This soaring Catholic place of worship is the tallest church in Australia and is well known for its striking appearance.
St Patrick’s Cathedral is the spiritual home of the Irish Catholics of Melbourne, and is named for the patron saint of Ireland. Completed in 1939 after more than 70 years of construction, “St Pat’s” is a majestic example of Gothic revival design. The yard in front also contains a statue of Daniel O’Connell, the emancipator of Irish Catholics from religious persecution.
Situated on the borders of the city centre, the towering central spire of the cathedral reaches an impressive 105 metres into the Melbourne sky, with a further two spires topping out at 61 metres each. The unusual dusky colours of the building are a result of the use of local Victorian bluestone, along with a range of other materials.
Make your way around the cathedral and crane your neck back to admire the scale of the building, along with its ornate decoration and striking design. Keep a look out for the gruesome gargoyles and many sculptures found around the exterior.
Entering the building, take in the colours and shapes cast by its beautiful stained-glass windows. The enormous organ dates from the 1870s, and is handsome and sonorous in equal measure – come for Sunday evening mass to hear it in action in tandem with the excellent St Patrick’s Cathedral Singers.
Entry is free of charge, and you can stroll around to your heart’s content, or join a tour. Catholic mass ceremonies take place daily, and you can pick up curios and other Catholic items in the cathedral shop. When you’re finished with your visit, sit back and relax in the green and pleasant Fitzroy Gardens, which are found nearby.
St Patrick’s Cathedral is a short walk from central Melbourne, and is across the road from Flinders Street Station, the city’s main train depot.