Monday 13 February 2012


St Patrick's Cathedral is the cathedral church of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Melbourne, Australia, and seat of its archbishop, currently Denis J. Hart. The building is known internationally as a leading example of the Gothic Revival style of architecture.  In 1974 Pope Paul VI conferred the title and dignity of minor basilica on it. 

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 103.6 metres (340 ft)-long church is the tallest church in Australia, followed by the St Paul's Cathedral, Melbourne and the Sacred Heart Cathedral in Bendigo.

In 1848, the Augustinian friar James Goold was appointed the first bishop of Melbourne, and became the fourth bishop in Australia, after Sydney, Hobart and Adelaide. Negotiations with the colonial government for the grant of five acres of land for a church in the Eastern Hill area began in 1848. On 1 April 1851, only 16 years after the foundation of Melbourne, the Colonial Secretary of Victoria finally granted the site to the Roman Catholic Church. Goold decided to build his cathedral on the Eastern Hill site. Since the Catholic community of Melbourne was at the time almost entirely Irish, the Cathedral was dedicated to St Patrick, the patron saint of Ireland.

This post is part of the Sunday Psalms meme.

The setting of Psalm 42 is by Mendelssohn (op 42:1) and here is the first part of the work, a chorus:
As a deer pants for flowing streams, 
so pants my soul for you, O God.
My soul thirsts for God,  for the living God. 
When shall I come and appear before God?
My tears have been my food  day and night,
while they say to me all the day long, 
“Where is your God?” 
These things I remember,  as I pour out my soul:
How I would go with the throng
and lead them in procession to the house of God
with glad shouts and songs of praise,
a multitude keeping festival.


  1. Some really amazing architectural features.

  2. Wow, beautiful! Love those gargoyles! Wonderful images!

  3. Awesome! Amazing, beautiful cathedral and some incredible architectural features indeed! Superb captures as always, Nick, and a fascinating and informative post! Hope you've enjoyed a great weekend!


  4. The Mendelssohn setting is fabulous. Great post, Nick!

    Psalm 48,

  5. A powerful treatment of this cathedral. Not just thought images, but a totally thoughtful post. Thanks you.

  6. These are such beautiful shots. Bits and pieces of this cathedral remind me of Westminster Abbey. Love the perspective from which you too the photos. Thanks for your visit tonight. genie

  7. Gargoyles! --Something I miss on the Jerusalem churches.

  8. Beautiful details on this majestic piece of architecture.

  9. Did you know that one of the gargoyles was modelled on Jeff Kennett? Was confirmed by the stonemason and the church itself a few years after the fact.


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