Celebrating Jamaica 50: Holy Trinity Cathedral
BORN out of the vision of Bishop John Collins of Kentucky and Maryland, the Holy Trinity Cathedral stands as possibly the most unique architectural structure on the island.
Located at the corner of North Street and George Headley Drive, the view both outside and within the Cathedral is one of exquisite splendour with over 3,000 square feet of artwork on the walls and ceiling.
The history of the Cathedral is etched in its architecture and it was constructed after the earthquake and subsequent fire of January 1907 had levelled the city of Kingston. The Cathedral, a Byzantine structure resembling the Santa Sophia Basilica of Constantinople, was designed and constructed by the Walker-Fyshe Company Limited, constructing engineers from Montreal, Canada. The interior of the Cathedral is decorated with elaborate artwork done by Brother Francis J Schroen, SJ.
On stepping into the Cathedral, one cannot but help to gasp, the beauty will literally take your breath away. The lofty ceiling and walls covered in frescoes, beautiful stained glass windows, the Carrara marble High altar -- Byzantine in style -- the old pipe organ so distinctive in nature and the second largest of its kind in the Caribbean are just some of the signature features of the structure.
Rightly so, the Cathedral boasts the tag of the only church with interior frescoes comparable to any church in Europe or Latin America. The magnificence of the Cathedral is more than merely an ecclesiastical triumph for Roman Catholics, it is one that can hopefully be embraced by the people of Jamaica.
The Cathedral has played an integral role in Jamaican society, not solely as a beacon of worship and but as a national landmark, architectural gem and monument.
Since its erection, the Cathedral has served as an appropriate setting for many major events, including the ordination of priests, honorary visits by the Pope, and funeral and memorial services for prominent public figures.
The Jamaica National Heritage Trust declared the Cathedral a national landmark in the year 2000 and as Jamaica cranks up the gear in celebrating its 50th Anniversary, we must continue to cherish such a structure.