With a population of 637,000 in the city center and 2.6 million in the metropolitan area, Baltimore is the largest city in the U.S. state of Maryland. Nicknamed "Charm City," Baltimore has historic roots that are still evident throughout its old neighborhoods. The large harbor has been central to the life of the city since the beginning, when a port for trading tobacco was established here in 1729. It went on to become an important center for manufacturing, and more recently the service industry. Baltimore has been dubbed the "City of Firsts," and this certainly applies to its religious sites. It is home to the first American Methodist church (Lovely Lane, 1784), America's first Catholic cathedral (Basilica of the Assumption, 1806), and the first Unitarian Church (1819). There are also several historic synagogues and a Jewish museum in Baltimore, and a variety of religious artifacts from all over the world are displayed in the Baltimore Museum of Art. To explore Baltimore and its spiritual heritage, follow a link below.
The Baltimore Basilica was the first Catholic cathedral built in the United States after the adoption of the Constitution and became a symbol for religious freedom in the new nation.
Jewish Museum of Maryland
Founded in 1960 between two 19th-century synagogues, this award-winning museum tells the story of Jewish life in America with special attention on Judaism in Maryland.
First Unitarian Church
There are many "First Unitarian Churches" in the United States, but the one in Baltimore really deserves the name. It was here in 1819 that Unitarianism was first defined as a denomination.