St Patrick's Cathedral, New York City

4.5 out of 5 stars 4.5 Stars - 88 Reviews

East 51st St, 5th Avenue.

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    Interior of St Patrick's
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    An oasis of calm

    by toonsarah Written Nov 12, 2008

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    Spires of St Patrick's
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    St Patrick’s neo-Gothic grandeur is all the more striking for being surrounded by the glitz and skyscrapers of mid-town Fifth Avenue. But it wasn’t always like that. When the cathedral was built, in the mid-nineteenth century, this location was so far outside the city centre, in an area of relative wilderness, that people thought it was mad to locate the cathedral here. Today the cathedral is the centre for the Roman Catholic Church in the city and indeed in the US as a whole, and is also a major tourist destination. There are of course many beautiful statues, windows, chapels and more, as in any cathedral, but for me the loveliest thing about this one in particular is that contrast between it and its surroundings; it is truly a haven of peace in all the wonderful madness of this amazing city.

    Even if you’re not religious you may find it an uplifting experience to attend a Mass here, as we did (my husband Chris is a Catholic). The choir is wonderful, and it is inspiring to experience this space as it was intended to be used rather than as simply a beautiful museum. But however and whenever you choose to visit, please don’t miss this oasis of calm in the city that never sleeps.

    The cathedral is open every day from 6.30 AM to 8.45 PM. If you wish to attend a service, there is a full schedule on the cathedral’s website. Photography is allowed, including with flash, except during a service, and I noticed also that sightseers are excluded from the main body of the cathedral while a service is in progress, which is as it should be (so if you don’t want to attend a service you should also maybe check out the schedule above as a clash could considerably limit your opportunities for a good look round). No charge is made for admission but you should consider making a donation towards the upkeep of the building and/or making a purchase in the gift shop.

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    St. Patrick's Cathedral

    by starship Updated Feb 23, 2013

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    Of the places I was privileged to see during my first visit to New York City in 1972, St. Patrick's Cathedral stands out as one of the most memorable. The occasion was Easter Sunday Mass for which tickets were required due to demand for seating being greater than existing capacity -- the tickets were thoughtfully obtained by my cousin.

    Thanks to a brilliantly sunny day, the interior of the cathedral was rather well lit and the backlighting of the many stained glass windows cast colorful patterns on the cathedral floor. Hung high above the nave of the cathedral were several crimson hats of Cardinals who had once presided over the congregation and New York diocese. With its immense size, grand architecture of stone and wood, stained-glass windows, side altars, sculpture, and ornate pulpit, St. Patrick's was the most awe-inspiring cathedral I had visited up until that point in my life.

    Every year over 5.5 million people visit St. Patrick's. Far younger than, but just the same as, many of Europe's great cathedrals, St. Patrick's has seen many additions since it was dedicated on May 25, 1879. For example, the spires were not complete until 1888. However, it was the original donations of $1,000 each from 103 citizens and much smaller amounts from the immigrant poor, as well as numerous fundraising events since then which have kept the cathedral moving forward.

    During this more recent visit, it was unfortunate that the ground level exterior view was marred by scaffolding. Still the interior was as inviting as ever!

    It is sad to me that the architecture of many Catholic churches built in the 20th century are too modern and sterile--little stained glass, fewer or no side altars, statues, ornate carvings, marble, etc. They are not inspiring in the least. I prefer European Catholic churches because they are, in and of themselves, great works of art -- every inch designed to give glory to God.

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    The Cathedral of Saint Patrick

    by Yaqui Updated Aug 18, 2004

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    Saint Patrick’s Cathedral is named after Bishop Patricius Magonus Sucatus born in around 389 on the coast of the British Isle. He found his calling in prayer when he was captured by Irish pagans and held slave when he was just around 13 years of age. He soon escaped but not without enduring starvation and hardships. He found his was back home in Britain. He soon found his calling from his prayers and was ordained by Saint Germanus. He was soon sent to mission in Ireland, not far from his previous enslavement. He soon triumphed over the Druid priest and established church in at Crom Cruach in Leitrim. He has been noted that he had such passion and love for the Irish was determined to protect them from aggressors. His love for the teaching of God and justice guided him. It was said that he lived to a very old age.

    Saint Patrick’s was a dream of the first New York Archbishop John Hughes. It soon became a reality after the foundation was poured August 15, 1858, but the rest of the construction stopped because of the Civil War. Fourteen years later May 25, 1879 reconstruction began and was finally completed. Although, the actual appearance did change from ordinary to extraordinary with additions to give it that Gothic look.

    They require at time to search bags so be prepared once again. She is a treasure to protect.
    They welcome all to visit her, but to respect those attending mass and keep your presence towards the back of the church. Not unless you wish to join the service, all is welcome!!

