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Secrets of St. Patrick's Cathedral

Historic St. Patrick’s Cathedral near serviced apartments in Midtown offers a rich legacy as well as some secrets that you may not know. Explore this NYC icon on your next visit.


Central Park, Beekman, New York

Each year, there are more than 5 million visitors to St. Patrick’s Cathedral near serviced apartments in Midtown. The 18th century church is well renowned for its impressive Gothic styling, its rich history and its best kept secrets.

Within the walls of the church are stained glass windows that only a few have seen. Located behind the cathedral’s Gallery Organ, they are not visible from any pew, the choir loft or the altar. They’re also not visible from the outside and are only accessible by a hidden staircase leading to passageways that run the length of the church behind its walls. 

When you’re walking around in the cathedral, see if you can spot the many animals hiding in the statues, glass windows, and the ceiling architecture. Each animal has a meaning related to the church in some way. See if you can spot the dolphin, pelican, or the dragon while taking in the cathedral’s incredible beauty.

If you take a look up at the ceiling, you’ll see these ornate architectural “bosses” at each intersection of the beam. No two are alike, just like no two snowflakes are alike.  Each of the 300 has a unique design depicting nature or foliage. Together, they all make up the Garden of Heaven. 

Also hanging from the cathedral ceiling is a line of red hats in the sanctuary. Each hat is called a galeri and is wide brimmed and tasseled. A galeri used to be given to new popes by the cardinal, however the tradition died out in 1969. 

The sound of church bells is a staple when visiting. The bells at St. Patrick’s Cathedral have more than just the normal church bell charm, they all have names. Each and every bell at St. Patrick’s Cathedral is named after a saint and inscribed with a unique Latin inscription. There are 19 bells in total and vary in size and weight. 

St. Patrick’s also has some interesting artwork, too. If you take the hidden staircase leading up to the attic and two towers, you’ll see the “graffiti” lining the walls. The markings and names date back to the 1920s for the most part, while some of the newer graffiti depicts the Twin Towers. Most of the signatures are from firemen when they’ve done their inspections.

There are many more secrets to find at St. Patrick’s Cathedral, all within a short walk from your serviced apartment in Midtown. Stroll on down for a delightful afternoon of intrigue and history.