“Historic Churches, St. Croix Heritage Trail”

          © St. Croix Landmarks Society

St. Croix's many historic churches reflect the rich social diversity and religious tolerance that has characterized the island since Danish times. Lutherans, Anglicans, Roman Catholics, Dutch Reformed, Moravians, and Jews all established places of worship during the 18th Century.

The Moravians came as missionaries in the 1730's, to convert the enslaved Africans, and their success encouraged other faiths to follow suit. Enslaved and free African-Caribbean craftsmen built most of the churches. Architecturally, the churches display an interesting blend of international styles and local detailing that speaks of our distinctive Creole heritage.

Scanz Map Frederiksted


1. St. Patrick's Roman Catholic Church.
Built in 1848, to meet the rising expectations of Emancipation, the church expanded shortly after construction to accommodate a growing congregation. Constucted of local cut stone, the west entry facade has elements of both Gothic Revival (lancet doors and windows) and Neo-Classical (paired entry columns.) The curved gable ends appear to be Spanish Baroque influenced. The interior has been altered considerably. The church, its bell tower and adjacent convent with loggias are replete with local details.

Scanz 2 Holy Trinty Lutheran Church

2. Holy Trinity Lutheran Church. This simple church was built in 1792, to replace an earlier wood structure built in 1766. Originally a hip roofed, classically detailed structure, the changes over the years have been consistent with the original design. The tower base predates the cupola and may have been a part of the 1792 structure. The raking gables and finials were early 19th Century modifications. The pulpit was centered over the altar and approached from the rear. Now, it has been moved to the northeast corner. Despite changes to the interior, the scale and ambiance of the original church remain.

Scanz 3 St. Pauls Anglican Church

3. St. Paul's Anglican Church.
This hybrid church combines an 1812 West Indian hipped roof structure, featuring classical and local details, with a Neo-Gothic, three tiered tower built in 1848. The main entrances were via north and south porches with several Neo-Classical details of pilasters, cornice and parapets. The entrance function was shared by the west tower after the 1840's. The tower of local limestone and Danish brick was built to exacting standards of Anglican orthodoxy. It was completely restored after a recent devastating fire. Noteworthy are the local mahogany carved alters and the English pulpit and prayer tablets.

© DCJR 2013