OAKLAND’s BEST ●Attractions
Cathedral of Christ the Light 2121 Harrison St. Overlooking beautiful Lake Merritt, this spectacular cathedral was built in 2008 on 2 ½ acres. It seats 1,250 people and is the world's newest Catholic cathedral. Designed by architect Craig W. Hartman (who also designed the San Francisco Airport’s International Terminal) in the shape of the ancient Christian symbol for a fish, it is entered by visitors through the tail. Made of wood, concrete, and glass, it is meant to have a humble aura. Some people think the interior resembles a basket or a Noah’s Ark. The largest of the organ’s 5,298 pipes is 34 feet long, while the smallest is the size of a pencil. The fourteen Stations of the Cross are depicted on Romanesque-style cast bronze reliefs spaced around the interior perimeter, and the altar is made of Italian grey-streaked white Carrara marble from the same quarry Michelangelo used. Visitors are welcome. Free tours include in-depth description of the magnificent cathedral interior as well as visiting some of the smaller side chapels, including the Chapel of the Suffering Christ with a sculpture of Jesus on the cross that comes from Mexico City. A cafe and gift shop are adjacent, and many special events are regularly scheduled. I always like to stop in to see the magnificent cathedrals in Mexico and Europe and other countries when I travel, but I have rarely seen a spectacular new version such as this.