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

Sources
wikipedia.org
biography.com
stpatrickscathedral.ie

20 Eligible Bachelors — vote for Your 16th Century “Renaissance Man”

Imagine we’ve traveled back in time to the 16th century.

This was a time called the Renaissance, covering roughly 1400-1600, a time scholars consider the birth of the “modern age”.

“Renaissance” means “rebirth”, derived from the Old French word “renaistre”—to be born again. People took an interest in Greek philosophy, art, and science—a “rebirth” of ancient learning.

The Renaissance was filled with famous artists, writers and philosophers. Many people studied science and mathematics.

Leonardo Da Vinci was a painter, a scientist, a musician and a philosopher. He was called a “Renaissance man” because he was knowledgeable and skilled in many areas.

Our 20 Renaissance Men might not be quite as gifted as DaVinci, but they range from kings, earls, and counts to warriors, scholars, and artists.

Vote for your favorite 16th century “renaissance man”.





Beautiful British Towns – Past vs Present

Louise Rayner was a British watercolour artist of the Victorian Era.

During the summers of the 1870s and 1880s, she traveled extensively across the UK, painting everyday life as street scenes of towns and cities during the booming Victorian era.

Her paintings show people going about their work, and have a quaint “olde worlde” feel to them.

Under each of Louise Rayner’s paintings, there is a live “Street View” (from Google maps) of the same location depicted in the paintings—you can pan and zoom around the image to get a 360º view.

How have things changed? Let’s take a look.

In her painting of Watergate Street in Chester, we can see that many buildings from Louise Rayner’s day still exist today. You can even “walk” down the street in the Google Maps “live” image—just follow the arrows. The shop fronts may be modern, but as you look up, you find the original buildings—almost identical to Victorian times. How marvelous—modern commerce co-existing with history.

Watergate Street, Chester by Louise Rayner, c,1870-1880
Watergate Street, Chester by Louise Rayner, c,1870-1880

In her second painting, depicting Fish Street in Shrewsbury, we see a narrow section of street that’s just wide enough for one car to pass through today. The buildings may have changed, but their character remains largely the same.

Fish Street, Shrewsbury by Louise Rayner, c.1870-1880
Fish Street, Shrewsbury by Louise Rayner, c.1870-1880

In the third Louise Rayner painting, showing Church Street in Warwick, there are clearly big changes since the 1880s. This narrow section of Church Street (with the man carrying two baskets), has gone completely—replaced by a wider street at this spot.

Notice the drainage channel running down the center in the painting. Smaller towns like Warwick would still have suffered from poor drainage and sanitation in the 1870s. It was likely that alleyways like this were overcrowded, with inadequate water supply and shared privies. Sewage would have accumulated in cesspools and created a terrible stench, especially in summer.

St Mary's Church from Church Street, Warwick by Louise Rayner, 1870-1880
St Mary’s Church from Church Street, Warwick by Louise Rayner, 1870-1880

In her painting of Durham Cathedral, shown towering above the River Wear in the North East of England, we can see cute little cottages and townhouses on the left bank by the bridge. Whilst the bridge remains intact, today, we have a mix of traditional cottages and modern condominiums.

The right bank of the river today features restaurants and a shopping centre—taking advantage of the beautiful view across the river towards the cathedral.

Durham Cathedral from Framwellgate Bridge by Louise Rayner, 1870-1880
Durham Cathedral from Framwellgate Bridge by Louise Rayner, 1870-1880

In Louise Rayner’s painting of Eastgate Street, Chester, we see a lot of similarities with how the street looks today. The clock above the bridge has been added since the painting, but take a close look at the building on the right nearest the bridge. Notice the corner turret that was a common feature of Victorian architecture. It indicates how little that building has changed in 130 years.

Chester is a beautiful town with many well-preserved historic buildings.

Eastgate Street, Chester by Louise Rayner, 1870-1880
Eastgate Street, Chester by Louise Rayner, 1870-1880

More of Louise Rayner’s work

Wyle Cop, Shrewsbury by Louise Rayner
Wyle Cop, Shrewsbury by Louise Rayner
The Cross looking towards Watergate Street, Chester by Louise Rayner
The Cross looking towards Watergate Street, Chester by Louise Rayner
The Poultry Cross, Salisbury by Louise Rayner
The Poultry Cross, Salisbury by Louise Rayner
Watergate Street Row South,  Chester by Louise Rayner
Watergate Street Row South, Chester by Louise Rayner
John Knox's House, Edinburgh by Louise Rayner
John Knox’s House, Edinburgh by Louise Rayner
East Gate, Warwick by Louise Rayner
East Gate, Warwick by Louise Rayner
Chester Bridge Street looking north by Louise Rayner
Chester Bridge Street looking north by Louise Rayner

If You Could be Princess for a Day, Which Princess Would you be?

The term “Princess” is most often used as the regal rank of a daughter or granddaughter of a king or queen, or the wife of a prince.

It is the feminine form of prince, derived from Old French meaning “noble lord” and from Latin princeps, meaning “first man, chief leader; ruler, sovereign”.

I knew what my job was; it was to go out and meet the people and love them.Princess Diana

Old English had no female equivalent of “Prince”, “Earl”, or any royal or noble title aside from Queen.

A monarch’s daughter would be called “the Lady” followed by her first name. For example, the Lady Elizabeth or the Lady Mary—both daughters of King Henry VIII.

The term Princess started to become popular in Britain in the 18th century.

I don’t want to be a princess who sits on the sidelines; I want to be present and actively involved. It’s a life with a purpose.Charlene, Princess of Monaco

George I’s children, grandchildren, and male-line great-grandchildren were automatically titled “Prince or Princess of Great Britain and Ireland” and styled “Royal Highness” (in the case of children and grandchildren) or “Highness” (in the case of male-line great-grandchildren).

In European countries, a woman who marries a prince will almost always become a princess, but a man who marries a princess will almost never become a prince.

Vote for your favorite Princess.