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Saint Michael's Church

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Attractions Details

📌 Address

71 Broad St, Charleston, SC 29401, USA

Opening Hours

8:00 AM - 12:00 PM

💸 Entrance Fee

Free

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expert
Colm
Local tour guide
"Visit St. Michael's Church in Charleston during the quieter early morning hours to experience the serenity of this historic site without the crowds; locals know it's the best time to appreciate its beauty and reflect. Make sure to check out the tucked-away garden on the side—it's a small, peaceful spot that many visitors miss."

What is St. Michael's Church?

St. Michael's Church, with its iconic steeple rising above the heart of Charleston, South Carolina, is not just a mere building. It’s a living piece of history and an enduring symbol of faith in the city's historic district. Since the 18th century, this church has been a beacon for Charlestonians and visitors alike, beckoning with its elegant architecture and the toll of its historic bells. Nestled at the corner of Broad and Meeting streets, it embodies the essence of Charleston's religious and cultural heritage.

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History of St. Michael's Church

The story of St. Michael's is entwined with the very fabric of Charleston itself. Built between 1752 and 1761, the church stands on the site of the first Anglican Church south of Virginia, which is the original St. Philip’s built in the 1680s. During the American Revolution, the British occupied the church and melted down the original bells for ammunition. However, the people of Charleston didn't let that loss diminish their spirits. The bells were recast in England and returned, only to be damaged again by the great fire of 1835 and the earthquake of 1886. Resilient, the people had them recast yet again, and notably, the bells rang out to mark the end of the Civil War.

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Why is St. Michael's Church Important?

St. Michael's Church is much more than just a place of worship. It's an enduring testament to Charleston's ability to preserve its history despite the trials of war, fire, and natural disasters. It’s important for its architectural significance as one of the finest colonial-era churches. The church is also noteworthy for its congregation, which included signers of the United States Constitution and Declaration of Independence. Its graveyard is the final resting place of some notable historical figures. Moreover, St. Michael's has continued to play a vital role in the community as a hub for spiritual and cultural events throughout its long history.

Things to Do & See at St. Michael's Church

For those visiting St. Michael's, there's an array of things to see and do that resonate with the depth and breadth of Charleston’s history. You can admire the remarkable Georgian architecture or sit quietly in one of its pews, where centuries of worshippers have sought solace. A visit to the churchyard is a must—here, the tombstones read like a history book, with inscriptions telling the stories of Charleston's past residents. The church's interior is adorned with beautiful artifacts, including a majestic organ and exquisite stained glass that captures light and attention.

And let's not forget the view from the steeple—climbing it might be a challenge, but it offers a breathtaking panorama of Charleston that, I assure you, is worth the effort. Special tours can unveil hidden stories and intricacies often missed by casual observers. If the timing is right, you just might hear the historic bells ring, a sound that has echoed through the streets of Charleston for over two and a half centuries.

Frequently asked questions

What is the history of St. Michael's Church in Charleston?

St. Michael's Church is the oldest surviving religious structure in Charleston, South Carolina. It was built between 1752 and 1761 on the site of the original wooden church built in the 1680s. The church is a notable example of colonial ecclesiastical architecture and has been an important landmark throughout Charleston's history.

What are the visiting hours for St. Michael's Church?

Visiting hours for St. Michael's Church can vary, but the church is typically open to visitors during regular worship services and may offer guided tours at specific times throughout the week. It's best to check their official website or contact the church office for the most current visiting hours.

Is there an admission fee to visit St. Michael's Church?

St. Michael's Church usually does not charge an admission fee for visitors who wish to tour the church during its open hours or attend a service. However, donations are often appreciated to help maintain the historic building.

What architectural style is St. Michael's Church designed in?

St. Michael's Church is designed in a Georgian architectural style, characterized by its symmetrical design, steeple with a clock and bells, and elegant interior that features a large central aisle, box pews, and a three-tiered pulpit.

Are there any notable events or historical figures associated with St. Michael's Church?

St. Michael's Church has witnessed many significant events and has been associated with several historical figures. Notably, George Washington and Robert E. Lee worshiped at the church. The church has also been involved in events such as the American Revolution and Civil War and has endured natural disasters like earthquakes and hurricanes.

Attractions Details

📌 Address

71 Broad St, Charleston, SC 29401, USA

Opening Hours

8:00 AM - 12:00 PM

💸 Entrance Fee

Free

Find it on google maps