Historic Saint Paul
Our day begins in St. Paul, Minnesota’s charming historic capital city. Magnificent Art Deco and Victorian reminders of the past nestle next to sleek skyscrapers, giving this Capital City an Old World charm.
We’ll visit the magnificent Cathedral of St. Paul. Modeled after St. Peter’s in Rome, it is one of the largest church buildings in North America, able to seat 4,000 people. Among its many points of interest are the 175-foot-high copper dome; the baldachin (canopy) over the altar with its six black-and-gold Portora marble columns; the bronze grille at the rear of the sanctuary; and the six chapels called the Shrine of Nations, in which stand statues of the patron saints of the nations whose people settled St. Paul, carved out of marble imported from those countries.
Our final stop is at the James J. Hill House on Summit Avenue. James J. Hill, a.k.a. the “Empire Builder”, purchased a bankrupt railroad in St. Paul in the late 1800’s and masterminded its success by building the Great Northern Railway. When completed in 1891, the James J. Hill House was the largest and most expensive home in Minnesota. Its 36,000 square feet of space cost 1 million dollars to build. At Hill’s death in 1916, his personal fortune was estimated at 63 million.