    Mass Schedule

    Sundays 7,8,9, 10:15am, and 12, 1,4, 5:30pm
    Holy Days 7, 7:30, 8, 8:30, 9, 11, 11:30am and 12,, 12:30,1,5:30, 6:30pm
    Week Days 7, 7:30, 8, 8:30am and 12:00, 12:30, 1, 5:30pm
    Saturday 8, 8:30am, and 12, 12:30, 5:30pm.
    Confessions
    Weekdays after every morning Mass and from 12:00 to 1:20pm
    Saturday 3:30-5:30pm
    Days preceding Holy Days and First Fridays 4:30-5:30 pm

    Visit: New York City

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    It's a big'un!

    by sue_stone Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    St Patrick's Cathedral is a hugh cathedral located in the centre of Manhattan.

    It is the seat of the archbishop of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of New York, and was completed in 1878.

    Built of white marble in a gothic style, it is quite a spectacular structure and is the largest Catholic cathedral in the United States.

    We where very impressed with its grandeur, and popped inside to have a look around a spend a quiet moment in contemplation.

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    An architectural wonder on Fifth Avenue

    by Jefie Updated Mar 19, 2008

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    St. Patrick's Cathedral, on 5th Avenue
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    To see the 330 foot tall spires of St. Patrick's Cathedral suddenly appear is one of the joys of walking down 5th Avenue for the very first time! Back in 1850, Archbishop John Hughes decided to have a new Cathedral built on what was then the outskirts of the city. St. Patrick's Cathedral was completed in 1879, and to this day it remains the largest gothic-style cathedral in the United States and it can sit close to 2,500 people. What was once referred to as "Hugues' folly" became the heart of the New York City Catholic community, which swelled thanks to the constant flow of immigrants (back in 1785, there were only 200 Catholics and one priest in the entire city). Nowadays, people come from all over the world to admire the Cathedral's stained windows, Lady Chapel and numerous pieces of religious art work. It was of particular interest to me to find out that American writer F. Scott Fitzgerald and Zelda Sayre got married there in 1920. I also really enjoyed the fact that the lights were kept low in the Cathedral - this helped keep the solemn character and atmosphere of the place, even if there were dozens of people walking around with cameras. It did however make the shock of going back on busy 5th Avenue all the more bigger!

    The Cathedral is open everyday from 6:30 am to 8:45 pm, free of charge.

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    St Patrick's Cathedral at Night

    by bct341 Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    St Patrick's Cathedral

    St Patrick's is the largest decorated gothic-style Catholic Cathedral in the United States. The Cathedral was begun in 1858 by Archbishop John Hughes to replace the original St. Patrick's Cathedral, which is used today as a parish church in New York. The cornerstone was laid in August of that year, and, after a suspension of work during the years of Civil War, John Cardinal McCloskey, the first American Cardinal, resumed work in 1865, opening the doors in May, 1879. Archbishop Michael Corrigan added the towers on the West Front in 1888 and began work on the east addition, including the Lady Chapel in 1901. His successor, Cardinal Farley, completed work on the Lady Chapel addition. Cardinal Hayes completed an extensive renovation of the interior between 1927 and 1931.

    Some Interesting facts:

    The Windows were made by renowned artists in Chartres, France; Birmingham, England and Boston Massachusetts. The great rose window is acknowledged to be the finest work designed by Charles Connick, the 20th century genius in stained glass window design..
    The Cathedral seats about 2,200 people.

    * The exterior length is about 405 feet; the width is 274 feet.

    * The spires rise 330 feet from street level.

    * The architect was James Renwick, an American. The Lady Chapel was designed by another American, Charles Mathews.

    * The St. Michael and St. Louis altar was designed by Tiffany and Company. The St. Elizabeth altar was designed by Paolo Medici of Rome.

    * The Archbishops of New York are buried in a crypt under the high altar. Their honorary hats, called galeros, hang from the ceiling over their tombs.

    * The Stations of the Cross are works of art which won first prize at the Chicago World's Fair in 1893.

    * The Pieta is three times larger than the Pieta in St. Peter's, Rome.

    * The Cathedral has three organs.

    * The baldachin over the main altar is solid bronze.

    * Each year over 3 million people visit St. Patrick's Cathedral

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    St. Patricks Cathedral

    by scottishvisitor Updated Jun 14, 2006

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    St. Pats in a sandwich

    The original St. Patrick's Cathedral was designed by the architect James Renwick. Construction started in 1859 and the estimated time of construction work was 8 years - however the work was delayed by the interruption of the Civil war. I can only guess at the architects feeling on todays building sandwiched between high risers. There was a wedding in progress when we visited so no internal photography but it really is stunning inside.

