The Top 3 Most Beautiful Cathedrals Built in Honor of St Patrick

Saint Patrick was a 5th-century Christian missionary from a Romano-British family.

Ireland’s primary patron saint, St Patrick spent most of his life dedicated to teaching Christianity across Ireland.

Known as the “Apostle of Ireland”, to help teach Christianity to his pagan followers, he combined the sun cross with the Christian cross to form the Celtic Cross, and used the shamrock as a metaphor for the Christian Holy Trinity.

His life is honored every year on March 17.

Saint Patrick Catholic Church, stained glass, Junction City, Ohio. Credit Nheyob
Saint Patrick Catholic Church, stained glass, Junction City, Ohio. Credit Nheyob
St. Patrick’s Day is an enchanted time – a day to begin transforming winter’s dreams into summer’s magicAdrienne Cook

Church buildings around the world are named after St Patrick. Here are three of the most beautiful.

Saint Patrick’s Cathedral, Dublin, Ireland

The choir of St Patrick's Cathedral in Dublin, Ireland. Credit David Iliff
The choir of St Patrick’s Cathedral in Dublin, Ireland. Credit David Iliff

Founded in 1191, Saint Patrick’s Cathedral in Dublin is the largest church in Ireland.

St Patrick's Cathedral Lady Chapel, Dublin, Ireland. Credit David Iliff
St Patrick’s Cathedral Lady Chapel, Dublin, Ireland. Credit David Iliff

From humble beginnings as a Celtic parish church, in 1192 Dublin’s first Anglo-Norman Archbishop raised its status to a collegiate church devoted to both worship and learning.

St Patrick's Cathedral Nave, Dublin, Ireland. Credit David Iliff
St Patrick’s Cathedral Nave, Dublin, Ireland. Credit David Iliff

With donations collected across Ireland, reconstruction began on the glorious English Gothic style cathedral.

St Patrick's Cathedral, Dublin. Credit Miguel Mendez
St Patrick’s Cathedral, Dublin. Credit Miguel Mendez

The author Jonathan Swift, who wrote Gulliver’s Travels, was Dean of the cathedral from 1713 to 1745.

St. Patrick's Cathedral Choir as seen from the Nave. Credit Andreas F. Borchert
St. Patrick’s Cathedral Choir as seen from the Nave. Credit Andreas F. Borchert
Lady Chapel St Patrick's Cathedral, Dublin. Credit Adrian Grycuk
Lady Chapel St Patrick’s Cathedral, Dublin. Credit Adrian Grycuk
St. Patrick's Cathedral, Dublin. Credit Tony Webster
St. Patrick’s Cathedral, Dublin. Credit Tony Webster
St Patricks Cathedral Dublin. Credit Suzanne de Gunst
St Patricks Cathedral Dublin. Credit Suzanne de Gunst

The Cathedral of St. Patrick, Manhattan, New York City

Saint Patrick's Cathedral in New York City. Credit Steve Kelley
Saint Patrick’s Cathedral in New York City. Credit Steve Kelley

A prominent landmark of New York City, St. Patrick’s Cathedral is a Neo-Gothic Roman Catholic cathedral church in Midtown Manhattan.

St. Patrick's Cathedral, New York. Credit Ingfbruno
St. Patrick’s Cathedral, New York. Credit Ingfbruno

Designed by James Renwick, Jr., work began on August 15, 1858, but was halted during the civil war, and later completed in 1878.

St. Patrick's Cathedral, New York City. Credit slack12, flickr
St. Patrick’s Cathedral, New York City. Credit slack12, flickr

Accommodating 3,000 people, the cathedral spans a whole city block, between 50th and 51st streets, Madison Avenue and Fifth Avenue.

St. Patrick's Cathedral, New York City. Credit Bryce Edwards, flickr
St. Patrick’s Cathedral, New York City. Credit Bryce Edwards, flickr
St Patrick's Cathedral, New York. Credit Carmelo Bayarcal
St Patrick’s Cathedral, New York. Credit Carmelo Bayarcal

Rising 330 feet (101 meters), the twin spires were a later addition in 1888.

St Patrick's Cathedral, New York, viewed from the Rockefeller Center. Credit J.M. Luijt
St Patrick’s Cathedral, New York, viewed from the Rockefeller Center. Credit J.M. Luijt

St Patrick’s cathedral became a National Historic Landmark in 1976.

Saint Patrick's Cathedral in New York City. Credit Jean-Christophe Benoist
Saint Patrick’s Cathedral in New York City. Credit Jean-Christophe Benoist

Among many notable people, St Patrick’s held requiem masses for Babe Ruth, Vince Lombardi, Ed Sullivan, and Robert F. Kennedy.

Saint Patrick's Cathedral, New York City, Credit Sracer357
Saint Patrick’s Cathedral, New York City, Credit Sracer357

Cathedral of Saint Patrick (Harrisburg, Pennsylvania)

Nave, St. Patrick's Cathedral, Harrisburg Historic District. Credit Bestbudbrian
Nave, St. Patrick’s Cathedral, Harrisburg Historic District. Credit Bestbudbrian

The Cathedral of Saint Patrick in downtown Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, is part of the Harrisburg Historic District on the National Register of Historic Places.

Crossing and Dome of St. Patrick's Cathedral, Harrisburg Historic District. Credit Bestbudbrian
Crossing and Dome of St. Patrick’s Cathedral, Harrisburg Historic District. Credit Bestbudbrian

Completed in 1907, the Baroque- and Renaissance-Revival cathedral is capped with a classically influenced dome. Granite from North Carolina covers the exterior.

The Cathedral of Saint Patrick in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. Credit Farragutful
The Cathedral of Saint Patrick in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. Credit Farragutful

The interior features oriental marble wainscoting, topped with Connemara marble.

The original altar was styled after the Bernini altar at the Chapel of the Blessed Sacrament in St. Peter’s Basilica, Rome.

Chancel, St. Patrick's Cathedral, Harrisburg Historic District. Credit Bestbudbrian
Chancel, St. Patrick’s Cathedral, Harrisburg Historic District. Credit Bestbudbrian

The main nave is flanked by granite columns that support a vaulted ceiling.

St. Patrick's Cathedral, Harrisburg Historic District. Credit Bestbudbrian
St. Patrick’s Cathedral, Harrisburg Historic District. Credit Bestbudbrian

The forty-four stained glass windows in the nave were imported from Munich, Germany.

Nave window, St. Patrick's Cathedral, Harrisburg Historic District. Credit Bestbudbrian
Nave window, St. Patrick’s Cathedral, Harrisburg Historic District. Credit Bestbudbrian
Cathedral of Saint Patrick - Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. Credit Farragutful
Cathedral of Saint Patrick – Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. Credit Farragutful

The original pulpit featured carved figures of four evangelists with the Lamb of God standing on the Mystic mount and styled after a fresco found in the Roman Catacombs.

St. Joseph Altar, St. Patrick's Cathedral, Harrisburg Historic District. Credit Bestbudbrian
St. Joseph Altar, St. Patrick’s Cathedral, Harrisburg Historic District. Credit Bestbudbrian


Contains affiliate links

Sources
wikipedia.org
biography.com
stpatrickscathedral.ie

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David James

David James

I'm an Englishman in Boston. History is a joy—it binds us, it connects us, it guides us. I'm interested in making history more accessible and more fun. Join me on this fantastic voyage through time.