As we were staying in Helena, we thought it only fair that we actually visit some the landmarks and places that the town has to offer, rather than visiting lots of other places in the area.
The place that crops up most when looking for information about Helena is the cathedral. This is located in the downtown area and is called the Cathedral of Saint Helena. You can take tours of inside the building, but we arrived quite early in the morning and it was closed. However, the outside is still something of beauty with its two spires and beautiful architecture.
This is a Roman Catholic Church and the first cornerstone of the building was laid in 1908, but the first service was not held until 1914 and in fact, the cathedral was not completed until 1924.
In 1935 a series of earthquakes struck the city and the south tower was destroyed. It was rebuilt and reinforced by 1938.
After exploring the cathedral, we walked a few blocks to the historic downtown area.
Our first stop was a cafe located inside the most unique and crazy store we have ever been in. It is called General Mercantile and the interior is just crazy. It is all wood and dressed to look like an old turn of the century store. It sells lots of candy and chocolate as well as gifts and unusual items. In the middle is the cafe selling various drinks as well as cakes and such like. The hot chocolate was wonderful.
The actual downtown area was almost deserted when we were there. many of the buildings are indeed historic, but we did notice that some of the signage had been created recently and made to look old, but overall it was a nice area to stroll around for an hour.
There are a couple of statues, this one pays tribute to the paperboys of Helena.
and this one to the Bullwhacker.
I also saw this spa which has just about the best business name I have ever seen!