Monday 4 September 2017

St Dunstan's Basilica

Our first visit to Charlottetown was a couple of weeks after we arrived on Prince Edward Island.  We went for a walk after lunch and visited St Dunstan's Basilica.  It was a hot afternoon and pleasant to escape the bustle of the tourist crowds and step into the calm of this beautiful church.  Stepping inside, the eye was immediately drawn to the Rose window and altar.  The stained-glass windows, light fixtures and pillars depict almost three hundred angels.

St Dunstan's Chapel was the original wooden church on this site.  It was constructed in 1816 and dedicated to St Dunstan, Archbishop of Canterbury, who was an Anglo-Saxon saint, from Glastonbury.  The original church was later replaced by a larger wooden cathedral in 1843. 

The cornerstone of the third cathedral on this site was laid in 1896.  It was built in the form of a Latin cross and was dedicated in 1907.  Six years after its dedication, it was destroyed by fire.

The fourth cathedral was reconstructed from the walls of the former one and the interior was completed in the English Gothic style.  Completed in 1919, it was the largest cathedral in the Maritimes.  Ten years later, on the centenary of the formation of the Diocese of Charlottetown, Pope Pius XI honoured the financial sacrifices made by the Islanders to resurrect this church from the ashes and granted St Dunstan's the title of Basilica, one of only twenty such churches in Canada.

The exterior part of the Basilica was difficult to photograph, due to crowds, other builidings and trees.  It is French Gothic in style and topped by spiral crosses on the spires.

I don't feel that my photos did the building justice, so if you would like to see some better images, please visit the Basilica's webiste here.


  1. Such a a beautiful church--that rose window is splendid! A lovely sanctuary from the busy world... :) ((HUGS))

  2. It looks a wonderful building, Marie so quiet and peaceful inside away from all the crowds:)

  3. Tracy - it is a beautiful church and a peaceful place to spend a few minutes. Marie x

  4. Rosie - I enjoyed the peace of this beautiful building - a quiet place to spend a few precious minutes. Marie x

  5. It looks beautiful. I love Victorian gothic. Wonderful stained glass windows too. Bx

  6. Bonny - it is very beautiful inside and so peaceful. Marie x