architecture, Building, cathedral, catholic, catholicism, Christian, Christianism, church, ecclesiastic, ecclesiatical architect, Gothic revival, Melbourne, Photography, Sony a6000, st Patrick Cathedral of Melbourne, Victoria, victoria australia, William Wardell
The cathedral is built on a traditional east-west axis, with the altar at the eastern end, symbolising belief in the resurrection of Christ. The plan is in the style of a Latin cross, consisting of a nave with side aisles, transepts with side aisles, a sanctuary with seven chapels, and sacristies. The cathedral is located on Eastern Hill in Melbourne, in an area bounded by Albert Street, Gisborne Street, Lansdowne Street and Cathedral Place.
Situated on the borders of the city centre, the towering central spire of the cathedral reaches an impressive 105 metres into the Melbourne sky, with a further two spires topping out at 61 metres each. The unusual dusky colours of the building are a result of the use of local Victorian bluestone, along with a range of other materials.
William Wardell, Melbourne’s foremost ecclesiastical architect was commissioned to prepare plans for a cathedral, but the project was delayed by severe labour shortages during the Gold Rush of 1851, which drew almost every able-bodied man in the colony to the goldfields, and the foundation stone was not laid until 1858. The cathedral was designed in the Gothic style of early Fourteenth Century, based on the great medieval cathedrals of England, a style at the height of its popularity in the mid-19th century. This soaring Catholic place of worship is the tallest church in Australia and is well known for its striking appearance.
Although the nave was completed within 10 years, construction proceeded slowly, and was further delayed by the severe depression which hit Melbourne in 1891. Under the leadership of Archbishop Thomas Carr the cathedral was consecrated in 1897 and even then it was not finished. Given the size of the Catholic community at the time, the massive bluestone Gothic cathedral was an immense and very expensive undertaking, and there were long delays while funds were raised. St Patrick’s was one of the two largest churches brought to substantial completion anywhere in the world in the 19th century. The other is St Patrick’s Cathedral, New York, United States.
St Patrick’s Cathedral is the spiritual home of the Irish Catholics of Melbourne, and is named for the patron saint of Ireland. Completed in 1939 after more than 70 years of construction, “St Pat’s” is a majestic example of Gothic revival design. The yard in front also contains a statue of Daniel O’Connell, the emancipator of Irish Catholics from religious persecution.
Wikipedia, St Patrick’s Cathedral, Melbourne http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/St_Patrick%27s_Cathedral,_Melbourne