By Patrick Bailey
Colorado is home to some of the nation's most beautiful scenery: impressive mountains, crystal blue skies, powerful rolling rivers, and lush green forests. For some people, the natural beauty of the state is perfect for connecting with their spiritual sides.
In addition, the state features other sites that people may find inspiring. Those travelling to Denver, Colorado in search of a spiritual connection will find several sacred sites, each with their own potential to renew and inspire.
Denver Sacred Sites
1. Fairmount Cemetery: Address: 430 S. Quebec St., Denver
Photo credit: Irish Network Colorado
Fairmount Cemetery is the largest cemetery in Denver and one of the largest in the United States. More than one hundred years old, Fairmount Cemetery is the final resting place for many of Denver's most prominent families, providing visitors with an extensive history of the city.
It is also home to the Nisei Japanese-American Memorial that honours Japanese-American Air Force veterans who fought in Europe during World War II while their families were interred in prison camps in Colorado and California.The cemetery's mausoleum has the largest stained glass collection in the city.
The cemetery also has Denver's largest arboretum. It is one of the few cemeteries in the country that allows visitors to schedule private tours.
2. Cathedral Basilica of the Immaculate Conception: Address: 1530 Logan St., Denver
With a history dating back to 1869 as the first Catholic church in Denver under the name St. Mary's Parish, the current building for the Cathedral Basilica of the Immaculate Conception was built in 1902 and remains a defining feature in Denver.
The exterior is made of limestone and granite, while the altar, bishop's chair, and statuary are constructed of marble imported from Carrara, Italy. Another notable feature of the church is seventy-five stained glass windows from Munich, Germany.
Prominent people have connections to the cathedral. In 1993, St. Pope John Paul II celebrated a Catholic Mass here during World Youth Day. It is also the home of the remains of Julia Greeley, a former slave who dedicated her life to helping the poor. She is currently under consideration for canonisation and may become a saint. She is currently seen as a beacon of hope for people facing poverty, people in rehab for addiction in Colorado, and people experiencing homelessness. Today, the cathedral is an inner-city parish active in the community and provides thousands of meals to the poor or homeless every year.
3. Orgyen Khamdroling Dharma Center: Address: 3300 Josephine St., Denver
Under the guidance of religious teacher Anyen Rinpoche, the Orgyen Khamdroling Dharma Center focuses on genuine dharma practice. A centre for Buddhism in Denver, this beautiful place features stained glass with Buddhist seed syllables and iconography.
Other striking features are its five golden statues that represent Shakyamuni, Padmasambhava, Longchenpa, Yeshe, Tsogyal, and Mandarava. The shrine room is perfect for peaceful and meditative practice.
4. Holy Protection of the Mother of God Byzantine Church: Address: 1201 S. Elizabeth St., Denver
Holy Protection of the Mother of God Byzantine Catholic Church is home to a vast collection of icons that are significant to many Christians. Believers say the images are windows to heaven, and some may be traced to the twelfth century or earlier.
Many of the icons portray Mary, the mother of Jesus Christ, during various times in her life. They depict her power, relation to salvation, and role in the history of Christianity.
5. Mother Cabrini Shrine: Address: 20189 Cabrini Blvd, Golden, Colorado
Located just outside of Denver in Golden, Colorado, the Mother Cabrini Shrine is a sacred place that honours the work of Mother Cabrini and her religious sisters for the area's orphans. St. Frances Xavier Cabrini was an Italian woman who immigrated to the United States and became the first saint who was an American citizen.
The shrine includes several historic structures, including a grotto built over a spring that resembles the grotto at the holy pilgrimage site of Lourdes, France. Pilgrims and tourists journey to see the convent, Heart of Stones, Stone House, and Stairway of Prayer. The Mount of the Sacred Heart is the highest hill on the property, dedicated by Mother Cabrini in 1912 to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. The hill features a 22-foot tall statue of Jesus carved by an Italian artist. Pilgrims may climb the 373-step staircase to the top of the hill and spend time in prayer or meditation.
6. Assumption of the Theotokos Greek Orthodox Cathedral of Denver: Address: 4610 E. Alameda Ave., Denver
With its golden dome rising high in the sky, the Assumption of the Theotokos Greek Orthodox Cathedral features old-world artistry and traditional architecture. The cathedral was built in 1972 and features a large icon known as Christ Almighty along with fourteen icons representing the feasts of Jesus Christ.
If you visit the cathedral, look up. The ceiling of the cathedral has a pictorial representation of heaven, the gospel, and a multitude of saints. Visitors may find that the elaborate finishes provide a feast for the eyes and soul, immersing them in a world of art, colour, and light.
Whether you identify with a particular spiritual belief or you are looking for inspiration and beauty, these sacred sites in Denver may help you connect and feel inspired. With their rich history and magnificent sacred furnishings, these sites amplify the natural beauty of Denver.
They are all open to the public, allowing those from outside of their specific religious beliefs to tour and enjoy. Each site deserves to be on any Denver visitor's bucket list.
Patrick was born and raised in Denver, Colorado. These days he lives in Michigan.
He is a writer, with a special focus on addictions, mental health and living in recovery.
How To Get There
Getting to Denver Colorado
There are typically several last-minute flights to Denver International available when you book your flight a few months ahead of time.
Book your flights between May and September to enjoy Denver’s popular Cinco De Mayo celebration and all the summer festivals.
Book in the fall if you want to be the first on the chairlift for ski season in December and January.
Discover more: Flights to Denver
Arrive at least 60 minutes prior to departure if you’re checking baggage or need ticketing/passenger assistance
Arrive at least 30 minutes prior to departure if you’re not checking baggage or don’t need assistance
The station has no WiFi
Discover more: Trains to and from Denver
Here is the link for the Denver Greyhound Bus Station.
If you can travel Tuesdays or Wednesdays, you can avail of up to 40% discounts.