Thursday, December 30, 2010

Oamaru - Church Architecture

Nothing inspires me more than a great big brute of a church - and I'm talking about architecture here, not religion. Any regular visitor to this blog will know that I love church architecture and I've featured some stunning Australasian churches on this blog previously - click on Churches in the label line below if you're interested. Today, I'm giving you a peek through the doors of Oamaru's marvellous St Patrick's Basilica.
This hefty Catholic Church was designed by Dunedin architect, F.W Petre, who was well known for the beautiful churches - many featured on this blog (click on F.W.Petre) - he designed throughout the South Island of New Zealand. This one, located in Reed Street, Oamaru has a bulk and stature that befits a small town known for its handsome Victorian streetscapes, it's wealth of unique historic Oamaru stone buildings.
Like many large churches, St Patrick's was built in several stages - the first in 1893 and the last in 1918. At first glance, the interior seems austere and restrained compared to many, but when you look up at the beautiful coffered Renaissance ceiling and the great dome over the sanctuary, you can't help but admire the workmanship and the spendour of it all. The columns too, give the whole interior a sense of grandeur.
And then, across the street, the humble little box that is the church's Holy Shop.
An austere little 1930s (?) concrete box where churchgoers can acquire their bibles and church paraphernalia.

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