Detroit was once known as the City of Churches. From a primitive log chapel on the banks of the Detroit River three centuries ago to the contemporary structures in the far-flung suburbs, the Catholic churches that grace southeastern Michigan pique the interest and admiration of designers, artists, and scholars. Detroit's Catholic churches have embraced many roles during their existence, serving as historical landmarks, centers for political activities, community charities, and anchors for the city's diverse ethnic groups. They symbolize the devotion, strength, and unity that have nurtured the faithful since 1701. The congregation of Ste. Anne, Detroit's first church, persevered to build seven churches over two centuries, each more magnificent than its predecessor.