A Pictorial View of The Cathedral Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul

dome of  the cathedral

Even though I am not a religious person or follow any specific dogma or spiritual philosophy, I do believe in a Divine Higher Power, and very much so.

I was raised Catholic, but upon moving from home for school when I was 17-years old, I spent the next 15 years investigating all types of churches and faiths; coming to my own intuitive conclusions about what felt right and what didn't. And although I sincerely enjoyed my search for spirituality in various faiths, I never found only one that I could follow completely.

I guess you could say that I'm someone who can see spirituality in all faiths. Yet, I don't feel that I need to follow any particular faith or organization to have a relationship with a Higher Power because my relationship is one-on-one and personal.

One of the things I think was beneficial in my early search for spirituality, is that I learned to have respect for all the faiths I had investigated. And even to this day, one of my favorite things to do is visit different churches of different faiths because I can feel the presence and sacredness of Divinity within each one.

Wednesday I had the day off, so I took a walk over to the Art Museum area of Philadelphia and passed by the Cathedral Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul. I know that I've shared photographs in the past of the cathedral's exterior, but I don't think I have ever shared the interior.

To say that it's beautiful is an understatement. The construction of the cathedral was completed in 1864; therefore the attention to detail in architecture was (and still is) breathtaking. While I was visiting on Wednesday, I had the delightful experience of speaking with one of the tour guides in the cathedral, who told me a lot about the history. And when I asked her if it was okay to take photographs, she smiled at me and said, "Oh...you go right ahead, we encourage people to take photographs!"

So please allow me to share some images from my afternoon visit to the Cathedral Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul...


-Exterior-





-Interior-







Have a super weekend everyone!
X


38 comments

  1. I think you were right to explore the different faiths. We should all do it. I mean, if we end up with a chosen one at least we know why.


    Your pictures are great, Ron. I love the way you captured all the angles and shapes of that magnificent cathedral. I tried and failed to see if there was a section on the ceiling that was devoted to the saints which is quite usual in a lot of designs.


    I love to see wood carvings such as that on the pews ... it was my father's trade.


    Hoping you have a GREAT weekend x

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  2. Wow! Those are great pictures. It's usually hard to see the colors indoors on photos because of the lack of light. Nice job! I love the one looking down the aisle. The ceilings are magnificent, too! Happy weekend!

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  3. Rob LenihanJune 19, 2015

    My goodness, Ron, what beautiful photographs! You really capture the power of this sacred place. We'll have to go there the next time I visit Philly!


    Like you, I was raised Roman Catholic, although now I go to an Episcopalian church. I am fascinated with all religions and I admire your choice to seek a Higher Power on your own terms.


    And no matter how you feel about organized religion, they did give us fabulous art and beautiful music!


    Have a great weekend, buddy!

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  4. Gorgeous pictures, Ron! What a stunning church, inside and out! I love the lighting you captured within the interior shots. Amazing architecture!

    "And even to this day, one of my favorite things to do is visit different churches of different faiths because I can feel the presence and sacredness of Divinity within each one." I feel the same way. On a trip to Europe, I visited many churches and my favorite ones where the smaller chapels along the countryside. There was a sweetness and simplicity to them



    I was raised Catholic as well. Did you also go to Catholic school?


    Have a wonderful weekend, Ron x

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  5. Good morning Valerie!

    "I think you were right to explore the different faiths. We should all do it. I mean, if we end up with a chosen one at least we know why."

    I agree. And my parents (although Catholics all their lives) were very open and supportive of my exploration of different faiths.

    "I tried and failed to see if there was a section on the ceiling that was devoted to the saints which is quite usual in a lot of designs."

    You know, I hadn't noticed if there was a section devoted to saints, but I will see if I can find that the next time I'm visiting.

    "I love to see wood carvings such as that on the pews ... it was my father's trade."



    Wow, that was your father's trade? How awesome! I have always admired the craftsmanship of handmade wood carving. It's such a lost art.


    Thanks so much for stopping by, dear lady. Have a GREAT weekend!


