I've kept this blog, on and off, since 2006. In 2015 I used it to chart daily encounters, images, thoughts and feelings about volcanic basalt/bluestone in Melbourne and Victoria, especially in the first part of the year. I plan to write a book provisionally titled Bluestone: An Emotional History, about human uses of and feelings for bluestone. But I am also working on quite a few other projects and a big grant application, especially now I am on research leave. I'm working mostly from home, then, for six months, and will need online sociability for company!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

World's Last Gothic Cathedral is Finished

Well, I guess this is a milestone of sorts:

From The Australian today:

OPPOSITION Leader Malcolm Turnbull tonight swapped the unholy noise of parliament for angelic tones in Brisbane's St John's Anglican Cathedral. Mr Turnbull and wife Lucy were among hundreds of guests from around the globe to celebrate the world's last Gothic cathedral to be completed. St John's was designed by English Victorian Gothic architect John Pearson in 1889. But it was not until this year that the third and final stage of its construction was finished - at a cost of almost $40 million. Brisbane's third Anglican bishop William Webber was mocked when he suggested the northern outpost have a cathedral, but he continued to push for the building because it would "inspire lofty thoughts and noble aspirations". The service combined the ancient and modern. It was webcast on the internet and featured indigenous elements including a traditional welcome and a Torres Strait island hymn. A didgeridoo played as Anglican Primate Dr Phillip Aspinall offered the consecration prayers. "We give thanks to God to everyone since 1906 who has laboured to create this magnificent building," he told the congregation.

I can't download them, but in my searching around I did see some rather intriguing images of the cathedral's new stained glass windows: I may have to go and visit. The picture above makes it look rather small, in fact: the spires look rather short and squat to me (especially in contrast to the new spires of St Mary's cathedral in Sydney - seen here on the left). Though both images interestingly demonstrate the difficulty of fitting gothic architecture into the format of modern cameras.

Weirdly, although the completion of Brisbane's gothic cathedral seems to establish a rather odd temporal disjuncture, there is also something medieval about taking a hundred years to build something.

Has anyone seen the Brisbane one recently? Is that picture a good image?

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