A little-known gem for tourists and those seeking a religious experience can be found just a little over two-hour drive from Chicago and just 45 minutes from downtown Milwaukee. The Holy Hill Basilica is situated atop wooded grounds where Jesuit missionaries first settled in the late 1600s. Finding the hill somewhat unique to the surrounding landscape. one of the Jesuits described in a diary how he placed a stone altar and cross atop the hill dedicating the area to the Blessed Virgin.
The first formal structure on the site was constructed in 1863 and was formally designated Holy Hill, a colloquial term used by the local Irish settlers of the time. Further additions were added over the next fifty years with the present basilica completed in 1931. In 2006 the church was designated one of Americas 85 Basilicas. FYI…a Basilica is a church structure that has been recognized and afforded special privileges by the Pope.
When visiting the site, youll be amazed at not only the isolated environment of the 435 acres of woods and trails surrounding the complex but by the beauty of the neo-Romanesque architecture and the beautiful art and interior designs.
Photographing this beautiful church can be challenging on the weekends with crowds gathering to attend services, hiking along the numerous trails, or just exploring the sheer beauty of this amazing complex.
Holy Hill Basilica is situated on a remote hilltop overlooking rural Wisconsin farm country.
Neo-Romanesque architecture of the Basilica.
Main altar of Chapel of St. Therese.
Shrine Chapel view
Stained-glass windows from Germany framed by beautiful stone work.
Although remote, the beauty of this Basilica attracts tourists, mass attendees, weddings, and baptisms.