The Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine

Cathedral in the Sky

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The Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine is the Cathedral of the Episcopal Diocese of New York and the seat of its Bishop.  It is located at 1047 Amsterdam Avenue in the Morningside Heights area of New York City.  It is one of the most beautiful buildings in New York City.

In 1888 the architectural firm of Heins & Lafarge were hired to design the Cathedral in a Romanesque, Byzantine style.  Heins & Lafarge were the same architects for the City Hall Station that I posted on back in December.  In 1907 Heins passed away and a new architect was brought in, Ralph Adams Cram.  His design was in the Gothic Style.  So the section of the cathedral known as the Apse and the Crossing is in the Romanesque style and the nave is in the Gothic style.

Below is a picture of the Apse and you can see the Romanesque architecture.

The Apse

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This is a view from the Crossing/Choir area looking down the Nave.  You can see the rounded romansque arch in the Crossing area leading into the pointed gothic arches in the Nave.  I love the kaleidoscope of color on the pillars from the stain glass windows.

The Kaleidoscope from the Crossing

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A view from the choir pew.  It was really warm sitting up there because they have little heaters by your feet.

View from the Choir Pew

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Within the Choir area.

Podium in front of Alter

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There are seven chapels known as the Seven Chapels of the Tongues, that surround the Choir and Apse.  Each chapel is dedicated to different immigrant groups.  Below are two of the chapels.

I believe this one is the Scandinavian Chapel known as St. Ansgar’s Chapel.

Chapel 1

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This is the back of the Chapel of St. James and you can not only see some of the great artwork within the Cathedral but also the Aeolian-Skinner Organ which was built in 1914.

 

 

Artwork in the Chapel

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Artwork in the Chapel by Karen Johnson is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.
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I loved the light and shadows the decorative iron gate cast on the walls.

Gates of Shadow & Light

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Looking down the side of the Nave.

Side of the Nave

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The Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine conducts vertical tours of the church and I signed up for it.  The tour consists of climbing approximately 12 stories up a very, very narrow and circular staircase.  Below are some pictures of the staircase.

You can see just how narrow it is.

Narrow Way Up

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Twist and turns.

Staircase Up

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Our first stop on our way up.

Approaching the First Level

 

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Looking down from the first stop.  I use to have a fear of heights but I found that when I have the camera in my hand I forget all about it.  I actually will lean over as you can see from the shot below.

View from First Level

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The next level provided us with another gorgeous kaleidoscope far above the ground.

Kaleidoscope of Color

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We then climbed up again and crossed over  the flying buttress bridge. You can see the other bridges through the arches.

Buttress Bridges

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The bridge led us to the top of the vaulted ceilings. This is our guide pointing out the architecture.

The Tippy Top

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Looking down the walkway surrounding the vaults.  Some worker left their water behind!

The Vaults of the Cathedral Ceiling

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We left the vaults to walk outside at the top of the Cathedral to see this magnificant view.

The View from the Top

To get an idea of where I was standing for the shot above I was standing to the left of the very large spire in the middle.  You can see the stone railing I leaned against.

Flying Buttress

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Flying Buttress by Karen Johnson is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.
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The vertical tour was over and we once again made our way back down.

Curving Down

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