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Basilica Cathedral of St. John the Baptist Entrance Archway Municipal Heritage Building

St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador, A1C, Canada

Formally Recognized: 2006/07/24

Eastward view of the Basilica Entrance Archway.; City of St. John's 2005
Basilica Entrance Archway
Westward view of the Basilica Entrance Archway, showing the Basilica of St. John the Baptist in the background,; HFNL 2006.
Basilica Entrance Archway, St. John's, NL.
Aerial view of the Basilica of St. John the Baptist and the Basilica Archway.  Other ecclesiastical buildings can also be noted in the picture.  Archway is located near the center right.  Date of photo unknown.; City of St. John's Archives 2006
Basilica Compound, St. John's, NL.

Other Name(s)


Links and documents

Construction Date(s)


Listed on the Canadian Register: 2006/08/30

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place

The Basilica Entrance Arch is a granite archway which stands in front of the Basilica of St. John the Baptist which is located at 200 Military Road in St. John’s, NL. This archway has a triple arch and features a statue of St. John the Baptist which is located prominently at the apex of the central arch.

Heritage Value

The Basilica Entrance Arch has been designated a Municipal Heritage Building because it holds aesthetic and historic values.

The Basilica Entrance Arch was originally erected in 1857 and is aesthetically valuable for its style and construction. Built to reflect the Basilica of St. John the Baptist, the church with which it is associated, the Arch is built in the Lombard Romanesque Revival style, also known as the Romanesque Style with an Italian Influence. Standing more than 12 meters tall the Arch was originally constructed as a one-arch structure but was increased to three arches in 1907 when it was moved back to allow for road widening. The Roman archways are flanked by ionic columns illustrating a Classical influence and are constructed of large granite blocks with a statue of St. John perched at the pinnacle of the central arch. St. John is the patron saint of the city of St. John’s and one of the patrons of the Basilica of St. John the Baptist. This marble statue is 3.048 meters tall and was sculpted by Fillipio Ghersi in Carrara, Italy. The statue represents John the Baptist preaching penance and holding a baptismal shell in his right hand.

The Basilica Entrance Arch is historically valuable for its association with the construction of the Basilica and Bishop John Mullock. The archway was originally constructed in 1857 under the supervision of Bishop Mullock. The construction of the Basilica was begun under Bishop Michael Fleming, but after his death in 1855, Mullock continued his legacy by finishing work on the Basilica as well as the construction of Presentation Convent, also located on the Basilica grounds.

Source: Designated at a meeting of the City of St. John’s Municipal Council held on July 24, 2006, Council Directive R2006-07-24/24.

Character-Defining Elements

The following elements of the Basilica Entrance Arch embody its heritage value and should be preserved:

-its location and orientation on Military Road;
-overall dimensions, height and width of entire arch;
-marble statue of St. John the Baptist, and placement of that statue;
-triple arch span;
-use of granite blocks in the construction;
-Roman arches with granite keystone; and
-ionic columns flanking archways.



Newfoundland and Labrador

Recognition Authority

City of St. John's

Recognition Statute

City of St. John's Act

Recognition Type

City of St. John's Heritage Building, Structure, Land or Area

Recognition Date


Historical Information

Significant Date(s)


Theme - Category and Type

Expressing Intellectual and Cultural Life
Architecture and Design

Function - Category and Type


Religion, Ritual and Funeral
Religious Facility or Place of Worship


Architect / Designer




Additional Information

Location of Supporting Documentation

Heritage Foundation of Newfoundland and Labrador, 1 Springdale Street, St. John's, NL, A1N 3C2

Cross-Reference to Collection

Fed/Prov/Terr Identifier




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