Francis William Petre (1847-1918) designed the Cathedral. It is based on old Roman basilicas, but is neo-classical in style and derived from eighteenth-century French examples. It has often been compared to Saint Paul’s Cathedral in London but is not, as is sometimes claimed, a smaller replica. Petre specialised in church design, and there are examples of his work in Dunedin (St Joseph’s), Oamaru (St Patrick’s), Waimate (St Patrick’s), Wellington (Sacred Heart) and Invercargill (St Mary’s). One of the first New Zealand-born architects to achieve widespread recognition, Petre was also a founding member of the New Zealand Institute of Architects.The foundation stone was laid on 10 February 1901, and the contractors, J and W Jamieson, completed the building in four years. The building required more than 3396 cubic metres of Oamaru stone, 560 cubic metres of Mount Somers stone, 113 cubic metres of concrete and 88 tonnes of steel. Its imposing size — 64m long and 32m wide, with a 41m dome and towers — makes the landmark one of the larger churches in New Zealand.
Christchurch The Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament
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