-04-19T05:32:45-04:00

Visit the Franciscan Monastery of the Holy Land!

Welcome to the Franciscan Monastery of the Holy Land in America! We invite you to make a pilgrimage to see our beautiful church and replicas of Holy Land shrines, wander in our contemplative gardens, pray the rosary along the Rosary Portico, attend an event and learn about Christians and the Franciscan ministry in the Holy Land.

We offer daily tours of the church and seasonal tours of our beautiful gardens.

Wander our century-old gardens with replicas of sacred shrines, roses and many native plants; pray the rosary as you walk the Rosary Portico; volunteer in our vegetable garden and enjoy God’s creations.

When you shop at the Franciscan Monastery Gift Shop, your purchase helps Christian families in the Holy Land, who make many of the items we offer.

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

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

Visitors are welcome to enjoy the main church and gardens on their own, but we also invite you to join a guided tour, which includes an introductory video, “behind the scenes” information and access to places not visible without a guide.

Special tours, such as Saints in Stained Glass on Nov. 1 (All Saints Day) are offered periodically and listed on the calendar.

Church and Catacomb Guided Tour

Guided tours of the church and its Mount Calvary and Holy Sepulchre shrines, plus the catacombs, Purgatory Chapel and Visitation and Nativity grottoes (lower level of the Church) are held daily:

• Monday – Saturday: 10 a.m., 11 a.m., 1 p.m., 2 p.m., 3 p.m.
• Sunday: 1 p.m., 2 p.m., 3 p.m.

Reservations are not required for groups of 6 or less.

Learn more here

Special Guided Tours:

Marian Tour

This tour is called the Franciscan Crown Tour with Lourdes and is offered on Marian Feast days.

These Special Tours are held at 1 p.m. on the following dates in 2017:

February 2: Presentation of the Lord

February 11: Our Lady of Lourdes

March 25: Annunciation

May 13: Our Lady of Fatima

May 31: Visitation

August 22: Queenship of Mary

September 8: Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary

September 12: Most Holy Name of Mary

September 15: Our Lady Of Sorrows (Seven Sorrows Tour)

October 7: Our Lady of the Rosary

November 21: Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary

December 8: Immaculate Conception

December 12: Our Lady of Guadalupe

Lenten Tour

This specialized tour is presented at 1 p.m. on the Fridays of Lent. It uses the replicas of the monastery church as well as the words from Sacred Scripture and St. Francis of Assisi to reflect on Our Lord’s Passion and Death.

Student Lenten Pilgrimages

These special programs are offered during Lent to students who take the daily tour of the church and Catacombs and pray the Stations of the Cross, weather permitting, at the outdoor stations in our garden.  Following the Pilgrimage, each student is presented a certificate of participation with a blessing.

Stained Glass Tour

This specialized tour is given at 1 p.m. 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.

Check the calendar of events for individual dates and times.

Group Reservations

To ensure we can provide the best service possible, we ask groups of six or more to make a reservation by contacting us at 202-526-6800 or using our online form.

Guided tours are available of the interior of the Main Church and last approximately 45 minutes. The first part of the tour comprises the Upper Church and the second part the Lower Church, where the catacombs are located. Please note: Tours of the Lower Church, including the catacombs, are only given to two or more people. When in the Lower Church, visitors must remain with the guide at all times. The Lower Church is only accessible by stairs. It is not wheel-chair accessible nor is there an elevator. Walk-ins are welcome. Visitors are welcome to join a tour in progress. There is no tour fee, but donations are greatly appreciated. Groups of six or more must make reservations. Tours in Spanish are available by reservation only. To schedule a tour, call 202-526-6800 or submit an inquiry.
At all times, regardless of where you are in the Monastery, be respectful of others who might be praying and/or in confession. Eating and drinking are not allowed in church. Cell phones must be silenced, put on vibrate or turned off. Photography for personal use is allowed. Commercial photography, video recording and/or tape recording must request special permission. Personal belongings must remain with visitors at all times. No items may be left in the lobby, such as umbrellas, lunch bags, backpacks, strollers, etc. The Monastery is not responsible for lost or stolen belongings. There are no eating facilities on the premises. There are, however, several restaurants and an organic market located nearby on 12th St., N.E.

Make a Tour Reservation!


Garden Tours

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

Guided Garden Tours are every Saturday during the summer.
11 a.m. & 12 p.m.

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

Tours begin on the hour, Monday through Saturday, at 10, 11 a.m., and 1, 2, 3 p.m.
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.
Yes, tours can be given in Spanish. However, we ask for two weeks advance request to make arrangements.
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 small restaurants and fast-food places within 10-15 minutes from the Monastery. The cafeteria of the Basilica of the National Shrine is 10 minutes away by car/tour bus. Union Station has a number of fast food and chain restaurants, and is 20 minutes away by car/tour bus.
The church closes about 4:45 p.m. The last tour ends about 4 p.m.
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.
The number of people allowed on a tour is at the discretion of the Franciscan Monastery. Generally, 30-40 people would be able to be accommodated. However, since most tour buses have room for 50 or so people, we try to work with each group on an “as-needed basis.”
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 #6 Fort Lincoln bus will take you directly in front of our building.
During your visit to the Monastery, you may have lunch in the garden. However, seating is limited, and there are no trash cans. You must dispose of the trash yourselves away from the Monastery. There are no picnic areas as such. The garden is a quiet spot for prayer and meditation.
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 the Franciscan Monastery, may be deposited in the Tour Donation box. There is also a donation kiosk for credit card users next to the Tour Donation box.
No, the Monastery does not have a cafeteria for visitors.

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.

Schedule a Tour

We ask groups of six or more to register in advance, preferably two weeks, if possible.

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