Thursday, April 21, 2011

The Cathedral of St. John the Divine

I absolutely love living on the Upper West side of Manhattan. So much history and culture up in this area. One of my favorite perks about this area is the Cathedral of St. John the Divine. It's just around the corner towards Central park. Today I had the day off, so I decided to pay a visit!

First of all, just a quick history on the cathedral. The Cathedral of St. John the Divine is the 4th largest Catholic cathedral in the world. Pretty cool, huh? It's a whopping 121,000 square feet and has been nicknamed "St. John the Unfinished" because it is in fact, unfinished!

The cathedral was designed in 1888 and began construction in 1892. It was undergone radical stylistic changes and construction has been interrupted by two World Wars. Originally designed as Byzantine-Romanesque, the plan was changed after 1909 to a Gothic design. After a large fire on December 18, 2001, it was closed for repairs and reopened in November 2008. It remains unfinished, with construction and restoration a continuing process.

I couldn't believe how gorgeous the cathedral was! And how big! And being Good Friday, I was able to witness services being done at the cathedral in honor of the Passover. It was such a great experience and I know I'll go back before I leave.

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