It’s one of the first things you notice as you fly over beautiful Lake Michigan and land in Milwaukee – we’re a City of Steeples! Immigrant populations from Germany, Poland, Italy, Ireland and England originally settled Milwaukee and built churches with soaring church towers all over the city. Today Milwaukee has more than 1,000 churches of all denominations, and deeply rooted religious traditions remain a part of who we are as a city.
Religious groups are bound to feel at home in Milwaukee, where budgets stretch further with a wide variety of hotels at a range of price points and extra value like information-packed microsites and more than 125 enthusiastic volunteers available at no cost to welcome delegates and help with a variety of services.
- Airport only 10 minutes/8 miles from downtown hotels. 39 non-stop destinations, easy 1-stop connections to 160 cities.
- More than 200 restaurants in downtown area, many with private dining rooms.
- Historic Third Ward, featuring lively Milwaukee Public Market, al fresco dining, galleries and shopping.
- Old World Third Street, reflecting Milwaukee’s German heritage.
- 3-mile RiverWalk connecting walkable neighborhoods.
- Lively arts and professional sports scene.
- All options from James Beard winners to food trucks.
- Located at the confluence of three rivers and Lake Michigan, Milwaukee is a water city featuring a number of excursion boats during the summer months.
- Known for safety and walkability, Milwaukee is an easy city to navigate and enjoy.
"I believe many of our attendees left Milwaukee with a whole new perspective. I wouldn't be surprised to see many return both professionally and personally."
"The participants loved the downtown area with places close to the hotel to walk. Plus the weather was GREAT."
"An active downtown area, quality hotels, a well-designed convention center...all add to our attendees' very positive impressions and experiences."
Special Offer: $5,000-$10,000 cash incentive to groups booking meetings through December 31, 2016 (certain restrictions apply).
Churches with event space
A landmark in Milwaukee’s German heritage, Grace Evangelical Lutheran Church was built in German gothic revival style with gorgeous stained glass and ornate woodwork. Available to groups, the Great Hall in Grace Center is a magnificent room accommodating up to 350 people for a standing reception, 300 for a theatre style seated event or 250 for a seated meal.
Milwaukee Food Tours features a bus tour which visits three iconic Milwaukee churches to learn about their history and architecture, and combines it with stops at two local chocolatiers.
Sample itinerary of places visited:
- St. Joan of Arc Chapel – perhaps the only medieval structure (1400’s) in the entire Western Hemisphere dedicated to its original purpose
- St. Paul's Episcopal Church – view their stunning and extensive stained glass window collection, including the largest window ever created by Tiffany
- Grace Lutheran – celebrate 160 years of their history in downtown Milwaukee
Historic Churches in Milwaukee
Every year thousands flock to magnificent St. Josaphat’s Basilica located on the Historic South Side of Milwaukee. In 1896 the parish priest purchased 200,000 tons of stone, doors, hardware and fittings from the demolished Chicago Post Office and Customs House for the construction of the Basilica, which became the spiritual center for the city’s growing Polish Catholic population. Some of the ornamental brass hardware still bears the U.S. Treasury seal and carved capitals atop the portico’s columns contain American eagles. The Basilica is more splendid than ever after refurbishments and cleaning were completed in recent years. The copper dome is one of the largest in the country.
Known as A.M.E. for short, the St. Mark African Methodist Episcopal was the first African American church established in Milwaukee by Ezekiel Gillespie. Also referred to as the “Church of the Anvil,” the first A.M.E. church service was held in a blacksmith shop. The anvil serves as a symbol and expression of the history and faith of the congregation. This is the oldest African-American congregation in Wisconsin.
For more than five centuries, the special little Gothic chapel known as the Chapelle de St. Martin de Sayssuel was important to the noble families of the little French village of Chasse near Lyon. The only medieval structure in the entire Western Hemisphere, the St. Joan of Arc Chapel was moved stone by stone from Chasse, France, to New York in 1927, and later moved to the Marquette University campus in downtown Milwaukee in 1966. It’s rumored that Joan of Arc once kissed a stone after praying here, and that to this day it remains colder to the touch than the surrounding stones. The chapel is believed to be the oldest building in the United States still used for its original purpose.
This venerated Wisconsin landmark just northwest of Milwaukee is known simply as “Holy Hill” by locals and some 500,000 annual visitors. The red brick, neo-Romanesque church with its twin spires was built on a hill rising 1,350 feet above sea level, one of the highest elevations in southeastern Wisconsin, and features a panoramic view of the rolling countryside. Discalced Carmelite Friars operate the shrine and welcome busloads of the faithful on pilgrimages from around the world. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, Holy Hill celebrated its proudest moment on November 19, 2006, when Pope Benedict XVI elevated the shrine’s status to that of “Minor Basilica.”
To enhance the public’s awareness and appreciation of Jewish life and culture, the Jewish Museum Milwaukee explores the story of the Jewish people in the city through artifacts, personal narratives, pictures and film.
Megan Husband, Convention Sales Manager