Dome Interior of the Cathedral of St. Francis Xavier, Geraldton, Western Australia


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Dome Interior of the Cathedral of St. Francis Xavier, Geraldton, Western Australia


dome, domes, interior, architect, architecture, Bishop Richard Ryan, Bishop William Bernard Kelly, Brunelleschi, California, château, church, Catholic, Catholicism, Catholic church, clergy, Florence, French Renaissance, French Romanesque, Geraldton, Geraldton diocese, Monsignor John Cyril Hawes, outback, priest, Renaissance, Romanesque style, Spanish mission style, stone, WA, Western Australia, Western Australian outback, Saint Francis Xavier, St. Francis Xavier, St Francis Xavier, Francis Xavier, Geraldton


St Francis Xavier Church in Geraldton, Western Australia, designed by Monsignor John Cyril Hawes, has a mixture of Romanesque and Spanish mission style architecture. The first stone was laid in 1916, but following the death of Bishop Kelly the cathedral was not completed until 1938 due to a lack of funds and lack of enthusiasm from Kelly’s replacement, Bishop Ryan.

The cathedral is an interesting mix of styles. The twin towers at the front are similar to the Spanish mission style architecture (eg. The Mission Church of Santa Barbara in California), the central doorway is French Romanesque, the dome has echoes of Brunelleschi’s cupola in Florence, and the cone-roofed tower at the rear is similar to those found on French Renaissance châteaux. The interior features Romanesque columns, timbered ceiling, and zebra striping on the walls and arches.

For more information on Monsignor John Cyril Hawes, see A. G. Evans, 'Hawes, John Cyril (1876-1956)', Australian Dictionary of Biography, Volume 9, Melbourne University Press, 1983, pp.229-230; John J. Taylor, Between Devotion and Design: The Architecture of John Cyril Hawes 1876-1956, (University of Western Australia Press, Perth, 2001).


McLeod, Shane


23 May 2011


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