Originally published May 26, 2012
There is little doubt that many of the great structures in this world are centered around religion and in them resides some of the world’s greatest art as well. One of those buildings happens to be located in the Twin Cities of Minnesota. It is the Cathedral of St. Paul.
The Cathedral has a complicated and intricately woven history, but the current building as it stands began construction in 1907. It sits on Summit Hill, one of the highest points in St. Paul, and is situated so that it overlooks the skyline of the city. If you are interested in learning more about its historical background, here is a link:
Almost every detail, whether inside or out, has religious significance behind it. The Cathedral can seat 3,000 people and was designed so that the entire congregation would have an unobstructed view of the altar and pulpit. The building is as long as it is tall: 307 feet and is 216 feet wide. Check out the page called “Art and Architecture” at the above link for an abundance of fascinating facts.
The Church received the rare Rite of Consecration in 1958 which elevated it to one of the prestigious places to worship in the United States. It receives more than 200,000 visitors a year from around the world.
Here are a few images I made during my two hour visit there. When architecture is this well planned and thought out, it is a delight for a photographer to discover and document. It feels like exploring a hidden treasure map to me. Do you think I found any surprising architectural alignments in my images?
Also interesting is a 360 degree spherical panorama which can be seen by clicking this link (scroll to the bottom of the page). Use your mouse to move around in the image.
Have a very Happy Memorial Day weekend!
I am a photographer who lives in Minnesota. I blog about Minnesota, photography, music, food and miscellaneous topics.