Seoul Anglican Cathedral

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Cathedral Church of St Mary the Virgin and St Nicholas
Seoul Anglican Cathedral
Seoul Anglican Cathedral-1.jpg
Seoul Anglican Cathedral (exterior: west end)
37°34′02″N 126°58′33″E / 37.5671°N 126.9759°E / 37.5671; 126.9759Coordinates: 37°34′02″N 126°58′33″E / 37.5671°N 126.9759°E / 37.5671; 126.9759
Location Seoul
Country South Korea
Denomination Anglican
Architecture
Architect(s) Arthur Stansfield Dixon
Style Romanesque Revival
Groundbreaking 1922 (1922)

The Cathedral Church of St Mary the Virgin and St Nicholas or simply Seoul Cathedral, is an Anglican cathedral in Seoul, South Korea, and is the mother church of both the Anglican Church of Korea and the Diocese of Seoul.

Construction of the building began in 1922 to a design by English architect Arthur Stansfield Dixon[1] and the cathedral is known for its Romanesque Revival architecture together with its mosaic murals. In 1985, a Harrison & Harrison pipe organ was installed in the cathedral's west end. Expansion of the cathedral was started in 1991 and was completed in 1996.

Chronology[edit]

Seoul Anglican Cathedral (interior: west end, the Harrison & Harrison 1985 organ)
  • 1885 - The Anglican mission to Korea started from Ganghwa Island.
  • 1890 - Bishop John Corfe was consecrated in England and arrived in Seoul as bishop of the Korean Diocese.
  • 1890 - Bishop John Corfe purchased the land and a traditional Korean style building on the site of the present cathedral, consecrated the church as "Jang-rim Seong-dang" (church) and began daily masses.
  • 1909 - The Anglican Church purchased a large piece of land and finalized the plan to construct the cathedral.
  • 1917 - The church asked Arthur Dixon, a member of RIBA (Royal Institute of British Architects) to design the cathedral.
  • 1922 - The construction of Seoul Cathedral was started.
  • 1926 - Due to financial difficulties, only about a half of the original construction plan was completed.
  • 1950 - The Dean and a priest of the Cathedral were taken with Sister Marie-Clare by the Communists and martyred.
  • 1965 - The dioceses of Seoul and Daejon were separated. The first Korean bishop of the Seoul diocese was inaugurated at the cathedral.
  • 1978 - Seoul Anglican Cathedral is named important cultural asset number 35.
  • 1985 - A pipe organ built by Harrison & Harrison (with 20 stops and 2 manuals) was installed.
  • 1987 - The cathedral became a key historical site of the June 10th Protest.
  • 1991 - The plan for its expansion started. The City Government initially rejected such a plan, but later gave permission after its original blueprint, lost during World War II or the Korean War was miraculously found in a museum in England.
  • 1996 - The expansion of the Cathedral was completed.

Finding of the Original Blueprint[edit]

A British museum worker visited the half-completed cathedral in the late 1980s ~ early 1990s and remembered that the original blue prints of the Cathedral drawn by Arthur Dixon, an English architect. He went back to England to get the blue prints from the museum archives and returned to Seoul with the drawing and handed it over to the Parish office. In 1994, the Cathedral began its expansion and was completed in 1996.

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