Friday, July 11, 2008

A Visual Climax

Catholic Basilica, Christchurch. May 2008.Ajr I know I have yet to present the exterior of Christchurch’s magnificent Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament - acclaimed as one of the finest examples of church architecture in Australasia – but while I’m waiting for a sunny afternoon, I think you should all be suitably impressed by the interior of its fabulous dome. While the cathedral style is Roman Renaissance, based on the old Roman basilicas, it has several unique features - this dome for instance. By placing it above the sanctuary, architect Francis William Petre created – and I quote – “a visual climax” to the interior. My tiny camera barely does it justice for this is a truly inspiring place of looming colonnades, embellished capitals, spacious arcades, gorgeous stained glass, stunning mosaic tiling and ceilings of embossed zinc. The cathedral took four years to build and opened in 1905.

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