St. Paul’s Cathedral Kolkata Entry Fee
- No entry fee
St. Paul’s Cathedral Kolkata Phone
033 2223 2802
Rating: | 4/5 stars
Based on total 52 reviews
St. Paul’s Cathedral Kolkata Address: Maidan, Kolkata, West Bengal, 700071, India
Kolkata Tour Packages
St. Paul’s Cathedral Kolkata Timings
|Monday||9:00 am – 12:00 pm
3:00 pm – 6:00 pm
|Tuesday||9:00 am – 12:00 pm
3:00 pm – 6:00 pm
|Wedesday||9:00 am – 12:00 pm
3:00 pm – 6:00 pm
|Thursday||9:00 am – 12:00 pm
3:00 pm – 6:00 pm
|Friday||9:00 am – 12:00 pm
3:00 pm – 6:00 pm
|Saturday||9:00 am – 12:00 pm
3:00 pm – 6:00 pm
|Sunday||7:30 am – 6:00 pm|
When in Kolkata, it becomes imperative to visit the St. Paul’s Cathedral. It is one of the must visit places for an Architecture as well as a History buff for its rich glory of colonial times. The cathedral is an Anglican church, first of its kind within the British territory, outside of Great Britain.
Being the seat of the Diocese of Calcutta, the cathedral is a CNI of Anglican background and the first Episcopal Church in Asia. The cathedral observes the most beautiful ceremony at the time of Christmas wherein it is decorated and bathed in lights along with the entire area surrounding the building.
The magnificent edifice of the cathedral is painted in white, stands tall and surreal in its appearance. The central tower is inspired by the ‘Bell Harry’ tower of Canterbury Cathedral.
The original motto behind building the cathedral was to attempt providing space for the growing European community and the idea was proposed by the then Governor-General of Bengal, Marquess of Hastings.
Location of St. Paul’s Cathedral Kolkata
The cathedral is located directly adjacent to Victoria Memorial, right across the street. It is situated next to Birla Planetarium complex on the Cathedral Roadon “islands of attractions” in Kolkata which also includes Nandan, Birla Planetarium, Rabindra Sadan Theatre Complex and Victoria Memorial.
History of St. Paul’s Cathedral Kolkata
As the European community of Kolkata kept growing, by 1810, the St. John’s Church that was meant for offering prayers appeared too small to accommodate all visitors at one go. The need for a bigger cathedral was then proposed by the then Governor-General of Bengal, Marquess of Hastings. He advised William Nairn Forbes to submit the design of a new cathedral.
The location of the land for a new cathedral was proposed by Bishop Middleton. Due to the delays in getting permits, the process continuously kept getting pushed for later dates. Bishop Middleton passed away long before the project of the cathedral building had started. It was only during 1832, under Bishop Daniel Wilson that the building of the cathedral had started.
The principle design of the cathedral building was done by Major William Nairn Forbes (1796–1855) (who later became a Major General of the Bengal Engineers). He was assisted by architect C. K Robinson.
The cornerstone of the cathedral was laid on 8th October 1839 and it took another 8 years to complete it. The consecration took place on 8th October 1847 and was attended by the European community and a small number of locals. The then queen of England and Empress of British Empire in India, Queen Victoria had sent ten pieces of silver-gilt plates to mark the consecration. The entire cost to build the cathedral is totalled to an approximate amount of INR 4. 36 lakhs during the time it was built.
The cathedral suffered damaged twice in earthquakes, the first time was in 1897 which did not do as much damage as it was caused during the second earthquake of 1934 in which the steeple tower had collapsed. The cathedral had undergone restorations and renovations after each natural disaster.
It has been recently discovered that there was an inner vault beneath the altar of the church that housed a crypt with an ornate coffin inside a glass enclosure that belonged to none other than the founder of the Cathedral, Bishop Daniel Wilson.
It was Bishop Wilson who had convinced the authorities of East India Company for the need of a larger cathedral. The discovery of the coffin also busted the claims of many historians and church authorities that Bishop Wilson was resting somewhere in the belly of the cathedral.
