The Catholics of Liverpool were for a long time without Catholic diocese, being variously administered from Coventry, Lichfield and Chester. With the Irish Potato famine in the 1840's there was a rapid rise in the number of Catholics in the city.
After several aborted attempts (and I thought the Pope was against that !) the present Cathedral was completed during the 1960's on the foundations and Crypt of an earlier effort in the century that was meant to rival Gilbert Scott's Masterpiece (The Church of England Cathedral) at the other end of Hope street.
Due the Irish connection and it's striking design it is usually refered to, with typical scouse wit, as "Paddy's Wigwam".
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.
Giles Gilbert Scott won this commission at the tender age of 21. Built mainly of sandstone, quarried in nearby woolton.
Its foundation stone was laid by King Edward VIII in 1904 and Queen Elizabeth II attended the celebrations marking its completion on 25th october 1978, although the last of the 300 strong masons left in 1981.
Another attraction of the Anglican Cathedral is that the Western tower can be ascended for amazing views over Liverpool and the Wirral - even as far as North Wales.On the way down have a peep at the embroidery exhibition too for some wonderul needle work on the cathedral costumes.
There are two lifts plus 108 steps - its not too narrow on the staircase and its not difficuult to climb so go ahead and climb I promise you its worthwhile. More pics of the aerial views in the travelogue below - please look1
I was really disappointed with the churches of Liverpool. I guess I was spoilt from places like York or Cologne ....
Liverpool's Anglican cathedral is the biggest cathedral in England and the 5th largest in the world - and unfortunately it isn't exactly beautiful. The people of Liverpool call it "Dracula's castle".
The foundation stone was layed 1904 but it took some time until the cathedral was finished in 1978.
Outside the Anglican Cathedral there's a small memorial for the Hillsborough stadium disaster 1989.
96 people died in a crammed terraced stand at Sheffield Wednesday's Hillsborough stadium when Liverpool FC was playing Nottingham Forest in the FA Cup Semifinal.
This wild looking building is not some modern concert hall. It is the Metropolitan Cathedral of Christ the King. Liverpool has two major cathedrals. They are only several blocks apart. This modern looking facility is the Catholic Cathedral. With all of the older buildings and old world charm of Liverpool, this building really looks a little out of place. Inside it is very beautiful.
Just a couple of blocks over from the RC Cathedral is the Anglican Cathedral. This is more in the classic cathedral design than the RC Cathedral. The church is quite large and over powering at first view. And it is very dark in color. So although not a classic beauty it still is more in the classic design.
One story told about this church is that Paul McCartney wanted to sing in the choir when he was a teen. However the priest did not feel Paul was talented enough to be in the choir. Years later after the breakup of the Beatles Paul returned and did a concert at the Cathedral and saw the old priest. He asked the priest if he remembered not allowing him to be in the choir. The priest answered "Yes, and because of this you went on and became a Beatle. You have me to thank for your success." I do not know how true this story is. It was told to us on our Beatles tour. True or not its a fun story.
Liverpool's Anglican Cathedral holds a lot of records - largest anglican (ie non-catholic) cathedral in Europe, largest gothic arches ever built, heaviest ringing bells in the world, largest church organ in the world... Sabs would add to that "ugliest cathedral in the world".
Certainly it's not the most beautiful of cathedrals, being impressive mainly for it's sheer scale. I quite like the place, and as I recall the interior is quite nice and the views from the tower are worth the climb. We didn't go inside on this visit as time was against us.
I thought that Liverpool's Anglican Cathedral was the ugliest church I'd ever seen. Just for a short while though. When I saw the Catholic Cathedral I knew that it could be worse ;)
I love modern architecture - but I don't like modern churches at all - especially this one! I think the designer should be shot actually ;)
Everybody claims that it looks nice from the inside but I refused to go and have a look.
The RC cathedral is a wonderful modern building - and they have fixed the roof now, but are currently expanding the shop and refectory area. Lovely people inside - the woman who works in the shop was a really helpful and friendly person!
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.
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.
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.