St. John’s Cathedral, Tiruvalla

Like a divine spot upon the cultural canvas of Mid-Travancore, Saint John’s Cathedral, Tiruvalla, Kerala State, India stands as a seat of blessings, total submission and surrender. Its surprising circular shape seems to tell us that our life reaches a full circle the moment we step into it. This massive structure is a typical example of architectural wonder. With its vast premises and tranquil surroundings it pulls any human mind towards it with a promise of rescue and relief. It also reflects the spark of mutual love, brotherhood and co-operation. The altar which has paintings of the 12 apostles behind, gives a dramatic effect with light and shade falling on it from behind, making it glow with almost a halo around it. Photos of St. John’s Cathedral

The cathedral has a temple-like exterior but a conventional church interior. Aspects of traditional Kerala architecture, temple architecture and Eastern (Syrian) Christian tradition were integrated into the design. The exterior design incorporates elements from the architecture of the old cathedral that it replaced.

The cathedral’s interior has a depiction of biblical themes in stained glass. Three key premises that are shown through these biblical themes are: God in search of man, man in search of God, and man in search of the other. The stained glass images depict the story of the Good Samaritan, The Prodigal Son, The Parable of the 10 Virgins, Zacchaeus, Parables of the Lost Sheep and Coins, the Rich Man and Lazarus, and the Last Judgment; important incidents in the life of Jesus from birth until the resurrection.

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