St. Paul’s CathedralThe Past

The St. Paul’s Cathedral church was built with a purpose to replace the St John’s Church, which slowly became too small for the growing European community in Kolkata. Construction of the St Paul’s Cathedral began in the year 1839, and the construction was completed in the year 1847. Furthermore, Bishop Wilson patronized construction, and people say that his body still lies buried in a vault under the Cathedral’s altar.

The church had to be reconstructed in the year 1897 after the earthquake in the same year damaged it. In the following earthquake of the year 1934, Kolkata became devastated, and the church had to be reconstructed in a revised design as the Cathedral’s steeple tower collapsed.

Location

St Paul’s Cathedral today lies towards the east of the Victoria Memorial, and on the southern edge of maidan. Besides, Rabindra Sadan is the closest metro station from where it is at a walking distance of 5 minutes. The Cathedral is also easily accessible because of the easy transportation system and daily witnesses thousands of visitors. It is also close to Rabindra Sadan theater complex and very near to the Birla Planetarium.

The Splendid Architecture

Besides, being a religious site, St Paul’s Cathedral is also famous for its splendid architecture. The church stands tall with 247 feet in length, 114 feet at the transept and 81 feet width. The church then took the design of the Gothic-Renaissance style, and people believe that an amount of Rs 5 lakhs was spent on its construction. The Flagstaff roses for about 175 feet above the ground level.

Moreover, The Cathedral has three Gothic style stained glass windows and two frescoes in Renaissance style. There is a library above the Western Porch containing a modest collection of Bishop Wilson and also a marble bust of the Bishop.

A number of sculptures and memorials are present in the structure like the Episcopal Throne and an ornamented wall in which lie carvings of the incidents of the lives of St Paul – the Reredo. The main hall of the Cathedral contains beautifully carved wooden chairs and desk along with decorated walls with colorful artwork depicting the life and works of St Paul.

Designing

The beautiful designing of the Cathedral was under a military engineer Major William Narin Forbes, and CK Robinson came for his assistance. The church has vertical piers and pointed arches. The building gets a majestic altar and the glorious look because of the white edifice and towering spire.

Reasons to Visit

Therefore, it is a must-visit place for travelers who want to soak in the historical and architectural pleasure. Besides, many visitors keep this place on the top of their bucket-list of the places they want to visit. During Christmas, the Cathedral looks the most beautiful as the gardens, the structure as well as the lights are full of lights. The Cathedral is a visual splendor and reflects peace. The Cathedral adorns huge grounds blessed with several ancient trees.

Trivia

• People acknowledge St Paul’s church as the first Episcopal Church of the Eastern World.
• Besides, it took 8 years and a whopping amount of Rs 5 lakhs to build.
• Also, the Cathedral’s tower models the ‘Bell Harry’ of Canterbury Cathedral.
• It is a part of the Anglican communion of Kolkata also.
• Besides, the St Paul’s Cathedral preserves many memorials. One such is the glass window that is stained and designed by Sir Edward Brine Jones in 1880.
• Though Bishop Wilson lies buried in a vault under the Cathedral, there is no evidence of any vault.
• St Paul’s Cathedral offers a visual splendor to its visitors also.
• Besides, The Cathedral witnesses about thousands of visitors every day.
• Moreover, the Cathedral celebrates Christmas every year and it looks beautiful due to the lightings and the sight is genuinely eye-pleasing.