    X to you and Joe

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  6. Thank you :)

    "It's usually hard to see the colors indoors on photos because of the lack of light."

    There is a "low light" setting on my new camera for things like, art museums and churches, that used to take these photographs. Plus, I also edited them a bit.

    "The ceilings are magnificent, too!"



    Yes, aren't the ceiling MAGNIFICENT? If you look real close at the ninth photo down, you can see a bit of deterioration on part of the ceiling. The tour guide informed me that they are starting work to repair it. In fact, while was there, I saw a few gentlemen analyzing the interior construction.


    Thanks so much for stopping by, my friend. Have a faaaaabulous weekend!


    X

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  7. Hey there Rob!

    "We'll have to go there the next time I visit Philly!"

    Yes, absolutely! And there are several other churches I would love to take you to. They have some gorgeous old and historical churches here in Philly, which I think you would love.

    "And no matter how you feel about organized religion, they did give us fabulous art and beautiful music!"



    You are so right about that!


    Thanks so much for stopping by, buddy. Have a grrrrrrreat weekend!


    X

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  8. Hola Denise!

    Isn't the architecture magnificent?

    "I love the lighting you captured within the interior shots."

    There is a "low light" setting on my new camera for things like, art museums and churches, that used to take these photographs.

    "On a trip to Europe, I visited many churches and my favorite ones where the smaller chapels along the countryside. There was a sweetness and simplicity to them"



    OMG, I bet the churches in Europe were stunning! And agree with you about the smaller chapels having a sweetness and simplicity to them. There are several here in Philadelphia that I have visited.


    Yes, I went to Catholic school for 8 years, but then switched to public school for my junior and high school years. I actually preferred public school.


    Thanks so much for stopping by, girl. Have a terrific weekend!
    X

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  9. Ron, your photos came out so much better than the ones I took at the only Basilica I've ever been in (the one on the Notre Dame campus). Yours are clear, with plenty of lighting, and I feel the sacredness. Mine, sad to say, were far too dark and didn't come close to showing how spectacular that building is!

    Thank you for sharing your walk toward Divinity. I'm a "Cradle Catholic," as you know, but I have been inside other churches (and even went to a Jewish service while I was in high school!). We each find God in different ways, and who's to say which way is "right"?

    Happy Happy weekend, my friend!

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  10. Ron, these photographs are outstanding! What a grandiose cathedral! My husband and I walked by on our way to the art museum when we first moved to Philadelphia but never went inside. We'll have to make time for that this summer.

    The detailed work on the ceiling is incredible. And that marble floor and pews!


    I was raised Catholic and did the same with my children. However when they got older, I supported their own choices in faith. I think we each should have the choice in selecting whatever feels right for us.


    Have a great weekend, Ron!

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  11. Hello there Debbie!

    Thank you :) I'll tell you, this new camera (even in auto mode) takes great photographs. However, I used the "low light" setting for these photographs, plus, I did do a bit of editing and cropping.

    "I'm a "Cradle Catholic," as you know, but I have been inside other churches (and even went to a Jewish service while I was in high school!). We each find God in different ways, and who's to say which way is "right"?"



    Right you are, my friend! I think there is a sacredness in all faiths. And as you said, we each find it in different ways.


    Thanks so much for stopping and have a faaaaabulous weekend!

    X

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  12. Hey there Elaine!

    " My husband and I walked by on our way to the art museum when we first moved to Philadelphia but never went inside. We'll have to make time for that this summer."

    Please do go inside because you'll be amazed at its beauty. I think it's open most days and people are free to walk through, look around, and take photographs.

    "The detailed work on the ceiling is incredible. And that marble floor and pews!"

    And wait until you see it in person, it's stunning!

    "I was raised Catholic and did the same with my children. However when they got older, I supported their own choices in faith. I think as adults, we each should have the choice in selecting whatever feels right for us."



    I couldn't agree with you more. And bravo to you and your husband for supporting your children's choices. My parents were the same way.


