Swedenborgian Church

sights / Religious

Lonely Planet review

Radical ideals in the form of distinctive buildings make beloved SF landmarks; this standout 1894 example is the collaborative effort of 19th-century Bay Area progressive thinkers, such as naturalist John Muir, California Arts and Crafts leader Bernard Maybeck and architect Arthur Page Brown.

Inside, nature is everywhere – in hewn-maple chairs, mighty madrone trees supporting the roof and in scenes of Northern California that took muralist William Keith 40 years to complete. Church founder Emanuel Swedenborg was an 18th-century Swedish theologian, scientist and occasional conversationalist with angels; he believed humans are spirits in a material world unified by nature, love and luminous intelligence – a lovely concept, embodied in an equally lovely building. Enter the church through a modest brick archway and pass into a garden sheltered by trees from around the world.