Discovering the St Francis Xavier Cathedral

Set in Adelaide, the St Francis Xavier Cathedral is a prominent landmark in the city. The Romanic Catholic cathedral has been built in a Gothic Revival style from the Early English era. Today, it stands at 36 metres high and measures 56.5 metres in length. It dates back to 1856, but real construction on the tower didn’t begin until 1887. Despite the early start, it wasn’t finished until 1996, more than one hundred years later.

St Francis Xavier Cathedral

Special Features of St Francis Xavier Cathedral

Like most of the cathedrals in Australia, the St Francis Xavier Cathedral boasts a number of memorable features and add-ons that visitors can admire while in the area.

To the north-westerly corner of the building, there is a statue of St John the Baptist that was carved in 1925 in the sun-soaked hills of Tuscany. It is distinguishable by its picture of the baptism of Jesus.

Elsewhere, the lady chapel altar in the south-west part of the cathedral is made from impressive Carrara marble. All around, there are encrusted panels of lapis lazuli that hark back to when it was dedicated in 1954.

There are a set of bronze statues that can be found on the western side of the cathedral – one of Joseph, Jesus, and the flight into Egypt. To the front, at the southern end, there are lancet windows featuring depictions of St Patrick and St Lawrence, as well as images of Mary and Jesus.

Moving around to the eastern side of the building, there is an entire statue of St Patrick, who was the patron of the Archdiocese of Adelaide. Around the statue, there are prevalent Celtic symbols.

Throughout its history, the cathedral has been home to three organs. The first, which was erected in 1869 by Johann Wolff, boasted two pedals and was manual. In 1926, this was replaced by J.E. Dodd with two manuals – it was then rebuilt in 1954.

There are many things to see and do in Adelaide, and the St Francis Xavier Cathedral is one of them. Visitors can marvel at the incredible architecture that has gone into the magnificent building, and learn about its lengthy history.

When wandering around the cathedral itself, look out for the selection of statues and images that depict various scenes from both the bible and the religious landscape in Australia during the time the cathedral was erected. It is an important part of Australia’s religious history and well worth a visit.

Language »