"The biggest church in America" Churches Tip by Jefie

Churches, New York City: 32 reviews and 78 photos

  One of the cathedral's seven chapels
by Jefie
 
  • One of the cathedral's seven chapels - New York City
      One of the cathedral's seven chapels
    by Jefie
  • The Cathedral's main entrance - New York City
      The Cathedral's main entrance
    by Jefie
  • Rose window above the main entrance - New York City
      Rose window above the main entrance
    by Jefie
  • St. John the Divine's Poets Corner - New York City
      St. John the Divine's Poets Corner
    by Jefie
  • The Peace Fountain in the cathedral's gardens - New York City
      The Peace Fountain in the cathedral's gardens
    by Jefie
 

When Chafin mentioned he was going to take us to the biggest cathedral in the United States, I thought it might still be a bit small compared with some of the humongous European cathedrals I've had a chance to visit. You can therefore imagine my surprised when I walked into one of the largest Christian churches in the world! Saint John the Divine was designed in 1888 and construction began in 1892 in the Morningside Heights area under Bishop Henry Codman Potter, whose prime objective was that his future cathedral be bigger and better than St. Patrick's Cathedral on Fifth Avenue - and he was partly successful in this. During the course of its construction, which was delayed on several occasions, the original Byzantine Romanesque design was changed to Gothic Revival, and a succession of architects over the past century has resulted in a unique blend of architectural styles. The cathedral remains to this day unfinished; however, there's still plenty to be seen: there are some beautiful stained glass windows, seven chapels and, my favourite feature, the American poets' corner. Different guided tours are offered, including one that takes you up to the roof of the cathedral, something that I fully intend on doing next time I'm in New York City. The gardens next to the cathedral are also worth visiting. It's interesting to know that if they ever do finish it according to plans, Saint John the Divine will become the biggest cathedral in the entire world.

Address: 1047 Amsterdam Avenue
Directions: In Morningside Heights, at the corner of W 112th St, one block down from Broadway Avenue.
othercontact: info@stjohndivine.org
Phone: 212-316-7490
Website: http://www.stjohndivine.org

Review Helpfulness: 4.5 out of 5 stars

Was this review helpful?

  • Updated Apr 28, 2010
  • Send to a Friend
  • Add to your Trip Planner
  • Report Abuse

Comments

Jefie

“"Travel is fatal to narrow-mindedness"”

Online Now

Female

Top 1,000 Travel Writer
Member Rank:
0 0 0 4 8
Forum Rank:
0 0 1 5 7

Have you been to New York City?

  Share Your Travels