Saturday, October 5, 2013

InSPIREd Sunday - Cathedral of Saint Paul

Not to be confused with St. Paul's Cathedral, the Cathedral of Saint Paul is in St. Paul, Minnesota. The current cathedral is actually the fourth building to bear this name. The first log chapel was built in 1841 under the direction of Father Lucien Galtier in a settlement called "Pig's Eye". Father Galtier hoped that settlers would adopt the name of St. Paul for their town. Luckily for Minnesotans, that change was made in 1844. Otherwise, the Twin Cities today might consist of Minneapolis - Pig's Eye.

After the original chapel doubled in size, it was formally proclaimed the Cathedral of Saint Paul in 1851. The congregation continued to grow (I guess people decided living in St. Paul sounded better than Pig's Eye) and quickly outgrew the chapel. A new cathedral in downtown St. Paul was built within a few months and at its opening in early 1852, was already overcrowded. In July 1854, construction on a third cathedral started and after a stoppage due to a financial crisis, a modest structure was finally completed in June 1858. A lack of space continued to plague the parish and it didn't take long before the Bishop of St. Paul envisioned a larger and grander cathedral. It fell to Archbishop John Ireland, the successor to the Bishop of St. Paul, to carry out that vision.

The cornerstone of the current cathedral was laid on June 2, 1907. The exterior was completed in 1914 and the first Mass was held on on Palm Sunday 1915. It took a few more decades of work to put the finishing touches on the interior of the Cathedral including the chapels of St. Peter's, St. Joseph's and the Blessed Virgin Mary's. The Cathedral was consecrated in 1958.

Guided tours are available but I was there on a non-tour day.

Cathedral of Saint Paul - St. Paul, Minnesota

Linking up with InSPIREd Sunday - a photo album of churches, temples and other religious buildings. Come be inspired!


  1. that's really beautiful.

    pig's eye. :)

  2. awesome. i bet those bells play a gorgeous tune. what an amazing church. lovely find. ( :

  3. That's quite a beautiful place! The details of the architecture are amazing.

  4. Thanks for sharing the history of the cathedral, Sally. I have seen it from the outside many time but never knew that they gave guided tours.

  5. Great photos of a beautiful building! Love all that detail.


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