17 New York City Cathedrals, Churches, Synagogue’s and Temple’s

New York City, well known for for being a cosmopolitan melting pot of different cultures, the Big Apple is also home to many beautiful and breathtaking churches, cathedrals and synagogues. From St. Paul’s Chapel where George Washington worshiped, to the iconic St. Patrick’s Cathedral, each of these buildings showcase a diverse rich cultural heritage and architectural styles that are only possible in the Big Apple. 

St. Patrick’s Cathedral

St. Patrick's Cathedral, New York_HDR2-Saquan Stimpson/monstershaq2000862

St. Patrick

Construction of  St. Patrick’s Cathedral began in 1858 and the Catholic cathedral has now become one of  New York City’s most recognizable sites. Decorated in a neo-Gothic style, the cathedral serves as the seat of the archbishop of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of New York. The building is ranked 11th out of 150 buildings on a list of America’s Favorite Architecture.

Trinity Church

Trinity Church (interior), New York City-Tony the Misfit358

Creative Commons License Photo credit: Tony the Misfit

Located at the intersection of Broadway and Wall Street in downtown Manhattan, Trinity Church is an Episcopal parish built in Gothic Revival style. Trinity Church is one of the largest landowners in New York City and it has been rebuilt, the first Trinity Church having been destroyed in the Great New York City Fire of 1776. Trinity Church is very well known for its stunning music program.

St John the Divine

St John the Divine sculpture-victoriapeckham712

Creative Commons License Photo credit: Wikipedia

The Cathedral of St. John the Divine, which has also earned the nickname of St. John the Unfinished because it is still under construction, is located in Manhattan’s Morningside Heights. Construction began in 1892, and since then, the cathedral has undergone several stylistic changes and has seen construction halt for a variety of reasons. Construction on the church is a continuing process.

Riverside Church

Riverside Church, NY-WalkingGeek505

Creative Commons License Photo credit: WalkingGeek

Riverside Church is one of the most famous churches in America for its stunning Gothic architecture, its prominence as a gathering point for progressive movements, and its importance in a variety of religious movements. An interdenominational church that serves both American Baptist and United Church of Christ congregations, Riverside Church has 2,400 members. It is the tallest church in the United States.

St Paul’s Chapel

St. Paul's Chapel on a cloudy day-the accidentalist850

Photo credit: the accidentalist

St. Paul’s Chapel is the oldest surviving church in New York City, serving the Episcopal community since 1766. It is located opposite the east side of the World Trade Center site in lower Manhattan, on Church Street between Fulson and Vesey streets. As the oldest building in New York City still in continuous use, St. Paul’s Chapel is a National Historic Landmark.

Mahayana Buddhist Temple in the New York Chinatown

Templo Mahayana-Mossaiq699

Creative Commons License Photo credit: Mossaiq

The Mahayana Buddhist Temple in Chinatown is the largest Buddhist temple in New York City. Mahayana is one of two sects of Buddhism, Theravada being the other, and it places more emphasis on the teachings of Buddha. The temple was built to honor Annie Ying’s 83rd birthday and it features a sixteen-foot golden statue of Buddha.

Central Synagogue

Central Synagogue, New York-stevecadman598

Creative Commons License Photo credit: stevecadman

Central Synagogue was built in 1872 in the Moorish Revival architectural style, consciously copying Budapest’s Dohany Street Synagogue. No other synagogue in New York City has been in continuous use for a longer period of time. Although the building once drew criticism for its elaborate style, it is now hailed as a National Historic Landmark and a symbolic pillar of New York’s Jewish community.

St Thomas Church

St.Thomas Church-KLnyc439

Photo credit: KLnyc

Saint Thomas Church is an Episcopal parish church located on the corner of 53rd Street and Fifth Avenue. Incorporated in 1824, Saint Thomas Church was designed in the French High Gothic architectural style and is home to the renowned Saint Thomas Choir. While the men of the Saint Thomas Choir are professional singers, the boys all attend Saint Thomas Choir School.

St Paul’s Chapel at Columbia University

st. paul's chapel-llahbocaj81

Creative Commons License Photo credit: llahbocaj

Columbia University’s St. Paul’s Chapel was built from 1904 to 1907 and it features Italian Renaissance, Byzantine, and Gothic architectural characteristics. Like many university chapels, the building is used for a variety of religious observations, and it has also become popular for weddings. It is known as Columbia University’s most impressive building.

St. Bartholomew’s Church

Picturs 065-Kind of Bruin316

Creative Commons License Photo credit: Kind of Bruin

Commonly known as St. Bart’s, St. Bartholomew’s Church is an Episcopal parish established in 1835. Located in Midtown Manhattan, the church was built in a Byzantine style and was, for a long time, one of New York City’s wealthiest parishes. The church is home to the tenth largest pipe organ in the world and the largest in New York City.

Church of Transfiguration

Mott St. Church of the Transfiguration-Mr. Littlehand934

Creative Commons License Photo credit: Mr. Littlehand

The Church of Transfiguration on Mott Street was constructed in 1815 and added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1980. Located in Manhattan’s Chinatown neighborhood, the church was originally known as Zion Protestant Episcopal Church. Eventually, it was sold to the Roman Catholic Diocese of New York and has become the oldest Roman Catholic Church in New York City.

St Nicholas Russian Orthodox

St Nicholas Russian Orthodox

Photo credit: St Nicholas

The Russian Orthodox Cathedral of Saint Nicholas was built in 1902 and has held great significance much of America’s Russian community. Today, a bishop from Moscow has planned many renovations and modernizations for the cathedral. The building is designed with typical Russian architectural considerations in mind, complete with domes and a brick façade.

Abyssinian Baptist Church

Abyssinian Baptist Church, Harlem-DennisInAmsterdam209

Creative Commons License Photo credit: DennisInAmsterdam

The Abyssinian Baptist Church is a Harlem landmark, one of the most famous of the district’s many activist churches. The history of the church began in 1808 when African-American parishioners of segregationist churches decided to establish their own parish. They named the church after the historic name of Ethiopia.

Eldridge Street Synagogue

Eldridge St. Synagogue and lanterns (New York, NY)-vige381

Creative Commons License Photo credit: vige

A National Historic Landmark located on the Lower East Side of Manhattan, Eldridge Street Synagogue was one of the first synagogues built in the United States by Eastern European Jews that is still open today. The synagogue underwent a period of abandonment in the 1950s through the 1980s, but has now become a public museum. Its renovation involved the cooperation of many different groups.

Grace Church

Grace (1846)-alvy120

Creative Commons License Photo credit: alvy

Grace Church is located on Broadway near 10th Street, close to New York University and East Village. Designed by James Renwick, Jr., Grace Church is known as one of the most impressive examples of the Gothic Revival style. It is a National Historic Landmark because of the beauty of its architecture and because of its significance to New York City.

Synagogue Bialystoker

Grace (1846)-alvy120

Creative Commons License Photo credit: wikipedia

The Bialystoker Synagogue is an Orthodox Jewish synagogue located on the Lower East Side of Manhattan. The building itself is a New York landmark, first built in 1826 out of Manhattan schist that was taken from a nearby quarry. It was recently renovated on the interior by its congregation, restoring the building to its former glory.

Creative Commons Licensephoto credit: Flickr/zabethanne