St. Thomas Cathedral, Mumbai - a classic model of Gothic or Neo-Gothic architecture

 St.. Thomas cathedral, Mumbai.

The Gothic style of architecture  was introduced in France in the 12th century and this style was popular till the 16th century.  Across Europe  it was mainly used in building associated with places of worship -  churches and cathedrals. Pointed arches, stone structures ribbed vaults, flying buttresses, ornate decorations, large stained glass windows  are the main features of this style.  Gothic style of design was later tried on palaces, castles, big town halls, etc. 

Flying buttresses,

Above image: Buttresses are part of Gothic design and had been in vogue for centuries to give extra strength to the vaulted structures that support  the roof. This type of design reduces the overlying load/ weight on the walls. This  specific form of buttress  consists of  an arch that extends from the upper portion of a wall to a pier of great mass, in order to convey to the ground the lateral forces that push a wall outwards.  The arches transmit the lateral thrust of the stone vault over the aisles; the arches were hidden under the gallery roof, and transmitted the lateral forces to the massive, outer walls. This lateral support system was widely used to support large arches.  Example: Notre-Dame de Paris  that is built  with buttresses

Location  St.Thomas cathedral, fort, Mumbai.

Gothic design, purely European, was brought to India by the colonial rulers. This style of architecture dominated the church buildings built by the Europeans in India.  Despite  passage of time, they are still quite attractive, catchy and stand apart in the landscape of many Indian cities. 

St. Thomas cathedral, Mumbai with buttresses.

St. Thomas cathedral, Mumbai

St. Thomas Cathedral at Fort, Mumbai, bears testimony to the city's colonial past for more than 297 years.  ‘Church gate’ got  its name from this Anglican church.  It has many memorials with fine decorations in marbles and  epitaphs for soldiers  who died young during wars, etc. It stands as a fine example of Gothic/neo-Gothic  architecture that was for the first time introduced here in Mumbai. 

St. Thomas’ Cathedral, the first Anglican Church in Mumbai  was built in 1718  and  the visitors to this church will be astonished by the amazing  delicate interior decorations, ornate marble epitaphs, fine  vaulted arches and tall  stained glassed windows.  Way back in 2004, this unique church got  the UNESCO Asia-Pacific heritage conservation award. This time-honored church owes its origin to Governor Aungier of the East India Company  who took the initiative in 1676 AD. The work on the church got delayed for decades after his unexpected death. The English company got the area (earlier it was a Portuguese settlement) on leases in 1668 from King Charles. 

The full credit goes to Richard Cobbe, the Chaplain, who toiled despite setbacks and completed the church between 1715 and 1718 and EIC bore the construction cost. The church was opened on the Christmas day in 1718.. It was in 1837, it was consecrated as a cathedral. The first Bishop of the cathedral was Thomas Carr and in the year 1838, a clock and a tower were added towards the western end of the church.  Built with  cannon-ball-proof” roof, this church was divided into  into sections for different classes of society based on races and status. The walls are lined with ornate memorials to British parishioners, many of whom died young of disease or in battle as mentioned before.

Lots of tourists, particularly from Europe visit this old church that was constructed  in a  a blend of Neo-Classical and Neo-Gothic styles, with a white exterior. This place of worship has continuously served the Christian community since Christmas 1718 until to day with a  brief break in its services due to COVID -19.  If  you are a heritage lover, it is worth visiting this grand cathedral.

 Pointed windows St. Thomas Cathedral at Fort, Mumbai.

St. Thomas Cathedral at Fort,

St. Thomas Cathedral at Fort, Mumbai. Sculptured Memorial

St. Thomas Cathedral at Fort, Mumbai

St. Thomas cathedral, Mumbai, lord

St. Thomas Cathedral at Fort, Mumbai

Stained glass windows. St. Thomas’ Cathedral,

St. Thomas’ Cathedral, mumbaitourism.trave

St. Thomas Cathedral at Fort, Mumbai

vaulted arches, St. Thomas Cathedral at Fort, Mumbai,
Vaulted arches, St. Thomas Cathedral, Mumbai

St. Thomas Cathedral at Fort, Mumbai Gothic revival design

 St. Thomas Cathedral at Mumbai

Zero Point Plaque of Mumbai at f St. Thomas Cathedral,