Thursday, February 14, 2008

City on Seven Hills

The other morning I was struck by the sun casting itself off of the gilded cross on top of the St. Paul Cathedral. The cross, illuminated by the sunlight, pierced through the snowy, foggy clouds of the morning commute and I was reminded that I had once heard St. Paul referred to as "The City on Seven Hills." And surely Cathedral Hill, graced with Archbishop John Ireland's masterpiece must be one of hills, but what could the others be? I found the answer in a book aptly titled "City on Seven Hills: Columns of Oliver Towne" (Oliver Towne, a clever pseudonym of Gareth Hiebert's, was a backpage column first in the St. Paul Dispatch, then the Pioneer Press. It ran from 1954 to 1986 and shared with readers people and places in St. Paul that they might not have otherwise experienced.) Well readers, cue the drum roll, the Seven Hills of St. Paul are....
  • Baptist (which is now home to Mears Park, and not really so much of a hill anymore)
  • Capitol
  • Cathedral
  • Ramsey
  • Dayton's Bluff
  • West Side; and
  • St. Clair
So the next time someone remarks that Rome is the City of Seven Hills, you can casually claim that that your own saintly city is too.

Image: David Brewster.


Anonymous said...

I have never seen the Cathedral from that angle. What a beautiful picture.

Anonymous said...

Cathedral Hill, Ramsey, and St. Clair all kind of go to the same top though, so I think those 3 should combined should only count as 1 hill. They all go to the same place.