This Saturday: The Vanka Murals in Millvale

This Saturday, we’ll be visiting the Vanka murals in Millvale.

Croatian artist Maxo Vanka painted a one-of-a-kind masterpiece on the interior walls of St. Nicholas Croatian Catholic Church in Millvale, PA. The 25 murals—created in two intense periods in 1937 and 1941—are unique, evocative and larger-than-life representations of faith and family; the immigrant experience in America; social justice and injustice and the horrors of war.

The murals — and Vanka’s huge spirit — are unabashedly Pittsburgh. I’m excited for you to see them and to see how you write about the experience. Be sure to check out Millvale and the Vankas in Moon Pittsburgh before our visit.

We’ll be taking a docent-led tour of the murals. Our tour begins promptly at 12:30 p.m. and we will leave campus very shortly after 11 a.m. The cost for the tour is $10, cash, or you can pre-pay at the Vanka website. 

There is a gift shop on site, so if you think you might like to make a purchase — the magnets and posters are very beautiful and purchases support the preservation of the murals — please bring additional funds.


We will also make a stop on our way home at Bicycle Heaven, the world’s largest bicycle museum and bike shop. It’s a different kind of heavenly-mural experience and it’s free.

We may not have time to grab a bite anywhere, so please bring snacks if you’d like. Also, as for the weather — who knows? Both of our destinations are indoors. Parking for the Vanka murals is close by. There may be a short walk from parking at Bicycle Heaven, though. Plan to dress accordingly.

And of course bring your travel notebooks, photo gear, etc.

We should arrive back at campus by 3:30 p.m., where we will debrief, discuss your blogs, and prep for our next adventure.

So looking forward to this with all of you!

Please let me know if you have any questions.

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