19 November 2011

Assumption Cathedral – a symbol of devotion

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There is an impressive Cathedral at Oriental Avenue within Bangkok. This is the chief most Roman Catholic Church of the country. Recognized internationally as the main institute of Bangkok’s Archdiocese, it was a point of worship during the 1984 trip of Pope John Paul II to Thailand.

The structure was originally constructed by a French Architect as a reply to a request made by Father Pascal, a French Missionary in the year 1809. It is said the all the material needed for construction was imported from Italy and France.

The Assumption Cathedral was completed during the sovereignty of King Rama the second in 1821 and was named so in honour of Virgin Mary’s passage to heaven after her death. The church holds a celebration called the ‘Feat of the Assumption’ that venerates her on the 15th of August which is also St. Mary’s Day.

The church was a significant centre for the missionaries who arrived in Bangkok after the 1860’s and since has expanded to an entire complex that includes Assumption Printing Press, the Catholic Mission of Bangkok and the Assumption Convent. In the past, these buildings served as lodging for the missionaries who visited the city.

The early 1900’s saw the cathedral undergo prominent reconstruction that resulted in a representation of the Romanesque Style, a style of architecture different to the previous traditions. The white church has a three piece rectangular facade made of brick that contrasts against the surroundings. The main entrance is flanked by two tall towers and the interior boasts an opulent high ceiling. The beneficiary of the cost of reconstruction was a wealthy catholic businessman who was also a local of the district.

World War II destroyed many buildings of Bangkok and the Assumption cathedral too was greatly affected by bombing. Restorations were once again made in the late 1900’s and an addition of stained glass windows was put in.

Because the Cathedral is open all seven days for public viewing you can visit it while staying at any serviced apartment Bangkok. Offering some of the finest Bangkok serviced apartments is Anantara Baan Rajprasong, Bangkok, a residence that boasts 97 spacious one and two bedroom suites that will guarantee a cherished holiday in the city.