Completed in 1915, The Cathedral of St. Paul was the creation of Archbishop John Ireland, architect Emmanuel Masqueray, and the mostly anonymous artists, craftsmen, masons, stonecutters, laborers, and citizen contributors. It is 306 feet high with a recently restored copper dome in the Beaux Arts style.
The severe exterior of Minnesota Rockville granite, belies a glorious interior of soaring spaces, statuary and metalwork, stained glass, and a display of rare marbles from around the world. The interior dome is 175 feet high and 96 feet in diameter.
One of the Cathedral's signature features is the Shrine of Nations, forming a semicircle behind the altar. Each of the six chapels represents an ethnic group whose members contributed to the construction of the building; a statue of the patron saint is paired with a marble floor medallion representing the home country. For Ireland, for example, St. Patrick is represented in stone and a medallion of Connemara Green.
For the history-minded, a mural high on a east-facing wall on the buiding's north side shows the arrival of St. Paul's first bishop, Joseph Cretin, in a canoe, greeted by the first priest, Father Lucien Galtier, the man who gave St. Paul its name. In the background you see St. Paul's first church and cathedral, the log cabin Chapel of St. Paul.
By all means enter and see for yourself. The Cathedral is open long hours daily; you can take a self-guided tour anytime and free guided tours on Monday through Friday at 1:00 PM