Cathedral of Saint Paul

Museums & History

Saint Paul's history dates back to 1849. We're the story of a bootlegger named Pig's Eye, a gangster safe haven and a distinguished street known for its Victorian architecture.

Immerse yourself in the colorful legends, interesting sites and fascinating events that define the history of Saint Paul. Founded near historic Native American settlements as a trading and transportation center, the city rose to prominence when it was named capital of the Minnesota Territory in 1849. The Saint Paul area features 104 landmarks listed on the National Register of Historic Places, many of which offer a variety of tours, educational courses and distinctive conference and event spaces.

Modeled after St. Peter’s Basilica at the Vatican in Rome, the Cathedral of Saint Paul is one of the most elaborate cathedrals in the nation. Historic Fort Snelling is a preserved U.S. Army military post featuring costumed guides who portray residents of the 1820s. Up and down Summit Avenue, admire beautiful Victorian mansions that offer glimpses into turn-of-the-century life in Saint Paul – a few are even said to be haunted.

Saint Paul’s history as Prohibition-era hotbed for gangsters, gals and whiskey runners is well known. The city became a haven for notorious names like John Dillinger, Babyface Nelson, Alvin “Creepy” Karpis and the Barker gang, whose activities extended to robbing banks, holding up mail trains and kidnapping hostages for ransom. Saint Paul celebrates this storied past by offering tours of sites where the gangsters lived, planned and executed the most notorious crimes in the upper Midwest. Gangster tours highlight the sites of nightclubs, kidnappings and gun battles associated with the lawlessness of the 1930s. The most famous, of course, are the Wabasha Caves, actual caves that were transformed into an underground speakeasy known as the “Castle Royal.”

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Union Depot Lowertown

Union Depot

Revitalized and once again welcoming travelers and visitors of all kinds, Union… More Info

Alexander Ramsey House Downtown, West 7th Street

Alexander Ramsey House

One of the nation's best preserved Victorian-era homes, Saint Paul's Alexander… More Info

AZ Gallery Lowertown

AZ Gallery

AZ Gallery and Gifts, an artists cooperative in historic Lowertown since 1997,… More Info

Cathedral of Saint Paul Cathedral Hill

Cathedral of Saint Paul

The Cathedral is situated on the highest point in downtown Saint Paul. It… More Info

Historic Fort Snelling West 7th Street

Historic Fort Snelling

Discover an 1820s military outpost that once stood as the focus of a small… More Info

James J. Hill Center Downtown

James J. Hill Center

Founded in 1921, the James J. Hill Reference Library is a private, non-profit… More Info

James J. Hill House Grand/Summit Avenue

James J. Hill House

Tour St. Paul's largest Gilded Age mansion on historic Summit Avenue.

Julian H. Sleeper House Grand/Summit Avenue

Julian H. Sleeper House

In 1993, Dr. Seth C. Hawkins purchased the historic Julian H. Sleeper House to… More Info

Landmark Center Downtown

Landmark Center

Now a cultural center for exhibits, art, and events, Landmark Center was the… More Info

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