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Every 30 minute, 7 Days; 9.30 am - 5:00 pm

Holden Chapel

Hidden between the ivy-clad walls of Harvard's campus, Holden Chapel stands as a beacon of history and community. This charming stone structure has its roots in a time long past, yet continues to draw visitors seeking reprieve from their bustling urban adventures.


Location

Holden Chapel is located in the heart of Harvard Yard; a stone's throw away from Harvard Square. This central locale places it at the confluence of academia and history, making it a must-visit destination for anyone within the vicinity. Surrounded by the storied halls of Harvard University, the chapel's peaceful grounds beckon those in search of introspection and tranquility.

History

The venerable walls of Holden Chapel have borne witness to over two centuries of historical events. Constructed in 1744, it was named in honor of Samuel Holden, a generous benefactor who contributed to its establishment. Throughout the years, it has served multiple purposes, from a place of worship and community gatherings to an academic lecture hall. Eminent figures from the annals of American history, including George Washington, have graced its pews.

The chapel's story is intricately interwoven with the founding principles of Harvard University, serving as a foundational pillar for the spiritual and intellectual pursuits of its students and faculty. Renovations and additions have subtly altered its appearance over time, yet it has retained much of its original colonial charm.

What to See Inside the Walls of Holden Chapel?

Stepping into Holden Chapel is akin to stepping back in time. The interior architecture is a tasteful blend of colonial and early American styles, marked by its tall, arched windows and the soft glow of light filtering through historic stained glass. Visitors will be struck by the simplicity and grandeur of the space, its charm a reflection of bygone days.

The interior features an impressive Aeolian-Skinner organ, heralded for its musical prowess and evocative tones. The chapel also houses a collection of historical artifacts, each with its narrative to share. Keep an eye out for the Holden Pew, which serves as a poignant memorial to the chapel's namesake.

Nearby Attractions

After immersing yourself in the sanctity of Holden Chapel, the vibrant city of Cambridge offers an array of attractions to further enrich your day. Stroll through Harvard Yard and visit other notable landmarks, including Memorial Church and the statue of John Harvard. For those with literary leanings, a stop at the cozy confines of the Harvard Coop Bookstore is highly recommended.

Additionally, the bustling Harvard Square is replete with eclectic shops, quaint cafes, and a lively atmosphere. The surrounding area also boasts a multitude of museums, galleries, and cultural institutions that cater to a variety of interests, ensuring that your day will be filled with the spirit of discovery.


Plan Your Excursion with Boston Sightseeing

To maximize your exploration of Holden Chapel and all that historic Cambridge offers, consider hopping aboard our Boston Sightseeing Double-Decker Bus. With convenient routes and informative guides, you'll have the opportunity to tour the city's renowned highlights at your own pace. Pass by the famous red-brick path of the Freedom Trail, which leads to significant American Revolution sites, including the Bunker Hill Monument and the USS Constitution.

Our Tour Packages

Single Ride Pass

Single Ride Pass

$37.00

Explore Boston in 80 Minutes
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Hop-On Hop-Off All  Day

Hop-On Hop-Off All Day

$43.00

Boston City Sightseeing Tour
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Hop-On Hop-Off 24 Stops

Hop-On Hop-Off 24 Stops

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Hop-0n Hop-Off - Boston & Cambridge Tour
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  • 200 Minutes Tour
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Hop-On Hop-Off 2 Days

Hop-On Hop-Off 2 Days

$89.00

City Tour Highlights With 2 Days Pass
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  • Blue, Orange, Purple Route Tour
  • Night Tour
Night Tour

Night Tour

$43.00

Boston's Vibrant Evening Tour
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