I paid a visit to this unique Catholic Cathedral perched on a hill in the City Centre. Metropolitan Cathedral was built in 1967 although the Crypt (designed by Sir Edwin Lutyens) was built in 1958. Frederick Gibbard's designed the Cathedral with central seating for 2,300 people. There are a number of chapels placed round the Cathedral. I enjoyed looking around and admired the interior architecture especially the stained glass cupola.
There are guides available who can able to show you around. There is no admission charge but donations are appreciated. There is also a visitors centre and The Piazza and a gift shop.
The Catholic Cathedral (Metropolitan Cathedral of Liverpool) is one of the most famous landmarks - and most controversial sights - of the city. Locals often call it Paddy's Wigwam or Mersey Funnel. My friend called it Sauron's Crown. I still don't know if I like it and tend rather not to do so. The Cathedral is completely round, has around a dozen of side chapels as well as many works of religious modern art. The use of colourful stained glass windows in the lantern give it an interesting colour effect in the interior.
The decision to build a new Catholic Cathedral in Liverpool was published in 1853 when the Great Famine was driving thousands of Irishmen abroad and many of them fled to Liverpool. Financial resources were used for people in need and so the construction of the new Cathedral. Finally, a new design from 1933 by Edwin Lutyens was approved and construction began soon afterwards. The Lutyens design was a Neorenaissance building with what would be the largest dome in the world. Due to WWII however, construction stopped in 1941. Adrian Gilbert Scott (brother of Giles Gilbert Scott, architect of the Anglican Cathedral) came up with a new, more economical design in the 1950s using the finished crypt of the Lutyens design. It was rejected and finally Sir Fredrick Gibberd resumed the construction in 1962. Five years later, it built the monster we know today.
Entry is free, but there is a small fee to see the crypt and the treasury. That was not possible when we visited the church. However, it seems that the crypt is THE part of this church you should really visit.
Though the Cathedral is a little further away from the main sights along the Mersey, it is worth a detour. The Cathedral Church of Christ is a masterpiece of Neogothic architecture and designed by Sir Giles Gilbert Scott - the same guy who designed the iconic red phone box. Scott won the design competition together with George F. Bodley in 1903, but it was only after that that the diocese discovered that Scott was a Roman Catholic. When Bodley left the team in 1910, Scott changed the initial design. Still, budget problems and WWII delayed the construction of the Cathedral. Scott died in 1960 and did not see his work finished (he did however see the consecration of the first chapel, the Lady Chapel, in 1910). The cathedral was completed in 1978 and includes a monument dedicated to its architect just below the tower. It also has a red phone box on exhibition as well as a picture of Giles Gilbert Scott in a stained glass window. As a Roman Catholic however, he is buried outside of the Cathedral. His famous quote about the Cathedral says everything about its dimensions: " Don't look at my arches, look at my spaces."
The Cathedral is the second longest church in the world and the fifth largest Cathedral by volume. The tower is one of the highest non-spired church towers in the world. It houses one of the heaviest carillons, including "Great George", the second heaviest bell on the British Isles. Like medieval cathedrals, it also has an octagonal chapter house. This is rather used as a chapel than for clergy meetings.
Visit is free (donation suggested), there is a charge for audioguides and tower visits. The most important places to see are the choir, the Lady Chapel, the chapter house and the large dimensions of the main nave. Note also he bridge connecting the two sides.
One of the strangest looking buildings in Liverpool is the tepee shaped Catholic Cathedral.
It's full name is The Metropolitan Cathedral of Christ The King. It took 5 years to build and was consecrated on the 14 May 1967.
OPENING TIMES (From The Website):
The Cathedral is normally open from 7.30am to 6.00pm, but closes at 5.00pm on Sundays in winter.
There is no charge for admission but a suggested donation of £2.50 for the upkeep of the building would be appreciated.
A charge of £3.00 is made for individual admission to the Crypt and Treasury. Tickets for admission can be obtained from the Golden Book Office, situated within the Cathedral, or from the Gift Shop (at the foot of the main approach steps).
You may make a donation towards the upkeep which would be gratefullly received.
Liverpool Cathedral is the biggest in the UK and the fifth biggest on the Planet. The Foundation stone for this magnificent building was laid in 1904 with the completion of the whole of the Cathedral in 1978 making it by far the newest Cathedral I have been in. A vast awe inspiring open space awaits you on entering the building. Fantastic vaulted ceilings tower above you and modern stained glass windows dominate the West Porch.
There is a lovely little gift shop near the entrance where you can buy an official guide to the Cathedral or you can borrow an audio guide which will take you around, providing information about the most interesting features to be found here.
The most stiking feature is the stain glass. If there is any sun around, the light that pours in from the crown is wonderful, and because of the different coloured glass, changes as you walk around the church. I love the wonderful wall hangings (a must for any craft enthusiast). Shop and coffee shop not as good as at the church down the road! But don't miss the crypt, it is quite a surprise!
The RC cathedral was originally designed and building started pre WW2. After the war, this plan was felt too expensive, so a competition was launched for a new design, and the result is what you now see above the ground, but the crypt from the original plan remains, (Along with a model of what was intended by the architect)
Ironically, the 1960's plan, using moderm materials for example concrete, has required so much repair in recent times that it has cost considerably more than if the original design had been built!
