Irish History and Catacombs in Little Italy

Catacombs underneath Old St. Patrick’s in Little Italy (Photo by David Bergman via Bowery Boogie)

Below the Basilica of Saint Patrick’s Old Cathedral, or Old St. Patrick’s, in Little Italy are the only catacombs found in Manhattan. They are accessible through a tour led by Thomas Wilkinson of Tommy’s New York, which Lori Greenberg joins and writes about in a story for Bowery Boogie.

Wilkinson started with an introduction to the history of the neighborhood, describing the tour as “a tale of New York immigration, through the lens of early New York Catholics.” Then our tour guide Leo took us through the rich and fascinating history of the institution itself.

The cathedral was built between 1809 and 1815 and soon after, it endured an attack from members of an anti-immigrant and xenophobic political party. Go to Bowery Boogie to find out how the church defended itself, along with more on its history and who’s buried in the cemetery and the catacombs.

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