St. Mary’s Cathedral is also known with the name of Church of Our Lady of Dolours, is one of the most popular churches not only in Madurai but also in Tamil Nadu. Its architectural beauty attracts many visitors along with its religious significance, making it a place worth visiting on a Madurai Tour.
With a history of more than 150 years, this parish presents beautiful blend of Roman, European and other architectural styles.
History of St. Mary's Cathedral, Madurai
Built in 1841, St. Mary's Cathedral is more than 150 years old. Initially this church was built as a small chapel by Fr. Garnier over a piece of land bought in 1840 by Fr. Bertrand SJ. He had settled around 30 families of sailor who were out-casted by W. Pudupatti Church. This area later show high increases in number of Catholics to accommodate whom it was expanded a few times by Fr. Hibolite sj and Br. Lemothe SJ. The present structure of this church was built in 1916. And in 1938, when Madurai Diocese was established, St. Mary's Cathedral was bestowed with the status of a pro-Cathedral and the Bishop’s throne was also brought in at the church. However, it was in 1969 when this church got the status of Cathedral. This cathedral is the seat of the Madurai Roman Catholic Archdiocese.
At present, this parish is consisted of around 15 sub stations and about 1600 catholic families. Some of its associations are Vincent de Paul, Family welfare team, Bible society, St. Mary’s Youth, Legion of Mary, St. Mary’s Altar boys, etc.
Architecture of St. Mary's Cathedral, Madurai
Still standing majestically and captivating visitors with its incomparable architectural beauty, St. Mary's Cathedral is a place worth exploring in the historical city of Madurai. An impeccable amalgamation of various architectural styles such as European, Continental and Roman, the present building of this cathedral was built in 1969.
It has many captivating features. Two tall bell towers which have been constructed beautifully in the style of Roman architecture allure everyone. With height of 42 meters, these towers stand majestically. Another attractive part of this cathedral is its façade.
Reaching St. Mary’s Cathedral, Madurai
Located at East Veli Street, St. Mary’s Cathedral is only 2 km away from Madurai railway station. It is easily accessible as it is well connected by all modes of road-transportation. If planning to travel by bus, visitors can get down at Mission Hospital Bus stop. Tourists can also book a taxi or an auto rickshaw till here.