Utah is the home of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints - otherwise known as the Mormons. At the heart of Utah is Salt Lake City and at the downtown of Salt Lake City is Temple Square. This is a major attraction for Salt Lake City and is the ground zone for learning about one of America's largest faiths and their fascinating story.

Learn how they pioneered their way across the United States, founded the Temple and Salt Lake City, and about the church and their faith today. To see one of the most famous temple complexes in the world, see here for visiting Angkor Wat.

THETRAVEL VIDEO OF THE DAY

History Of The Temple Square

Immediately after trekking across the Great Plains and arriving in what is today Utah, the Mormon pioneers decided that would build their first temple here. It was a long time to complete it - it took some 40 years to complete after the ground was broken.

  • Dedicated: 1893
  • Size: 253,000 Square Feet - The Largest Latter-Day Saint Temple By Floor Area
  • Construction Time: 40 Years
  • Temple Itself: Closed For General Remodeling and Seismic Renovations
  • Visitors: Around 3 to 5 Million Visitors Annually

Salt Lake City that they built is designed in a gridded street system that places Temple Square at the center - as its origin. Each address is named to indicate how many blocks it is away from the Temple Square - and in which direction it is.

Related: 15 Temples In Asia That Are Way More Impressive Than Cambodia's Angkor Wat

Visiting Temple Square

While general tourists cannot visit the Salt Lake Temple, they can visit the Temple Square. Like other Latter-day Saint temples, the temple is considered sacred and a temple recommend is needed to enter it (it is also closed for renovations until 2024).  The Temple grounds, however, are open to the public.

The Temple Square is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Utah and has been designated a National Historic Monument. The Salt Lake Temple is the centerpiece of this 10 acre square at the heart of Salt Lake City.

The facilities within Temple Square are the:

  • Salt Lake Temple
  • Salt Lake Tabernacle
  • Salt Lake Assembly Hall
  • Seagull Monument

The Temple is built with elements that are meant to evoke the ancient Jewish Solomon's Temple at Jerusalem. It has also been built to be oriented towards Jerusalem. The baptismal font mounted on twelve oxen is in reference to the Molten Sea of Solomon's Temple as recorded in Chronicles 4:2-4. For another massive church that one can actually visit, see here for why the Sagrada Familia in Barcelona is one of the city's greatest attractions.

Tours Of The Temple Square

There are many options for both guided or self-guided tours around Temple Square - all of the tours are provided free of charge. Visitors discover everything from art and cultural attractions to family history research to the square's locations of religious and historical importance.

Currently, there are a number of tours available at Temple Square - more will be opening soon. One should check the Church of Jesus Christ website for up-to-date information about the tours and the impact of the pandemic.

  • Temple Square Tours: This Tours Key Historic Building and Experiences On Temple Square. It is Led By Moron Missionaries And Is Available in Over 40 Languages
  • Conference Center: This Tour Starts At The Conference Center And Goes Into The History Of The Building of the Historic Structures On Temple Square. See The Christus Statue, Salt Lake Temple Artifacts, and the Renovation of the Temple From The Conference Center Roof
  • The Beehive House: It Is The Official Residence of the Brigham Young Who Was The First Governor and Second President Of The Church. Focuses On His Role As A Prophet, As a Family Man, and As A Community Leader
  • Relief Society Building: Tour The Relief Society Building. It Is the Headquarters for Three organizations of The Church (Each Directed by Women Leaders)
  • Welfare Square: Tours The Production and Service Facilities of the Church that The Church Used To Bless People In Need Across The World

Related: Luxor Temple: How To Visit This Ancient Site On The Nile

While here don't forget to visit the Church History Museum. This delves deep into church history and has many interactive and engaging experiences for everyone - families and individuals alike. See the spiritual, artistic, and cultural legacies of the church around the world.

  • Admission: Admission To The Museum Is Free

For those very keen to explore the square and learn about the church, then consider the Pioneer History Walking Tour. This is a long tour taking 3 to 6 hours and covers many of the Moron attractions here including the Visitor Information Center, Deuel Pioneer Log Cabin, Museum of Church History & Art, Tabernacle, Assembly Hall, Salt Lake Temple, Pioneer Memorial Museum, Daughters of Utah Pioneers Historical Markers, and much more.

Next: This Is The Tallest Church Building In The World, And The Fascinating History Behind Its Origin