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Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Minneapolis & St Paul, the twin cities are anything but identical


Stone Arch Bridge



Don't count me as an expert since I've only spent one day in Minneapolis and one in St. Paul, but in the last two days, I've come away with the knowledge that the "twin cities" are, in fact, very different.

Downtown Minneapolis
I'm not sure what I expected, but I wasn't prepared for the uniqueness of each. We visited Minneapolis first and I loved its artsy outdoor culture. The cityscape is modern big city. I loved the architecture of the many buildings and the way the design flows into an artful composite.

We first viewed the historic Stone Arch Bridge from the modern Guthrie Theater. The ancient river is bordered by a first-class byway for biking and walking. The city is alive with its diversity of citizens and visitors.

The second day we visited St. Paul. My first impression of the cityscape was the total difference from Minneapolis. The skyscrapers are fewer and more traditional. Two stunning buildings dominate the skyline and define St Paul as an historical city with classic beauty.

The cathedral's main altar
The two buildings - the Cathedral of St Paul and the Minnesota State Capitol. Both stand on hills that add to their grandeur.

Cathedral of St Paul
Awed by the sheer size of the cathedral, I couldn't wait to walk inside. I wasn't disappointed. The third largest church in the US, it was completed in 1915. The cathedral boasts a 186-foot high dome, stained glass windows that illuminate the inside, a large pipe organ in the choir loft and five altars.

I didn't go inside the state capitol, but the classic beauty of the design and white stone demands attention. According to Wikipedia, the unsupported marble dome is the second largest in the world, second on to St Peter's Basilica in Rome. The building opened in 1905.
Minnesota State Capitol

I'm sure I will learn more about the similarities and differences, and Minnesotans may correct me, but I liked the differences I found in the two cities. The twin cities cannot be described as one big metropolitan area. Each has its own style and culture. I love the differences!

We are staying at the Residence Inn in Roseville which borders both Minneapolis and St Paul. It's surprisingly easy to navigate within the metro area, even with the preparations for the 2018 Super Bowl.


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