    Thanks so much for stopping by, my friend. Have a great Friday and weekend!


    X

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  13. Magnificent photographs, Ron! Do you know exactly what the architecture style is? It's gorgeous! It looks very Gothic.

    I love how you captured all the different angles of the ceiling and archways. Beautiful lighting too! You can feel the sacredness.

    I enjoyed reading you thoughts on spirituality and different faiths. I think there is something within all faiths that we can appreciate. But I don't feel the need to follow any specific faith to have a spiritual connection.


    Great post, dude!

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  14. Thanks for sharing. What beautiful architecture! The beauty of most churches always amaze me.

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  15. Mark PetruskaJune 19, 2015

    The one thing I appreciate most about churches is the architecture. Can't say I'm the least bit spiritual or religious in any other way, but that stained glass and those domed ceilings? Awesome. I also remember really enjoying the little communion wafers when I was a young 'un. Loved the way they melted on my tongue. Have a great weekend, buddy!

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  16. Beautiful photographs, Ron! I got your email post update this morning while I was at work and enjoyed looking at each photo and the incredible architectural detail. Those domed ceilings and chandeliers are magnificent. What impresses me the most about old churches is how long they've been standing there and the history behind them. Regardless of the denomination or belief, I think there is a reverence that can be felt in all churches.


    I love the way certain churches smell of incense. I believe it's frankincense and myrrh.


    Have a great weekend, Ron!

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  17. Hiya Matt!

    Yes, I believe it's Roman-Corinthian architecture. If you click on the link, it will direct you to a page that has a lot more information about the cathedral. And yes, does look Goth, doesn't it?

    I used a "low light" setting on my camera to capture the interior lighting. But I also edited them just a bit.

    "I think there is something within all faiths that we can appreciate. But I don't feel the need to follow any specific faith to have a spiritual connection."



    My feels exactly.


    Thanks so much for stopping by, buddy. Have a most excellent weekend!

    X

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  18. " The beauty of most churches always amaze me."


    And me as well, Suzi!


    Have a fabulous weekend and thanks so much for stopping by!

    X

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  19. Hey there Mark!

    Aren't those stained glass windows and domed ceilings AWESOME? The craftsmanship is truly amazing!

    "I also remember really enjoying the little communion wafers when I was a young 'un. Loved the way they melted on my tongue."



    HAHAHA! Me too! And they would sometimes get stuck on the roof of your mouth and then slowing dissolve.


    Thanks so much for stopping by, buddy. Have a grrrrrreat weekend!


    X to you and Tara

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  20. Hey ho Robert!

    "Those domed ceilings and chandeliers are magnificent."

    Magnificent indeed! Isn't the architectural detail incredible? And When I think of how much work went into creating it all by hand, it's mind-blowing!

    " Regardless of the denomination or belief, I think there is a reverence that can be felt in all churches."

    Ditto!

    "I love the way certain churches smell of incense. I believe it's frankincense and myrrh."



    Oh, me too!!! I love that aroma. And yes, it is frankincense and myrrh.


    Thanks a bunch for stopping by, buddy. Have a fabulous weekend!
    X

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  21. I think it's awesome you keep reaching out to God. That's the way you'll find him. I've found my faith. It's the hope and comforter of my life.
    Guess what, I'll be coming to Philly this July!!!

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  22. Hello there Susu!

    Great to see you!

    "I've found my faith. It's the hope and comforter of my life."

    I think that's awesome! I too have found my faith, however it's not within any particular organized religion. It's the voice within my heart that guides and directs me.

    "Guess what, I'll be coming to Philly this July!!!"

    Yahoo! And it's so ironic that you're coming to Philly in July because I received an email from a friend of mine who lives in Florida who is also coming to Philly in July for a convention. So please email me before you arrive and perhaps we can meet up while you're here!

    Thanks so much for stopping by, my friend. Have a super weekend!
    X

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  23. http://ladyfi.wordpress.comJune 22, 2015

    Wow - really gorgeous shots!


    As the current Pope said: you can be spiritual without being religious!

