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St Paul’s Cathedral is an awe-inspiring Anglican cathedral with an architectural flair that echoes the impressive cathedrals of Europe. Its immense sandstone façade and spires soar into the sky from one of Melbourne’s busiest intersections, making it one of the city’s most recognizable landmarks. Hear the chiming of church bells as you admire the cathedral’s magnificent architecture from the street. Explore the venerated cathedral’s interiors to see its rich decorations and historic artworks.
Built on the site of Melbourne’s first Christian service, the original St Paul’s was a modest bluestone church. The English architect William Butterfield was commissioned to design the new Gothic-transitional cathedral and devised a breathtaking sandstone structure with ornate stonework. Admire the warm hues of the polychromatic brickwork and the sandstone façade, which was unveiled to the fledgling city of Melbourne in 1852.
Enter the cathedral via its grand doors and take in the lavishness of its interiors. You’ll see patterned floor and wall tiles, banded masonry, mosaics and the exquisitely timbered roof. Stroll down the aisle and see the high altar and reredos, which are constructed with Devonshire marble and alabaster. Look closely to see Venetian glass mosaic highlights on the altar and the carved figures on the pulpit.
Visit the cathedral during a service or a recital to experience the music of the pipe organ. The original 1890s organ accompanies the cathedral choir, which regularly performs during concerts, special services and casual lunchtime recitals. You might also hear the 19th-century bells chiming in the cathedral’s belfry.
Located directly opposite Flinders Street Station and Federation Square, St Paul’s Cathedral is a centrally located landmark in Melbourne. It is easy to reach via tram, train and bus, and is also connected to the city’s urban cycling and walking trails. Lunchtime concerts are held on Wednesdays for a small donation. The cathedral is open daily for free, with shorter hours on Saturdays and public holidays. Regular services are held at least twice daily. If you want to explore the cathedral’s interiors, time your visit around services in respect to worshippers.
You'll find it hard to believe how many activities there are at St Paul's Cathedral. Here are some suggestions to get you going:
For even more activities, examine our Melbourne things to do page.
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