A Pilgrimage to Minnesota?

I spent the weekend in Minneapolis and while there had the opportunity to visit the Cathedral of St. Paul in St. Paul, Minnesota. It was a $30 cab ride from downtown Minneapolis but after reading this article on the most beautiful churches in America I couldn’t visit the city without going to see the church. The crazy thing is I still haven’t been to the church that is on the list from Chicago. I need to get out more when I’m at home – jeez!

I got there at 4:30 PM excited to spend a few hours checking out the cathedral and experiment with some ‘sneaky’ techniques for when we go to Italy and I’ll have to be quick taking shots in churches where they typically don’t let you set up a tripod and shoot. The cathedral was supposed to be open until 7 PM on Friday but they wound up closing at 6 PM for some reason so I got shorted on time. Another factor working against me was that they were having a wedding so access to main alter (seen in the photo below) was severely restricted. I started taking shots of the side alters while the wedding was going on – at first I was using my GorillaPod and the workers at the church didn’t seem to mind (good to know?) but once I broke out my MeFoto Travel Tripod the tripod polic swarmed. To my delight you just need to sign a waiver saying you are not intending to sell the photo for commercial purposes and they provide you with a badge and then the workers don’t care at all if you set up shop with your tripod. Unfortunately, the wedding didn’t end until a few minutes before six so I only got two shots of the main alter before I was asked (nicely) to leave. This cathedral was a real treat to take pictures in but with their new found fame (the Pope just declared them a ‘sister’ church of the St. Paul in the Vatican) I expect this to change soon so if you are a fan of the beauty of cathedrals (like I am) take advantage of this opportunity while you can.

Photo of the Day – The Cathedral

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So we are off to Italy in a couple of weeks so I will get a chance to see the Basilica of Saint Paul again but this cathedral is the direct ‘sister’ of that church and the Pope said visiting the Cathedral of St. Paul is the same thing as going to Rome itself….See the paragraph below taken from the article linked above:

The Cathedral of Saint Paul was built in 1907 when Archbishop John Ireland saw a growing need for a larger place of worship in the area. The Cathedral itself was designed in the Beaux Arts architectural style and is now a major piece of St. Paul’s skyline. In 2012, the Vatican declared the site to have a “bond of spiritual affinity” with its sister church, the Basilica of Saint Paul Outside the Walls in Rome–which means, in plain terms, if you make a spiritual pilgrimage to St. Paul’s Cathedral in Minnesota, it’s considered to be the same thing as making a spiritual pilgrimage to the Basilica in Rome, symbolically speaking. As a result, the Cathedral brings in tens of thousands of people who come to pray and admire the beautiful bronze grills that portray the major events in St. Paul’s life from his conversion story to his eventual martyrdom for the church. It’s not all about St. Paul though–the Cathedral’s Shrine of the Nations was built to honor other saints who are important to the ethnically diverse people who have helped make the church what it is today.
Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/travel/2013/01/17/12-most-beautiful-churches-in-america/#ixzz2Ppz1egxM


11 thoughts on “A Pilgrimage to Minnesota?

    • Thanks so much! It’s bright because I was able to shoot from a tripod and capture three exposures which allowed me to use the brightest shot for the sides and lighten up the darkest areas of the cathedral.

  1. Awesome photo …. so bright inside … and you have caught all the small details so fantastically. Not a church fan just because they are so dark … and massive, this has proven that I can be so sorry.

    • Thanks! It wasn’t as bright inside as this makes it seem. That is the power of HDR – I was able to three photos (wish I took five) at varying exposures and then blended them together. Because one of the exposures went for thirty seconds it brightened up the dark areas on the sides of the altars.

      • It’s a truly good shot and the details in the roof … how you where able to get them so clear in a dark church. Thanks for the advice.

    • Thanks! After reading this I knew I blew it by not going to the National Cathedral. It wasn’t right downtown so I made the decision during my last day there to go to the National Library (I also love books) instead of the Cathedral. I guess I’ll have to get back and do it.

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