Temple Square Salt Lake City is Utah’s most popular tourist destination, hosting several million visitors a year on its 10-acre block. Located in the heart of downtown Salt Lake City, Temple Square has nearly 20 Mormon heritage attractions within three city blocks.
Visitors to Temple Square can take a 45-minute free tour of the square beginning at the center flagpole every 5-10 minutes, or take a self-guided tour with the information we provided below on Temple Square’s most popular buildings and monuments.
Salt Lake Temple
Also called the Mormon Temple, the grandiose, 6-spire, granite Salt Lake Temple is the heart of the church of Jesus Christ of latter day saints and the center of Temple Square. The Mormon Temple’s façade is made of white, lustrous quartzite and the multiple spires towering over Salt Lake City make this temple one of America’s most impressive structures. Construction of this neo-gothic temple began in 1853 and took over 40 years to complete. The same granite that was used in the temple was also used to build the foundation of The 1887 Hansen House.
Adjacent to the Temple is the contrasting, domed Mormon Tabernacle. The world renowned Mormon Tabernacle Choir and the famous 12,000-pipe Mormon Tabernacle Organ belong to the Mormon Tabernacle. With a stunning exterior and extraordinary acoustics, visitors can enjoy daily organ recitals, weekly choir performances every Thursday night, and Sunday morning broadcasts at 9:30 am.
To learn about the building of the Salt Lake Temple and view pictures of the inside of the temple, visit the South Visitors Center. The main attraction of the North Visitors Center is the Christus statue. This 11-foot marble statue is a replica of Bertel Thorvaldsen’s 1821 original. The church of Jesus Christ of latter day saints commissioned the making of the sculpture to help demonstrate that they are Christians through the fundamental belief in Jesus Christ. The North Visitors Center also features other exhibits, art and films about Mormon history and beliefs.
Both visitor centers maintain the same hours of Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.
From the Visitors’ Center, the Assembly Hall is south of and directly across from the Tabernacle. Completed in 1877, Assembly Hall was built by early pioneer followers of Joseph Smith. The gothic-styled building was constructed with the Mormon Temple’s left-over materials. The Assembly Hall is distinguished, however, by large, stained-glass windows. Today, Assembly Hall serves a variety of functions including the Temple Square Concert Series on Friday and Saturday evenings.
Family History Library
From the North Visitors’ Center, take West Temple south to the Family History Library. Featuring the world’s largest collection of genealogical resources, take the opportunity to learn more about your family’s ancestry. The Family History Library is open Monday 8:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m. and Tuesday-Saturday 8:00 a.m.- 9:00 p.m.
There are great Restaurants in the Temple Square District of Salt Lake City. There are three restaurants within the Joseph Smith Memorial Building. The Garden Restaurant is located on the 10th floor of the Joseph Smith Memorial Building overlooking downtown Salt Lake City and features casual lunch and dinner dinning. Enjoy light, fresh food in a patio setting with open roofed dining available during the warmer months. Another restaurant in the Joseph Smith Memorial Building is The Roof Restaurant, offering a fine dining experience, gourmet dinner buffet and spectacular views of historic Temple Square. Also housed within the Joseph Smith Memorial Building, Nauvoo Café is the newest Temple Square Restaurant featuring casual food and gifts on the ground level of the building at the corner of South Temple and Main Street. The Lion House Pantry in the Lion House, next to the Beehive House on South Temple, offers daily, except for Sunday, lunch and dinner home-style meals and baked goodies.
Temple Square Special Events
The Christmas season is a great time to visit Temple Square. Visitors can enjoy thousands of lights illuminating the entire square, a life-size Nativity scene, and nightly musical performances throughout December. Christmas season concerts are held on Tuesday through Saturday. Some special performances during the Christmas season require tickets so be sure to contact the visitor center beforehand. During the summer, concerts in the Brigham Young Historic Park are held on Tuesday and Friday evenings.
Hansen House offers ideal Salt Lake City Utah Lodging to take in all of the top Salt Lake Attractions. Temple Square has its own stop on UTA Utah, providing easy access from the Hansen House to Temple Square. With speeds of up to 55 mph, the trip from Temple Square in downtown Salt Lake City to the Historic Sandy Station is approximately 30 minutes. Averaging speeds of 24 mph, the Utah Transit Authority currently has 16 stations and Hansen House is located only 4 blocks from the Historic Sandy Station!