Wanderlust America

Discover the beauty of St. Patrick’s Cathedral

St. Patrick’s is a Catholic Cathedral located in the neighborhood of Midtown Manhattan in New York City. It is one of the popular landmarks in New York City and dates to the 19th century. It has hosted many important religious and cultural events over the years and is also the seat of the Archbishop in New York. It is a place where you can worship, contemplate, and reflect or participate in a daily mass. Let us learn more about what makes St. Patrick’s Cathedral a must-see place for visitors across the world

History of St. Patrick's Cathedral

St. Patrick’s Cathedral was constructed back in the mid-19th century, and it took more than two decades to finish the structure. James Renwick Jr. was the one who designed the cathedral in a Neo-Gothic style which was similar to medieval cathedrals of Europe. The construction of the cathedral had many starts and stops including delays caused due to the Civil War and financial difficulties. It officially opened back in 1879 but the spires were completed after 1888.   

Since its opening, it has become a focal point for many cultural and political events. John F. Kennedy, Franklin D. Roosevelt, and Pope John Paul II all delivered speeches at the cathedral. Today it serves as a reminder of New York’s rich culture and history and also serves as a pilgrimage spot for people looking to view it’s amazing architectural and historical significance.  

st patrick's cathedral

Things to See

  • Exterior – St. Patrick’s front is a Neo-Catholic jewel. The white marble is quite bright and represents purity and light. The cathedral is embellished with markings of saints, gargoyles, and spires that reach up to 330 feet. At its entrance, it has three bronze doors that were cast in Italy. Those who walk the perimeter will notice that the main entrance is like a cross’s base while the church looks like a cross from above.   
  • The Nave – It soars up to 100 feet and is a sight to behold. Sunlight pours through the glass windows and casts various colors across the floor. Every window has a biblical story to tell and adds layers of color and narrative to the space. The central aisle is lined with lean marble pillars that support the ribbed vaults overhead. If you look closely enough at the carvings on the pillars, they depict religious figures, symbols, and biblical scenes.   
  • Rose Window – The rose window of St. Patrick’s Cathedral sits impressively above the main entrances and dominates the front such that it will draw your eyes upwards. It measures 26 feet and employs 3,000 pieces of hand-cut stained glass which makes it one of the largest rose windows in North America. Other than literal depictions of scenes from the bible, it also has symbolic elements. Eternity is symbolized by the circular shape and divine illumination is symbolized using light and color.  
  • Lady Chapel – It was added to the cathedral in 1906 and is dedicated to the Virgin Mary. It feels very small and intimate when compared to the size of the cathedral and is there to create a quiet space for prayer and meditation. The main point of the lady chapel is the remarkable altar that is decorated with carvings and marble statues. You will notice sunlight pouring through the ornate stained-glass windows that depict the scenes from the life of Jesus and Mary.   
  • Saint Michael Chapel – It has been dedicated to the Archangel Saint Michael and celebrates the protection of good over evil. You will find this theme quite evident in its stained-glass window that depicts Archangel Saint Michael fighting an intense battle with a dragon. Again, make sure you notice the sunlight pouring through the windows that casts a dramatic light on the space and highlights the fierce battle. You will find that this chapel has a strong connection with the military which will be evident from the American flags that enhance the walls and memorial plaques that honor fallen soldiers. It helps to create a unique atmosphere dedicated to sacrifice and service and it also hosts military ceremonies and services at times.  
  • The Crypt – It is under the high altar of St. Patrick’s Cathedral where every Archbishop of New York is entombed. You will be able to access the crypt through doors that are behind the high altar. Initially, the entrance was kept secretly hidden by a heavy stone that required more than six people to lift it. The crypt is decorated with the names of those buried in large bronze letters. It measures approximately 21 feet in length, 10 feet in height, and 10 feet in width.     
Awe Inspiring Churches and Cathedrals

Getting there

The address for St. Patrick’s Cathedral is 14 E 51st Street, New York, NY 10022. Let us explore some of the ways to get there.  

  • Car or Taxi – If you choose to drive to St. Patrick’s Cathedral, it is a very easy drive to navigate there. Although, you may find that finding parking in Manhattan is very hard and street parking may also be limited. It is also convenient to use a ridesharing app such as Uber or Lyft to get there. This would mean you wouldn’t have to worry about getting parking. Other than ride sharing, there are also yellow taxi cabs available throughout the city and you will be able to find a taxi stand throughout Manhattan.   
  • Public Transport – If you are coming there by Subway, take B, D, M, or F trains to 47-50 Streets/Rockefeller Center station and it is a walking distance from St. Patrick’s Cathedral. The other option is to use the E or M train and get off at the 5th Avenue/53rd Street station from where the cathedral is a short walking distance. Several bus routes run nearby the St. Patrick’s Cathedral including M1, M2, M3, M4, and M5. All of these have bus stops near or within walking distance of the cathedral.   
  • Walking or Biking – New York City’s grid layout and pedestrian-friendly streets make it easy and accessible for people who prefer walking. People who have a bicycle or use a bike-sharing service should just be respectful and mindful of the bike lanes and regulations when coming near the cathedral area.  
Peace Love Christmas


  • Sachi – It is just a few blocks from St. Patrick’s Cathedral and serves Japanese cuisine with options for takeout as well. Make sure you try out their signature maki rolls such as the Fire Dragon.  
  • The Modern – It offers modern American cuisine and provides spectacular views of the sculpture garden. While you are there, you should try their dishes such as tuna tartare and duck breast with cherry compote.  
  • P.J. Clarke’s – This is a classic New York restaurant that has been serving burgers and brews since 1884. You should try their legendary P.J. Clarke’s burger or their crispy fish and chips. It’s a must-visit spot that has a friendly atmosphere and a cozy environment.  
  • OBAO – If you are craving some spicy Thai food, then you should dine at OBAO. It is just a few blocks away from St. Patrick’s Cathedral. Remember to not miss out on their signature bubble tea. 


  • The Plaza Hotel  
  • Park Central Hotel  
  • Pod 51 Hotel  
  • The Pierre, A Taj Hotel  
  • The Westin  
  • Yotel New York  
  • The Langham, New York  
  • The Roosevelt Hotel  
  • Americana Inn  
St Patrick's Day History


  • The cathedral is open every day from 6.30 am to 8.45 pm.   
  • Make sure that you dress appropriately and respectfully when you visit the cathedral.   
  • You should check the cathedral’s official website before visiting for information about the Mass schedule.   
  • It is a place of worship and prayer so you shouldn’t make any noise and keep your phones silent.

You can also read: 

Scroll to Top