Church of St. Paul and ST. Andrew – but what is hidden inside?

On the corner of West 86th Street and West End Avenue stands a very large church that is looking its age but the church’s mission is very current.

The Church of ST. Paul and St. Andrew was built in 1834

The front has very impressive large wooden doors that are all locked during the week days. There is a door open on 86th Street. Pleasantly surprised, I was greeted by a person at the desk who quickly invited me to see the church.

I like going into NYC churches because they often look the same on the outside but are, mostly, different on the inside. The St. Nicholas Russian Orthodox Cathedral on 96th stands out with its golden icons and no pews while this church has a unique large Sanctuary(1500 seats), a separate Social Hall and additional intimate spaces.

It seems that the church is well used, This Saturday, a small group was meeting in the small chapel and three people were,in the Sanctuary practicing some music scales,

Video – quiet time to practice – sorry about the ads

So, what is hidden ? Located in a back corridor were these beautiful paintings

I asked about them and was told that these were but a few of many placed throughout the building.

Question: “Why were these painted and why are they hanging on the walls?

Answer: they were done by a former parishioner that painted them over many years.

I asked if anyone knew the name of the artist but got only blank responses. One person said, “they have been here for years”.

I will try to update this blog by finding out more about the history as they are beautiful and should, I think, be part of a folk-art collection.

For me, these gems were hidden in plain sight. Each one beautifully composed and painted in bright colors. They were the highlight of my day!

Just a short walk west leads to the Soldiers and Sailors monument and Joan of Arc monument.

St. Nicholas Russian Orthodox Cathedral

How the Church survives

The Church is known for being socially moderate and for being accepting of people of all races, ages, and sexual orientations. The building holds a variety of spaces to rent, ranging in capacity from 25 to 1200 people.

A Grotto in a New York City Church – worth a visit

The Notre Dame Church- worth the visit.
St John the Divine Cathedral

New York City is perhaps one of the few American cities that has such a diverse culture.  In this city ,you can find dozens of unique  churches, buildings and neighborhoods like Saint John the divine Cathedral.

Today, I am not writing about the Cathedral but a church, I would guess, most  visitors to the Cathederal would never visit and it is only  a few blocks away.

405 West 114th Street 
New York, NY 10025

 

The Notre Dame Church, where you can experience a replica of the grotto in Lourdes France, where in 1858 Saint Bernadette was said to have witnessed the appearance of the Blessed Virgin Mary.It rises several stories behind the main altar.

The Church of Notre Dame.   
405 West 114th Street

 

This chapel has an impressive French neoclassical exterior and is equally matched with the interior that boasts a Grotto that rises SEVERAL stories behind the main altar.

 

Although this grotto was built inside after the church was completed.It feels as if the church has been built directly into the side of a mountain.

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Fourteen inset bas-relief images of the Crucifixion of Christ adorn the perimeter of the church interior.

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The altar, pulpit and balustrade (altar rail) in white Carrara marble, which took over two years to complete.

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NYC – Upper East Side near Central Park #1 St Nicolas Russian Church

THIS IS PART OF SEVERAL POSTS THAT WILL HIGHLIGHT THE AREA ABOVE 86th STREET (mostly eastside).

Many visitors come to NYC never go beyond 72nd street and a few probably go up to around 86th street.  there is plenty to see and For those who venture above 86th street, there is much to see and enjoy.

St. Nicholas Russian Orthodox Cathedral

I have a habit of trying to look into churches. Many times the doors are locked but today, I noticed , the door  of this east 97th st church was ajar. Immediately, I knew I had entered an orthodox church – what a feeling! The church was empty except for a cleaning woman and a woman praying. There are no pews or seats.  The room is filled with candle holders (I imagine during services full of candle light) and religions items. Here’s some more information.

St. Nicholas Russian Orthodox Cathedral

 

This impressive Upper East Side Cathedral, built at the turn of the 19th century, remains the center of Russian Orthodoxy in the United States. Five onion domes distinguish the opulent, red-brick structure that was inspired by the great architectural edifices of Tsarist Russia.

The structure is a slice of old Moscow dropped onto 97th Street. If the congregation had no money when they started the project, the finished structure gives no hint of it. Exotic onion domes clustered above the red brick and limestone façade which is decorated in green, yellow and blue glazed tiles. Gilt bronze ribs stand out against the painted surfaces of the domes.

Inside is a blaze of traditional Russian decoration. Bright multicolored frescoes adorned the walls and ceilings. To cross the threshold is to leave New York and enter Russia.

Hint: Always ask if you can take flash or no-flash photographs before taking pictures. Also, if you get a lot of great shots then a small contribution to a candle offering is always a nice way to say thank you.

More places of interest (above 86th St.) next week -Reservoir