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
Architects: Messrs Dowden & Ross – Architectural style: Gothic Revival
Groundbreaking: 1854 – Completed: 1939
“In many ways the history of the beautiful church, St. Mary of the Angels, is the history of Geelong.
From humble, uncertain beginnings, the town of Geelong grew with the gold rush years, survived two world wars and the ensuing years, rich and lean, to become Victoria’s second largest city.
Over the years St. Mary of the Angels, too has grown and today is certainly one of the finest churches in Victoria, an icon for Geelong and the State. Such is the majesty and historical significance of St. Mary’s, that is is officially recognised by the National Trust of Victoria and the Historical Buildings Council.
It all began on 27 November 1842, when a small wooden chapel was erected on Geelong’s Yarra Street, thanks to donations from the congregation. This modest hut was one of Geelong’s first churches. The town of Geelong had only been officially proclaimed four years earlier, the area being pioneered by squatters. The town of Geelong was in its infancy and, much like the rest of the state, still a rugged place to live.
At the time the parish of Geelong stretched as far as Portland Bay and the first priests often had to travel on horseback from Geelong to Colac, Bunninyong and Portland – not unlike shepherds or drovers tending their flock.
In the next few years an influx of Irish immigrants swelled the district’s Catholic population to around 1,000. This meant that the wooden chapel was simply too small, so the generous congregation set about raising the money for a new church. In 1846 the foundations for a stone church were laid on the present site.
The foundation stone was laid by Fr. P.B. Geoghegan and the church was completed the following year. Thanks to the gold rush, Geelong continued to prosper and the population swelled. In 1852 the number of Catholics in Geelong had grown to almost 4000, so it was decided that the congregation needed an even larger church. This new church was not going to be just a place of worship, but a building that would do justice to the name of St. Mary and one which would serve as a striking icon for Geelong.
The plans drawn up by Messrs Dowden and Ross called for a magnificent cathedral-like building, 200 feet long, 130 feet wide and costing 40,000 pounds. It was to feature a giant bluestone spire, flying buttresses and an exquisite rose window. The bluestone construction would be complemented with the finest Barrabool sandstone quarried from the local hills.
So in 1854, amid widespread celebrations, the foundation stone of the new St. Mary of the Angels Church was laid. However in 1856, work on the new church ceased, turning the grand vision of Dowden and Ross into nothing more than an eyesore for the community.
After seventeen years, the arrival of Archdeacon Slattery to Geelong in 1871 was the catalyst for work to commence on the new church and in 1872 the new St Mary of the Angels was dedicated. Despite the fact that the spires were not yet installed, it was an impressive structure that dominated the local landscape. It seated over 1000 people and was lauded in the local press for its artistry.”
St. Mary of the Angels Basilica <http://www.stmarysgeelong.com.au/history.html>