Officially known as “The Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary,” construction of St. Mary’s Cathedral (as it is more commonly known) began in 1863. This was not the first Roman Catholic Church in Perth, however. That distinction went to St. John’s Pro-Cathedral, located a short distance away, in the early 1800’s. When the population outgrew St. John’s, the congregation began searching for a site that would accommodate a larger Cathedral. Victoria Square was to be the site of a Church of England Cathedral but the Anglicans of the Swan River Colony felt it was too far outside the city center for them. So, the land was ceded to the Catholic Church in 1859. Following the laying of the corner stone, construction of the Cathedral progressed quite slowly because of labor and funding shortages. While construction was not complete, the Cathedral was officially opened in 1865. Plans for the completion and expansion of St. Mary’s were drawn up in the 1920’s but were again disrupted, this time by the Great Depression. By the late 1990’s efforts were renewed to complete the Cathedral. Today, this magnificent Cathedral is the Seat of the Roman Catholic Bishop of Perth.
St. Mary’s Cathedral is located in Perth’s Victoria Square opposite the Royal Perth Hospital.
The main altar is quite different from what we’ve seen in other Cathedrals...
...as the panels behind the altar can be illuminated by colored lights. As with other Cathedrals we’ve visited, however, the stained glass windows are spectacular!
Archival photo of the original building as it looked in the early 1890’s...
...and one of the expansion efforts of 1929 (which were interrupted by the Great Depression).
Architectural concept drawing of the Cathedral as it was to appear in the early 2000’s.
Of course, no self-respecting Cathedral would be complete without a magnificent organ.
We were particularly impressed by the mosaic tiled floor by the side altars.
Carl and Lorraine Aveni are two retirees planning on traveling through Europe for at least one year.