Over five million people visit St. Patrick's Cathedral in New York, NY every year, people of every faith and many different nationalities. Some of these guests come just as tourists visiting New York City, while many more come to the Cathedral to participate in the Church's services. Regardless of the many reasons why people come the amazing Cathedral, the Church invites everyone who enters its doors.
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The tale of New York City's magnificent St. Patrick's Cathedral mirrors to the tale of the city itself. The Cathedral was built to assert the rise of religious tolerance and freedom in the city. The Cathedral was constructed in the democratic spirit, paid in part by donations from thousands of poor immigrants, as well as from contributions of 103 more prominent residents of the city who each donated $1,000. St. Patrick's Cathedral is proof of the truth that no one single generation builds a cathedral. Instead, it's like an ongoing conversation that links generations.
The Cathedral's cornerstone was placed in 1858, with the doors of the Cathedral opening to the public in 1879. More than 150 years ago, Archbishop John Hughes announces is idea to construct the "new" St. Patrick's Cathedral. During a ceremony at the "old" St. Patrick's Cathedral, Hughes proposed his ambition "to erect a Cathedral in the City of New York that may be worthy of our increasing numbers, intelligence, and wealth as a religious community, and at all events, worthy as a public architectural monument, of the present and prospective crowns of this metropolis of the American continent.”
At the time, the idea of the cathedral was ridiculed as "Hughes' Folly," as the site that was proposed for the new cathedral was near wilderness, considered to be too far outside of the city. Nonetheless, Hughes persisted in his vision to build "the most beautiful Gothic Cathedral in the New World" in what he thought would be "the heart of the city" one day. A tour of the astounding St. Patrick's Cathedral is a great chance to gain a deeper understanding of the history, spirt, and architecture of the magnificent Cathedral. Locals and visitors alike are welcome to visit the Cathedral to take part in a guided tour.
Guided group tours are offered Monday to Friday, from 9:00am to 11:00am and 1:30pm to 4:00pm. Tours are designed for groups of ten to sixty people, and are required to be scheduled with advance notice. For groups consisting of less than ten people and individuals, scheduled public guided tours are available to join. Visitors can find a schedule of public tours on the website of St. Patrick's Cathedral. No reservations are needed to join the public guided tours. Tour times are contingent on volunteer guide availability, as well as special liturgical services. All scheduled public guided tours start at 9:30, and last about an hour. While there is no cost for the public tours, a $5.00 donation is suggested to support "America's Parish Church."
14 East 51st Street, New York, New York, Phone: 212-753-2261