The bells at the front of the Cathedral, are known locally as Matthew, Mark, Luke and John!
The Anglican Cathedral is much more traditional in style than the Catholic one, but is in fact not that much older.
The decision to build a cathedral was made in 1901 and after an open competition a design by Giles Gilbert Scott was chosen. The first stage of building (the Lady Chapel) was completed in 1910 but the cathedral was not finally completed until 1978.
It claims a number of records including:
The largest cathedral in the UK
The highest and heaviest peal of bells in the world
The highest and widest Gothic arches in the world
The cathedral is open daily from 8.00 a.m. to 6.00 p.m.
On the northern side is a former quarry which became first the cemetery and is now a park.
This modern cathedral is the seat of the Catholic Archbishop of Liverpool. The Catholic diocese was established in 1850, but there were several abortive attempts at a cathedral over the following century (involving designs by Pugin and Lutyens), before Frederick Gibberd's design was built in the 1960s. The circular space seats 2,300 people.
The concrete buttresses inside are adorned with a 'Way of the Cross' (14 stations depicting Christ's journey to Calvary) in bronze. I didn't have a chance to visit the cathedral crypt, but this is apparently the only part of Lutyens' design that was built and is very different from the upper cathedral.
The exterior of the building seems rather reminiscent of an Aztec or Mayan temple - you approach the building via broad steps and at the top are metal panels depicting stylised birds.
The cathedral is normally open from 8.00 a.m. to 6.00 p.m. There is no charge, but a donation towards the upkeep of the building is appreciated.
The vast amount of stained glass on the roof and coloured lights inside make this cathedral like no other I have ever been inside. Sometimes its hard to imagine you are in any kind of church at all, sometimes its a cross between a circus tent and the starship enterprise.
This building is the seat of the Archbishop of Liverpool who is the spiritual leader of all the faithful of the Northern Province of the Catholic Church in England comprising seven dioceses in all.
I have been to many cathedrals all over Europe and this one is definately the most unusual both inside and out.
The Cathedral is normally open from 8.00am to 6.00pm, but closed at 5.00pm on Sundays in winter. There is no charge for admission.
Queen Elizabeth II opened this massive cathedral in 1978. The massive 'old skool' cathedral is the largest of its type in England, despite its young age. Inside, your view immediately wanders towards the dome ceiling that is incredibly high above you. Designed in a neo-gothic style with quite many details. The cathedral staff is very helpful and nice as well and they will try to answer all of your questions, unfortunately when we visited they were short staffed and acess to the tower view wasn't possible. There's also a cafe and a souvenir shop inside the cathedral.
The building that looks like a rocket which is ready to take off is Liverpool's Metropolitan Cathedral. Located on a hill, similar to Liverpool Cathedral, it is also visible from most parts of the city. Built from 1962 to 1967, the cathedral serves as the mother church for Liverpool's Catholic population. There's a large Catholic community due to Irish immigration in the last two centuries. Almost 2/3 of Liverpudlians are said to have an Irish background.
Well, back to the Cathedral. As the building looks like a rocket from the outside, I was curious what would await me inside. It's a large circular room with coloured windows that scarcely light the church. There's space for 2300 worshipers who sit on chairs in the middle of the room, surrounding the altar. Everything looks rather cold and functional, an impression that is underlined by the giant dimensions of the cathedral. I didn't really like the church - but others from our group were quite impressed.
Open from 8am to 6pm.
While the above mentioned cathedral truly is impressive, the view from its tower is even better! Get a ticket for the tower in the souvenir shop inside Liverpool Cathedral, walk across the room, take the lifts, walk up 108 steps and be prepared for the most marvellous views on Liverpool. The spacious tower top allows views in all directions - towards the city centre, towards the Mersey and in the distance the sea, towards the Welsh mountains and much more. It's really stunning to see giant Albert Dock in the distance, looking like a toy model of the original, or to watch the roofs of typical English houses or to follow the moves of tiny little dots in the streets that are actually cars...
One warning should not be forgotten here: It is terribly windy up there! Keep a firm grip on your cameras, hats or scarfs!
PS: More photos available in my travelogue!
First, take a look at the picture of Liverpool Cathedral next to the tip. Second, guess how old it is. Third, shake your head astonished when you find out that Queen Elizabeth II opened it only in 1978!
Well, this makes Liverpool Cathedral only one year older than me!
The massive building that looks more like a castle than a cathedral from the outside is the largest cathedral of England, despite its young age. Inside, your view immediately wanders towards the dome ceiling that is incredibly high above you. You could probably fly a small plane inside the church, but I guess they wouldn't allow it... Looking around, you recognize that it is a sort of neo-gothic building with quite many small details. If you are interested in learning more, check out the Liverpool Cathedral official website.
The cathedral staff is very helpful and nice as well and they will try to answer all of your questions. There's also a cafe and a souvenir shop inside the cathedral.
Liverpool Anglican Cathedral is a must see when in Liverpool, on my most recent visit, I learned that it is only just over 100 years old. It looks like it's been there forever. So impressive, both inside and out. The massive main hall and other rooms are so well built and are a photographers dream. They have regular services here and the timetable is on the website (see below). Admission is free but a recommeded donation of £3 is most welcome. Plenty of toilets inside and they also have a restaurant and shop.