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St. Patrick's Cathedral
5th Ave, New York, NY, United States
This massive cathedral, located at the corner of 50th Street and Fifth Avenue, is the largest decorated Neo-Gothic cathedral in North America, the seat of the Archdiocese of New York, and one of the city's most visited landmarks. Construction of the cathedral began in 1858, was halted for the duration of the American Civil War, and was finally completed in 1878. Its elaborate marble façade and 330-foot spires dwarfed the Midtown Manhattan of that time, and they still stand out today, even in a district packed with office buildings, shops, and tourist attractions, such as MoMA, Rockefeller Center, and Radio City Music Hall.
Stand-out features of the cathedral's interior include the St. Michael and St. Louis altar, designed by Tiffany & Co., the St. Elizabeth altar, designed by Paolo Medici of Rome, and the stained glass windows. The spectacular rose window is acknowledged to be the finest work designed by Charles Connick, the 20th century genius in stained glass window design. The Archbishops of New York are buried in a crypt under the high altar, and their honorary hats, called galeros, hang from the ceiling over their tombs. St. Patrick's seats about 2,200 people, and every year more than three million visitors step inside its doors.