Metropolitan Cathedral, view from the Liverpool Cathedral

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Metropolitan Cathedral, view from the Liverpool Cathedral ( 480x640 )
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Liverpool Metropolitan Cathedral is one of the two famous cathedrals in Liverpool. They are linked by Hope Street. The official name of this cathedral is Liverpool Metropolitan Cathedral of Christ the King. It belongs to the Roman Catholic Church, and it is the seat of Archbishop of Liverpool. The cathedral replaced the church of St. Nicholas standing on its site previously.

The idea to build the cathedral appeared in 1853. At first, there was the design of E. W. Pugin. However, due to lack of finances, he managed to build only the Lady Chapel that served as a parish church until 1980s when it was demolished. The second design was Lutyens’ one. He wanted to create a cathedral that would be the second largest in the world (after St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome) and so it would be also an appropriate response to G. G. Scott Neo-Gothic design of Liverpool Cathedral. The founding stone was laid in 1933 but again, due to the financial restrictions only the crypt was built. The overdrawn design was supposed to be scaled-down. Adrian Gilbert Scott (brother of G. G. Scott) created it. Nevertheless, it was not approved. Finally, Sir Frederick Gibberd designed a cathedral that was really built.

There were several conditions that had to be kept: it had to relate to the existing Crypt, be capable of construction within five years, cost at the current prices no more than one million pounds for its shell, and most important of all, express the new spirit of the liturgy then being radically reformulated by the Second Vatican Council. Gibberd’s design approved and the construction started in 1962. The cathedral was consecrated on 14 May 1967. Chapels are built between the buttresses that support the tent-shaped spire (which represents the Crown of Thorns of Jesus) like tent poles. It has beautiful rainbow-coloured stained glass windows.

And some trivia in the end, the cathedral is nicknamed “Paddy’s Wigwam” because of its largely Irish Catholic congregation and its general resemblance to a Native American teepee. Its choir is one of the finest in the United Kingdom with a very wide repertory. And the Cathedral's crypt hosts the Liverpool CAMRA Beer Festival each February.

The Cathedral is normally open from 8.00am to 6.00pm, but closed at 5.00pm on Sundays in winter. There is no admission fee. Guides are usually on duty to show visitors round and explain the mission of the Cathedral.
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