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Saint Monicas Cathedral

This relatively unknown - yet beautiful - building in Cairns is a subtle, unobtrusive building that's from the outside yet boasts a wonderful interior.

Highlights

Beautiful stained glass windows inside
Significant history and character
Curation provided by cathedral caretaker
Monument to Battle of Coral Sea
Central location in Cairns
Weekday and weekend masses

What you need to know

This relatively unknown building in Cairns is something of a hidden gem; St. Monica's Cathedral is a subtle, unobtrusive building that's easily missed and unassuming from the outside yet boasts a wonderful interior.

Home to a number of impressive stained glass windows - 24 of which are arranged in an order that follow the storyline of the creation of life with a hint of Australian influence added - this is a modern cathedral that doesn't require any religious affiliation to appreciate. The stained glass windows are the stars of the show here and demonstrate craftsmanship worthy of much bigger cathedrals (to see them at their best and brightest, be sure to visit on a sunny day to maximise their glow).

St. Monica's Cathedral also features additional examples of impressive construction and adornment, with use of marble in both the stairs and up to the alter itself. In addition to the raw physical beauty of the interior, the church is rich with history. There's a monument to the Battle of the Coral Sea which occurred off the Queensland coast, and it's staffed by a passionate caretaker who's more than willing to explain the background and stories of the cathedral and its history in great detail. Be sure to attend on Sundays at 10am when the cathedral's impressive choir can be heard performing. An alternative and excellent free thing to do in Cairns, St. Monica's Cathedral is sure to surprise and delight.

More info

Location

  • 181 Abbott Street, Cairns

Mass times

  • Reconciliation: Saturday 11:30am - 12:30pm
  • Weekend Masses: Saturday 7pm; Sunday 6:30am, 10am & 5pm
  • Weekday mass: Monday to Saturday 7:45am