St. Paul’s Cathedral – The largest Cathedral in Kolkata
St Paul’s Cathedral is a gothic revival and, Indo-Saracenic style architecture situated in Kolkata, known to be the first Anglican cathedral in Asia. It is also the largest cathedral in Kolkata. This 61m high construction was planned by a very eminent architect William Nairn Forbes and was first opened to the public in the year 1847.
St. Paul’s cathedral is a CNI cathedral dedicated to Paul the Apostle. CNI stands for Church of North India. The cornerstone was stowed in 1839 and took approximately eight years to build the cathedral. Finally, it was inaugurated in 1847. On the territory of the British Empire, it is also known to be the first cathedral built in overseas territory.
The Indo-Gothic style Architecture of St. Paul’s Cathedral
The Indo-gothic style of St. Paul’s cathedral is built to make it suitable to the Indian climatic conditions. However, in later years the cathedral was renovated to heal the damages caused due to the massive earthquakes in 1934 when the steeple tower had collapsed.
On the Western Porch of the cathedral, there is a library positioned along with several plastic art forms and mementos are exhibited. The façade of the cathedral is painted white which gives it a majestic and splendid look. The central tower is inspired by the tower of Canterbury Cathedral, ‘Bell Harry’.
The main objective of this cathedral was to offer a praying hall for the people of the same religion. As their community started to grow the space was falling short. To resolve this issue, Marques Hastings, the then governor-general of Bengal sent for Mr. William Nairn Forbes to hand in a revised design of the cathedral that could accommodate the growing population of the European Community.
Bishop Middleton later issued a new location for the cathedral, however unfortunately he passed away long before the construction of the cathedral had started. It was until 1832, the building of the establishment was started again under the supervision of Bishop Daniel Wilson.
The predominant architect was Major William Nairn Forbes and was aided by another architect C.K Robinson.
Very recently it was discovered, beneath the altar of the church enclosed a crypt that accommodated a coffin that belonged to none other than Bishop Daniel Wilson, the founder of the cathedral.
The magnificent features of the St. Paul’s Cathedral, Kolkata
St. Paul’s Cathedral is considered an architectural wonder of the colonial period. The colossal architecture has gone through several renovations and the current structure can withstand the tropical climate of Kolkata.
The cathedral is primarily constructed out of bricks that could hold up against strong compressional strength. It can also resist high temperatures and other climatic disasters. The interiors and the exterior walls are plastered with fine lime plaster, something that resembles stucco.
The St. Paul’s cathedral is a single hall that does not have any side aisles. The ceilings are built extremely high ornamented with beautifully crafted pews, murals on the walls, paintings, and various kinds of artifacts.
The roof of the cathedral is built with shallow curves supported by the span of 151 iron trusses. The western walls support three stained glass windows along with renaissance classic style frescos. The eastern wall was also embellished with beautiful stained glasses that collapsed in a cyclone that hit the city in 1964 which was later restored in the year 1968.
The premises are encompassed by a meticulously maintained, refined garden that bears 184,700 different species of trees that are planted to date.
The cathedral is decorated with beautiful lights during Christmas, which becomes a frequently visited place by several tourists and people of the city during this time of the month. The play of numerous lights on the façade of this magnificent architecture gives a surreal appearance to the construction that stands tall majestically amidst the hustle of the city.
Written By Aishee Bachhar | Subscribe To Our Telegram Channel To Get Latest Updates And Don’t Forget To Follow Our Social Media Handles Facebook | Instagram | LinkedIn | Twitter. To Get the Latest Updates From Arco Unico