St. Mary’s Cathedral, Tokyo, Japan


St. Mary’s Cathedral, Tokyo, Japan

St. Mary’s Cathedral Tokyo is situated in Bunkyo ward, Tokyo. It was constructed in 1899 by the scholars as the Chapel of the French Missionaries Seminary, and in 1900 became the church of Sekiguchi parish. In 1920 became The Cathedral Church of the Archbishop of Tokyo. In 1945, when it was destroyed by fire caused by the air attack, Tokyo Cathedral was a wooden gothic style church. St. Mary’s Cathedral Tokyo has to be reconstructed, and the Diocese of Koln (Germany) gave its assistance for the reconstruction. Architect Tange Kenzo started its planning in 1960, and the new Cathedral was inaugurated in December 1964. It was finished at the same year when Tokyo Olympic was held, in 1964. 8 hyperbolic faces more or less vertical make up a huge configuration in the profile of a cross. St. Mary’s Cathedral Tokyo turned out to be renowned in the world as only one of its kind church construction.  St. Mary’s Cathedral Tokyo is 39.4 meters tall and made with steel concrete covered by stainless steel. St. Mary’s Cathedral Tokyois constructed by 8 layers of concrete shells and the highest point is 40m high.

St. Mary’s Cathedral, Tokyo

There are no columns inside the cathedral, creating a one huge open space inside. This special sound effect is comparable to those stone churches constructed during the Renaissance and period of Baroque style. Large Cathedral in Europe also has the equal quality of echoes.

The structures of eight curved walls are almost at right angles form one big cross. The brilliance of the stainless supports at the outside signifies the light that Christ composes to shine upon the world and in the hearts of men.  The rigid walls of pre-cast concrete evoke the words of the Bible: “The Lord is my rock and my bastion, my deliverer is my God.” Use of the most up-to-date technology at that time made this cathedral to become prominent for its Modern Church Architecture. Unique Style of this building makes it hard to believe that it was built 48 years ago.

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