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  24. Thank you, Fiona :)

    " you can be spiritual without being religious!"

    Yes...I totally agree!

    Have a fabulous Monday, my friend. And thanks so much for stopping by!
    X

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  25. Breathtakingly beautiful! I'm literally at a loss for words...says so much about your photos and photography, and words to capture what we all try to experience.
    Truly inspirational, Ron. Thank you so!

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  26. Aw, thank you so much for your sweet words, Petra :)

    And thanks for stopping by, my friend! Have a faaaabulous week!

    X

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  27. Gorgeous photographs, Ron! You are such a talented photographer!


    And I agree with your words here. I have never felt that I needed to belong to any organized religion to be spiritual. I feel spirit within my heart.

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  28. Thank you, Suzanne :)

    " I feel spirit within my heart."



    And me as well.


    Thanks a bunch for stopping by, my friend. Have a terrific week!
    X

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  29. Ron, I wanted to stop by and let you know that my husband and I went to the cathedral today. It was beautiful! And after seeing it in person, I can say that your photographs captured it exactly!

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  30. Elaine, thank you SO MUCH for stopping back to let me know you that you visited the cathedral today! Isn't it stunning?


    Have a great week, my friend!
    X

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  31. I completely understand about believing in the divine but not following one way in particular. Only baptized Catholic, then my mother (who was practicing most all of her life) decided to let my sister and I decide our religion for ourselves when we got older. She became a Christian specifically and I explored a few things.
    Lovely church. Ron and I have been there. Might have even been earlier this year we were in the city and sat inside for a little while. I don't think I took any photos, maybe next time. :)

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  32. Hiya Mary!

    "Only baptized Catholic, then my mother (who was practicing most all of her life) decided to let my sister and I decide our religion for ourselves when we got older. She became a Christian specifically and I explored a few things. "

    Sounds a lot like me. My mother was a practicing Catholic all her life as well, but she was very open and supportive of my own spiritual search.

    "Lovely church. Ron and I have been there. Might have even been earlier this year we were in the city and sat inside for a little while."



    Isn't it a lovely church? They are doing some renovating right now, repairing certain sections of the walls and ceiling, due to water damage.


    Have a great week, my friend. And thanks for stopping by!
    X

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  33. That really is very beautiful. I can appreciate gorgeous churches even though I'm an atheist.


    So, I find myself wondering if they raised money to build that church by robbing Peter to pay Paul. (snort)

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  34. benzekneesJune 24, 2015

    Beautiful, just stunning Ron! I wonder if anyone has ever done a study on how people feel about their particular religion based on the grandness of their churches. To me this church is absolutely beautiful but at the same time I can't help but wonder how much good could have been done if some of the money spent on the church had instead gone to feeding or educating the poor? I realize when this church was built the church was a huge part of almost everyone's life & tithing was predominant & expected.
    But then this is just my humble opinion - I can feel the divine presence just about anywhere if I wait for it.

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  35. "So, I find myself wondering if they raised money to build that church by robbing Peter to pay Paul. (snort)"

    Bwahahahahahaha! OMG, I laughed so hard when I read that! BRILLIANT!

    Thanks so much for stopping by, my friend. Have a great rest of your week!

    X



    P.S. And I was thinking of you today because I had the day off, so I spent practically the whole day outside enjoying the gorgeous summer weather we're having!

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  36. Thanks, Benze :)

    And thank you also for your honest comment because it's a very good point. I can appreciate that any religion builds a beautiful church or place of worship in honor of their faith or God. However, I too wonder how much of that incoming money goes to help the poor for feeding, education, and other charities.

    " I can feel the divine presence just about anywhere if I wait for it."



    Yes, and I feel the same.


    Have a super week, my friend. And thanks so much for stopping by!

    X

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  37. Oh my, these shots are beyond stunning. What spectacular architecture! Love the perspectives you chose

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  38. Aw...thank you, Lisa! Isn't the architecture of this church AMAZING?


    Thanks a bunch for stopping by, my friend!
    X

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