Minor Basilica, Major Feat
The Basilica of St. Patrick’s has a storied history. It’s significant as the sight of anti-immigrant, anti-Irish attacks in the 18th century and was declared a minor basilica by Pope Benedict XVI in 2010, the only building of this designation in the U.S. You might recognize it from the baptism scene in The Godfather. (Fun fact: Sophia Coppola is the baby).
St. Patrick’s is a place of unique calm and tranquility in a busy city, and right now, you can experience it as never before. One of the few places in America with underground crypts housing the dead, the basilica recently opened up its crypt to visitors by appointment only. You’ll get a quick tour of the cathedral before being led underground for a candlelit view of the catacombs.
As the only Catholic cemetery in NYC, the Cathedral serves as the resting place for many late prominent New Yorkers, who you’ll learn about during the tour. If you’d like to rest among them, there is still one vault up for grabs: it’s $7 million, and will also hold 8 of your relatives.