St. Paul, Minnesota

It was back to St. Paul recently for a family visit and a chance to see more of the city. 

Cathedral of St. Paul

We noticed that the Cathedral of St. Paul offered an Art and Architecture tour at 1:00 in the afternoon, so that was first on the agenda. 

Our tour guide, James, was very knowledgeable and gave an excellent one-hour tour. 

The cathedral was completed in 1915 in the Beaux-Arts style of architecture.  It rivals many of the cathedrals I’ve seen in Europe. There’s lots of imported marble, but also a surprising amount of local materials.  The exterior of the cathedral is granite from St. Cloud, and the interior walls are travertine from Mankato, Minnesota.

The dome reaches 186 feet high

Behind the altar are six chapels dedicated to the patron saints of the ethnic groups that settled in the St. Paul area.  One of my favorites was Cyril and Methodius, patron saints of the Slavic people.

Cyril and Methodius

A reproduction of Michelangelo’s Pieta is on display in a chapel near the cathedral entrance.  It was donated in 2010.

St. Paul Neighborhoods

While driving around the different neighborhoods, we noticed a yard decorating trend of two chairs set on the front lawn.  They were usually Adirondack style chairs, and they were seen in a variety of colors.  I learned they might be a throwback to the Minnesota lake culture; the chairs look like ones you would see at a cabin overlooking the water.  Once you start noticing them, they seem to be everywhere.   By the way, I never saw anyone sitting in the chairs.

Photo by Carrie Lange

This house wins the prize.  Five chairs and a little one.

Even a trip to Menards was an interesting experience.  The business was two-story, and you and your shopping cart, if you have one, travel together on a magnetic escalator to the second floor.

At the top you’re greeted by music from a grand piano.  At a hardware store!  All that, and we saved big money at Menards, too.


During an earlier visit to the city, my daughter-in-law made reservations for afternoon tea at the historic St. Paul Hotel. It was fun to put on a dress and enjoy the tradition.  The sweets were delicious!  The St. Paul is a classic hotel, and we enjoyed looking around afterwards.

St. Paul Hotel lobby

Nearby is the handsome Union Depot that opened in 1917.

Inside is a mural made from 600,000 Lite Brite bulbs, titled “Forever St. Paul.” There are several other public artworks to enjoy as you stroll around the station.

St. Paul has much to offer at any time of the year. Happy Fall!

One thought on “St. Paul, Minnesota

  1. Thanks, Pam, for the WONDERFUL “armchair” visit to St. Paul. Now I really, really, REALLY must visit this city! Cathedral is a stunner (love the native construction materials) and all the other sights you shared were inviting. Great example Minn-e-sota whimsy in those lawn chairs — but it seems, as with everywhere else, so one has time to “set a spell.”

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