Westminster Cathedral

The Metropolitan Cathedral of the Most Precious Blood in Westminster, better known as Westminster Cathedral, is a Catholic church located in the London borough of Westminster.

The Cathedral is the mother church of the Catholic community in England and Wales, where there is mostly Anglican tradition.

It is important to not confuse this Cathedral with Westminster Abbey, the Anglican church. In fact, after the split of the Catholic and Anglican Church in England during the Reign of Henry VIII the return of the Catholic Tradition in England doesn't happen until the late nineteenth century. Actually, until 1884 nobody wanted to raise the construction of this cathedral.

The architecture of the cathedral makes it easy to recognise the building. After several unsuccessful projects ,the architect John Francis Bentley was in charge of executing the project. The cathedral opened in 1903, a little after Bentley's death. For reasons of economy the decoration of the interior had hardly been started and still much remained to be completed.

The style of the cathedral is a historic revival of Byzantine style and it was built with brick, stone and marble of Carrara. The tower of St. Edward stands out in the whole building with a length about 83 meters high. Also the façade in Victoria Street is remarkable with its columns and arches. The most prominent feature of the façade is the deeply recessed arch over the central entrance, flanked by tribunes, and stairway turrets.

Inside the church, nave is the widest that can be found in the churches of England and the Shrine is situated a meter and a half over the floor and allows from anywhere in the church can be seen the High Altar. Also the Cathedral has 11 richly decorated chapels, The chapel of the Blessed Sacrament, on the north side of the sanctuary, and the Lady Chapel on the south, are entered from the transepts. The natural lighting in the church is special just like its architecture style.

In 1995 the Cathedral was visited by Queen Elizabeth II.  This visit has been almost the only visit by a Anglican British monarch to a Catholic Church for hundreds of years.

Source of description: planerGO
Neighbourhood Westminster (LONDON)
Price definition of price gratis
Geographical coordinates 51.4950756, -0.1388612
Address SW1P 1QW City of London, Francis Street 42
Construction dates 1895 -
Opening date 1903
More information official website

How to arrive