You don't have to be religious to appreciate the architecture of the Crystal Cathedral. Looking like a cross between a modern office complex and a science fiction movie set, the cathedral is built in the shape of a 4-pointed star and boasts 10,661 windows, seating capacity for 3,000, and an organ with 16,000 pipes.
Crystal Cathedral, designed by postmodernist architect Philip Johnson, anchors a vast campus of gardens, reflecting pools, fountains, and sculpture. As you wander through the grounds, don't miss the freestanding modern Gothic prayer chapel on the cathedral's north side; its pillars are made of eight different types of Italian marble, and inside is a five-piece lead crystal cross that weighs 200 pounds/90 kilograms. Of note are the rectangular panes of glass, which are not bolted to the structure but instead they are glued to it. This was intended to allow the building to withstand an earthquake of magnitude 8.0.
Review by endur, October 2011
Such a calming place. If I lived in the area this would be my finding myself place. Beautiful setting.
Crystal Cathedral is located in Garden Grove, about 10 minutes southeast of Disneyland. The best way to get here is via Interstate 5 to the State College Boulevard/The City Drive exit. You can visit the cathedral and stroll around the grounds during the day Monday through Saturday. A variety of services are held on Sundays.