When you’re in Victoria or Melbourne, you may not see the religious fervor of Europe, but don’t worry, Victoria’s eclectic tradition of cathedrals and churches reflects the country’s 19th-century history. Of these churches, many of them adopted the English Gothic style and they are wonderful in themselves with architectural wonders scattered all around. Let’s visit these amazing 10 churches and cathedrals in the Victoria region of Australia.
Churches in Australia that are ideal tourist attractions
1. St. Michael’s Uniting Church
Originally built in 1839, St. Michael’s Uniting Church was once demolished and then rebuilt in 1866 by Joseph Reed. He was the same Joseph Reid who was the designer of the famous Melbourne Exhibition Building as well as the Melbourne Town Hall. The design that Joseph Reed followed was inspired by the Lombardic style. He was a great admirer of the late Roman architectural tradition. The architecture was to reflect a theater-like design so that everyone in the church could see the preacher and hear him speak. This was according to the minister who was in charge during 1866.
What to do: Explore the theater-like atmosphere and 19th-century structure of the church and engage in contemporary practices of church preaching focused on your embrace of inner well-being.
how to reach: St Michael’s Uniting Church, 120 Collins St, Melbourne, VIC, Australia
2. St. Paul’s Cathedral
Originally designed in the European Gothic style, St Paul’s Cathedral was designed by William Butterfield. This is again another 19th century church built between 1880 and 91. Based on Butterfield’s original design, John Barr redesigned the pinnacles and they were constructed around 1926. The cathedral was built on land previously occupied by St. Paul’s Church. The building was demolished in 1885 to accommodate the south end of the cathedral. It is one of the most popular cathedrals in Melbourne.
What to do: Visit the cathedral and dedicate some time to peace and quiet. They also have weddings, funerals and baptisms along with many other religious services in the cathedral. There are also guided tours of the cathedral, but you can definitely enjoy a little alone time by simply taking a stroll to explore the grandeur of its beauty.
how to reach: St Paul’s Cathedral, Flinders Ln and Swanston St, Melbourne, VIC, Australia
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3. St. Patrick’s Cathedral
Don’t miss a stop at St. Patrick’s Cathedral in the heart of Melbourne’s Central Business District. If you are interested in churches this is one of the most popular destinations. What is even more mesmerizing is the absolutely simple yet beautiful design of St. Patrick’s Cathedral. The architecture is attractive to look at and not just because of its exterior. Upon entering you will see massive blue-stone walls, which are breathtaking and give it a neo-Gothic look. Here you’ll find the cathedral built on its traditional east-west axis. The change points to the eastern end, referencing the symbol of the resurrection of Jesus Christ. The design of the cathedral was by the architect William Wardell, who based it on his love of the medieval cathedrals of England, which were very popular during the 19th century.
What to do: Immerse yourself in the 19th century architecture and spend peaceful time at St. Patrick’s Cathedral. Explore the charm of 19th century neo-Gothic structures and stone.
how to reach: St. Patrick’s Cathedral, 1 Cathedral Pl, East Melbourne, VIC, Australia.
4. Sacred Heart Cathedral
When exploring the churches of Australia, it will now mesmerize you not only with the history but also with the aesthetics of beauty. Apart from being almost educational, it is also completely pleasing from the aesthetic point of view. Sacred Heart Cathedral is full of wonder with architectural wonders and the tranquility of the scenery. Architect William Tappin designed the cathedral in the English Gothic style. The design achieved a structural height and this enabled the interior of the church to become somewhat dazzling in heavenly radiance. If you are an art lover then this well-structured, stylish old architecture will be a very rewarding visit for you.
What to do: See the large organ housed inside the cathedral which is one of the rare highlights of a church visit. Go on a tour of the cathedral where they are often held and you can also experience mass times and sacraments. Weddings, baptisms and pre-marital education are taking place there.
how to reach: Sacred Heart Cathedral, Mackenzie St, Bendigo, VIC, Australia
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5. St Mary of the Angels Basilica, Geelong
Explore Geelong’s deeply rooted history within the story of St Mary of the Angels Basilica. The church was built to accommodate the rapidly increasing population during the Gold Rush period. This was a time when many Catholics living there needed a holy place and wanted to replicate their religion-oriented way of life like in England. The town’s population nearly quadrupled during the Gold Rush period, reaching 4000. This prompted plans for a larger church to fit the growing population. The church has become one of the iconic places in Geelong. Many thanks to the excellent designs of this magnificent cathedral-like building. This church, approximately 200 feet long and 130 feet wide, was built at a cost of approximately £40,000 at the time of construction.
What to do: Attend masses and explore marriage ceremonies and funeral rituals and other rites of passage.
how to reach: St Mary of the Angels Basilica, Geelong, 136-148 Yarra St, Geelong, VIC, Australia.
6. St. Mary’s Star of the Sea
Considered one of the most significant and beautifully designed churches in Australia, St Mary Star of the Sea was constructed in 1900. It is one of the largest parish churches in Melbourne with a capacity to hold over 1200 people. Architect Edgar J. Henderson designed the church inspired by French Gothic styles and the church was constructed over the course of eight long years. Those long years of determination bore fruit and the church emerged as one of the most notable churches in Melbourne.
What to do: Explore the absolutely stunning architecture of this huge church, attend mass, pray alone or just take some quiet time for yourself.
how to reach: St Mary Star of the Sea, 33 Howard St, West Melbourne, VIC, Australia
Plan your religious stay in Australia and get mesmerized by the architectural gems it has to offer.
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FAQ about Church in Australia
Which churches in Australia are open 24 hours for tourists?
You must visit the Apostolic Church in Australia, Melbourne CSI Church and St. Stephen’s Applecross Uniting Church. They are open 24 hours all year round.
What types of Christian churches exist in Australia?
Australia has the Anglican Church, the Baptist Church, the Eastern Catholic Church, the Lutheran Church, the Parish Church, the Pentecostal Church and the Presbyterian Church.
What kind of architectural styles are churches built in Australia?
Churches in Australia are built in the Collegiate Gothic, Gothic, Gothic Revival, Mixed Gothic, Modernist style and Neo-Gothic styles.
What are the most beautiful and most visited churches by tourists in Australia?
St Mary of the Angels Basilica, St Mary’s Cathedral and St Patrick’s Cathedral are some of the most beautiful and most visited churches by tourists in Australia.
What are Australian church hours?
Heritage churches in Australia are open from 09:00 am to 06:00 pm. Other churches have different times according to masses. Some churches are open only on weekends.
Can tourists of any religion visit churches in Australia?
Yes, Australians practice religious pluralism. Tourists of any religion can visit the 13,000 churches present on the Australian continent and its islands.
Are there entry fees to enter churches in Australia?
Yes, some cultural heritage churches charge a minimum entry fee to view its antiquities and access its towers. These are guided tours into popular churches in Australia.
Is photography banned inside churches in Australia?
No, you can find many weddings, ceremonies and events taking place with photography in churches in Australia. Tourists can take photographs of the inside and outside of Australia’s churches.
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