The Church of the Immaculate Conception, consecrated in 1907, features a majestic limestone structure filled with beautiful paintings, stained glass, sculpture and art.
Thaddeus von Zukoynski painted all of the paintings in the church. He was Polish and graduated from the Academy of Arts in Munich, Germany. There are four major paintings. In the semi-dome in the front section of the church is a painting of The Immaculate Conception and the four Evangelists. There is a painting of The Ascension of Our Lord on the ceiling above the main seating area. The two other paintings located near the front of the church are The Return from Calvary and The Flight into Egypt.
Stained glass windows can be seen on each side of the church. They were made by the Bavarian Art Institute of Munich, Germany. They portray events of Christ and his mother Mary, as well as scenes from the Old Testament. The stained glass windows in the upper balcony display scenes of angels.
Some of the first items installed in the church were the Stations of the Cross. They were made in Munich, Germany.
Appearing to rise from the crucifix, the figure of Jesus is located up high at the front. Harry Breen of Champaign, Illinois, sculpted it and it was installed in 1991.
Nearly ever surface of the Church is covered with intricate raised scrollwork.
The interior of the church utilizes soft rose colors.
Even the ceiling has fancy raised molding.
Even things like metal grates are beautifully constructed!
The shiny marble floor acts almost like a mirror.
You can find many colors of marble in the Church of the Immaculate Conception. The marble is from all over the world.
In this picture of the lectern, or podium, you can see many types of marble from all over the world.
Since the Church of the Immaculate Conception is made of limestone, it has stayed sturdy and beautiful for over a century.
The exterior of the church has Corinthian marble columns as well. The fancy top part of the column is called the capital.
This marble column is in the Corinthian style.
These arches between columns create a domed hall way on the side of the church.
This photo of the Church is from 1950 and shows women who are becoming Sisters of Providence.
This plaster seal is high above the altar. The letters on it refer to Mary, the mother of Jesus.
On either side of the cross are the four Evangelists, or the men who wrote the four gospels in the Christian Bible.
This painting is on the ceiling! Unlike Michelangelo, though, Thaddeus von Zukotynski painted this on canvas pieces which were then installed on the ceiling.
Many churches have paintings on the ceiling that depict the sky, almost as if the roof were not there at all and we were looking up into the heavens.
Thaddeus von Zukotynski created all of the paintings in the church.
This painting is in the semi-dome of the church.
You can see that each character in the windows has been very carefully drawn to show how they are feeling.
This window tells the story of the marriage of Mary and Joseph.
The very thick horizontal lines help to keep the window from breaking.
The circles, or halos, behind peoples’ heads shows that they are particularly holy people.
This window tells the story of Queen Esther. This story is from the Old Testament in the Christian Bible.
The thick black lines divide the pieces of glass. The rest of the detail lines are painted on the glass itself.
The beautiful windows were made by the Bavarian Art Institute of Munich, Germany.
Just like the church itself has arches and Corinthian columns, the stained glass windows show beautiful stone columns too.
Most of the windows are tall and skinny with a rounded top pane.
The Stations of the Cross depict scenes in the last days before Jesus died.
The facial expressions have been very carefully sculpted.
Some of the figures have halos which are plated with gold leaf.
The most important people are in the front and very sculptural, while less important figures have less depth.
Each station tells a different part of the story. A long time ago, people who couldn’t read would learn the stories by walking through the stations in order, almost like in a graphic novel today.
The Stations of the Cross each have a small platform and an arc-shaped background panel.
The crucifix is placed high above the altar.
If you look closely, you can see that wrinkles and details have been painted a darker color. This helps people who are far away from the crucifix still be able to see all of the details.