Lakewood Cemetery Chapel in Minneapolis deepens the meaning of breathtaking


Lakewood Cemetery Chapel in Minneapolis deepens the meaning of breathtaking.

If you should ask me as a lifetime resident and longtime area tour guide which is my favorite attraction here, without hesitation I would suggest Lakewood Cemetery Chapel.

It is a profound experience for all who enter.

Its Guastavino tile dome overlooks the rolling, forested 250-acre cemetery, considered among the most beautiful in America.

Yet it is the interior, which is so compellingly stunning to the visitor, who is awed to silence upon entering through its copper doors with etched glass images of olive trees of leaves reflecting the autumnal equinox.

You are witnessing the masterful 1910 Byzantine mosaic art of Lamb Studios of NY. The ceiling and walls are covered with 10 million tiny mosaic pieces of marble, colored stone, and glass fused with gold and silver installed by a team of six Roman mosaic artists.

Designs include a dome of 12 angels and 24 stained-glass windows. The four pillars present images of female figures representing Love, Hope, Faith and Memory. They are based on paintings of Charles Lamb’s wife, Ella Condie Lamb, a noted portrait artist.

Around the rim, words from Song of Songs 4:6: Until the day break and the shadows flee away.

One visitor exclaimed, “If this chapel were somewhere in Europe, thousands of Americans would visit it. Never have we seen anything equal it in this country.”


by Doug Rosenquist, Retired Tour Guide, Twin Cities Tours