Construction of the unfinished and arguably largest cathedral in the world at 601ft long, began in 1892 and was designed by George Heins and Christopher Grant LaFarge (son of stained glass artist John LaFarge) in the Romanesque and Byzantine style, with Gothic elements. In 1911, Ralph Adams Cram was hired to complete the cathedral. The style changed to gothic, and the contrast between the styles can be seen in the front of the church vs the crossing and apse. The nave of the church is full of light from the large stained glass windows, whereas the crossing lacks natural light and pointed gothic arches. The seven chapels are built in different national styles. Spanish, Italian, French, Eastern Mediterranean, British, German, and Scandinavian. The striking 40ft rose window is the largest in the US, and is made of over ten thousand pieces of glass. In comparison, Notre Dame in Paris’ rose winow is 42ft in diameter. The church also has one of the world’s largest freestanding domes, constructed by Rafael Gustavino, and can even fit the Statue of Liberty underneath. The second time I visited, I toured the Crypt (click here for my photos and history).

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