St. Paul’s Cathedral
St Paul’s Cathedral is acknowledged as the first Episcopal Church of the eastern world. It is an Anglican cathedral of the Church of North India. Besides, being a religious site, the cathedral is also an architectural marvel. St. Paul’s Cathedral is 247 feet in length, 81 feet in width and 114 feet at transept. The flagstaff rises to a height of 175 feet above ground level. The St. Paul’s Cathedral took eight years to be built at a whopping cost of Rs. 5 lakhs (Five Hundred Thousand rupees) and was finally consecrated by Bishop Wilson on 8th October 1847. The cathedral’s tower is modeled on the “Bell Harry” tower of Canterbury Cathedral and the cathedral overall resembled England’s Norwich Cathedral with three Gothic stained glass windows and two frescoes in Florentine Renaissance style. You would also find a library above the western porch with a modest collection of Bishop Wilson’s collection and a marble bust of the Bishop. There are several sculptures and memorials like the “Episcopal Throne” and an ornamented wall – Reredo, carved with incidents from the life of St. Paul.
Location of St. Paul’s Cathedral, Kolkata
St. Paul’s Cathedral of Kolkata stands at the southern end of the Maidan, to the eastern side of the majestic Victoria Memorial. It is also close to Rabindra Sadan theatre complex, Nandan and the Birla Planetarium.
History of St. Paul’s Cathedral, Kolkata
St. Paul’s Cathedral of Kolkata is recognized as the first Episcopal Church of the Eastern World. The construction of the church was initiated under the benefaction of Bishop Daniel Wilson in 1839 and was completed in 1847. The church has been built in Gothic Revival style, featuring slender vertical piers and vaulting and pointed arches. The credit for the exquisite design of the cathedral goes to a military engineer Major William Nairn Forbes, who was assisted by C.K. Robinson. The cathedral was severely damaged during the great earthquake of 12th June 1897, when the upper part of the steeple fell, to be restored later but it was completely destroyed in the earthquake of 1934, after which the tower was constructed in place of the spire.
This Anglican cathedral of the Church of North India is a part of the Anglican Communion of Kolkata, West Bengal. The main hall of the cathedral is beautifully admired with exquisitely carved wooden church chairs and benches. Serenity and tranquility is the very essence of the entire premises of the church.
St. Paul’s Cathedral is also acknowledged as an architectural treasure. The cathedral set amidst huge grounds is flanked with a number of ancient trees. The interior of the church truly offers a visual splendor with outstanding floral designs on the walls. Life and work of St. Paul is vividly depicted in pictures.
Important Dates of St. Paul’s Cathedral
St. Paul’s Cathedral celebrates Christmas with fun and gaiety. The whole church premise is decorated wonderfully during Christmas and truly offers a visual treat.
- St. Paul’s Cathedral is acknowledged as the first Episcopal Church of the eastern world.
- A huge amount of Rs. 5.00 Lakhs was invested for the building of this immense architecture.
- The foundation stone of the church was laid in the year 1839.
- St. Paul’s preserves a number of memorials. One such memorial is a stained glass panel of the west window, which was designed by Sir Edward Burne Jones in 1880 to pay privilege to Lord Mayo, who was assassinated in the Andaman Islands.
- The great bell bears the inscription “its sound is gone out into all lands” The whole credit for the exquisite architect of the church goes to Major General W.N. Forbes of the Bengal Engineers, the architect of the Calcutta Mint.
- It is believed that Bishop Wilson lies buried in a vault under the cathedral’s altar, though no signs of this vault exists today.