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Astonishing Cathedrals


St John's Cathedral, ANTIGUA, West Indies

The Anglican cathedral of St John on the island of Antigua is the third church on the site. The first of wood was built 1683-4. This was rebuilt in stone 1718-25, the steeple being added 1771-88, and becoming a cathedral in 1842. This cathedral was destroyed by an earthquake 8th February 1843. The present church dates from 1845-48. It is cruciform with nave and aisles, twin west towers, transepts and apsidal chancel. It is built of local magnesium limestone but oddly the stone floor is of imported stone from Bath, England. Most of the fittings were carved in Bristol, England as was the original glass in the windows. Some of these windows have been replaced by stained glass.

JUNEAU RC Cathedral, Alaska, USA

Not all cathedrals are grand affairs, although we assume that this is often the case. The term cathedral solely means the church where the bishop places his seat (cathedra) or throne. Here the Alaskan weather and the availability of suitable building materials has given rise to this rather odd but charming collection of diocesan buildings, all weatherboarded it seems. I am sure the scene does not appear so charming in the depths of winter!

PETROPOLIS Cathedral, Brazil

Equally odd is the site of a French Gothic church rising in the tropical scenery of Brazil.

The Cathedral was built in 1884 by D Pedro II, who dedicated the church to São Pedro de Alcântara, patron saint of the Brazilian Empire. Made of brick and granite, the church follows the French Gothic style of the 16th Century. On its altar, made of bronze and marble, there is a cross made of black granite from Tijuca, Rio de Janeiro. In the center of the altar, there is a marble piece, weighing three tons, on which are the statues of Dom Pedro II and Dona Teresa Cristina, donated to the church by the Baroness of São Joaquim. At the back of the chapel you can see the statues of Princess Isabel and Count D'Eu, under which are kept their mortal remains.

More soon.....

As I continue to surf I shall post further pictures in this series. Any comments welcome! Any pictures gratefully received too!

page updated 31st January 2000