Spanning an entire city block, the Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine is the largest cathedral in the world and home to the Episcopal Diocese of New York. Construction started in 1892, and the still-incomplete cathedral is known for its mix of styles, including Byzantine Revival, Romanesque Revival, and Gothic Revival.
Visit this stunning cathedral to see the largest rose stained-glass window in the country, the tiled dome by Guastavino, and the seven Chapels of the Tongues as well the expansive grounds, which include the Rose Garden and the Biblical Garden. Guided tours include a Highlights Tour and a Vertical Tour, which takes visitors up spiral staircases to the top of the cathedral. St. John the Divine also hosts a variety of popular events throughout the year, including the blessing of the animals and a nighttime reading of Dante’s Inferno.
The cathedral is included in a number of sightseeing tours, including walking and biking tours of Upper Manhattan and Harlem, which often include other area highlights, such as Central Park, Columbia University, and the General Grant National Memorial.
Things to Know Before You Go
- There is an admission fee for sightseeing; those attending a service or seeking a place of prayer or meditation can enter free of charge.
- Occasional maintenance and cleaning work can limit access in the cathedral.
- There is no coat check, and bags are subject to search.
- Photography is not permitted during service, and tripod use requires the permission of church security.
- The ground floor and the chapels are wheelchair accessible; areas covered on certain tours, such as the Vertical Tour, are not.
How to Get There
The cathedral is located in Morningside Heights, on the Upper West Side of Manhattan. To reach the catheedral via subway, take the 1 train to 110th Street or the B or C train to Cathedral Parkway. A number of buses also stop nearby, including the M4, M11, and M104. When to Get There
The cathedral is open daily for service and sightseeing. There are three services Monday–Friday, one on Saturday, and four on Sunday. Sightseeing hours are very limited on Sunday. Artwork in the Cathedral
The cathedral is home to a number of significant artworks, including the 17th century Barberini and Mortlake tapestries; Keith Haring’s “The Life of Christ” triptych, which is cast in bronze and covered in white gold; Meredith Bergmann’s bronze “Memorial to September 11”; and two rows of Gothic-inspired sculptures carved by British artist Simon Verity.