Pune is known to have several beautiful churches that are an epitome of grandeur. While some of us visit them for the glorious history, some do it for the peaceful Sunday masses and the ancient Victorian architecture. Ornate glass windows, colourful glass, or gigantic bells, these magnificent structures are sure to leave you mesmerised. Although the government has permitted places of worship to open their doors, it is our duty to make sure that we behave like responsible citizens. Wear a mask, carry a sanitizer and maintain social distancing when visiting such crowded places. Here’s a list of five churches in Pune you need to visit if you love all things ancient and beautiful, this Christmas.
This Christmas, Attend A Midnight Mass At These Victorian Churches In Pune
St. Mary's Church
Built by Lieutenant Nash of the East India Company’s Engineers, St.Mary’s Church in Camp is one of the oldest churches in the city. St.Mary’s is an architectural marvel with a tower at the west end, a winding staircase on the south that leads to the gallery, vestry and lamp room on the ground floor and magnificent space that can house up to 1,000 worshippers. Built during the British era, the church has seen its fair share of memorials of sages and warriors. For instance, the mortal remains of Sir Robert Grant, Governor Of Bombay are buried in this church.
There are a lot of architectural references at St.Mary’s. While the north side depicts the Annunciation of the Virgin and Moses at the Burning Bush, the south side represents the Ascension and above, the translation of Elisha. We hear The Baptistery window represents Noah’s sacrifice, the Israelites crossing the Red Sea and the Circumcision and Baptism. If you know your history well and have a knack in cultural, give this church a visit.
St. Xavier's Church
Over 150 years old, St.Xavier’s Church in Camp is one of Pune’s first Catholic church run by Jesuit priests. Located at St.Vincent street, the church has a glorious old-world charm to it; cobblestone exterior, huge arched entrances, stained glass windows, high ceilings with wooden planks, walls boasting of oil paintings depicting the life of Christ and more. The next time you’re in Camp, religious or not, visit St.Xavier’s for the sheer cultural experience. Weekday masses happen at 6.00 AM, 6.30 PM. 7.00 AM and 7.00 PM.
All Saints' Church
About 180 years old, All Saints’ Church is one of the most popular churches in Khadki that sees over 100-odd families come every Sunday for the worship services. During the British era, All Saints’ Church would be a garrison church for the military. As years passed by, the church has seen very many drastic changes. We hear the church was initially built small and later enlarged in 1845 and again in 1866. The church is built in sandstone and has a bricked exterior with a quaint red roof. The interiors possess teak wood ceilings, colourful stained glass imported from Belgium and the bandstand balcony, right above the north main entrance door.
St. Patrick’s Cathedral
The history of St. Patrick’s Cathedral dates back to 1849 when Irish diocesan priest, Fr. James Carry planned to erect a new chapel in Pune. Today, St. Patrick’s Cathedral is one of the century-old churches in the city that has stood strong and proud. The cathedral boasts of a spotless white exterior with a belltower and a verandah that was constructed along the east end of the church. However, in 1984, the roof of the old cathedral collapsed. A major restoration took place after the incident that included re-plastering of the turrets, redesigning the wooden doors and windows, fixing 16 theme based stain glass windows illustrating the story of Jesus, a skylight above the altar depicting the Descent of the Holy Spirit and more.
St. Paul's Church
Tucked in Agarkar Nagar, St. Paul’s Church is a beautiful quaint church with sepia cobblestone exterior, erstwhile glass windows and wooden ceilings. We hear the church organises youth fellowship meetings, medical fellowship meeting and a special service for old and the sick on ever third Sunday at 10.30 am.