The architect Giles Gilbert Scott (1880-1960) won the architectural competion to design the cathedral when he was just 22! Work on its construction began when Liverpool was truly the second city of the Empire, before the outbreak of World War I. That war, the economic problems of the 1920s and 30s, and World War II all slowed down construction. Gilbert Scott remained committed to the project and continued to work on details and revisions for the remainder of his life. When he died in 1960, at least he could be satisfied that the cathedral was nearing completion. It was finished only in 1978.
It's really hard to capture an exterior view of the Liverpool Cathedral that really gives you a sense of its immense size.
Favorite thing: This 1960s "innovative design" is said to be popular among Liverpudlians, although the Roman Catholic diocese was forced to sue the architect (Sir Frederick Gibberd, 1908-1984) shortly after its completion in 1966 - a leaky roof and other major problems. The central spires resemble either Christ's Crown of Thorns or the cooling tower of a nuclear plant.
Favorite thing: This is the huge Anglican Church that overlooks the city of Liverpool...this place is massive! It is high up on a hill and you can see the church from almost everywhere... The inside of the church is fairly impressive too...
It is an Anglican cathedral and is the largest cathedral in Britain. One will not miss the sight of the cathedral as it is huge and can be seen on a hill top from Albert Dock.
Fondest memory: When I walked closer to the cathedral, I felt the massiveness of this cathedral. It is big from the outside too.
As I enter the cathedral, I was very impressed by the massiveness. The celings are very high with stain glass around the walls. This cathedral housed the biggest working organ in the world with 9765 pipes.
There's a statue made from bronze at the entrance of the cathedral. It weighs half a tonne and placed on a slab of bricks. I am amazed at how can that small platform hold the weight.
Favorite thing: I have visited St. Peter in Rome, Duomo in Florence, St. Paul in London but I have not seen so thick and heavy like Liverpool Cathedral. The massive tower stands into sky. Very high arches give me a feeling of great pressing force. It is the largest Anglican Cathedral in Britain. It is the first time I felt I am so closed to God when I visit their ceremony in organ music. I never forget this feeling.
The art is fantastic, the people just great, and the whole place seems to buzz with friendly dynamism.
Fondest memory: The taxi driver who picked us up at Lime Street on our first visit who had a fantastic sense of humour!
Liverpool is a city of two glorious cathedrals, within close proximity of each other. The catholic cathedral is affectionately known as 'Paddy's Wigwam' and is built like a wigwam. The other cathedral is an architectural masterpiece. When visiting Liverpool you must take the ferry across the Mersey, over to Birkenhead and back. The city's skyline and majestic liver birds viewed from the boat are a sight for sore eyes. It makes you really feel part of something bigger. The city oozes history.
Fondest memory: The nightlife in the city's buzzing and vibrant bars. On an August night it was like New Years Eve for atmosphere anywhere else in the country.
Take in the two Cathedrals: Anglican and Roman Catholic. Both are within easy walking distance of each other and, whether you appreciate the Christian angle or not, the respective architectures are something to behold.
From the outside, the RC Cathedral is pretty hideous and little more than a strange shaped grey monstrosity... inside, it is a different story, a blend of colour and space and airiness and light.
The Anglican alternative is a little more traditional but was built in the 20th century so is not as old as it first appears. And it has a particularly good refectory/tea room, thus making it my firm favourite of the two!!
Anglican Cathedral Details: www.merseyworld.com/cathedral
RC Cathedral website: www.rcal.org.uk
[Photo Credit: RC Archdiocese of Liverpool]
See the cathedrals and meet the people
Fondest memory: Though I wasn't born here, it still feels like home. I was never a proper scouser, nor do I claim to be, but nevertheless I made good friends here and it made me what I am today.
Favorite thing: The Catholic Cathedral stands only about 3/4 of a mile from the Anglican one. When initially planned it was to be an immense structure to rival St. Peters in Rome, but those plans never materialised and the more modest structure that stands now was completed in 1967. It is affectionately (and irreverantly) known as 'Paddy's Wigwam' to the locals.
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