At the center of the Stanford campus stands the Stanford Memorial Church, the centerpiece of this renown institution. The original campus layout copies California missions with a central church, courtyard, corridors and red tile roofs. The Memorial Church -- built by Jane Stanford in memory of her husband Leland -- was inspired by the Venetian churches of Italy. The exterior mosaic facade beckons all to enter and explore what's inside. So let's step inside...
The arched theme continues inside the church, interrupted by alcoves of mosaics and stained glass depicting scenes from the bible. Jane Stanford did not like empty walls so there's an abundance of dazzling scenes within a quiet interior.
The glowing mosaics around the spacious interior are a perfect setting for concerts, lectures, and religious services -- since Stanford is a secular university. While many images are religious, Jane Stanford was progressive and promoted humanitarian themes. Many images depict women's influence throughout history.
High above the main floor is a bank of four pipe organs -- more than most churches. The organs fill the interior with scrumptious sound ideal for music and choral performances. The organ was built in 1901 and is still in use.
Around the church are dedications to all the Stanford family who founded and inspired the university's construction.