Art & Architecture Gardens Cafe  

The Plaza and gardens of the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels are designed to welcome visitors on a daily basis. They provide an inviting setting not only for a multitude of liturgical uses, but also for civic and cultural events, informal gatherings, and solitary prayer and contemplation.

As visitors enter from the parking garage or the Shepherd’s Gate on Temple Street, they come to the Lower Plaza. The Shepherd’s Gate, or sheepgate, is a reference to Jesus Christ, the Shepherd of His flock, who welcomes all. A Grand Staircase leads to the Upper Plaza and a full view of the Cathedral.

The Cathedral Plaza Cafe opens onto a tree-shaded patio with tables and
chairs. A spacious gift shop welcomes browsing and the purchase of items, such as vintage wine, prepared especially for the Cathedral.

Each tree and plant species in the Plaza and around the Cathedral grounds was chosen for one of several reasons: their Scriptural meanings, Catholic garden traditions, especially as represented in the Franciscan Missions of California, their significance in the Liturgical Calendar and in the diverse cultural communities of the Archdiocese. Thus, for example, the twelve King Palm trees, emblematic of Christ’s triumphant entry into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday, lead us to the Bronze Doors of the Cathedral’s entrance. The Olive Garden is a grove of olive trees, whose branches have traditionally been symbols of peace.

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