You can visit churches, cathedrals, chapels and other cultural icons in and around Brisbane all for FREE. This year's Brisbane Open House has been launched with 119 buildings. Since its inception nine years ago, the Office of the Queensland Government Architect has actively promoted the Open House concept across Queensland and the quality and variety is impressive. The chock-a-block program truly has something for everyone, including children. Visit the Official Brisbane Open House website and unlock all the details or get your downloadable programme.
St John's Cathedral Vaulted Ceiling (May Cross)
The twelve churches I have listed here are of historical importance and are architecturally significant. They're all located in or near Brisbane's CBD and are walking distance from each other. And best of all, they are all absolutely free for visitors during Open House weekend. Ensure you mark your calendar for this big weekend on 12th and 13th October.
1. St Paul's Presbyterian Church You are invited to an architect's talk about this historic building. Join heritage architect Tim O'Donnell (PDT Architects) for a guided tour of St Paul's Presbyterian Church and Sabbath Hall at 43 St Paul's Terrace, Spring Hill on Saturday 12 October at 10.15 am.
This church, on the corner of Ann and Albert Streets, was built in the popular Gothic style of architecture, blending it with Brisbane's climatic conditions. The most prominent external feature of this wedding cake-like decorative church is its spire which soars to a height of 42 metres from street level.
3. Saint Andrew's Uniting Church This church, on the corner of Ann and Creek Streets, is of the Neo-Romanesque style of architecture. It was designed by George David Payne and is an excellent example of its kind. Check out the Peace Chapel with World War honour boards, the communion set from Gallipoli, stained glass windows by William Bustard and the Vera Wade Gallery.
All Saints' Anglican (May Cross)
4. All Saints' Church This is the oldest continually used Anglican church in Brisbane. You will find it at 32 Wickham Terrace. It was established by Bishop Tufnell and was built in 1869 with a hammer-beam roof which is unique in Australia. It also boasts one of only three Lewis Organs in Australia.
5. St John's Cathedral This 19th-century Gothic-Revival cathedral is at 373 Ann Street. It has a fully stone-vaulted ceiling, extensive wood carvings, 160 stained glass lancets, intricate stone sculptures and a font made from 350 million years old fossilised limestone.
6. St Martin's House
St Martin's House is at 373 Ann Street next to St John's Cathedral. It was built in 1922 by Lange R. Powell. Open on Saturday only, with rolling tours throughout the day. This is a great venue for children with kids' activities and musical performances.
8. St Stephen's Chapel While you are at the Cathedral of St Stephen, don't forget to visit St Stephen's Chapel which adjoins the cathedral and was the first church in Queensland, dating from 1850. A must for Mary MacKillop fans.
10. St Andrew's Lutheran
St Andrew's Lutheran Church is located at 25 Wickham Terrace on the corner of Ann and Wharf Streets in the city. It was designed by Barry Walduck and completed in 1976. Please note that it is open only on Saturday.
11. Ann Street Presbyterian Church
Ann Street Presbyterian is at 141 Ann Street. This sweet little white church was built in 1858 and the architect was Joshua Jeays. Come and see where Dame Nellie Melba was married on 22 December 1882.
12.Masonic Memorial Centre
This Masonic Hall with its imposing columns is at 311 Ann Street. The original building was constructed from1928 to 1930 and was refurbished in 1985. The original architect, Lange Powell, also designed St Martin's House (next to St John's Cathedral).