St. Paul's Cathedral

Dramatic architecture, exquisite sculptures, superb stained-glass windows and one of the country’s largest pipe organs are all on show at Dunedin’s Anglican cathedral.

Gazing up from Dunedin’s Octagon, you can’t miss the ornate façade and towering spires of St. Paul’s Cathedral. Step inside and discover beautiful stone carvings, artwork and more, all illuminated by the colored light of stunning stained-glass windows. 

The cathedral was built on the site of the former Parish Church of St. Paul, established in 1862. Constructed from soft stone, the church weathered badly and the spire had to be removed just a few years after it was completed. After years of fundraising, the first foundation stone of a new cathedral was laid in 1915. 

A central window and two Gothic spires dominate the main façade of the cathedral. Look closely and you will see that these stand either side of a small cross. Walk around the cathedral’s exterior to view stone sculptures, which portray various saints and angels. 

Make your way up the long flight of stairs to the cathedral’s arched main entrance. Once inside, look up to see a high vaulted ceiling that runs the length of the cathedral. Lower down you will see the cathedral’s grand organ. This dates back to 1919 and has more than 3,500 pipes. Come to a service to hear the impressive sound of it being played. 

Be sure to take some time to study the fine stained-glass windows. Particular highlights are the World War I memorial window and the Dunedin window, which was given to the cathedral in 2012. See depictions of St. Paul in the multihued glass, as well as St. Cecilia, the patron saint of music. St. Cecilia is shown alongside two angels playing a flute and an early type of oboe. 

St. Paul’s Cathedral is located in the northwest quadrant of The Octagon in the heart of Dunedin. The cathedral is open every day and is free to enter. Check the cathedral’s website for further information about services, organ recitals and choral performances.


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