Westminster Cathedral, London - PHOTOGRAPHER COMMENT
Panorama was taken inside Westminster Cathedral, the principle catholic church in London. As the panorama shows, the interior of this cathedral is very ornate, and richly decorated with numerous different types of marble.
Westminster Cathedral, London - FURTHER INFORMATION
Westminster Cathedral, London - London visitor guide showing a virtual tour of 'Westminster Cathedral, London' linked to an interactive map with local and travel information. 360° panoramas from Greater London.
Westminster Cathedral built in a piazza off Victoria Street, between Victoria Station and Parliament Square. The site was previously occupied by the Tothill Fields Prison for boys (formerly called Middlesex (Westminster) House of Correction). In 1884 Cardinal Manning purchased the land and began construction of Westminster Cathedral. The foundation stone was laid in 1895 and the bulk of the building was completed by 1903.
Westminster Cathedral is quite extraordinary built in the Byzantine style of the Easter Roman Catholic churches, with a tall tower, domes and balconies. The interior of the building is still incomplete, and was always intended to be an ongoing project to be completed by future generations of the faithful.
So far over 126 types of marble from 26 countries on 5 continents have been used to decorate the interior. Almost everywhere you look yet another colour of stone catches the eye, from the large pillars in the nave to fine patterns and inlays on St. Patrick's chapel (where a lot of the stone used is Irish) and St. Andrew's chapel. In 1995 more marbles were installed within the Nave.
The high altar is made of twelve tons of Cornish granite and above it is a canopy of white Carrara inlaid with coloured marbles and resting on eight columns of yellow Verona. Everywhere you look yet another marble is found.
On entering Westminster Cathedral you pass two red marble pillars which represent the blood of Jesus shed on the cross. The sea animals in the floor of St. Andrew's chapel represent the saint's former life as a fisherman before becoming a disciple of Jesus.
Some of the interior is decorated by mosaics, which are not yet complete as only 7 of the 12 chapels have been decorated (as of 2006). The blue arch mosaic over the sanctuary contains over 1,000,000 pieces, while the mosaic found in the Lady chapel contains some 3 million pieces. Wesminster Cathedral is an ongoing testament to Christian art.
Westminster Cathedral is one of London's hidden treasures, not as popular as nearby Westminster Abbey or St Pauls Cathedral in the City of London. Unlike the other 2 major churches in London, entrance to the Cathedral is free. It is possible to pay and ascend the tower of Westminster Cathedral to see the skyline of London from Westminster to the east and as far out as the arches of the new Wembley stadium in the other direction. You are also able to see over the roof of the cathedral behind with green copper domes protruding from the top.
TRAVEL DIRECTIONS AND GETTING THERE
Bus: Victoria Station, Victoria Street
Train: Victoria Railway Station
Tube: St Jame's Park (Circle, District lines), Victoria (Circle, District, Victoria lines)