St Patrick’s Cathedral is the cathedral church of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Melbourne and the seat of its archbishop, located just to the east of the Melbourne CBD. Considered to be one of the world’s leading examples of Gothic Revival architecture, St Patrick’s Cathedral is one of the most popular historical tourist destinations in the city.
St Patrick’s Cathedral consists of a nave with side aisles, a sanctuary with seven chapels, transepts with side aisles and sacristies. Built on the traditional east-west axis in the style of a Latin cross, the 105-metre high church is the tallest in Australia.
Construction of St Patrick’s Cathedral began in 1858 but proceeded slowly; the building was not completed until 1939. It was restored in 1994 to commemorate the centenary of its consecration.
The majestic church features memorial tables commemorating the lives of the Archbishops who are buried in the cathedral, as well as stunning mosaics and a range of brass items designed by William Wardell, Melbourne’s foremost ecclesiastical architect.
Other interesting features include the main spire – a gift from the Irish government –magnificent stained-glass windows and a variety of gargoyles, including one modelled on former Victorian premier Jeff Kennett. Bronze statues are dotted throughout the forecourt, including likenesses of Archbishop Mannix, Irish patriot Daniel O’Connell, St Francis of Assisi and St Catherine of Siena.
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