|St. John the Divine, w/ Partially Completed South Bell Tower|
First off, the cathedral is the largest cathedral in the world (yes, larger than St. Patrick's, which is only the largest Catholic cathedral in the U.S.), so the Gothic arches are spectacular and the stained glass windows (most from the 1930s) were plentiful and beautiful (see above, left and right photos). Each of the 14 themed bays with these windows depict predictable religious and very unusual secular images honoring professions like communications (with a TV!), medicine, arts (with Poet's Corner stone plaques honoring the likes of Mark Twain, Edgar Allen Poe, and Gertrude Stein), and sports.
Then there is the 40' in diameter Great Rose window (the largest in the U.S.) above the front doors (see left). My photo doesn't do it justice, but needless to say, it is really breathtaking. Even the central nave (see right) and the flanking aisles are awe inspiring with their sheer height, appearing to reach toward the heavens with their long thin lines that seem too delicate to support such high domed ceilings.
Oh, but I haven't even gotten to the Vertical Tour--so distracted recalling all the general fabulousness of the cathedral. You can take one of the many general tours that are offered (both self-guided and guided) (see www.stjohndivine.org), but if you can manage walking up 12 stories worth of narrow spiraling stairs, you should really try to schedule in the Vertical Tour ($15 for adults and $12 for seniors and students). You will not be disappointed.
|View from Outside of Flying Buttress|
|Hand Carved Wooden Choir Seats|
|View of Main Altar in Romanesque Style|
I will let you discover the rest of this magnificent NYC site for yourselves, but will post some additional photos with captions (below) to share the rest of my memorable visit in brief. I think what this cathedral needs is a great benefactor like Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, or Oprah (or all of them) to complete the remaining 1/3 of the cathedral. In the meantime, PLEASE visit this cathedral and support the congregation of only about 200 (the cathedral could seat over 4,000). Enjoy!
|North Side Aisle by Central Nave|
|View of South Side Aisle from Interior Arm of Flying Buttress|
|Intersection of Bay and Nave from Interior Arm of Flying Buttress|
|View of Cathedral Close with Peace Fountain|
|View from Roof of Decorative Spires and Unfinished South Bell Tower|
|Altar in Main Eastern Most Chapel, St. Saviour|
|Intricately Carved Altar and Stained Glass in St. James Chapel|