BNHA Zion Lutheran Church and Parish House


Baltimore City Landmark

National Register of Historic Places

Interpretive Framework

Seeking Prosperity on the Chesapeake: Baltimore History from Colonial Times through the 1800s

Shaping a Monumental City: The City’s Growth in the 20th Century

Star Attractions

Heritage Walk

Resource Type

Points of Interest

400 E Lexington St

Baltimore, Maryland 21202

Zion Lutheran Church, across from City Hall, has been the spiritual home of German-speaking Lutherans since it was founded in 1755.  At one time known as the "German Cathedral of Baltimore," Zion was the first Lutheran church built in Baltimore. The current sanctuary was built in 1807. The parish hall, parsonage, and bell tower were added later. The entire complex was completed in 1913.

During high periods of German immigration, there were as many as 48 different German language congregations in Baltimore. Zion Lutheran offered a school with German and English classes, as well as many social organizations for immigrant men and women during their time of integration. Since the mid-20th century, Zion Lutheran has been the last church in Baltimore to hold German language worship services on a regular basis.

Today the church remains a social gathering place for German speakers regardless of religious affiliation. Its garden offers a peaceful place for lunch and quiet reflection.