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First Church of Christ Scientist

First Church of Christ Scientist Plaza.

First Church of Christ Scientist Plaza. Photo by City of Boston Archives.

The First Church of Christ Scientist is the Mother Church for this Christian faith. Founded in 1894 by Mary Baker Eddy, this Back Bay building offers free tours to the public Tuesday through Sunday.  {Editor’s Note: And while you’re in Boston you might want to check out Foder’s top 25 things to see, places to go and things to do}

Touring the First Church of Christ Scientist

First Church of Christ Scientist organ

First Church of Christ Scientist organ. Photo by City of Boston Archives.

One of the many friendly tour guides will take you through the different parts of the church. The Original Mother Church, built in the American Romanesque architectural style, still stands today. The Extension, completed in 1906, added a large domed building that seats 3,000 people. It also contains one of the largest pipe organs in the world. (It has 13,384 pipes!)

On your tour you will learn about the history of the Church and its founder, Mary Baker Eddy, who based the Church on the principles of better understanding the teachings and healings of God and Jesus Christ.

Visiting the Library and Grounds

After you tour the church you can visit the Mary Baker Eddy Library, which has many primary sources and collections by and about the Church’s founder. The library is attached to the Hall of Ideas, which combines a sculpted fountain and digital programming to project quotations from the world’s most influential thinkers around the hall.

Make sure to step inside the Mapparium, which is a three-story globe of the world made from stained-glass. Standing on the bridge in the middle of the globe, you are surrounded by LED lights, music, and spoken words about the way ideas have changed the world. Outside the buildings, the Plaza at the First Church of Christ Scientist welcomes all visitors. Stroll through the gardens, take your kids to play in the fountain, or look out on the 670-foot-long reflecting pool.

First Church of Christ Scientist

Take a free tour of Boston’s First Church of Christ, Scientist. Photo: Smart Destinations

Hours and Directions

Tour hours: 12 p.m.-5 p.m., Thursday-Saturday
11 a.m.-3 p.m., Sunday
Closed, Monday
12 p.m.-4 p.m., Tuesday
1 p.m.-4 p.m., Wednesday

The Church is located at 250 Massachusetts Avenue in Boston, MA, on the corner of Mass. Ave. and Huntington Ave. It is easily accessible by the Green and Orange lines of the MBTA.

   

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