After spending some great time at the Rail Museum in my previous post in Mysore Diaries, it was time to say good bye to the Rail Museum and say Hello to the magnificent St. Philomena’s Church. The church is one of the popular attractions in the city and there are a lot of people visiting the church daily. St Philomena’s Church is situated right in the middle of the city so it’s very easy to get there. So in today’s post I’ll about the church, its wonderful architecture and its history.
One of the best parts about Mysore is that, all the important tourist attractions are pretty close by. You dive for 15 mins or so and you are at the new destination. Same is the case with St Philomena Church too. It’s very close from the Rail Museum as well as the Mysore Palace.
History of St. Philomena Church
This is a catholic church built in the honor of St. Philomena in Mysore way back in 1936, that’s almost 11 years before independence ! A church was already built in the same location in 1843 by the then Maharaja of the Wodeyar dynasty. In 1933, the Maharaja of Mysore laid the foundation stone of St Philomena Church after a relic of the saint was found. Today, the relic is preserved below the main altar.
The Gothic Architecture
St Philomena Church was designed by a Frenchman and it was built in Neo-Gothic style. The inspiration was drawn from the Cologne Cathedral in Germany. A point to note is that the floor of the Church resembles a cross. The two spires of the church are 175 feet tall and again resemble the Cologne Cathedral as well as the St. Patrick’s Church in New York. One of the best thing about the church is the painted glass which depicts the birth of Christ. Further it is also considered to be the second largest church in Asia !
The church as mentioned has a unique architecture which is quite different from the other monuments from the same era. Anyone visiting the place would feel that they are actually in a foreign country because of the neo-gothic architecture. I’ve stayed for few years in Goa too, but the churches over there and this one are quite different. Even though it is right in the middle of the city, St. Philomena church is built in a large area. Currently there is some restoration work going on inside the church, but you can definitely walk in and have a look.
Overall, the St Philomena Church is a different yet wonderful place. If you are an architect or interested in history and architecture, then this place should definitely be on your list of places to visit in Mysore. The place isn’t crowded much, so anytime is the perfect time to visit the church.
So next in line in the Mysore Diaries is the mighty Mysore Palace, so stay tuned !