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Cathedral of St. Paul, Minnesota

Cathedral of St. Paul, Minnesota (Known places)

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Cathedral of Saint Paul (Minnesota) National Shrine of the Apostle Paul

The Cathedral of Saint Paul is a Roman Catholic cathedral in the city of St Paul, Minnesota. It is the Cathedral of the Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis. One of the most distinctive cathedrals in the United States, it sits on Cathedral Hill overlooking downtown St Paul and features a distinctive copper-clad dome. The current building opened in 1915 (104 years ago) as the fourth cathedral of the archdiocese to bear this name. On Mar. 25, 2009 (10 years ago), it was designated as the National Shrine of the Apostle Paul by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops and the Vatican.


The building of the current cathedral was instigated by Archbishop John Ireland in 1904 (115 years ago). At Ireland's direction, the archdiocese commissioned well-known French Beaux-Arts architect Emmanuel Louis Masqueray, who was also the chief architect of the 1904 (115 years ago) World's Fair in St. Louis, Missouri, and construction began in 1906 (113 years ago). Masqueray's open design allows visitors unobstructed views of the altar and pulpit. Masqueray died in 1917 (102 years ago), having completed only a few designs for the interior, which has been filled by other designers in the subsequent decades.

The design was inspired by French Renaissance architecture. The dome of the cathedral is 76 feet (23 m) in diameter and 186 feet (57 m) high. Warm-colored paint and gold leaf were added during a major renovation of the dome in the 1950 (69 years ago). The exterior walls of the cathedral are Rockville granite from St. Cloud, Minnesota (from the Clark quarry). The interior walls are American Travertine from Mankato, Minnesota. The interior columns are made of several types of marble.

Baldachin of the Cathedral of Saint PaulThe interior is illuminated by twenty-four stained glass windows featuring angelic choirs. There is also a rose window in the transept designed by Charles Connick. Electric lighting was installed in 1940 (79 years ago).

The cathedral has statues of the four evangelists in the four corners of its main pier. The life of Saint Paul is honored by a bronze baldachin, as well as massive bronze Te Deum and Magnificat grilles. The cathedral also has six chapels dedicated to the patron saints of the European ethnic groups that settled the area around the city: St. Anthony for the Italians, St. John the Baptist for the French Canadians, St. Patrick for the Irish, St. Boniface for the Germans, Saints Cyril and Methodius for the Slavs; and St. Therese of Lisieux for the missionaries. There are also chapels dedicated to the Sacred Heart, to Mary, the mother of Jesus and to St. Joseph, her husband, as well as to Saint Peter.

In 1987 (32 years ago) the Cathedral acquired five bronze bells cast in France. The copper dome was renovated in 2002 (17 years ago).

The Cathedral is normally open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. seven days a week. The building was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1974 (45 years ago). On Mar. 25, 2009 (10 years ago), the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops declared the Cathedral of Saint Paul to be a National Shrine - the first in Minnesota and the only one in North America dedicated to the Apostle Paul. The Cathedral is now also known as the National Shrine of the Apostle Paul.



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