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South Dakota's Great Places: "Cathedral of the Prairie"

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PIERRE, S.D. – In a small prairie town in north-central South Dakota stands a cathedral that can be seen from miles away. The unique magnificence of this “big church in a little town” is what makes it one of South Dakota’s Great Places.
Saint Anthony’s ‘Cathedral of the Prairie,’ located in Hoven, S.D., was completed in 1921 at a cost of $250,000. The value of the church is now estimated at $20 million. The church, believed to be patterned after churches typically found in Bavaria, boasts an intricate and ornate design that rivals any church for miles.
Although Hoven’s population is only 600, people come from around the world to attend Mass at the famous church. The sanctuary seats more than 1,000 people, and the church is listed on the National Register of Historic Places under the original parish name of St. Bernard’s.
The cathedral still holds Mass regularly, and hosts a variety of special performances each year. These have included the South Dakota Symphony Orchestra, as well as several choral performances by South Dakota university choirs.
For more information regarding the ‘Cathedral of the Prairie,’ visit
South Dakota’s Great Places weekly press release series is a project of the South Dakota Department of Tourism, designed to highlight places in South Dakota that are unique to travelers and residents alike. Click on the special “South Dakota’s Great Places” link at to access the complete list of articles.  
Media Notes:
  • Information for this release was obtained from St. Anthony of Padua Catholic Church.
  • Photo: The towering front entrance to St. Anthony of Padua Catholic Church, the “Cathedral of the Prairie.”

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Wanda Goodman
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Phone: 605-773-3301