Old St. Patrick’s Cathedral in Nolita has been offering tours of its historic catacombs, and it’s an experience every local (and tourist) should check out.
The underground space used to be sealed off from the public, but those brave enough can now explore it by candlelight. The Basilica of Saint Patrick’s Old Cathedral (or Old St. Patrick’s), located at 260–264 Mulberry Street between Prince and Houston Streets in Nolita, is a little over 200 years old and has seen plenty during that time. If you’ve never been inside you’ll have to make a point to do so because it’s a stunning church that recently underwent a $15 million restoration including it’s classic Henry Erben Organ. However, walking through the cold crypts by candlelight—as they would’ve back in 1815, when it was built—will be the most enlightening part of your time exploring the building; and possibly the most chilling.
On this tour you’ll spend 90 minutes beneath a New York City landmark on a stroll through the city’s past, that until recently was closed off and forgotten. This unique Catacombs by Candlelight experience shines a light on the final resting place of notable New Yorkers and the achievements and hurdles faced by New York’s historic Catholic residents.
Since it’s opening, the tour has become widely popular and should be at the top of your list if you’re visiting the city. If you’re not convinced, here are some recent reviews of the experience:
The tour guide was awesome, and the tour itself was amazing. Would definitely recommend!
It was a great experience! Learned so much about New York in the 1800’s. Dan was a phenomenal tour guide and elevated the whole experience.
Leo was a fantastic tour guide! Exceptional knowledge of NY history and was fun and engaging throughout! Would definitely recommend!
Grab your tickets here to the Catacombs by Candlelight tour of Old St. Patrick’s Cathedral.
Also published on Medium.