After a 1996 earthquake ruined St. Vibiana's cathedral, Rafael Moneo was asked to design a new church which is located a few blocks away from the original structure. The main point of interest in this building is that the entrance is adjacent to the alter, a reversed plan compared to most cathedrals. Entering from the street and traveling up the steps to the main plaza, the visitor enters the cathedral through two huge bronze doors. A large ambulatory runs down the side of the church, giving the visitor glimpses of the large nave as they pass by a number of small chapels. Reaching the rear of the church, one then enters a large austere space, almost devoid of decoration. Another unique feature is the lack of stained glass. The cathedral is instead lit by thin alabaster stone diffusing the sunlight into a very white light, illuminating most of the spaces.
How to get there?
If you are taking the 101 South: take the 101 Hollywood Freeway South to downtown. Exit on Broadway and make two right turns; Broadway, then Temple. After crossing Hill Street, turn right from Temple Street into the parking garage. If you are taking the Harbor Freeway, 110 South: exit at Hill Street. After you cross the 101 Freeway, the entrance to the parking structure will be located on your right.