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  • Christophe_Ons's Profile Photo

    The largest Catholic Cathedral in the USA

    by Christophe_Ons Updated Mar 14, 2004

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    In Midtown Manhattan stands St. Patrick's Cathedral, the largest Catholic Cathedral in the United States, yet dwarfed by the surrounding skyscrapers. Building started in 1850, the architect was James Renwick.
    This Gothic revival building was completed in 1878 (the spires were added from 1885-8) and seats 2500 people.
    The great bronze doors weigh 20.000 lb (9000 kg) and are adorned with important New York religous figures.
    Beneath the 26 ft (8m) wide Rose window (which can be seen from the street) is the great organ which has more than 7000 pipes.
    The great baldachin rising over the high altar is entirely made of bronze.

    Opening hours :
    7:30am-8:30pm daily
    frequent services

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    St. Patrick's Cathedral in New York

    by Paul2001 Updated Oct 29, 2007

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    The interior and Main Altar of St. Patrick's Cathe
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    Although most travellers do not think of New York as being a city of churches there are many fine religious buildings here. Probably most notable in St. Patrick's Cathedral. This neo-Gothic church was designed in 1859 and begun shortly thereafter. However it was not completed until 1903. As far as neo-Gothic cathedrals go it is probably a fine as one you are going to find in America. What probably is most capturing about the building is all the white marble. This place seems almost to glow. Still I found the place a bit sterile. This probably because of the lack of any real "art" inside of the church and nothing to so much to remind you that you are in one of the great world metropolises. Regardless it is considered to be one of the most important Catholic churches in the USA. It's congregation consists of 2,200 people. As you would expect for such a large city, the cathedral is huge.
    The St. Patrick's Cathedral is open from 7am to 8:30pm daily.

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    Best Free thing #13

    by goodfish Written Mar 15, 2009

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    Baptistry, St. Patrick's
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    St. Patrick's is the largest Gothic-style cathedral in the United States and seat of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of New York. In 1858, when construction began, this bustling section of 5th Avenue was virtually open country and its visionary, Archbishop John Hughes, held to ridicule for its considerable distance from the city. The architect, James Renwick, also designed the Smithsonian Institute's well-known "Castle" in Washington DC.

    The church holds about 2,200 people and has beautiful windows crafted in France, England and Boston, several alters designed by Tiffany and Co., and a solid bronze baldachin over the high altar. Eight archbishops are buried in St Patrick's crypt, and funeral masses were held here for New York Yankees Babe Ruth and Billy Martin, football legend Vince Lombardi, singer Celia Cruz, Senator Robert F. Kennedy, and many of 9/11's fallen police and firefighters.

    Visitors are welcome daily from 6:30 am to 8:45. See the website for service schedule.

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    St. Patrick's Cathedral

    by chewy3326 Written Sep 4, 2006

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    St. Patrick's Cathedral
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    New York's St. Patrick's Cathedral is the largest gothic revival Catholic Cathedral in the USA. The Cathedral was completed in 1879, and at the time, the 330-foot spires of the Cathedral were one of the most prominent features of the New York skyline. Since then, New York has changed dramatically, and the once-tall cathedral is now totally dwarfed by neighboring skyscrapers. St. Patrick's Cathedral is a popular movie backdrop; funerals for people such as Babe Ruth have been held here. The first photo of St. Patrick's Cathedral is a view from the Top of the Rock, the second from street level, and the third from the statue of Atlas at Rockefeller.

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    Amazing Architecture

    by jag17 Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    Gothic Style

    Visited by over 3 million people a year, St Patricks Cathedral is the largest gothic style Catholic Cathedral in the US. The cathedral opened it's doors in May 1879, and will hold over 2,000 people. It has 3 organs, and the spires rise over 300' from street level. A stop for visitors of all faiths, the cathedral is open from 7am to 8:30pm.

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    Beautiful Architecture

    by Small_World Updated Mar 2, 2005

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    St. Patrick's Cathedral

    Every time I go to NYC, I always end up at St. Patrick's Cathedral. Maybe it is because I'm weary of the pre-fab church buildings that are ubiquitous in my region, or perhaps it is the sheer gothic beauty and majesty of place.

    Or maybe because it is practically the only place that doesn't charge admission. :-)

    It was built from 1858-1879.

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    St. Patrick's Cathedral

    by Jehcekah Written Apr 8, 2004

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    St. Patrick's Cathedral

    The doors to the cathedral were opened in 1879. The architect was James Renwick, an American. The Lady Chapel was designed by another American, Charles Mathews.

    I think that the most unique thing about the cathedral is that it is located on 5th Avenue among the swanky shops, posh hotels, and tall modern buildings. It looks totally out of place, though it compliments its area. It creates a beautiful contrast of new and old New York.

    Entrance is free and photographs are allowed as long as mass is not in progress. There is a small gift store on site.

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  • madamx's Profile Photo

    St. Patrick's Cathedral

    by madamx Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    The largest Catholic cathedral in the United States was completed in 1878, and is truly impressive to look at, inside and out. The front altar came from Tiffany and Co. on 5th Avenue. The breathtaking Rose Window is built above the organ, which has more than 7,000 pipes.

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