New York City is a cultural hub of people of different nationalities, races, religions, sexual orientations. It is home to people from all over the world and as such, holds history and iconic buildings inspired by multiple cultures and religions. Some of New York City’s most iconic and historically significant buildings are the massive churches and cathedrals that call the city home.

Discover the secrets and hidden gems of ten of New York City’s most prominent cathedrals, churches, and chapels.

10. Riverside Church

Riverside Church, the tallest church in the United States, was built by John D. Rockefeller. It opened in 1930 at 490 Riverside Drive in Morningside Heights and stands 392 feet tall. The church is interdenominational and serves as a religious sanctuary for multiple ethnic groups, and the LGBTQ community and has taken part in multiple social rights causes. The modernity of Riverside Church has been present since its inception and houses the statues of scientists and previously had four bowling alleys in the basement of the church that drew in many college students from Columbia University.

For the design, the architects were inspired the French cathedral at Chartes and drew inspiration from the Gothic structure’s bell tower. Additionally, the stained glass windows in the church were originally installed in a 16th Century Belgium cathedral.

Riverside Church was also the site of Martin Luther King Jr.’s “Beyond Vietnam” speech that protested the Vietnam War. This speech wasn’t one of his more effective and well-known speeches, but despite a lot of opposition, he stood strong in his belief that the war was detrimental to the American people.

Check out the Top 10 Secrets of Riverside Church.