Few local D.C. residents know about St. Matthews Cathedral, and I would really be surprised if any visitors to D.C. knew about it, since it’s the National Cathedral that gets the mention in the guidebooks. That’s too bad, really, because this tiny Catholic church, with its unassuming exterior, has a glorious interior that few people see and appreciate. (Believe it or not, I get to come here for my Spanish classes.)
Although it is a neighborhood church, it's had its moments in the national spotlight. There have been many funeral services held here for notable people, including President Kennedy.
For a cathedral, it has a very small interior—there are only seven chapels. The walls and ceiling are decorated with stunning images of angels and saints, including Matthew, rendered in marble and mosaic. The center dome helps to make the space feel larger. Last, but not least, there is a beautiful organ that is often featured in concerts and recitals; the sound of the music that pours forth from it is amazing!
If you are visiting from out of town, I would recommend going to the church in the late morning. Then walk back toward the White House, stopping for lunch in McPherson Square. That’s where some of D.C.’s fleet of food trucks parks every day. Find a spot in the park to eat and enjoy your time in D.C.!
The church is located about five blocks north of the White House and is a short walk from the Farragut North Metro station.