Latin Students “Explorare” Local Architecture & Art

This week, Middle and Upper School Latin students, escorted by Latin Teachers Natalie Griffin and Dr. Gabe Grabarek, enjoyed private docent-led tours of Cathedral Basilica and the St. Louis Art Museum.

At the Cathedral, students wondered at the extraordinary array of mosaics and its Byzantine and Romanesque architecture. Then, after a breezy and sunny lunch on Art Hill at Forest Park, students took a guided tour of the Art Museum’s stunning collection of Greek and Roman art, artifacts, paintings, and sculpture with classical themes.

Students were happy to share their observations and memories of the field trip:

“I found this trip to be very enlightening. At the Basilica, we were able to see how Roman and Byzantine architecture and art are still in use today and how it still influences civilizations thousands of years later. The mosaics in the Basilica were beautifully arranged to show major events that happened in the Bible. At the Art Museum, we were able to see actual ancient Greek and Roman pottery preserved over thousands of years. The field trip was extremely educational, and I think that it showed how ancient civilizations still influence our civilization.” – Gabriel Sedighi ’26

“For the first time, I was able to visit both the Cathedral Basilica and the St. Louis Art Museum. Learning about both ancient and my city’s history through beautiful art and mosaics was an enthralling experience. Being able to do it with my friends was just an added bonus!” – Narya Phatak ’26

“I had a really fun time on the Latin field trip to the Art Museum and the Cathedral Basilica. It was nice seeing how my knowledge from this year in Art History overlapped with my five years of Latin. Integrating and applying the knowledge together showed how much I have learned in those courses. Also, the mosaics at the Basilica were really cool!” – Raina Compton ’23

“The collection of mosaics in the Cathedral Basilica was beautiful and the meaning behind each mosaic was fascinating to learn about.” – Kashish Motwani ’23

“Learning about the Cathedral Basilica and how it connects to topics we learn in class was really eye-opening, as it showed me that so much from ancient Rome is still around us today. I also learned a lot about different art styles, from both the museum and the cathedral, one of which is Byzantine style art. The inside of the Cathedral was covered with Byzantine-style mosaics, and it really gave the building an entirely new feel.” – Alizeh Jawaid ’23

Grabarek commented on the adventure, “I think the field trip turned out wonderfully,” and Griffin agreed wholeheartedly.

Many thanks to the Cathedral and Art Museum docents who guided our students on this informative and fascinating tour outside the MICDS campus walls to help bring the language of Latin to life.