Historical Churches Walking Tour (Self Guided), Wellington

When immigrants first arrived in New Zealand they brought their beliefs. Most of the first settlers were Christians. The second church built in Wellington, in 1855, still stands today and is a great historic site. This self-guided tour will help you explore the churches and other religious monuments of Wellington.
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Historical Churches Walking Tour Map

Guide Name: Historical Churches Walking Tour
Guide Location: New Zealand » Wellington (See other walking tours in Wellington)
Guide Type: Self-guided Walking Tour (Sightseeing)
# of Attractions: 7
Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 4.9 Km or 3 Miles
Author: vickyc
Sight(s) Featured in This Guide:
  • Old St Paul's
  • Wellington Cathedral of St. Paul
  • Sacred Heart Cathedral
  • St Mary of the Angels
  • St Peter's Anglican Church
  • Greek Orthodox Cathedral
  • Saint Gerard's Catholic Church and Monastery
Old St Paul's

1) Old St Paul's (must see)

One of New Zealand’s greatest heritage places, Old St Paul’s was built by the Anglican Church between 1865 and 1866 on what was originally the site of Pipitea Pā, a Māori settlement on Wellington’s waterfront.

Constructed from fine native timbers, the church is a handsome sight from the outside. Inside, it is simply breathtaking. Spectacular lighting gives the interior a rosy glow, enriching the appearance of brass fittings, stained glass windows and exquisitely embroidered furnishings.

As well as being one of the best examples of Gothic Revival architecture in the world, the former cathedral is a repository of many interesting stories, including that of its own survival. Having served the Anglican community up to the 1960s, it was threatened with demolition after the new St Paul’s was built one block away. Saved, restored and reopened to the public, today Old St Paul’s stands not only as a place of spiritual significance and a venue for special events (including weddings and concerts) but also as a reminder of one of New Zealand's great heritage battles.

Opening Hours:
Daily: 10am-4pm (except on some public holidays and for special events)
Sight description based on wikipedia
Wellington Cathedral of St. Paul

2) Wellington Cathedral of St. Paul (must see)

St Paul's Cathedral is the cathedral church of the Anglican Diocese of Wellington and the seat of its bishop of Wellington.

Work began in 1955, and was completed in 1998. It was constructed in reinforced concrete due to the effects of the 1931 Napier earthquake, making other choices impractical. It began functioning as a cathedral in 1964.

The wooden Lady Chapel is on the "north" side of the cathedral. The Lady Chapel was moved to Wellington Cathedral from its original site in Paraparaumu in 1990.
Sight description based on wikipedia
Sacred Heart Cathedral

3) Sacred Heart Cathedral

The Metropolitan Cathedral of the Sacred Heart and of Saint Mary His Mother, better known as Sacred Heart Cathedral, is a Roman Catholic cathedral.

The first church to be built on the Hill Street Site was St. Mary's Cathedral, blessed and opened in 1851. It was gutted by fire in 1898, during repainting. Because the Catholic population of Wellington was then mostly based in the Te Aro and Newtown areas, it was decided that a new cathedral should be erected in that part of the city and a 'serviceable church in brick' built on the site of the old cathedral.

However the new church, called the Basilica of the Sacred Heart, was rather grander than this. Its foundation stone was laid in 1899 and the building blessed and opened two years later. The money to build Sacred Heart was taken from the fund for the new cathedral. The new cathedral was never actually built. In 1983 the Basilica was elevated to the status of a cathedral by Cardinal Thomas Williams.
Sight description based on wikipedia
St Mary of the Angels

4) St Mary of the Angels (must see)

St Mary of the Angels is a Catholic church.

The building, is classified as a "Category I" ("places of 'special or outstanding historical or cultural heritage significance or value'") historic place by the New Zealand Historic Places Trust.

The current building was opened in 1922, and is the third church built on the Boulcott Street site.

Architecturally, the design is traditional Gothic of French influence. Also innovative in that it is 'the first occasion ferro-concrete was used for a church of Gothic design'. It is built of reinforced concrete and brick with a timber roof supported by concrete arches with steel tie rods.
Sight description based on wikipedia
St Peter's Anglican Church

5) St Peter's Anglican Church

St Peter's Anglican Church was built in 1848. Its highlight is stained glass windows. The church was built from local timber in the Gothic Revival style. It is marked by a corner spire. This big wooden church is a prominent landmark in the inner city of Wellington.
Greek Orthodox Cathedral

6) Greek Orthodox Cathedral

The Greek Orthodox Cathedral of the Annunciation, located on Mount Victoria, was build in the 1940s, it is one of the very few Greek Orthodox churches in Wellington. The distinctive Byzantine-syle domed Greek Orthodox Church - The Annunciation of the Virgin Mary was consecrated in 1970 by Metropolitan Dionysios Psiachas, the first Archbishop of the Holy Metropolis of New Zealand. The current Metropolitan of New Zealand, Bishop Erithron Amfilochios Tsoukos elevated the church on Hania Street to cathedral status. The church is not very big, but is nevertheless a very distinctive landmark.
Sight description based on wikipedia
Saint Gerard's Catholic Church and Monastery

7) Saint Gerard's Catholic Church and Monastery

St Gerard's Church and Monastery collectively form one of Wellington's most distinctive and iconic landmarks. Both buildings are classified as a "Category I" ("places of 'special or outstanding historical or cultural heritage significance or value'") historic places by the New Zealand Historic Places Trust.

Built in 1908 for the Redemptorists, the church was the first in the world to be dedicated to the Italian saint Gerard Majella. In recognition of this status, the church used to house an oil painting of St Gerard in Ecstasy, which was gifted by the Holy See.

Built in 1932, funded by public donations, the three storied Monastery was constructed as a home for the Redemptorists.
Sight description based on wikipedia

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