St. Patrick's Cathedral

St. Patrick's Cathedral in New York City is the seat of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of New York. Built in a Neo-Gothic style in the 19th century, St. Patrick's is the largest Roman Catholic cathedral in the United States (the Episcopalian Cathedral of St. John the Divine, also in New York, is larger). Over three million people visit St. Patrick's Cathedral each year.

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History of St. Patrick's Cathedral

Designed by American architect James Renwick, St. Patrick's Cathedral was begun in 1859 to replace an earlier cathedral. The cathedral's predecessor, known as "Old St. Patrick's," is still used as a parish church and is the oldest Catholic building in the city.

After interruptions due to the Civil War, the new cathedral was consecrated in 1879. Additions continued over the years, including the archbishop's house and rectory, the two 330-foot spires (1888), and the intimate Lady Chapel (1901).

The Irish Catholic congregation made a powerful statement when they chose the 5th Avenue location for their church. During the week, most of them came to the neighborhood to work for the wealthy. But on Sunday, at least, they could claim a prestigious spot for themselves.

The current Archbishop of New York, Edward M. Egan, was made a cardinal in 2001. Past archbishops are buried in the crypt beneath the high altar, where their ceremonial hats hang over their tombs. Many of the funerals for fallen New York City police and firefighters were held here in the fall of 2001.

What to See at St. Patrick's Cathedral

St. Patrick's Cathedral is a vast Gothic structure made of white marble and stone that seats about 2,400 people. The impressive interior contains numerous altars and statues worth a look.

The St. Michael and St. Louis altar was designed by Tiffany's, also located here on Fifth Avenue. The St. Elizabeth altar was designed by Paolo Medici of Rome and includes a modern statue. It honors Mother Elizabeth Ann Seton, the first American-born saint.

The stained-glass windows were created by artists in Chartres, France; Birmingham, England and Boston, Massachusetts. The cathedral's Pieta statue is three times larger than Michelangelo's in St. Peter's Basilica.

Quick Facts on St. Patrick's Cathedral

Site Information
Names:St. Patrick's Cathedral
Categories:cathedrals
Styles:Gothic Revival style
Dedication: St. Patrick
Dates:1859-79
Status: active
Visitor and Contact Information
Coordinates:40.758465° N, 73.976097° W
Address:Fifth Avenue between 50th and 51st Street
New York City, New York
Phone:212-753-2261
Hours:Sun-Fri 7am-8:30pm; Sat 8am-8:30pm
Lodging:View hotels near St. Patrick's Cathedral
Note: This information was accurate when first published and we do our best to keep it updated, but details such as opening hours and prices can change without notice. To avoid disappointment, please check with the site directly before making a special trip.

References

  1. Frommer's New York City 2005,
  2. Fodor's New York City 2005
  3. St. Patrick's Cathedral – Archdiocese of New York
  4. St. Patrick's Cathedral – Medieval New York
  5. Saint Patrick's Cathedral – NY.com
  6. St. Patrick's Cathedral – NYC Tourism

More Information

© David Hsu
© OnkelBoe
© Beau Wade

Map of St. Patrick's Cathedral

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