Memorial Church: Soul of Stanford

One of the major attractions at Stanford University campus is the Memorial Church (informally MemChu). It is located at the center of Stanford's Main Quad. 

It was built by Jane Stanford as a memorial to her husband, former US Senator Leland Stanford Sr. It was designed by architect Charles A. Coolidge and has been touted as "the University's architectural crown jewel". 

The church's facade is beautifully imposing with the mosaic depicting Christ and His disciples in an "indefinite biblical scene."  

Facade of the church with its iconic mosaic.

The Church's dedication to Leland Stanford, Sr.

The church's interior is equally beautiful. It is grand in design and the mosaic adornments are colorful. Its overall effect is a foretaste of eternity.

The church's chancel.

Inner Dome

The loft housing the Murray Harris and Fisk-Nanney organs.

The church also has side chapels, one of which houses organs which are used for prayer services. The choir should also be seated in this area.  

The organs in the side chapel.

A musical score of "Missa Ecce ancilla domini Sanctus" and 
an explanation about the lectern.

There are also inspiring inscriptions on the walls of the side chapels.  The inscriptions were carved in a stylish manner.

Inscriptions on the church's sandstone wall.

Another inscription on the wall.

As a church, of course it has a baptismal font which was finely carved. It also has a bronze lectern in the design of an angel. 

Baptismal Font


The mosaics inside the church which captured my attention are those found above the side doors. For instance, the mosaic of Adam and Eve being banished from paradise is elegantly depicted.   

Mosaic depicting Adam and Eve when they were banished from paradise.

Mosaic of a biblical scene.

The church in itself is a work of art. But more than its profound beauty, it has a delightful character reminiscent of its founder's gentle soul.   


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