Last Updated on March 8, 2020 by Lori
If you’re traveling through southern New Hampshire, be sure to add Cathedral of the Pines to your itinerary! Located in Rindge, New Hampshire, this beautiful sanctuary situated on a hilltop facing Mt. Monadnock was built to honor the service of American men and women—both military and civilian.
Cathedral Of The Pines
As we drove into Cathedral of the Pines, we saw an awesome view from every direction. We weren’t sure if the sanctuary allowed dogs, but when we arrived, we were assured that dogs were welcome. It was a nice day for a walk and our Golden Retriever loved coming along with us!
This post may contain affiliate links which means if you click on a link and make a purchase, I will earn a small commission. Please see our Disclosure Policy for more details.
History of Cathedral of the Pines
Cathedral of the Pines was founded in 1945 by Sibyl and Douglas Sloane III. They created this sanctuary as a memorial to those men and women, including their son Sandy, who had sacrificed their lives in World War II.
They envisioned that their cathedral without walls would welcome people of every faith in a spirit of unity and mutual respect. It was their hope that interfaith understanding would help bring world peace.
Today the sanctuary and its historic monuments honor the service of American men and women—both military and civilian.
Where is Cathedral of the Pines Located?
10 Hale Hill Road, Rindge, NH 03461
This 236-acre open-air cathedral is located on top of a hill with amazing views of Mt. Monadnock.
Cathedral of the Pines Women’s Memorial Bell Tower
When you first enter the parking lot, you will see a 55 foot stone bell tower. The Women’s Memorial Bell Tower is believed to be the first monument in the United States devoted to women’s service and sacrifice.
The pillars of the Memorial Bell Tower are the stones taken from the fields of the farm where Cathedral knoll is built. Each year, from 1760 on, before seed could be put into the ground, rocks had to be removed in order to plant the crops. These are the stones they rejected.
Cathedral of the Pines Tree Of Life Sculpture
At the center of the tower is a granite fountain that commemorates the lives of American nurses lost in the war. The “Tree of Life” sculpture, designed by Douglas Sloane III, signifies strength of character, stamina, determination, and courage.
Twelve kinds of fruit grow from the limbs of the tree: breadfruit, pear, fig, peach, olive, orange, avocado, apple, lemon, cherry, pomegranate, and plum.
The Nature Preserve of the Cathedral is made up of walkways, walking paths and hiking trails. We took this beautiful photo as we started down the pathway. The grounds are impeccable and the views are awesome.
As you can see, Mt. Monadnock makes a beautiful backdrop to the Alter of the Nation. The stones for the foundation of the altar came from a stone repository at the base of the knoll.
Stones from every state donated by the state chapters of the Sons of the American Revolution and every President since President Truman are incorporated in the Altar.
On the top of the altar are three slabs of Verde Antique marble coming from a quarry in Cardiff, Maryland through which runs the Mason Dixon line. The three slabs represent the North, South, and Union. They are held together by cement mixed with soil from Mt. Zion in Jerusalem, given to the cathedral by Jewish friends.
Mother’s Chapel and Garden of Remembrance
The Mother’s Chapel was built in 1961. The Chapel and Garden of Remembrance above it are a tribute to all Mothers.
Ten Commandments Garden
The Ten Commandments Garden was beautiful with benches behind it so you could sit and take in the beauty of the area. It is truly a sanctuary for meditation and to enjoy the beauty surrounding the area.
Hiking At Cathedral of the Pines
There are marked hiking trails throughout the property. Choose from a 1.5-mile hike and a 2.5-mile hike through the woods.
If you’re traveling through the Southwest area of New Hampshire, I highly recommend planning a visit to Cathedral of the Pines.
Unfortunately, I didn’t look up the history of the sanctuary to know the meaning of each garden and monument – but you won’t be disappointed if you put this on your “places to see”!
You can visit their website for additional information! Cathedral of the Pines