Christchurch is a city built around a Cathedral. It is the best-known church building in New Zealand and is an iconic feature of our city. It began in 1850 with the first four ships of settlers arriving with the plans for a city centred around a cathedral. Things really got going six years later the first Bishop of Christchurch, Henry Harper, arrived and commissioned plans for the building of a cathedral.
Plans were handed in from the English Gothic architect George Gilbert Scott who never visited Christchurch and left the work to Robert Speechley. It wasn't until 1864 that work began and a foundation stone was laid. For the next ten years, however, no work was done, because there was not enough money. Finally, in 1872 the new architect, Benjamin Mountfort, was commissioned and the Cathedral work restarted.
Mountfort worked with the Scott design and added features of his own like the tower balconies, and stained glass. In 1881, main part of the cathedral was completed and opened. In 1904, the rest of the cathedral was finally completed at the cost of 64,000 pounds.
The Cathedral remains a striking feature of the Square but is now flanked by a number of tall buildings, which means it doesn't dominate as it once did. Many visitors get their photo taken in front of it and visit it's beautiful interior.
© & posted by Rachel & Reshma