Concept

Cathedral of Saint Paul (Minnesota)

Summary
The Cathedral of Saint Paul is a Roman Catholic cathedral in the city of Saint Paul, Minnesota. It is the co-cathedral of the Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis, along with the Basilica of Saint Mary in Minneapolis. One of the most distinctive cathedrals in the United States, it sits on Cathedral Hill overlooking downtown Saint Paul and features a distinctive copper-clad dome. It is dedicated to Paul the Apostle, who is also the namesake of the City of Saint Paul. The current building opened in 1915 as the fourth cathedral of the archdiocese to bear this name. On March 25, 2009, it was designated as the National Shrine of the Apostle Paul by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. It is the third-largest Catholic cathedral and sixth-largest church in the United States. The first church building in what became the Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis was a small log chapel built at the urging of Father Lucien Galtier. He came to the area when the settlement was still known as "Pig's Eye" (after Pierre "Pig's Eye" Parrant). The chapel, measuring by , was dedicated on November 1, 1841. Father Augustin Ravoux later enlarged the structure, and when Joseph Crétin was appointed as the bishop of the newly established Diocese of St. Paul in July 1851, the log chapel became the first cathedral. Crétin immediately started to build a larger church to serve the fast-growing population of St. Paul. The second church building had three stories, with a library, kitchen, and school facilities on the first floor; the church itself on the second floor; and offices and living quarters for Crétin and his staff. The second building still proved to be too small for the needs of the diocese, so he started plans for a third cathedral in 1853. Construction of the building, at the corner of St. Peter and Sixth Streets in Downtown St. Paul, started in 1854 and was completed in 1858, having been delayed by the Panic of 1857 and Crétin's death. The third cathedral was built of stone, measured long and wide, but had practically no ornamentation in an effort to cut costs.
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