Council of Independent Colleges Historic Campus Architecture Project


Monte Casino Chapel

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Institution Name: Thomas More College
Original/Historic Place Name: Monte Casino Chapel
Location on Campus:
Date(s) of Construction and Designer(s):
ca. 1900original construction Unknown
1965relocation Unknown
Type of Place: Individual building
Style(s): (Glossary)
Foundation: none specified
Walls: limestone (exterior); plaster (interior)
Roof: limestone
ca. 1900-present (2007)other (decorative religious monument)

Significance: architecture, culture, religion
Landmark designation:
Narrative: see below
References: see below

Built by Benedictine monks near the turn of the twentieth century as a monument to their Monastic order, the chapel was named for the adjacent Monte Casino Monastery where the monks resided.

At eight feet tall, four feet wide, and six feet deep, the miniature chapel bears all the the same basic architectural attributes of a full-sized church, including a cross-topped steeple. Once listed in Ripley's Believe It or Not as the "world's smallest chapel," the church can snugly contain a maximum of two worshipers. Consequently, the structure's use has been largely aesthetic; mass has never been held in the chapel and it was never consecrated by the Catholic Church.

Donated to Thomas More College in 1964, the church was moved three miles from its original site to the College's campus a year later.

I. Bibliographic sources:

None specified.

II. Location of other data:
University: Library, Special Collections

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Last update: November 2006