Learn about the beautiful gardens, the friars who designed them and the history and shrines of the Franciscan Monastery of the Holy Land in a garden tour led by trained volunteers of the Franciscan Monastery Garden Guild.
Tour Schedule: Tours are offered on Saturdays, 11 a.m. and 12 noon, from April-September, with extra tours during the April Plant & Herb Sale and the July Holy Land Festival. Meet in front of the Visitor Center. Gardening, parish and other groups can arrange tours by contacting Pat via email or 202.526.6800.
What You Will See: You will explore the formal front gardens, with roses and tulips, depending on the season. The grounds, in front of the historic church, are surrounded by the Rosary Portico, which was designed by Murphy & Olmsted in 1919 and constructed in 1925 using John Early’s unique polychrome concrete. The Portico features the Hail Mary in 150 languages.
Next comes our park-like gardens with native trees, plants and flowers (often hidden), interspersed with a full-size Lourdes Grotto, Gethsemane and other unique shrines. The Franciscan Monastery is the U.S. home of Franciscan friars who have served in the Holy Land for more than 800 years and brought a bit of the Holy Land here.
Finally, depending on your interest, your guide will give you a sneak peek behind the Monastery to see our 100-year-old greenhouse (being restored in 2018) and vegetable garden where volunteers grow food to donate to those in need. Next is a glimpse at our bee apiaries, which form a thriving urban beekeeping program. Finally, you’ll get a chance to glimpse the Monastery’s two hermitages available for one-person overnight retreats.
Cost: Tours are free; good-will offerings are welcome to support the preservation of the historic gardens and the projects of the Franciscan Monastery Garden Guild.