St Elizabeth's Catholic Church - Eureka Springs AR - Church Bell Tower

The St. Elizabeth's Catholic Church in Eureka Springs is a unique architectural gem in a city that is full of them. Modeled after the St. Sophia's church in Istanbul, Turkey it has a number of quirky features that make is a pleasant destination for the religious or the secularly minded traveler. It is a family-friendly destination as the church and grounds can be explored by anyone, although those who struggle with stairs may want to prepare for a few.

Built in 1906, St. Elizabeth's Catholic Church is a memorial structure. Richard Keren's provided for the construction of the structure as a remembrance for his mother. Dedicated in 1909, it has remained in continuous use since it was constructed.

The entrance lies in the bell tower, which earned the church a mention on Ripley's Believe It or Not program. Creating this kind of entrance was possible due to the topography of the landscape, which is a curved bowl. Down the right hand side of the church, a sculpture garden marking out 14 Stations of the Cross further takes advantage of this topography.

Art fans will deeply enjoy the Stations of the Cross sculptures. They are done in Italian marble by a number of noted sculptors. Extremely lifelike, they have been added in stages over the years, with the newest being less than 25 years old.

The inside of the church also incorporates some materials which were carried over from a previous Catholic Church on Fairmont St. in Eureka Springs. Other items have been given as memorials, like altar pieces and fixtures. The most grand is a chandelier which hangs in the main dome. It has 7,511 crystals and 19 interior lights.

St. Elizabeth's Catholic Church is located near the Carnegie Library and next to the Crescent Hotel. It is open year round to visitors although all are asked to respect service times.

John Crawford
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May 19, 2009 @ 10:10 am
I have visited the church several times in recent years. I am now composing a poem about it and really would appreciate any more historical details that someone might have records of.

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