Architecture and Features of St. Paul’s Cathedral Kolkata
Originally built in gothic architectural style, the St. Paul’s Cathedral is considered as one of the many architectural marvels of the colonial era. The magnificent structure had undergone quite a few renovations that led to the changes in the original monument. The present structure has Indo- Gothic elements of Gothic Revival architecture to stand the strong tropical climate that Kolkata experiences.
The cathedral was designed by Sir Arthur William Bloomfield of London and bears semblance to the Norwich Cathedral of England.
The cathedral building is built with specially made out bricks that were lighter and at the same time, including great compressional strength that would allow them to withstand extreme temperatures and climatic disasters. Chunar stones have also been used as dressed stones whereas, the interior and exterior of the building was plastered with fine lime plaster, also called chunam, very similar to a stucco.
The interior of the cathedral is one single hall without any side aisles. Its interiors are flanked with unusually high ceiling, beautifully carved pews, murals and paintings on the walls and other pre- independence artefacts including monuments of all bishops.
The sculptures in the church building were designed by some of the finest artists belonging to the cream of British empire. The shallow curves in the roof of the cathedral was designed basically with a doubt whether the ground would be able to support the weight of pillars and heavy arches. Hence, the roof is like a shallow curve having the largest iron span at the time when it was built, spanned by 151 iron trusses.
The cathedral also dons three stained glass windows on its western wall along with frescoes represented in Florentine renaissance classic style. The stained-glass windows were designed by master designer Sir Edward Brune- Jones in the memory of Lord Mayo. The East window also had original stained-glass windows that were destroyed in the 1964 cyclone and were restored in 1968.
Among the paintings on the walls of the cathedral, there are paintings that depict the life and significance of St. Paul including his annunciation, his flight into Egypt and the Adoration of the Magi. All the paintings of St. Paul have been done by Sir Arthur Blomfield.
The cathedral still has the Willis pipe organ with 41 stops, made by Henry Willis & Sons of London. Towards the western porch, there is a library situated in the cathedral premises. Bishop Wilson was the brains behind the idea of a library being set up and he also donated 8000 books and manuscripts which were from his personal collection.
It is surrounded by a very well-maintained garden with over 184,700 species of trees planted till date.
Image Gallery of St. Paul’s Cathedral Kolkata
Entry Fees and Timings of St. Paul’s Cathedral Kolkata
The opening hours of the cathedral is from 9:00 AM to 12:00 PM in the morning and then from 3:00 PM to 6:00 PM in the evening, on all the days of the week except on Sundays. On Sundays, it is open from 7:30 AM to 6:00 PM.
There is no entry fee to visit St. Paul’s Cathedral.
How to Reach St. Paul’s Cathedral Kolkata
Kolkata is very easily accessible from all major cities. Commuting within the city is also hassle free with top car rental companies in Kolkata. There are several forms of transport available to reach St. Paul’s Cathedral.
By Air: Nearest Airport: Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose International Airport
One can hire a prepaid taxi (yellow taxis) or rent a cab (Ola, Uber, etc.) to reach the cathedral.
By Train: Nearest Railway Station: Howrah junction
There is no dearth of yellow taxis, and cabs (ola, uber, etc) from Kolkata railway station parking that would directly take visitors to the cathedral.
By Bus: All local buses ply to this area. One may board any bus that goes towards Park Street or Dharmatala and get down at Park Street or Exide.
Nearest Metro Station: Maidan Metro Station is the nearest metro station
Places to visit near St. Paul’s Cathedral Kolkata
Victoria Memorial, Birla Planetarium, BBD Bagh, Princep Ghat, Fort William and Park Street- Food Street are located nearby.
Kolkata has a lot to offer for each and every kind of tourist, be it history lovers, nature admirers or adventure seekers. We at Kolkata Tourism, a division of Holidays DNA offer Kolkata Tour packages for its customers at budget friendly prices. Choose the package that suits you best and explore all the must visit tourist attractions of Kolkata in the comfort of a private cab. For more details on various packages, please fill the Contact Us form and we will get back to you.