No. 21: Greek Cathedral of the Ascension and LDS Temple

The tower of the Oakland California Temple through the columns of the Cathedral of the Ascension plaza.

The tower of the Oakland California Temple through the columns of the Cathedral of the Ascension plaza.

Two weeks ago was the weekend of the “Supermoon”; today the Sun was the star of the show as we were treated to an 80-plus percent eclipse in the Bay Area. Today was also the last day of the annual Greek Festival at the Cathedral of the Ascension, an opportunity to eat delicious food, shout “Opa!” a lot, hear amazing music, join the line dancing and relish the million-dollar view from the plaza outside the cathedral.

Both the Cathedral and the LDS Temple next door have lovely grounds, and the Festival provides an excuse for checking them out. Situated at the top of Lincoln Avenue, they command panoramic views of downtown Oakland and the port, the Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco and Marin counties.

The Temple grounds include a promenade of palm trees and pink and white tree roses between two fountains and a cascade of water that runs over cobblestones. In the winter, the whole thing gets outlined in colorful lights. On sunny weekends, you’ll often see couples staging wedding or engagement photos on the bridges over the cascade.

Inside the Cathedral, the gilt dome is painted with striking icons of Christ and the apostles. During the Festival, you can take a guided tour or just wander in (as long as you are wearing shoes and not eating anything). Ironically, the best view of all may be from the glass-windowed elevator from the plaza to the parking structure.

Eclipse: 80 percent obscured.

Eclipse: 80 percent obscured.

Getting there: The Oakland California Temple and the Cathedral of the Ascension are on Lincoln Avenue, just west of Highway 13.

Cool stuff nearby: If it’s Greek Festival weekend, there is nothing cooler anywhere nearby. But you are about a mile uphill from the Fruitvale/MacArthur transit hub, or just a few blocks from the Woodminster neighborhood retail area.

More information: About the Cathedral of the Ascension, about Oakland Greek Festival, and about the LDS Oakland California Temple Visitor Center.

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