Jamai Sasthi

St Paul's Cathedral Kolkata

The Cathedral of St Paul is located next to the Victoria Memorial, near the Maidan, the most interesting part of the city from tourism point of view. Its an Anglican church built between 1839 and 1847 in neo Gothic style, widely used by the British during the colonial era. The most interesting part, however, is definitely the interior, especially for the decoration of the side walls and the beautiful stained glass.

St. Paul's Cathedral, opposite the gardens surrounding the Victoria Memorial. It was built between 1839 and 1847 according to a neo-gothic style. The bell tower was damaged by the earthquake of 1934, it was rebuilt modeled on the campanile of the cathedral of Canterbury. The imposing building is considered the masterpiece of architect William Nairn Forbes.

The St. Paul's Cathedral stands as one of the most interesting buildings of the English Baroque. The great opportunity is offered to William Nairn Forbes after the Great earthquake of 1934 that destroyed much of Kolkata. From this, the city received a partial redemption the discovery of empirical personality of Forbes expressed in the reconstruction of St. Paul and churches in the city. This task he revealed the freshness of invention and fantasy adventure, not to be confused with a mere imitation.

On this you need to open a small parenthesis to understand what were the influences suffered by our architect, because it was, in a northern environment, still half goticizzante, imported the classical Italian, leading to sudden maturity of the architecture of the English Renaissance. His is a masterpiece born from references appear to be cultured and refined details. The plant is a clear interpretation and combination of the Norwich Cathedral not to mention all the projects that have characterized the history. Here longitudinal plant, more suited to the needs of worship, making a clear overlap and highlighting the central plant through the expedient of the dome placed at the intersection of the nave and transept.

But the fertility of inventiveness and originality capture even better in the spiers of the towers west of the bell towers ranging from an array neo-Gothic fantasy Borromini, reoffering the dramatic Baroque. So there are clear baroque influences, as well as in the towers, also in the main facade a clear reference to the unrealized project of Gian Lorenzo Bernini and in illusionistic elements such as niches in false perspective of the windows and the upstairs false in the side elevations, intended to conceal the buttresses of the facade. Facade which do not contain references found in the drawings for St. Peter's but, because of the portico with double row of double columns topped by a triangular pediment, the design of the Door to the Church.

The interiors are classic, albeit with different movements Baroque. Overall, the work has a strong debt to Italian architecture and especially to projects for San Pietro filtered with intelligence and without ever falling into mere imitation, but at the same time appears to be an important element for those who will be the further development of neoclassicism.


  1. It is most interesting to read of this cathedral.

    «Louis» thanks you for your visit to San Francisco Bay Daily Photo.

  2. Wow! That's super fancy. I can see why it would draw lots of looks. Certainly not what I would expect to see in India.


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