Posted by: rbbadger | January 4, 2011

The Cathedral Church of Ss. Mary and Nicholas

Close to Deoksu Palace and across from City Hall, one will find the Cathedral Church of Ss. Mary and Nicholas.  This church is the mother church and cathedral for the Anglican Diocese of Seoul.  The Anglican Church in Korea became a province in its own right in 1993. 

It was the first Romanesque building in Seoul.  It was built in the 1920s through the work of the Right Reverend Mark Napier Trollope, Third Bishop of Korea.  Bishop Trollope also lead the building of one of Korea’s most remarkable churches, the Ganghwa Anglican Church on Ganghwa-do (Island) in Incheon.  The exterior is absolutely lovely.

The interior of the church is quite restrained.  There isn’t a lot of beautiful stained glass, like in Myeong-dong Cathedral.  However, there is some beautiful art hanging on the walls.  Additionally, the sanctuary is dominated by a very large mosaic.

Special thanks is due to the Rev. Mr. John Chung Chang-jin, a permanent deacon of the Cathedral parish.  He gave me quite an informative tour and let me into the sanctuary where I could take this shot.  Here were are looking across the transepts.

The deacon mentioned that Her Majesty The Queen attended services at the Cathedral during her visit to Korea a few years ago.  On that occasion, a special memorial to the British soldiers was unveiled in the presence of The Queen.

There are also nice side chapels.  Here is one of them.

Speaking of memorials, it is time to visit the crypt.  There is a small chapel down there where services in English are held on Sundays and also during the week.  It is also home to a small and cute pipe organ built by a Korean organ builder.  He had apprenticed in Germany and returned home to Korea where he now owns his own organ building firm.  Hong Organbuilders recently built a pipe organ for Im-dong Cathedral (Roman Catholic) in Gwangju.

In the center of the nave of the crypt is the grave of Bishop Trollope.  He is depicted dressed in bishop’s vesture holding the cathedral in his hands. 

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