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St. Paul's Chapel, New York City

Categories: Sacred & Religious Sites, Churches, Tourist Spots
Inspirock Rating:
4.5/5 based on 2,800+ reviews on the web
The oldest surviving public church building in Manhattan, St. Paul's Chapel features a simple but comfortable interior, designed to encourage attendance. Built in the 1760s on land granted by the queen of England, the chapel is a classic example of Georgian churches characteristic for its time. The building survived the fire of 1776, when the British captured the city and devastated the neighborhood. After the attacks on September 11, 2001, the chapel became a place of refuge for recovery workers from the nearby site of the collapsed twin towers. To see where George Washington worshiped when he visited the chapel, look for the oil painting of the national coat of arms, which hangs right over his pew. Use our New York City itinerary maker to add St. Paul's Chapel and other attractions to your New York City vacation plans.
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  • St. Paul's is a must-see if you are near the Freedom Tower. All the buildings around it collapsed or had to be demolished because of 9/11. St. Paul's is a miracle. It is still standing. 
  • One of the oldest churches in N.Y., sin was under renovation. Surrounded by a small enclosed garden, beautiful view of Freddom Tower
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  • This Chapel, which is located a few steps from the 9 11 Memorial survived the attack on the towers. It is worth passing.
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  • This beautiful church has played a in role in American history from colonial days to 9/11/01 and the days that followed. St. Paul's is a "must visit" place, even if you're not religious. The stories here are inspiring and extremely interesting as it's the oldest building in Manhattan (it was here before America was America). More than anything, the survival story of the church when towers collapsed is incredible. There are free 9/11 exhibits as well as other historical artifacts. It's a nice place to catch your breath after visiting the 9/11 Memorial. This is by far one of the most historical sites in New York City, or even the US for that matter. It's more than just a church, it's a trip back in time. From pirates to presidents and lots in between, the history of the place will surprise you!
  • I just learned about St. Paul's Chapel through a book called The Harbinger, a NYTBSeller. If you wish to find out about ancient, contemporary and stunning events surrounding this structure and the prophecy for America, this book will open your eyes!
  • St. Paul's Chapel is one of the most historic churches in Manhattan and you can still see where George Washington prayed. There's nothing special architecture-wise. It's a plain ordinary building from the inside and outside. Walk along the narrow paths or sit on old benches. You would also be just yards from the Freedom Tower. If you're downtown, a visit is worth dealing with the crowds.It's a significant building because it's the oldest public building in continuous use in NYC and survived many fires and 9/11 being only a few hundred feet from the World Trade Center. ****
  • This beautiful chapel brings back all the memories of 9/11 and I whisper soft blessings on all those who enter here.
  • St. Paul's Chapel is the oldest public building in continuous use in New York City, and was built on land granted by Anne, Queen of Great Britain, designed by architect Thomas McBean and built by master craftsman Andrew Gautier. Upon completion in 1766, it was the tallest building in New York City. It stood in a field some distance from the growing port city to the south and was built as a "chapel-of-ease" for parishioners who thought the Mother Church inconvenient to access. Built of Manhattan mica-schist with brownstone quoins, St. Paul's has the classical portico, boxy proportions and domestic details that are characteristic of Georgian churches such as James Gibbs' London church of St Martin-in-the-Fields, after which it was modelled. Its octagonal tower rises from a square base and is topped by a replica of the Choragic Monument of Lysicrates (c. 335 BC). Inside, the chapel's simple elegant hall has the pale colors, flat ceiling and cut glass chandeliers reminiscent of contemporary domestic interiors. In contrast to the awe-inspiring[opinion] interior of Trinity Church, this hall and its ample gallery were endowed with a cozy and comfortable character in order to encourage attendance. On the Broadway side of the chapel's exterior is an oak statue of the church's namesake, Saint Paul, carved in the American Primitive style. Below the east window is the monument to Brigadier General Richard Montgomery, who died at the Battle of Quebec (1775) during the American Revolutionary War. In the spire, the first bell is inscribed "Mears London, Fecit 1797". The second bell, made in 1866, was added in celebration of the chapel's 100th anniversary.
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